Redeeming grace

Silent night! Holy night!
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth. *

In a world (and sometimes my heart) where resentment, discontent, anger, frustration, and ugly attitudes can abound, redeeming grace is an amazing gift that soothes my soul.

He redeems, renews, and refreshes …. God does it and then does it again.

and again and again.

God’s well does not run dry. He sent Jesus to restore, renew, redeem, remove, reveal, renovate, refresh, repair, reclaim, and replenish.

Some days I feel like I am a full time job for God! Of course, He is bigger than me and my flailings. He holds onto me while I argue and complain. He restores my soul. His redeeming grace is steadfast and true.

Redeeming grace.

Redeeming grace.

Redeeming grace.

Come, Lord Jesus!

*by Joseph Mohr, 1792-1848

Success vs Failure

Why are so hard on ourselves?

Of course, there is always room for improvement. But something doesn’t have to actually be “perfect” to be a success. For me it takes work not to pick apart how something could have been better and just be thankful that it was good, even if it wasn’t perfect.

Why is it that our failures (real or perceived) are like flashing neon signs – always trying to grab our attention?

Maybe it is a good way to keep me humble. Typically things aren’t all good or all bad, I can look at things on a 1-10 scale. And even if it was a miserable experience, there is usually something I learned and, in that case, there was something redeemable about it.

What about when we do “everything right” and things still go awfully wrong. Are we really in as much control as we think? Everything hinges on something and not everything is in our power. We don’t have control over others. We only have control over our actions and responses. And even when we do things perfectly, there is no guarantee the outcome will be what we were hoping for.

Are there some days just getting out of bed and facing the day is an achievement?

I think so.

Success and failure are in the eyes of the beholder. What the world pushes us towards and what God is nurturing in our hearts are likely very different things. Who do you listen to when you are evaluating success?

My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever. [Psalm 73:26, NIV]

May you view your activity with through God’s eyes!



PrayerPoints ~ Thursday, March 3rd


Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 37

“The Lord delights in the way of the man whose steps he has made firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”  Psalm 37:23-24

It is always good to look at David’s life. What a great reminder of the incredible highs and devastating lows of the life experience! And to watch David’s love for and devotion to God and then to see him sink to scheming schemes. On one hand I think, “How could he?” and then I recollect the many times I have done equally sinful things. It is amazing the short term memory I have. We are all sinners; each and every one!

Intentionally walking through Scripture on a regular basis certainly gives me perspective and helps me be more mindful of my opportunities to make better choices. It also helps me remember the love and forgiveness that God has for me. I am, after all, “a poor sinful being” but He also is a loving Father. He knows I will stumble but if I am away from God’s Word for a time I seem to stumble a little more. I stray a little further off the path. It may not seem like a big difference at first but the trajectory of “not quite on the right course” usually veers way off as time goes on.

Do you know what I mean?

Ever been kind of lost, refused to ask for directions because you are sure you are close only to find that the next 60 minutes (or 20 years) are spent trying to figure out how to get to where you were going only to find out it will take a lot to actually get back there now, or it is actually impossible?

Yep, this life is like that. And, God can redeem that stuff. He wastes nothing — there isn’t an experience that He cannot use, redeem, or heal. God knows we will stumble and still He loves us so!

“The Lord delights in the way of the man whose steps he has made firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”  Psalm 37:23-24

Are You Stuck in a Bad Chapter?

Ever wonder how King David from the Old Testament (shepherd boy, giant slayer, and man after God’s own heart) could possibly walk so close with God and then end up so far away from God by committing adultery, murder, and failing to protect his family? It happened just one step at a time. An unchecked heart and unconfessed sin can lead both you and I astray very quickly. David’s story didn’t end there…and ours doesn’t need to either….

Sometimes we think receiving faith in Jesus as Savior eliminates all of our temptations and rebellious, sinful decisions. It isn’t true, but it sure would be nice. We do, however, get to experience the nudging of our conscience from the Holy Spirit. You and I can try to stifle and smother those promptings and go our own wanton way for a long, long time but the consequences will catch up to us eventually.

Don’t try to still the small voice of God. Confessing your sin will be a turning point in a difficult chapter of your life. Consequences won’t likely be eliminated but God can and will grow you in His love and grace.

God can redeem all situations and longs to be reconciled with you!

Do Not Enter!

If I ever see this street sign when I am driving my vehicle, I do not intentionally drive down the road that way. But I confess that during my life I have been stubborn, determined, and foolish enough to make choices that took me down a path that was clearly marked Do Not Enter!

I suspect you remember doing something like that too. I hope you can remember both the times when you clearly chose the better path and the times when you blew it because both are important to keep in mind. When I see someone heading down a path that isn’t good, I definitely pray for them. If I am in a position to chat with them, I consider doing that too. But what I really want to do is jump up and down and say “Don’t do it!” Sometimes my concern comes from personal experience — I traveled down a similar path and endured some difficult consequences. Other times my age and life experience can help me see when something might not turn out well.

Where did I get that experience? From making poor decisions and learning where those decisions can lead. There are times lessons can be learned vicariously but there is a certain segment of the population that feels the need to throw caution to the wind and forge their own difficult path. Pray for them as you see them traveling. God can redeem difficult situations and circumstances. He has done it for me and He can do it for you.