Category Archives: GRACE

Rainy Night in the City; How raindrops on my windshield spoke volumes to my spirit!

It was a rainy night in the city
as I drove picking up passenger after passenger.

It was a rainy night in the city I drive Uber in.  You may or may not know that I am an Uber driver now.  I clock a lot of windshield time.  I drive in the sunshine or rain.  I really do not mind driving at all … through the rain or sun … makes no difference to me.   I just don’t drive after dark.  Except now during the Fall/Winter when it gets dark so darn early.  I do try to be off the paying road and headed home by dark anyway.  I have a thing about people getting into my vehicle that are … well … a little inebriated.  You see, my “new-to-me” vehicle, that I have had a year now, is the first vehicle I have had that has all leather and loaded.  Yep, I made a heck of a deal Black Friday 2015.  I love it!  It is a Toyota 4Runner and it is probably the nicest vehicle I have had since I have been single.  Anyway, I digress.  Back to the windshield time.

The other day it was raining on and off and I found myself headed home in the rain.  So… I noticed something that spoke volumes to me.  Actually, I heard that familiar voice in my spirit that said… “This is a good topic to write about.”  To be honest, I have heard that voice a lot in the last few months and just never wrote about any of the topics.  I made a note about the topic but just never put the words down that went with it.  That happens from time to time.  I just seem to think I am too busy and do not take the time to write those important words that are waiting to be put to the keyboard.  As you have read before, if you have ever read any of my blog posts, that I don’t really know what I am going to write fully until I sit down and do it.  It seems as though God is guiding my thoughts and fingers as I type.  I like that too!

It usually takes me anywhere from 3-4 hours to write a blog post, proof it, add scriptures and pictures to it and then do the “Yoast, SEO perfection”.  That is why I don’t do much writing lately.  I am trying to drive and do many other things to earn $$$ so as NOT to return to “Corporate America” to work.  I love being more available for mom and dad and for a few other things.  Really, I am so much happier now than I ever was before in so many areas of my life.  One of the many things that makes me happy is having mom and dad living here with me.  God has truly blessed me with their presence, every day!  We have a lot of fun together.  Yes, it’s not always peaches and cream but it is life.  It is real and it is love.  It is family! We do love each other and we are learning how to co-exist and have a grand time doing it.

Is Jesus Lord of your life?

So, back to the rainy night on my way home from “Ubering” all day.   It wasn’t really raining hard, just a little sprinkling.  One of those kinds of rain that if you are in the darker areas you can see just fine through that windshield, but once the light of an oncoming vehicle shines on your windshield the reflection of the light on the rain droplets makes it difficult to see unless you use your windshield wipers.  It was just about the time when the light from an oncoming car hit my windshield and my eyes couldn’t adjust to see when I heard … “This is a good topic.  The spots all over the windshield represents the sin in your life and the light … well, represents Me.” Also, when you turn on the windshield wipers they wipe the rain drops (sin spots) away like Jesus does when He becomes Lord of our lives.  It brought tears to my eyes, as it always does.  I immediately knew in my spirit what was being said and knew I was going to write a post about it someday!

We may have a clean windshield for a very short time, but then that old sin nature creeps back in – because we are human – and we sin again.  Just because Jesus comes into our lives and becomes our Lord doesn’t mean that we become perfect and never sin.  There will always be those showers of just sprinkles of sin or the “Oh My Gosh! Downpour!!” of sin.  Rainy nightI have experienced both, more than I care to say, since Jesus shined His Pure, White Light onto the windshield of my life and exposed all the sin spots and wiped those sin spots away.

You know, we are human and God/Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves.  He knows that we are going to sin and sin again.  He is our Creator.  The Creator always knows what the created is going to do. However, Jesus didn’t come to this earth to just be an excellent example.  He came to do just what He did.  Live a sinless life, be crucified on a cruel cross and die there.  Then be buried in a borrowed tomb and RISE AGAIN on the third day, after defeating death and Satan.  He is now in Heaven awaiting the time when the Father says “Son, go get my children.”  That will be THE MOST AWESOME DAY!!!  We will meet Him in the air and live with Him forever.  That is if you have asked Jesus into your heart to Shine His Pure, White Light onto the windshield of your life and wipe away those sin spots and the sin that you will commit in the future.

1 John 1:6-8 English Standard Version (ESV)

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

You say, well, “If Jesus is going to wipe away my sin now and in the future, I can sin and not worry about it.”  That, my friend, is one way you can look at it, however, if you truly give your life over to Him and want Him to lead and guide you in your daily walk with Him, you will not EVER have that attitude.  He loves you and wants a true and healthy relationship with you.  Let’s look at it a different way.  If you are married, you don’t say … “Well, since I am married I can do anything I want.”  WRONG!  You want your relationship to be a good one.  You want to please the person you are spending the rest of your life with.  You love them so you want to do whatever it takes to make them happy and feel loved.  You don’t want to hurt them intentionally.

Although we want these things for our loved one, sometimes, we mess up.  They mess up.  We neither one are perfect.  We should know this going into the relationship. Likewise, in our relationship with Jesus.  Although He is perfect, we are not and never will be.  We should want to please Him and want Him to feel our love.  You don’t ever want to do something intentionally to hurt Him but it happens.  When we begin to live our life for ourselves and do it “our way”, that is basically a sin.  It is not easy to live with one foot in the world and one foot with Jesus.  It pulls at your heart and it hurts Jesus’ heart.  He wants all of you, just like you want all of your spouse’s love.  This is the way we should feel if we have a “real” relationship with Jesus.  Sometimes, though, we do hurt Him.  We do disappoint Him.  We are human and He knows it.  This is a link to a very good website about hurting God.  It speaks to many different things.

Pure White Light

Anyway, the raindrops on my windshield will always remind me of my sin and how Jesus shined His Pure, White Light onto the windshield of my life and wiped away my sin because of His death on the cross.  His blood on that cross covered my sins.  Even 2000 years ago, He knew then that I would need His cleansing power over my life.  His blood has wiped my windshield clean of those sin spots,  so-to-speak, and always will.

If you would like to know this Jesus I have been speaking about, click this link and it will take you to a website that will explain what it means to be saved and it will guide you into a relationship with Him.  He loves you so much.  After all, He calls you His beloved.

The Video:

Covers All – Powerful Worship Music by gloryfall
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0M8lI2SIRs

Return America, Return

Return America, Return

America.  Land of the Free, Because of the Brave!   Return to your Roots! Return to the One who gave us this great land we call America!  Return America, Return.

Red, White and True RED WHITE AND TRUE BLUE, Return America, Return!Blue is a musical play by some local artists.  It was held at the Artisan Theater in Hurst, Texas.  I was invited to attend with my brother and sister-in-law last night.  It was absolutely wonderful!  The local talent was impressive.  Ages from 10 (Jonathan – who made his debut last night) to around 70ish?  It was so heartwarming and such a wonderful reminder that we live in a fantastic, phenomenal and special land.  We need to remember – those of us that can – and those that cannot, need to read and study how it was and why it was.  So many younger folks just don’t “get it”.  How it used to be… not that I want to go back to every way of living in the 50’s but the attitude and the standards and the state of mind was so different than it is now.  Women were modest, men were gentlemen, and businesses had integrity and government … well, for the most part, was better.

This play was a mix of young men and women and a few students and some older men and women.  Many different walks of life and very excited to tell us, the audience, how excited they were to live in America!  Reminding us through narration and song that God Blessed America and shed His Grace on us.  We were so blessed with many things and now… well, now, it seems that many of those blessings are waning.  A lot of the reason is because some folks in America have chosen to turn a blind eye to things happening in America.  Others have just stuck their head in the sand and have no clue … and furthermore … don’t want to have a clue.  They just want the world to drift by and they can stay in their little bubble with their head in the sand.  WAKE UP AMERICA!   Wake up and Return To Your Roots!  Our Roots!  Our Roots being God.  The founders of our nation were rooted in God!  God will not always bless us if we don’t bless Him.  I found this scripture reference and comments on Timberline Baptist Church homepage.  I think this states it quite clearly.

Jeremiah 18:7-10

“- Our opening text from Jeremiah 18 teaches us there is hope for backslidden America.  Look at verses 7-10, “At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.”

– Notice what these verses said in that God says “at what instant” a nation decides to repent, that nation can be restored by God.

– This is a very powerful passage, and it shows that God’s grace and blessings can be poured out on a wicked nation that returns to Him.  A nation, who has denied God and murdered her innocent unborn and promoted Godlessness and immorality, can be restored in an instant if only that nation will repent and return to God.”

However, if …

2 Chronicles 7:14

“14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

I could say a lot about the play last night.  I could elaborate on all of the messages and songs that they brought to us.  However, that is really not what I want to tell you.  My brother has a blog also and his blog said it so good and his words were quite on target.  I feel led to refer you to his blog.  It is a fantastic bunch of information that a lot of you may not know.  I didn’t know some of it either.

Please read his blog and learn about the “Roots” of America.  Return America!  Return!  So if you will allow me… this is my brother’s post from yesterday.  I know you will love it too!

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Independence Day

By John Adams

Flag, Return America, Return!“Independence Day is the day that America sets aside to remember its beginning; the beginning of the greatest experiment in personal freedom that history has ever known. “Give me liberty, or give me death,” was the heart-felt cry of the forefathers that secured that freedom. With that tenacious attitude, they would affix their names to the Declaration of Independence; the document that affirmed their steadfastness and unity in mission. This action placed them, their families and their very subsistence in jeopardy in the face of the ruling nation, England.

Ben Franklin said it best at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Theirs was a resolve to break from tyrannical bonds and provide life, liberty and the ability to pursue happiness for every citizen, no matter the cost. They understood that to take this stand for truth and demand fairness and equity in government meant the possibility of paying for their decision with their lives and well-being. Their decision would take its toll on the signers.

Independence Day, Return America, Return!As a result of signing the Declaration, there was a heavy price exacted on these fifty-six men of freedom:

. 7 lost their lives

. 2 lost their health

. 5 were taken prisoners of war

. 4 lost their wives

. 17 lost entire fortunes

. 5 experienced huge debt resulting from financing the war effort

. 4 lost children

The Crown sent twenty-five thousand troops to track down and kill these fifty-six rebels. Abraham Clarke, a lawyer and surveyor, could not be found. The British found and captured his two sons and put them on the prison ship Jersey, referred to as the “Hell Hole Jersey”, a death camp from which no one ever returned alive. Then the offer came to Clarke that his sons would be released if he would surrender and recant his signature. Abraham Clarke refused to go back on his words of pledge to the cause of freedom alongside his companions.

These brave men were not professional politicians, but representatives from the thirteen colonies from every walk of life. This body was made up of two of the wealthiest men in America, Charles Carrolton (merchant and plantation owner) and Robert Morris (plantation owner) as well as one of the poorest, Samuel Adams, a merchant from Boston. (When Sam Adams was elected to Congress he did not own a suit. His neighbors took up a collection to purchase a suit of clothes for him to wear to Congress.) These were land owners, lawyers, physicians, ministers and merchants of every sort.

Independence Day, Return America, Return!You will predominantly hear that all these men were deists, atheists or agnostics in their religious beliefs. Jefferson, Franklin and James Wilson, a Pennsylvania lawyer, are the only ones that are known to be deists.

The truth is, however, that the majority were men committed to the Christian faith. A few examples and facts include:

. 29 of them held seminary or Bible school degrees

. Dr John Witherspoon was one of the best known Gospel evangelists of that day, was a long time member of Congress, serving on 100 committees.

. Sam Adams, known as the Father of the American Revolution – “I rely on the merits of Jesus Christ for the pardon of all my sins.”

. Dr Benjamin Rush, physician, Presbyterian – considered 1 of 3 most notable of the Founding Fathers, started the first Sunday school and Bible society in America.

. Roger Sherman, lawyer, Congregationalist – He was the only one of the signers to sign all 4 founding documents – Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Articles of Federation, Anti-Federalist Papers.

“God has promised to bestow eternal blessings on all those who are willing to accept Him on the terms of the Gospel that is in the way of free grace in the Atonement,” Sherman declared.

. John Adams was well known as a strong Christian leader. He wrote to Abigail of the first meeting of the Continental Congress and explained how powerful it was to begin with a three-hour prayer service and Bible study from Psalm 35.

. Lyman Hall was a minister from Georgia.

John Adams would relate to his wife that all the prayers of these leaders were being answered after a fifteen-day time of prayer and fasting. He said they were witnessing the “direct intervention of God.”

Of course, at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the odds heavily favored the British, especially on the water. The largest naval deployment to that date in New York Harbor was in 1776, when the British war ships’ masts were reported to “look like a forest in the harbor.” This was the most powerful navy in the world. The British Man-O-War was feared by rival navies on the high seas. They were undefeated for 300 years.

Inpendence Day, Return America, Return!Enter the fledgling US Patriot Navy armed with small gunboats and the prayers of righteous men, pleading for their country. These small ships were no physical match for these powerful ships and experienced crews. But as the Congress worked and prayed they would realize the capture of 600 British ships. The US Navy began to take control and in 1778 John Paul Jones became a well-known naval hero as he captured the HMS Drake. The hand of God was with these dedicated patriots.

Sadly, how far we have drifted, as a nation, from our earliest moorings. We have weighed anchor and left the harbor of security and guidance from The Almighty and are attempting to prove that we can go it alone now. “Thanks for your help, God, but we can handle it from here.” This is a dangerous, dreadful and disastrous path to travel.

President Woodrow Wilson said, “The nation that does not remember what is was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do.” It seems that we are adrift now and we are told that we must trust people, who we know that we cannot trust, to guide us into the future.

In our current malaise of uncertainty, immorality and violence it is only logical to encourage our nation, leaders and citizens, to return to our safe harbor before all is lost and the death knell sounds for freedom and goodness. As President George Washington made his farewell address, September 17, 1796, he explained the foundations of America’s greatness. Thirty percent of his speech was laden with strong Christian admonition. He said, “Of all the habits and dispositions that lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” We must return to our foundations and make them strong again.

Independence Day, Return America, ReturnHow long can all the madness continue? How long can the freedoms we have enjoyed all our lives continue? Will the next generation understand what we are saying and why we are sounding alarms? Alexander Solzhenitsyn, writer, activist and critic of the Soviet Union, was imprisoned from 1945 to 1953 for speaking against the Russian government. Later in life, he spoke at Harvard University to the student body. He remembered the days of his youth under Communist control and oppression and he recounted hearing his grandfather and father speak of why the great Russian society had come to this dreariness. He remembered his grandfather commenting that it was because they had forgotten God. Solzhenitsyn then compared our situation and made the statement that we are experiencing these times because, “we have forgotten God.” He was promptly booed in masse by the Harvard student body.

America was founded on sound principles of freedom and righteousness and it has prospered for over 200 years as the greatest nation in history. The American experiment has been a success and it certainly could continue to succeed. All indications are that it will not. The alarm is sounding and the general attitude is to hit the snooze button and roll over, back in a deep slumber of apathy and self-indulgence.

But if the Church, the true people of God wake up and decide to pray and get serious again about what is true and important, America can return to the safe harbor and continue to stand as the light of freedom the world desperately needs. People still are risking everything to come to America to escape oppression and misery because of its open arms and promise of liberty and safe haven. If this ideal is lost, it will not be because God is unfaithful, but because America will have forgotten its moorings and safety in the God of blessing.

Independence Day, Return America, Return!Are we ready, as our forefathers were, to take a stand for truth and our American way of life and freedom? I pray that we are and that a new army of rebels will be raised up to sound the alarm louder and encourage this country to return to the God of our fathers.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is The Lord.” Psalm 33:12″

 

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The Grace and Mercy of God

What Is Grace and Mercy

The Grace and Mercy of God.  What a topic.  To think of what Grace actually is blows my mind.  This is a long post but stick with it til the end.  It has a great ending!  Here’s the actual Definition of both Grace and Mercy:

Grace. The free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.

I also found a blog (“Better Than I Deserve”) that describes it as this: (this is what I have always heard)

“Maybe you’ve heard this definition of grace before. Grace is what we get which we do not deserve.”

ephesians-2_8-grace-2

 “Perhaps you have heard this definition of mercy before and I think its spot on. Mercy is where we don’t get what we truly do deserve.”

I think that is pretty incredible.  Grace.  The Grace of God is far beyond my comprehension.  Really.  He gives us His Grace instead of His judgment.  However, there is a catch.  Ah Ha, you say…. Yes, there is always a catch.  God will only impart His Grace to us … IF … we believe on His Son Jesus Christ and believe that His Son’s death on the cross was for the remission of our sins.  Yes, Jesus lived a sinless life and died on the cross for our sins.  Then He rose again on the third day and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father.  He did all of that so we could be with Him forever.  So, Grace… Grace is what He gives us instead of the judgment that we deserve.

God Is God And We Are Not

You see, if God didn’t give us His Grace, we would have to pay the penalty for our sins and we could never be “good enough” to measure up to God’s Holiness. You say… “But I am a good person.  I don’t cheat, steal, lie or kill.  So, I am good enough.  I don’t sin.”   Well, God doesn’t look at it that way.  He is the creator of everything.  He set the standard of “sin” and “holiness” and we DO NOT measure up to His standard.  We may think we don’t sin but we do.  There are many things that happen or that we do or dwell on thoughts during the day that God may consider “not holy”.  Remember… God is God and we are not!  He set the standard.  Not man!

He knew we could never measure up to His standard because He created us.  You see, to be able to be forgiven for your sins, you have to offer a spotless sacrifice.  The Bible has a lot of examples of what sacrifice is acceptable for what sin.  In the beginning, people would sacrifice a bull, goat, lamb or even a dove or pigeon, without defect – spotless.  There were many ways and reasons people would bring these animals to be sacrificed.  However, all were required to be without defect.  This link will explain why humans must or had to bring sacrifices to God.  The title of the article is Why did God require animal sacrifices in the Old Testament?

The website that I got the answers from is GotQuestions.org.  It has great information about sin offerings and all the various aspects of each type.  Click the link and read more about that topic here.

The Spotless Sacrifice

We, as humans, needed a spotless, perfect sacrifice to cleanse us from our sins – or to have our sins forgiven.  Jesus came to earth to be that spotless sacrifice.  Jesus agreed to be the spotless lamb, the perfect sacrifice for our sins.  He left Heaven and became a tiny baby.  Lived among the common man and lived perfectly, never sinning.  Then He died on that cross, I mentioned earlier, for us.

Picture3The Grace He bestowed towards us at the Cross of Calvary is so beyond my comprehension.  I guess I don’t have to be able to comprehend it to accept it.  Good thing.  I do accept God’s gracious gift of Jesus Christ for my sins.  If I accept that grace through Jesus Christ then I need to live like it.  I want to live like it.  I want to live every second knowing that because of God’s Grace I will see His face and live in His wonderful presence forever in Heaven.

I found a quote when I was perusing my files that stopped me in my tracks.  I had to read and re-read it and ask myself.  “Self, do you really want to be established in God’s Grace?  Do you want it to manifest itself in your character?  Do you want it to be your habit and regular life?”  Here is the quote:

“To taste of the grace of God is one thing; to be established in it and manifest it in character, habit, and regular life, is another.”

The Taste of Grace

To me that says this.  We taste the Grace of God when we first accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord.  We feel almost like we are walking on a cloud.  It is a high that is indescribable.  If you truly take Jesus as your Lord and Savior you will experience a feeling that is unlike any other you have ever or will ever experience.  You may go for a while and live off of this first excitement of a new life.  However, I have learned that human nature (me – I am) is like this… we begin to slip back into “the way we were” before me met Jesus – to a point.   As we walk through our daily life we realize one day that we really aren’t living as Christ.  We have just tasted the Grace of God but are not really “living” the Grace of God.  That is … like the quote says … “to be established in it and manifest it in character, habit, and regular life…”

To Be Established

So, what does it really mean to be established in God’s Grace and manifest God’s Grace in character, habit and regular life?  Well, let me see if I can explain it the way God showed me.

Picture2If you read my blog at all you will see that I don’t usually sound “preachy” or pushy.  I use every day things that relate to my walk with God and relationship with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  So, this one is not any different.  As I am sitting here in my chair and look up at the reflection in the glass of a picture on the wall of my beautiful Shumard Oak tree in the back yard, I hear that ever so familiar voice. “How is your oak tree established?”  I begin to immediately think back about this time seven years ago – when we moved in to our home in May of 2009.

The Shumard Oak Tree

We moved in to our home on May 2, 2009.  After a few little things that had to be done in the back yard, I was making my rounds and I found a little scrawny oak tree up next to the house in a flower bed.  It was about a foot from the house and about a foot tall.  I knew that I had to either dig it up and get rid of it or transplant it.  If it had stayed that close to the house it would never be the oak tree that it was meant to be.  It also would have messed up the house and the foundation of the house with its root system.  So, before I uprooted this little tree I had to find the “perfect” spot for it.  We have quite a large back yard and it is a hot one in the summer time because there was no tree to shade most of the yard in the hot afternoons.  There is the neighbor’s tree on the East side – that didn’t help the afternoon sun at all though.  There was a wide open spot between the house and dad’s shed that was in the direct sun and would be perfect for a shade tree.

Transplanting the Oak

Although this little tree was barely big enough to cast a shadow, I knew that someday it would be a nice, proud Oak tree with abundant shade.  So, I took my sharp shooter (shovel) and dug a hole and then went to the little tree and carefully dug around

Shumard Oak 1it being careful not to damage any of the roots it may have produced in its small state.  I remembered there is a tap root, I thought, that I really had to be careful not to snap.  A Tap Root is the main root that goes down from the middle of the tree and stabilizes it and the root system branches off of that.  So, I carefully dug and dug and loosened and dug and loosened.  Finally I had it loose and only broke the very tip of the Tap Root off.

I prayed that it would not affect the little tree.  I took it to the new location that I had prepared with some good dirt – which I call Cow Poop Dirt – that is a very good, rich in nutrition dirt for a newly planted tree or anything else for that matter.  This stuff will make hair grow on a bowling ball!  It is good stuff.

Anyway, I planted it and waited.  That Fall it was still alive and seemed to be thriving in its new location.  There were about 5 leaves on the tree and they turned a beautiful red, orange and yellow.  I was so excited because if it is that pretty as a youngster how much more beautiful is it going to be as it grows and gets bigger?

Blessings

OAK TREE 3Well, God has certainly blessed me with the growth of that little, scrawny tree.  It is now about 25’ – 30’ tall (in 7 years) and throws a beautiful shade.  Zuckie (my dachshund) and I sit in the grass in the shade of the Oak tree, on a warm evening and are very comfortable.  One because of the shade and two because of the lovely, thick St. Augustine grass that is beneath our feet.   The tree shade and the grass seem to work in harmony to produce a beautiful place to relax.  Needless to say, the Oak tree LOVES the location I chose.

Let’s Think

OK, let’s just think a minute about how this parallels with my walk with God.  Or anyone’s walk with God for that matter.  Let’s also revisit that quote above.

“To taste of the grace of God is one thing; to be established in it and manifest it in character, habit, and regular life, is another.”

The little, scrawny tree, growing up next to the house was tasting life – the Grace of God.  But it was not ever going to be able to be established in good soil and a good location to be able to grow and thrive at its present location.  It would be stunted because it was too close to the house.  It would never be able to spread its limbs and soak up the warm sunshine and produce a beautiful shade for us to enjoy.  It would be cramped and uncomfortable.  Its limbs, if they ever grew, would be rubbing the brick on the house and never have the freedom to sway in the breeze.  If the tree ever grew tall enough, it would run right into the eave of the house and be stunted.  It may grow around the eave but then it would be crooked and possibly break because of the crookedness of the limbs.  Not to mention the root system.  It would run into the house foundation and cause all sorts of problems for the house and the tree itself.

A Broad Space

OAK TREE 4So, let’s face it.  It was a horrible place for the little tree.  Then I came along and took that little, scrawny tree from its place where it had begun its life.  I moved it to a place with a broad space where it could grow and stretch its limbs and grow its roots deep and wide without being encumbered by anything.  It could grow tall and taller and taller and display its beautiful colors in the Fall and the beautiful fresh green leaves in the Spring.  It can now throw a shade that is quite nice.  The shape of the tree is perfect too.  Broad at the base of the limbs and gradually narrows to the peak of the tallest leaf that reaches for the sky.  It is one of my pride and joys in my yard.  I love to look at the stately Oak.  It is only 7 years old now but in years to come it will grow taller and fuller and its roots will go deeper and wider, making it more and more established in the soil beneath its leaves and limbs.

Me and God’s Grace

So you may have forgotten that I was talking about the Grace and Mercy of God.  Well, I believe the Grace and Mercy of God is displayed – in a way – in my Oak tree.  Let’s revisit those definitions:

“…Grace is what we get which we do not deserve.”

“… Mercy is where we don’t get what we truly do deserve.”

Let me compare my Oak tree to myself and my walk with God.  I was in a place that was not a good place for me to be in.  I was too close to things that would keep me from growing (spiritually) – spreading my branches.  I was in a place that would stunt my growth (spiritually) and cause me to grow very crooked and unable to thrive – as God had intended for me (as He does for every one of His children).  My root system was growing into hard places and being redirected to a path that was not good for stability and to be firmly established in Him.  Everything was simply a mess beneath the surface.  If left to my own devices, I would have kept going down a path that was not what God had intended and it was not how it should have been.

God’s Grace

God in His infinite Grace and Mercy, picked me up and moved me to a place He chose so I could become established in Him.  Sending my roots down deep into the nutrient rich soil of His Mercy.  Allowing me to learn to spread my branches and display the beautiful colors of His love in my life.

Now don’t get me wrong.  Please DO NOT THINK THAT I AM SAYING that I have “arrived”!  As Paul says in Romans 6, “By no means.”   Please understand that I know this is all a process.  I have been moved, yes, but the establishing and sending my roots down and spreading my branches… that is a day by day and sometime minute by minute process.  But I am growing.  I have been growing more in the last three or four years than I think I have in my lifetime.  I want to grow so others can see Jesus in me without having to go on a search and find mission.  Honoring_Jesus_link_buttonI want Jesus to be honored and glorified in my daily life.  I can tell you that sometimes… more times than not, He is not.  I try, but I am human and He knows it.  That is where the wonderful Grace and Mercy comes in again.

Thank You Lord

Thank You Lord, for the Grace and Mercy that You have bestowed upon me in my lifetime.  Thank You for giving me what I don’t deserve and not giving me what I do deserve.  I don’t understand it but I accept it.

You know you can experience this Grace and Mercy too!  Jesus wants to give you the opportunity to grow and spread your branches and be established in Him.    Here is a link to a website that will explain how that can happen and what it means to become a Christ follower.

He loves you so much.  After all, He calls you His beloved.
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If you would like to comment on this post, please scroll all the way until you see “Comment”.  Otherwise you can contact me on the form immediately following this text.  Thank you for reading my post and I pray that you were blessed.

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GOD MOVES

Have you ever seen how God Moves in your life?  I have recently and I have to share again!

It has been a very long time since I wrote anything for my blog. As much as I miss writing, I just have not felt led to write anything. In the back of my mind and heart there is a burning desire to get back to writing regularly. I think … maybe at least one a week. I remember when I was writing every day. God would actually give me topics either every day or I worked off of a list that I had made from Him speaking to my heart over many days. It was an exciting time. However, I was not working in a job that required so much of my brain and energy. It was a very good “growing” time for me. The more I wrote, the more I learned and in turn grew closer to God and wanted to write more and more.large

It actually all began when I was reading one of the daily devotionals that I get every morning and then I began commenting on it and began to share it with one and then three, then eight and more ladies. When it was all said and done, I had 75 ladies on my email list that I would forward the emails (daily devos) that I had added a paragraph or so worth of comments about it. I usually commented on how the devotional touched or spoke to my heart and soul. I had a few ladies that would reply back to my email with very uplifting and encouraging comments. It kept me going for quite a while. I even solicited for others to join my little group if they would like. I approached three Sunday School ladies from church and asked them. I got 3 different answers from them. It was quite funny. One said she already did enough devotionals and just couldn’t join another. I told her that it was not a problem at all and I totally understood… and I did. The next one said “Yes, that sounds good, but you have to know… I don’t check my email very often.” Again, I answered … that it was not a problem at all and I totally understood… and I did. The third one said “Yes, I would love to be on your emailing list.” So 2 out of 3 isn’t bad, huh?

I was quite happy doing just what I was doing… forwarding the emails after I commented on them, to my growing list of ladies. Then one Sunday, one of my Sunday School teachers asked me something that I had not thought of. She asked me if I had ever thought about going out on myGOD IS YOUR REFUGE own and writing a devotional instead of using another devotional to launch off of. I told her no, I hadn’t thought of that at all. I was quite happy doing what I was doing. However, I felt that “tug” on my heart that had become pretty familiar. I knew this conversation was NOT just “coincidence”. You see… I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe God crosses the paths of people on purpose. For a specific purpose and that purpose is usually something that will give you the opportunity to grow in your spiritual walk and bring glory to Him. I believe God Moves like that.

So, I prayed about it, talked to my family about it, talked to my pastor about it and I came to the conclusion that yes, it was time. Each person I visited with about it gave me good ideas and advice. I began to research and find out about blogging. I was off 3-4 days in a row and on April 14, 2014 God and I sat down at my computer and began to build my blogsite. I actually felt His guiding me in the entire process.  I checked into hosting fees from GoDaddy and they were something I thought I could afford. Then when I checked to see if the domain name was available, I was shocked to find out that it was. I should have known that it was waiting just for me. I believe God Moves like that.

The reason I wanted GoDaddy to host it, or someone to host it, is because by doing that I could have an “owned” domain name instead of using just the free WordPress site. My email is leah@abidinginthevine.net instead of leah@wordpress.abidinginthevine.net or something like that. I wanted it to reflect only the name of the site.GOD MOVES FOR THOSE WHO WAIT

How I chose the name … well, I have thought about this scripture for a long time and years ago, I had the privilege to be in a recording studio and I recorded 3 tracks. It was an experience of a lifetime. The brochures I created, at that time, to market myself to places to sing were reflective of this scripture:

John 15:5 – I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. NKJV

So I was finally going to be able to use my idea on a website/blogsite. I was pretty excited!

By the way, I will add that it was about 6 months down the road, after I got my blogsite up and running, the 1st lady from my Sunday School that I had asked about joining my email list for devotionals … she approached me one Sunday morning in Sunday School and asked me for my blogsite address. She’s been hooked ever since… lol.  So, finally, three out of three. I was pretty excited and I believe God Moves like that! I now have several ladies that read my blog from my Sunday School class. That is so cool to me!

I love how God Moves. It always amazes me to see all the pieces fall into place when I allow God to work, that is when I step back and allow Him to work in my life instead of me trying to “fix” things. I don’t know why it amazes me… I know that is how God Moves.  The older I get, the more I learn this and actually try not to “fix” it myself.  I wish I could just finally learn it. However, every time I have had to learn this lesson over and over, I grow. I grow in God and His Spirit and I like that! A lot! I believe that is how God Moves in my life.

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I started writing this post on Wednesday of last week (March 2, 2016) and there have been so many things that have happened to add to this post. One very BIG one is such an obvious example of how God Moves I just have to share it!TRUST

Along with a list of great things I have begun, I started driving for Uber a few weeks ago. I try to stay close to home and that means usually around Grapevine, Texas and the D/FW Airport. Sometimes the calls get me a little out from there but usually I do not drive into Dallas because I pick up a rider usually right close to where I drop off a rider. Well, this particular night (Friday, March 5th) I had a call to go to the Gaylord Texan Resort which is in Grapevine. I picked up a very nice, young couple and they wanted to go to the Gas Monkey Garage in Dallas. They were interested in Chip Foose who is a guy that does a lot of “Overhaulin’” of vehicles in dire straits. He was supposed to be making a show there the next day, I think. I feel certain most or at least some of you have heard of him. Anyway, I digress…

I dropped them off and went off line so I would not get another call because I had to make a pit stop of my own. As I was coming out of McDonald’s with an order of fries (I just can’t resist them!) I got another call from Uber for a rider just a few miles away from where I was, down Forest Ave. I thought I was off line and not able to receive calls, but oh well… So, I accepted the call and headed that direction. When I arrived at the destination that the GPS told me, there was NO RIDER and no Comet Cleaners, where he said he was. I texted the rider and asked him about his location. He said he was almost to Hiway 75… Central Expressway! Oh My Goodness!!! I was just at Marsh Lane! The GPS was way off! He was about 8 miles further… so, I finally found him and took him a ways down Central Expressway to his humble abode. Then before I got out of the driveway, I got another call for another rider. Man! Another call and I am on the EAST SIDE OF DALLAS AT THIS POINT! CENTRALThe time is 6:00 pm and I have never liked being on the East side or West side or any side of Dallas at 6:00 pm! If there are any readers out there that know what I mean, raise your hands!

While I am driving down Central Expressway with all the “TRAFFIC” I began to settle back and talk to God. I realized – finally – that this had to be a God thing! If I found myself that far from home, in that location, at that time of the night, there had to be a reason! THERE WAS! Read on.

The next rider was a very pretty and sweet young lady. She seemed a little distressed as she looked up at me with her big, kind eyes and said “Thank you.” as I closed the door after she got settled. As soon as we were on our way… to Downtown Dallas… she got on the phone and called what apparently was a very good girlfriend of hers. The first thing out of her mouth was … “Well, we just got out of marriage counseling.” Then she said “No, it was horrible!” Well, I won’t go into the entire conversation, but I will tell you that this young lady was distressed and God placed her right in my path. As she unveiled many things in that conversation that I was a little uncomfortable hearing… she spared no words or feelings. She laid it all out there as if I was not there or at least like there was one of those Plexiglas windows between her and me. But there was not and she didn’t really seem to care. She was just bent on telling her girlfriend the sordid details and … well, anyway. She was in need of a good prayer time and understanding and someone that could relate to her dilemma. As we pulled into the very upscale, downtown apartment building garage, she hung up the phone and very boldly, I spoke up. I told her how I could relate to her overheard story. I asked her if I could pray with her, because listening to her conversation, I picked up that she was a Christian and did pray and believe how I believed, at least somewhat. She almost cried! She said “Really!? YES, of course!” We began talking and I told her a little of my story and she asked if we could pray. I said yes, we held hands and prayed. She was not nervous or uncomfortable. This was a 30-year-old young lady that had only been married a short time and found herself married to someone she didn’t really know like she thought she did. They both needed help with various things but she was distressed and needed to hear from God. I had to get going and so did she. She was headed out of town to her girlfriend’s house and it was getting later and later. So we got out of my vehicle and as I am helping her out of the back, she said … “I prayed for God to send me an Angel and He sent me you!” I PRAYED FOR AN ANGELWe hugged and said our good byes. She got my card with my contact info. I may never hear from her again, but I know she heard from God that night! I just love it when I recognize how God Moves because sometimes, I am afraid I miss those priceless moments in time that should get my attention and make me Praise His Holy Name!

God Moves in your life, too! You have to just listen for that still, small voice and hear Him speaking to your heart. Sometimes, His voice comes through another person too. If you be still and just listen and know that He is God, He will speak to your heart. Let God Move in your life and allow Him to use you or allow someone else to be used by Him to bless you.

Well, I tell you one thing! I was thanking Him for that Close THANK YOU LORDEncounter of the Third Kind (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit)! (Excuse the little play on words there… if anyone has ever seen or heard of the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” you will understand that. If not, just keep reading and … never mind.) I praised Him and thanked Him for allowing me to experience that unforgettable night and His love for that young lady. I was pretty much in awe the entire trip home.

Well, this has been quite a long post after such a long time of not writing. I just had to share this with you all! I hope to be back on a regular writing basis now. I love sharing how God Moves in my life with you. I do hope it blesses you in some way. God Moves in your life too! Do you recognize Him? Do you thank Him for using you or being blessed by someone that He uses?  Write me and let me know how God has used you or how you have been blessed by someone He has used.

God loves you so much! After all, He calls you His beloved!

The Song/Video – God Moves
Sovereign Grace Music

Here is the music to this beautiful song!

SHEET MUSICIf you would like to contact me from this post, please fill out the Contact Form below.  If you just want to comment on the post, scroll down to “Leave A Reply” area.  Thank you so very much!  May God Bless and Keep you in His tender care.

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BEING FED BY OTHERS

Hello everyone.  It has been so long since I have been able to just sit down for a couple of hours… maybe three… and just write what God has laid on my heart. I have had a lot laid on my heart lately but not things to share with the world – at least not yet. Just stuff that has happened to me in my personal life that has been … well, let’s just say not your normal, run of the mill stuff.

The title of this post is BEING FED BY OTHERS because I truly have been. Whether it is through my church and Sunday School – Life Groups is what they call it now… I have trouble not saying Sunday School though. I have called it that for many, many years… anyway, I digress. So, whether it has been through church, or friends or family. It has been a wonderful time of learning… and let me add work has provided some of that feeding as well. 0e1274645_merciful

Work is awesome but consuming and my manager is more awesome and so gracious and forgiving. She is one special lady. Now, don’t get me wrong. You walk on the wrong side and disrupt the good flow of things, she will let you know it. She has it in her to say things that cut to the core. However, that is … that it “cuts to the core” because it’s true and you know it. On the other hand, she is the most gracious and merciful manager I have ever encountered and, well, that is pretty awesome to me. So there are some things at work that have happened that have been less than perfect and then there have been things that have been perfect. I know… sounds contradictory. It is but it’s all good! I am learning and trying to be the biggest sponge you have ever seen. My limits are being stretched every day and I like that.. sometimes… I Love that! Then there are days that I just want to scream! But I keep going because I don’t like to quit. I like to learn and I like doing what I do. You see I am an Applications Instructor. That means that I learn EVERY DAY! Yep, I have to “know it” but I also learn it.. meaning “stuff” … over and over again. From my students, from myself and others. It’s a pretty cool thing. However, that is not what I wanted to write about, necessarily.mercy-grace

I wanted to say how much I have experienced grace, mercy and kindness. Today it was from a wonderful bunch of students in my class that kinda had some technical issues. Now usually when there are tech issues, the scores that the students give are usually low. Today, not so. They totally surprised me! I think this is the first time that I have experienced, since being at my current job, that the scores were up there even with MAJOR tech issues. I think it was a combination of things… but I don’t want to analyze it too deep right now. That will come later with my manager… which will be a good thing. However, I do want to acknowledge that the students in this class (10 of them) were a very interactive and happy class. They enjoyed learning and were most forgiving of the circumstances that we encountered today! Yep, it was a refreshing outcome… and one that I am so appreciative of. Gracious and merciful students. Nice!

The other thing I want to recognize is actually from a pastor in San Antonio. I received a message from my website the other day. It was from this pastor in San Antonio and he was asking about one of the pictures I used some time back on a post. He was just asking if he could use the picture for theirencounter “new” church’s logo. The picture is just one I got off of the internet when I Googled a topic. The post was ENCOUNTERING GOD ALMIGHTY. The picture is quite good and he believes it would be a perfect logo for the new church that he is wanting to start on October 24, 2015. Of course I told him I had just Googled it also, same as him, and he could certainly use it and I attached it to the email.

One of the things I wanted to do with this post is include one of his posts. You see he writes a blog also. He has held this blog for 12 years, he says, and it is quite good. Please give him the graciousness to read his blog post on THE BLESSING OF MERCY.

I mainly wanted to introduce you to him and ask you to read his post on The Blessing of Mercy. It is truly a blessing to encounter Mercy from any source. The best is the Mercy that our Savior gave us. Please read on and comment, if you want, on any encounters with mercy and grace you have had lately or ever. Here is his post:

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God morning, beloved.  It is written.  "It is more blessed to give than to receive."  (Acts 20:35)  Jesus lived and died by that truth.  He "gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age."  (Galatians 1:4).  "In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope."  (1 Peter 1:3).

Mercy is love expressed.  When Christians practice mercy, they place the needs of others above their own, in much the same way that Jesus placed our need for forgiveness and salvation first, allowing Himself to be insulted, abused, and finally crucified in order to procure that salvation for us.  God so loved that He gave.  Calvary is the proof of God's mercy.

To be merciful is to act out of love and compassion for others, to try to see with their eyes, think with their minds, and feel with their hearts.  God's Son did just that when he took on human flesh and blood to experience life's struggles just as we do, though without sin.  He offered His life in our place as the substitutionary sacrifice for our sins.

As we display mercy in Christ's name, we become more like our Lord.  By His grace we will obtain the ultimate mercy:  entrance into God's heavenly sanctuary, to abide with Him forever. Amen.

Worship with me.  Lord Have Mercy.

Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant.<a href="https://youtu.be/eDpp_YdXnqs" target="_blank">
https://youtu.be/eDpp_YdXnqs</a>

Remember to be in prayer for Encountering GOD church…We launch this church plant on Saturday October 24th 2015.  You are invited to our home for a night of worship and hear what God and Jesus have to say about His church.  Email me for more details or send me a Facebook message.  oxox

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing
Pastor Eric Hughes
Lead Pastor Encountering GOD Church &
Behavioral Health Specialist

A Behavioral Health Specialist is a person that covers the needs of individuals, couples and families dealing with challenges in their everyday lives. I work with people of all ages to find productive solutions for their problems.

Isaiah 61:1 – The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

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Thank you for reading my blog and his too.  May God richly bless and keep each of you in His tender care.  God loves you so much, after all, He calls you His beloved!

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SINCERE SEEKER?

Hello all. It has been quite a while since I have written anything. Today, I received the email below and the Spirit strongly encouraged me to share with you today. This is from the website Reasonable Faith and it is the Question of the Week. The author of the answer is Dr. Craig and he welcomes any questions you may have about Christianity, etc. Below the answer I have included a link to his website and the link to submit a question.

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What about the Sincere Seeker?

Hello Sir,

I have read a big deal of your work and I am really inspired by you and your work.

But there is this one question that greatly troubles me; I always had it in mind since I was very young but having solved a lot of questions, I am concerned about this simple question that I am not able to solve or find a satisfactory answer from a scholar.

I need your views on why God will send people to hell on the basis of their Religious beliefs. A person who sincerely researches on Religion and Theology trying to find if a God exists and if so, what Religion and fails to identify the right Religion, why is he to be punished? A person arrogantly denying the right Religion while knowing the truth might deserve to be punished somehow but what about the one trying his best but failing.

You might say that its natural for one to find the right Religion if pursued honestly … but there need to be stronger arguments supporting this idea; because it doesn’t sound like all the people moving away from Religion were dishonest.

How would you respond to a hypothetical condition of a person sincerely failing?

Thanks in advance.

Muhammad
Pakistan

Dr. Craig responds:

Your question is a good one, Muhammad, and I’ve addressed it in a number of places, most recently in my Defenders lectures “Excursus on Natural Theology,” parts 1-4. I’d really encourage you to listen to or to read those lectures, since they will fully explain my perspective.

The problem with your question is that it assumes a purely humanistic, and perhaps even naturalistic, point of view with respect to finding the knowledge of God. It takes for granted that it’s basically up to us to figure out which religion is true. But whatever other religions may teach, this is not the point of view of Christianity. If God were to abandon us to our own intelligence and ingenuity to work out whether or not He exists, He would be a very cruel God indeed. As one of the students in my Defenders class remarked, getting into heaven should not be like getting into Harvard! But God has not abandoned us. The Bible teaches that God loves us and so by His Holy Spirit seeks to draw people to Himself. The self-authenticating witness of God’s Spirit will enable, not only believers, but also sincere seekers to come to a knowledge of God.

Therefore, if a person ultimately fails to come to faith in Christ, it is never just because of lack of evidence or because of intellectual difficulties with the faith. At root, he refuses to come because he willingly ignores and rejects the drawing of God’s Holy Spirit on his heart. Now this convicting power and drawing of the Holy Spirit may take time. It may take years in order for the unbeliever to finally come to Christ. Nevertheless, no one in the final analysis really fails to become a Christian because of lack of arguments or evidence; he fails to become a Christian because he rejects God. But anyone who does respond to the drawing of God’s Spirit with an open mind and an open heart can know with assurance that Christianity is true, because God’s Spirit will convict him that it is true.

Look at the words of Jesus in John 7:16-17:

My teaching is not mine, but His who sent me; if any man’s will is to do His will, he shall know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.
Here Jesus says that if anyone is truly seeking God, if his will is to do God’s will, then he will know that Jesus’ teaching is from God rather than just his personal opinion. Jesus is affirming here that if anyone truly wants God’s will – is truly seeking God – then he will come to know that Jesus’ teaching truly is from God.

So in answer to your questions: “A person who sincerely researches on Religion and Theology trying to find if a God exists and if so, what Religion” will come to find the true God and the right religion, just as Jesus promised, because the Holy Spirit of God will guide his search and draw him to Himself. Only the person who resists the convicting power of the Holy Spirit will remain in unbelief. Such a person willfully thrusts the grace of God from him and so separates himself from God. It’s not that God “will send people to hell on the basis of their Religious beliefs.” Their false beliefs are, rather, symptomatic of their estrangement from God. God wants to save them and tries to draw them to repentance and faith, but they refuse to come and so find themselves wandering in error. So I deny your “hypothetical condition of a person sincerely failing.” If Christianity is true, then there is no ultimate (lifelong), nonculpable unbelief.

You respond, “You might say that its natural for one to find the right Religion if pursued honestly … but there need to be stronger arguments supporting this idea; because it doesn’t sound like all the people moving away from Religion were dishonest.” You seem to be saying that there is ultimate (lifelong), nonculpable unbelief, and so one needs stronger arguments to support the truth of Christianity.

Now I don’t think we’re in a good position to say with any confidence that there is ultimate (lifelong), nonculpable unbelief, Muhammad. First, as I say, God’s drawing of a person may take time, years even, so that we can’t say of someone who is moving away from God that that’s where he’ll end up. (Read the many testimonials we receive from ex-unbelievers who for many years were moving away from God.) It is particularly the case that many Muslims go through a phase of atheism after shedding Islam before they come to Christ.

Moreover, we’re not really in a position to read a person’s heart or deepest motivations. Sin is incredibly deceitful, and we have an amazing ability to rationalize things so as to justify our behavior. Read C. S. Lewis’ provocative The Great Divorce about the self-justifying rationalizations of people in hell. If we can convince ourselves that our obstacles to faith are intellectual rather than moral or emotional that makes our unbelief respectable in our own eyes and in the eyes of others. How do you know what lies in the heart of a person who resists the drawing and conviction of the Holy Spirit until the end of his life?

Furthermore, I do think that we have good reasons for supposing that Christianity is true. First, there is the witness of the Holy Spirit. It can be an intrinsic defeater of the defeaters brought against it. Second, there are good evidences for the truth of Christianity, particularly for the historicity of the radical personal claims and resurrection of Jesus, whereby God vindicated those claims.

You did not disclose, Muhammad, whether you are one of these sincere seekers after the true faith. If you are, then here’s what I would encourage you to do. Begin to read the Gospels and ask yourself whether Jesus of Nazareth could really be who he claimed to be. In your prayers, ask God, whoever He is, to show you the truth about Jesus, whether he spoke the truth from God or was just giving his own opinion. Look at the work of Christian philosophers and biblical scholars, such as you will find at this website. Watch on YouTube some of the debates which I have had with both Muslim scholars and unbelievers and ask yourself which way the evidence points. If you are truly seeking God, then I believe you will come to know the truth.
Have a Question for Dr. Craig? Submit it here.
To read more questions / answers, visit the Q & A Archive.

 

May God Richly bless and keep you all in His tender care.  After all, He does call you His beloved!

The Song – God So Loved The World – Charles Billingsley

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EXTEND GRACE

Have you ever come across a situation that God is telling you to “Extend Grace”? Whether it be a work life, personal life or otherwise, there are many times in life that we need to hear from God and extend grace … His grace that can come through us. God is a Good God and loves His children and doesn’t want any to suffer or have pain that is not quenchable. He provides ways to extend grace through His instruments here on earth… us. His children that walk around on this big, blue, revolving globe called earth that He created. We are His instruments of grace and love and if we call ourselves a Christian, a Christ follower, then we need to learn more and more how to extend grace to our brothers and sisters that share our space and time. That also calls for extending grace to some that may not be believers. Sometimes… just maybe, God has placed some folks in your path that are not believers. More than likely He has – because He wants us to share our grace that He has given us.grace-of-god-550x320

I have not written in quite a while due to my work being pretty consuming at this time in my life. I have begun a new job and it is a wonderful one. I love my job, the people I work with and my manager, who is one of a kind. I know some of you may say you like your manager as well, but I think God has triple blessed me with a job I love, work that I love and a manager that knows Him and lets Him lead her in her daily walk. Yes, she is human and yes, sometimes she has to regroup and say, “I was wrong” but overall, my days are filled with joy, new knowledge, stretching, learning, stretching, more joy, some pain and stress along the way and so much intrigue and most of all … Grace! This job takes a lot of my time and energy and I know the longer I am there the better it will get because I will learn and grow. I just feel so blessed to have the job I have, the manager I have and the opportunities I have before me.Picture3

Recently, I have been confronted with the need for me to extend grace upon grace to a certain situation in my work life. It has me a bit confounded. Not that I don’t want to extend this grace to this particular situation … albeit one that I need to learn from, it seems to allude me how to do this … well, with grace. Part of my personality is a very assertive and “get it done” type and the other is a tender, compassionate and caring type. Sometimes they struggle with each other. This situation screams at my compassionate, caring side and I find myself needing to slow down and listen to God and sometimes God’s voice comes through my manager. She is a wonderful instrument of peace in my life.hqdefault

You see, I believe everyone is on a journey to find peace and tranquility in their life. As a believer, that peace and tranquility for me is knowing my Savior, Jesus Christ. He calms my spirit and eases my confusion all the time. When there is turmoil, He calms the storm. Where there is confusion He clears my head. When I feel lonely He is there to remind me He is my friend and always will be. He is my daily companion and partner through all of life’s situations. However, I still find it hard, sometimes, to quiet the “ME” and listen to His still, small voice that says, “this situation needs grace. Remember, the marvelous grace you have been given.” When reminded, either by Him or by someone else, it stops me in my tracks and I break down and weep. I am overwhelmed by His goodness and I can’t help but just weep with thankfulness.  I do this quite often lately.

Grace, Grace. God’s Grace. Grace that will pardon and cleanse within.
Grace, Grace. God’s Grace. Grace that is greater than all our sin.

I love that old hymn.

Grace means to get something that you do not deserve; unmerited favor. God’s Word also talks about and teaches us to extend grace.

The best and most significant example of grace in the history of the world is the wonderful grace extended by our Father in Heaven when He gave His Only Son to the world as an example for us to live by.

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 1:14-17

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

There are so many wonderful scriptures on grace. I would fill 10 pages or more if I listed them all. I mostly want you to think where in your life can you extend grace? To a co-worker, family member, neighbor or to a particular situation that you are faced with. There is grace from the Savior readily available for you to be filled with His grace to extend grace to whatever situation and whomever might need it.

Jesus, laying down His life, gave us the most extravagant gift of grace and mercy when He allowed Himself to be placed on the cross to die for our sins. He didn’t have to and yet He did because He loves us so much! Again Grace is unmerited favor – not getting what we deserve and mercy … is getting something that we do not deserve – which is His forgiveness for our sins. Check out the broader explanation on GotQuestions.org.

I never like to leave that story at that ending though. Yes, Jesus laid Himself on that cross to die for our sins, but… oh it doesn’t end there! OH NO IT DOESN’T! After giving His life for our sins… on the third day, HE AROSE!

Luke 24

Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them,[a] came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly[b] perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’”…

So, if there is someone or a situation that seems to need God’s grace extended through you and your abilities, listen to that still, small voice and ask God for the ability to extend that grace in whatever way He leads you to do so. I promise it will be a wonderful blessing in your day. Sometimes that blessing will be continued throughout your days, weeks, months and years to come. Extend Grace and see what happens. God is such a good God and loves you so much! He wants you to be blessed! After all, He calls you His beloved.

Another wonderful song by the Martins

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