Posts Tagged ‘god’

Grace-filled eyes

Posted: August 21, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Grace

Grace is not a created substance….At least that’s what Wikipedia says… (yeah, I know, cause THAT’s the authority on life)

But isn’t that how we treat grace? Day in and day out, we strive to please God when the simple truth is, we cannot even get close.

We open car doors, help little old ladies across the street and give our $1.00 to the peddler on the side of the road.  We offer a smile to the lonely, care for the sick and pick up the pieces of a broken heart…all in His name.  The fact is, we cannot please God with our works because grace isn’t a substance that can be created…it just simply IS.

I’ve struggled with this concept – very recently.  I’ve somehow attached my “godliness” to my works, meaning if I’m not walking “godly”, I must not be… but grace isn’t something that is created.  Somehow this unmerited favor has made it’s way into my mind’s eye which says “My works must earn His good graces.”

It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that no matter what I do or don’t do, He can never love me more than He does right now.  Whether I am a sinner knocking on gates of hell or a saint walking towards light, He loves me the same.  In my humanness, I don’t understand this concept.  We love conditionally – whether we admit it or not.  Some people we like and others we tolerate.  We profess “love” when in fact, it’s very different from the love of the Father.

Don’t believe me?  Let’s try something…  I will give you two names.  Think on these names and figure out what emotions they invoke in you…

Mother Teresa…….  Charles Manson

Two people, complete opposite sides of the spectrum.  Now I can profess that I love each of them, because they are God’s children but my view is distorted through my human eyes.  In all honesty, I would love Mother Teresa more than Charles Manson, for obvious reasons…. But the Agape kind of love that God pours out on us shows unconditional love to both- the same love to both. 

So we have established that our human love is conditional….so is our grace.  We give grace to people every day- unmerited favor in our day to day lives. That man you allowed to go in front of you at the grocery store- you showed grace. Or that smile you gave to a lonely heart- grace was attached. Have you noticed the people we don’t give our grace to? The less attractive or downtrodden…. Someone who doesn’t look like us or act like us. 

Earlier I told you that I was struggling with the concept of grace in my life- not only the Father’s grace to me but my showing grace to others. I recently found out one of the precious ladies that we go in to minister to committed a horrendous crime to bring her to her current state- something that absolutely makes me sick to my stomach to even think about.  I’ve loved on her. Prayed for her. Cried with her….but now due to my recent knowledge, my grace isn’t sufficient for her- it seems my humanness says “off with her head” while God is saying “but My grace is sufficient…. Why isn’t yours?”

My humanness and His spirit are conflicted…..  I see Charles Manson but God sees neither Charles nor Teresa- just a soul in need of a Savior.  Offering grace seems difficult on my part but I am reminded: grace isn’t something that is created, it just is.  When I go back in the jail, I don’t want to see her in human eyes, but through grace-filled eyes.

In my struggle, I want to remind you: grace is something that is not created. We cannot earn or lose the grace that God has bestowed on us- we cannot gain or lose something that exists no matter what situation surrounds it.  Today as you go about your busy life, remember grace. When you encounter someone who isn’t like you, show grace. When you find a difficult situation, show grace.  (I wonder how different the world would be if we gave unconditional grace?)

Most importantly, remember that He loves you- not because of what you have or haven’t done, but simply because you are His.  

  

~sharingHispeace~

Enough

Posted: August 6, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

you-are-enough

Enough

When Your life is on the ground,
And no one seems to be around,
Is Jesus enough?

When all hope is amiss,
And you cannot find light in the darkness,
Is Jesus enough?

Is He enough when the bills are overdue?
Is He enough….when it’s just you?
Is He enough?

When the storms of life flood in,
And you are drowning in your own sin,
Is He enough?

The question isn’t “is” but rather “can”.
Can you trust the Son of Man?
Can you in the darkness rely on His sight?
Can you in your weakness depend on His might?

Can the King of kings hold you in the stillness?
Can He comfort you in the quietness?
Can He shield you from the dark of night?
Can He take over your battles, your fight?

Can He be enough in your life?
With all the struggle and all the strife?
The Commander of the heavens is asking you…
“Can I be enough?”

What more must He do to prove His love?
How much further must He walk before you don’t give up?
Isn’t it enough that He bled and died for your sins?
Isn’t it enough that He rescued you from the devil’s den?

He said His grace SHOULD be enough.
That His power is made perfect in our ruts.
Why then can we not be content in Him?
Why then can we not abstain from the stronghold of sin?

The answer is simply this….
We do not want to run the risk
of trusting in someone when so many have let us down.
But remember, you were once lost but by Him, you ARE found.

You have made Him your Redeemer-
But can He be your Sustainer?
You have made Him your Savior-
But can He be your Provider?

He is enough…He can be enough but ultimately
He is MORE than enough
He is more than enough to conquer your sins.
For His grace and mercy, they known no end.

He is more than enough to keep us in perfect peace,
Remember, He alone holds the keys.
to life and death, hell and the grave.
Never forget, He is more than willing to save!

So the next time you stand at the crossroads in life
And there are no answers to your questions of why-
Stop, look up and hear your Savior’s calling-
“I am more than enough to keep you from falling!”

-S.E. Works-

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Transparency is easily necessary but not necessarily easy.

I have always tried to be completely and utterly me, leaving everything out on the table after each blog I write.  I haven’t been blogging lately because of two factors:  college finals and well, I’ve been in such a battle.    Again, transparency is easily necessary but not necessarily easy.

Before I go into the “meat and potatoes” of my blog, I must give a background…  Sunday I fell spiritually… It was a pretty hard fall and I’m still suffering the repercussions.   You see, we all have secret sins – those things which very few (if any) know about.  Those skeletons hidden in the back of the closet.  It is these issues where our true battle lies.  Since falling with the impact of an atomic bomb, I find myself floundering between God and myself.  I kept hearing God out of the corner of my heart saying, “Shannon, it’s okay.  I got you!” but my mind couldn’t wrap itself around it.

Spring forward to Monday…. I fell…. physically.  Yes, it hurt as I am on the “fluffy” side of life.  As I was taking my son to daycare, I slipped on the gravel and my hands/knees landed on the sharp rocks.   I jumped up as quickly as possible hoping no one saw my embarrassing moment, wiped off my pants and went on into the building.  After I got my son settled in his room, I limped out of the daycare and went to my car to assess the damage.  My pants were torn and my knees were cut and bleeding.  Most of the day, they stung and even now, 4 days later, they are pretty sore.

Why do I tell you this?  I’m getting there I promise.

God likes to teach me complex lessons in a very simple way.  For this, I am VERY grateful because sometimes I need a little help in the learning department.   He began to show me the similarities of my spiritual and physical fall.  Both were embarrassing.  Both were inexcusable.  Both had the potential to be worse than they were.  Both hurt and I can still feel the effects of both today.

He asked me, “What did you do after you fell at daycare?”  I promptly replied, “Well, Lord, I jumped up and kept walking….”

“Why didn’t you do the same thing after you fell spiritually?!”  -God-

Well God, I…. You know, come to think of it… I don’t know…

Then He said something that is SOO simple I found myself questioning why I hadn’t already done it:

Get-Up

But God, it still hurts.  I can’t even walk without the wounds cracking and stinging.  I’m so sore.  I can’t move as freely as I am used to.  He began to show me that the scabs over the wounds must be broken in order for the wounds themselves to breathe.  (Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor so I have no idea if it’s correct or not BUT I do know the Great Physician and if He says it, well…. that settles it.)

Ok, Lord, I hear you….I’m up…

With all that being said, God dropped this particular song off at the front door of my heart and began to allow it to minister to me.   In my overwhelmed state, I  realized that I stopped taking my issues to my King.   I allowed my inadequacies to hinder my journey to the King.   If you are struggling with a “secret” sin, please know that God already knows….  Who do we think we are kidding when it comes to keeping things from God?

Please allow this song (Take Me to The King by Tamela Mann) to minister to your spirit as it did mine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_7HUV1yyas

Transparency is easily necessary but not necessarily easy.

As she began to sing this song, I heard her transparency and desperation crying out to God.  Simply put, we are not transparent because we WANT to be, we are transparent because we are too desperate to be anything else.  I have to think about my own life.  I didn’t start becoming “real” with anyone (much less myself) until I was in that place where desperation and brokenness met and left me alone in the middle of a room crying out to the only One who could rescue me.   It was at that moment, I became transparent with my surroundings.

Oddly enough, its in the transparency of life where I find my freedom in Christ.  I find myself NOT bound to the shackles of my “secret” sins but free from the strongholds of silence.   Does it make the chains of sin go away?  No, only the power of Jesus Christ can do that but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.  Remember, anything that dies easily is NOT your battle… David killed Goliath in the blink of an eye.  But honestly, Goliath was Saul’s battle not David’s.  David stepped in when Saul fell short.  David’s real battle was Saul himself.   Anything that dies easily is NOT your battle.  (That nugget was for free!)  😉

My challenge for you this week is to be transparent…. be transparent without the fear of man.  In a world clouded by self-righteousness, arrogance, selfishness and egotism, I challenge you to become crystal clear in who you are.  I finally realize why David began to strip off his clothes when he began to praise the God who delivered him.  As he went to the King, he became transparent for his whole world to see.  The throne room tends to do that…make you transparent.

We often compare ourselves to coals and diamonds. “A coal under pressure is just a diamond in the rough” rings through the church constantly.  If you’ll think about it, coals are ugly and black.  They are shielded by their darkness.  Diamonds, on the other hand, are absolutely beautiful.  Why?  Because they are transparent, translucent and transpicuous.

Be the diamond God made you!  Be transparent as you go before the King!

diamond

#sharingHispeace