The first thing I want to do is wish you a very special Easter. What a high and holy day for our faith! It’s a time of hope and resurrection, and I pray that it brings peace and joy to your heart.
Secondly, I wanted to share that I am going to have a total revamp of my blog. Many of you have remained faithful blog readers through the years. Thank you! Hopefully you will enjoy the exciting new style and content that we will share in May. If there’s anything in particular that you’d like to see added, please do leave a comment and let me know.
As far as our 52 Weeks of Grace, I will continue to post to my Pinterest board, and I hope you will join me there.
And lastly, if you haven’t entered my Rafflectoper giveaway, you can do so here through March 28th at 12:00 AM.
Welcome back to 52 Weeks of Grace.
This month we’re discussing sharing God’s grace with others. One of the primary ways we do that is with our words. Our words are often the first thing people hear and the last thing they remember about us. Words are important!
My father must have told me at least one million times, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Those wise words have come in handy more than once.
I had a pastor once who was teaching a children’s sermon–she had a tube of toothpaste, and she squirted some out on a piece of cardboard. Then she encouraged the children to put the toothpaste back into the tube. Of course that was impossible. She said, “Our words are like that. Once they’re out, you can’t put them back in.”
And then there’s this quote.
You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say. ~Martin Luther
Wow! Yes! That’s what I’m talking about. What we say, and what we don’t say are both very important! And many times our words either allow us to share grace with someone, or they block us from being able to share.
So this week, as we approach Easter Sunday, I encourage you to think of your words as a vehicle for Grace.
Doing with Grace? Sounds odd, I know. If your parents were like mine, you grew up hearing, “It’s not what you say, it’s what you DO.” Yup. In the years since then, I’ve learned the value of those words. People will say a lot of things, but they don’t always follow through. Their actions don’t always mirror their words.
This month we’re talking about extending God’s grace to others, and one of the ways we can do that is in our actions. We find a lovely example of this in John 12:3
Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
Mary did more than tell Jesus she loved him. She showed Jesus that she loved him. So how about it? Can our actions toward others convey the grace and love of God?
We’ve been exploring GRACE–what it means, how it affects our lives, and how we can offer grace to ourselves. For the month of March, I thought we’d talk about how to offer grace to others. As we can see in this verse from Acts, when we’re full of God’s grace, we can do great things!
Max Lucado agrees. I absolutely love this quote by him:
The apostle Paul never seemed to exhaust the topic of grace – what makes us think we can? He just kept coming at it and coming at it from another angle. That’s the thing about grace. It’s like springtime. You can’t put it in a single sentence definition, and you can’t exhaust it. ~Max Lucado
Isn’t that awesome? So if we cannot exhaust grace, we cannot use it up or run out of it, then we have plenty to offer to others. We, as followers of Christ, can offer grace to other people in our lives. Now it’s your turn. What are some ways that we can do this? I know you have some good ideas, so please share it in the comment section below.
I hope you have had a wonderful February. This month we have focused on extending GRACE to ourself. Wow! It’s a powerful concept. We’ve discussed finding our strength in God’s grace, allowing ourselves to rest, and forgiving ourselves for past mistakes.
Today I thought we’d talk about taking care of ourself in general. I meet a lot of women who are exhausted, grumpy, depressed, and even physically ill. Sometimes these things just happen, and as we all know – sometimes these things happen all at once! But many times, I speak with women who are simply not taking care of theirself. They take care of everyone else, and some even develop a martyr mentality. (If I don’t do it, then the world will cease to spin because no one else will.)
If this is you, I’m not laughing AT you, I’m laughing WITH you, because I’ve been there. Motherhood does it to us, as does being a good wife, having a job in or out of the home, volunteering at our church, and a dozen other things. But remember even Christ took a break when he needed one–
But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. ~Luke 5:16
I want to challenge you to make GRACE a daily habit in your life. That could mean a bubble bath, a twenty minute walk alone, allowing the clothes to remain in the basket until tomorrow, or a dozen other things. What about it? Are you willing to make extending GRACE to yourself a daily habit? I’d love for you to comment with some SPECIFIC WAYS we can do this daily.
Welcome back to my blog where we’re exploring 52 Weeks of Grace. In January we defined what grace means, and last week we talked about allowing ourselves to rest–what a wonderful way to offer ourselves grace! I loved your comments. I’m just like you. I know when I need to rest, but I often don’t “allow” myself.
Today I wanted to talked about forgiveness. God offers us His forgiveness–it’s essentially a part of receiving divine grace. But do we offer ourselves forgiveness?
I don’t know about you, but I’m much more likely to forgive someone else than myself. Maybe it’s natural to be harder on ourself. It could be that you don’t keep as clean a house as you think you should, or you were short tempered with someone you love, or maybe you were rude to a stranger. It could be something much bigger in your past that you’ve never allowed yourself to move past. But we’re not perfect. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, but sometimes we think we should be.
It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. ~Maya Angelou
So how about it? Do you think you can forgive yourself this week? I think we should, because I am convinced that it is part of God’s grace.
This month we’re talking about offering ourselves grace. We know that grace is the unmerited favor of God … but how do we give that to ourselves? Sounds kind of crazy!
Let me ask you another question — do you deserve a break? For that matter, what do you have to do to deserve a break? Do you have to work a full time job? Clean your house? Go without sleep for a few days? When is enough busy-ness, enough to earn a break?
Ha! That’s kind of a trick question. God has already given us His Grace, His Favor. We don’t have to earn it. Remember? Here’s a few verses I want you to think about this week.
The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31
Wow! I think the Lord wants us to rest. I think that is one way that we can allow our lives to be filled with His Grace. So what about it? Do you deserve a break?
I remember when I was growing up, my daddy would ask before a meal, “Who wants to offer grace?” Isn’t that a lovely phrase? Offering grace. Yeah, that has a nice ring to it. For the month of January I thought that we’d talk about different ways we can offer ourselves grace.
“What gives me the most hope every day is God’s grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.” ~Rick Warren
Isn’t that an awesome quote? “HIS grace is going to give me strength.” Wow. That’s powerful stuff. So I don’t have to try to be strong. I don’t have to dig deep and find the strength somewhere in myself, because HIS grace is going to give me the strength I need.
WOW! So let’s share. What do you need HIS GRACE for today? Personally, I’m under this mountain of writing deadlines, which is awesome–as long as I don’t think about it too hard. If I think about it, I might freeze, like a deer caught in a car’s headlights. If I dwell on it, I might start feeling tired. But I don’t have to worry about all of that, because I can depend … you guessed it … on His grace.
Can I get a witness? That’s what I’m looking for this week. Witnesses of grace. We are well into our 52 weeks of grace. We’ve talked about:
And now, I want to talk about being saved by grace. This is one of the most fundamental beliefs of a Christian–that we are saved by grace. As Paul says in the book of Ephesians,
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—Ephesians 2:8
Wow. I remember when I was a young child of 10 and first began to understand what those words meant. As I struggled through my teenage and young adult years, I often came back to this truth. Changing careers, guiding our children into adulthood, dealing with illnesses and death and trying times. Celebrating and laughing and crying tears of joy. Whether good times or bad, I could always fall on this truth. It wasn’t what I did or didn’t do. It wasn’t my failures or triumphs. I was saved by grace, and that was a gift from God.
What about you? Can I get a witness?
This is our 4th week to talk about GRACE and what it means in our lives. You would think after 4 weeks that we would be out of things to say … nope. There’s more.
Hebrews 4:16 says
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Wow! Little old you and me … we’re able to approach the throne of God WITH CONFIDENCE. And why do we do it? So that we can receive mercy and find grace.
I’d say that’s definitely something to celebrate. Don’t you agree?