In a recent CharismaNews article, Dr. Michael Brown confronts what he calls the “dangerous error” of the hyper-grace movement. He describes the foundational doctrines of this movement as follows; (1) we have been made righteous by the blood of Jesus, (2) all our sins have been forgiven, (3) the Holy Spirit never convicts believers of sin, and (4) we need never repent for nor confess our sins.
It has truly been a mean week; illness and hospitals, family life and home. Just one big whirlwind of one step in front of the other while praying and trusting God to guide me through, while being cradled in a grace bubble.
It’s amazing … I’ve been in a grace bubble before but remained numb and unable to function except by rote. Now, understanding more about God’s character and love for me, I’ve learned to be able to function in this peaceful place of His!
It has changed me … changed how I deal with stress.
Today the dam broke … a household situation arose and The Hubs, who was already bearing his silent weight in stress, had to come home from work (after just over an hour) to ensure things were safe.
Oh how I ache to see the strain on his face as he too learns to trust God’s provision instead of jumping in all hands and profanity to remedy a situation; while bursting with thankfulness that He is who God made Him to be and He’s working it, successfully! (I only hope I am as pleasing to Father as it Hubs!)
Just one more thing to add to the seemingly endless list of MUST DO … one more straw and the camel is wobbling … and we pray.
I look up … that’s where my help comes from [Psalm121] and silently pray from my heart and try not to allow the stress to overwhelm me; while simultaneously worrying about my husband and his honest and true heart for God and whether or not he will revert back, like so many times ….
that is fear.
We settle the situation and off he goes back to work only to wait a half hour; and with the biggest, mushiest heart to call me to see if I’m alright … and my heart explodes and I’m thankful for this man of mine, that God gave to me.
I settle back and soak in praise … listening to videos in the background as I work, being thankful!
This is how I spend time with God; decompressing from the world and this life that sometimes just reaches out and grasps us in just a moment …
Praising … exulting Him, knowing that no matter what I see, no matter what I hear or feel … He is in control and all that happens is for my benefit because I love Him and work according to His purposes.
So I thought I share a moment praising my God with you … in words and song. Giving Him the highest praise … singing and raising my arms and feeling His love fall upon us … as I reach that Peace that is Jesus, the peace He left us; not that false just for a moment of pleasure, temporary peace this world offers …
Rather the soft and refreshing bubble of grace that He envelopes us in when we softly speak His name in praise, when we ask Abba, Father, I need you more …
Wow … such a short reprieve from the chaos.
Mom is settling in near my sister in the great state of Florida …
she they have a hard year ahead. Too many firsts and adjustments, but in the end with prayer and work things will work themselves out for mom’s new life.
The boy’s (my youngest) struggles continue to the stress and extra work for the family … but I don’t know any other way to deal with his problems. This momma knows that these things do not come out except with prayer and fasting! [Mark 9:29] So we struggle and take some ground and catch up again when it’s lost.
Then grandma gets the illness that is currently filling the beds at the hospitals in the area … she’s doing well enough, but sick all the same and not ready yet to return to living alone with just a few hours of home health assistance throughout the day. She has come to that conclusion and is requesting rehab instead of fighting it; this is both the hardest decisions she has to make and the best ones, all at the same time.
And all the time I have peace. Even as I “lose” my temper, it seems, I have clarity and the right words and calm to get the point across without blowing up … hence the quotation marks around lose.
I’m not hitting the wall … I’m not ending my day with exhausted insomnia … I’m not even worried about what may happen tomorrow.
Even as my head begins a dull ache and my stomach threatens that I may have …. NOPE … that is utterly unacceptable and I will do what I know to do and stand upon the prayer of protection I prayed over myself as I drove to the ER on Monday morning to meet grandma. The prayer, that by the end of the day, I realized the Holy Spirit had brought to me because He knew what I was walking into even as I did not!
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13
And even as I check my armor of God and straighten it I know that these physical ailments will not be what they are trying to be … How do I know, you ask?
Because as the contractor friend, we are considering for repairs we need from the natural storms, here at the Jersey Shore two months ago, showed up EARLY this morning, during our Go! Go! routine, telling us that he wants to bless us, dogs barking and all, I realize that our commitment to deepen our (the Hubs and I) relationship with God has started the blessings flowing.
As my husband and I strained to listen above the barking, the Hubs with his reservations about doing the work now and me with my desire for it to be done even while I said to him whatever decision he made was fine with me …
Even as all this went on … Peace … the peace that this morning at 6am I began praying over my family … that peace that surpasses all understanding … that peace that He left for us … Jesus, my Savior, my Heart, my Redeemer … Jesus that Peace …
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
Even as the storm that would be Thursday began to churn … Jesus, my Peace, poured over me and filled my day with ease and calm.
Oh, how I appreciate and treasure this love He has for me on such a different level than even last month …
Peace … Prayer changes everything … even the atmosphere of chaos.
What is your “even as …” today … What peace do you need ?… what peace have you experienced today? Please share or ask or both in comments … let’s travel this journey together.
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
- Ernest Hemingway
It took me years to come to this realization and I hate that it even took me that long. You'd think with as many times as I'd heard this news or felt this sensation, I'd get it well before my 32.5 years of life, but nope.
let’s do this thing … Let’s write.
Set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
Oh and Ahem, if you would take pity and turn off comment verification, it would make leaving some love on your post that much easier for folks!
OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:::
Opportunity … Go!
They say opportunity knocks and all one need do is open that door.
The Word says … seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. ~ Matthew 7:7
Since the beginning of 2013 the Hubs and I have taken hold of the opportunity to spend time each morning with God in prayer …
I’ve added devotional time and readings to my opportunity with Him.
I seek the opportunity in 2013 to draw closer to my God and Father. I’m taking, what has always been available to me, the opportunity to deepen my relationship … to know Jesus more; to make Him an integral part of my day … my life.
It’s funny, in a tragic way, that this opportunity has been a wide open door in my life all my life. That, even as I walked this path of Christianity, I didn’t realize how simple it is to be intimate with my Lord. How a simple prayer and quiet praise, on a sun filled morning (or gray morning), will draw me into His arms in a tangible way …
Wonderfully, in His faithfulness, this opportunity is one never lost …
I encourage you, right now … enter in with quietness and seize this amazing Opportunity! – STOP!
There you have it … my first 5 minutes of 2013 … I’m glad this has begun again and I look forward to the opportunity to learn and share with this amazing group of writers. Now, YOU … your turn. Don’t be shy, there is no judgment or comparisons here … just write your heart!
Happy 2013 … Happy Thursday … It’s good to be back with my heart in a place to write.
I’m not going to rehash the troubles of the last month or so; let’s just say I was stretched and I have grown. But no so much that I am not still trudging through some of the mire left on my path. How about you?
Resolutions? NOPE, this lady doesn’t do resolutions … there is enough imperfection in my life that I choose NOT to set myself for instant failure.
What I do is the ONE WORD thing at the beginning of a year. I think this is the third year I’ve taken this path and I find I do quite well.
2013′s word is PEACEFUL, a nice word don’t you think? What I like about the One Word movement is that the chosen word has a meaning. Meaning (haha) I don’t have to define what it is I’m striving for, and I can’t really change what I’m striving for.
So peaceful it is … whether it is a more peaceful me, or a peaceful night or day or atmosphere or home or …. well you get the gist!
I also entered into a plan, with The Hubs (my husband, Don.) to pray and spend time with God in the morning. Oddly this appears to be God’s focus all over the place … Don and I discussed it a few months ago only to find out that prayer and intimacy with God as individuals and a church was our pastors focus for 2013. Ha, I am always amazed that we, the Hubs and I, are so in tuned with our God that we are on the path even as the churches reveal their focus.
Anyway … personally I find that I continue to deal with apathy. Basically in many areas of my life … but lately, especially the last quarter of 2012, it is contained in my work(s) and in my spiritual life. Both are bad places to have an attitude of apathy, however, apathy in my spiritual life was causing the sensation of a slow death.
So the plan. Prayer, time with God and devotions. We are using a prayer-book to assist with proper prayers in the areas we are focusing on … Prayers that avail much are prayers and areas of prayer written in scripture, with the scripture references right there for the reading (can’t go wrong praying scripture.)
And for me … I am reading a section a day from Oswald Chambers‘ the Shadow of Agony (written during WWI, the book speaks to our everyday right now!) and 70 Reasons for Speaking in Tongues by Dr. Bill Hamon.
To this I’ve added Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst. In which I find myself right among her words. I am an Unglued person … easily unraveled by the circumstances of a moment, day, year … whatever.
I must admit that I handled the strife and crisis of the last few months with great restraint and composure; but underneath I was the same old writhing mess that I usually exhibit. My friend/sponsor/counselor would tell you how proud she is of me for handling the circumstances the way the I did … she encouraged me and my strength and growth throughout it all … but I felt as though I was faking it.
And as a believer in Jesus Christ I don’t feel right about the “fake it till you make it” plan. For me faking it is just another way of stuffing down the anger and pain; it does me no good.
On Day 2 of Unglued Devotional Lysa shares with us this verse, that caressed my tired and worn out spirit to want to write!
Practice these things; immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. – 1 Timothy 4:15
“Sometimes we girls think if we don’t make instant progress, then real change isn’t coming. But that’s not so.” How liberating is that? Really!
I realized, while working the slow carb diet I started in April of 2012, that the illusion that if we messed up the diet that all was lost was a BIG FAT LIE. And I began to not chastise myself for slips in the plan and jump right back on … and I succeeded in losing and maintaining a loss of 35 pounds.
That is right up until the crisis’ began to pile up, along with the temptation of the holidays!
But alas … all was not lost even with a three-month slip … today I am right back to tracking my meals and eating according to the slow carb diet and my goal remains the same, save a month or so. A month? Didn’t I just say three months? Yes, I did, however, I only gained about 8 pounds which is my basic average of weight loss a month on this nutritional plan. Not such a big slip if you think about it.
So to end this rather lengthy blog post … I hope to share with you at least once or twice a week. Talking about real life things and how I have conquered or failed at them … Hoping that you will find some encouragement in my walk through this life I’ve been graced with.
First I plan to be faithful to my relationship with God … then to my goals and plans; one of which is to write.
I’m going to start with the small things …Me.
God’s Word says, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones.” Luke 16:10
Mother Theresa said, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
Today my guest poster is author Shannon Yarbrough, who's published three books so far - with a fourth coming out some time this year. Shannon, who is an excellent writer, has also been invaluable to us at All on the Same Page Bookstore, providing us with suggestions and ideas and much-needed moral support.
Especially when we're searching for a book.