Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A repost

I was meandering through some older posts and ran into this one.  It's a favorite.  Anything about grace tends to capture my attention.  Because I need to think about this again, I'm reposting. . .

Sunday morning, my pastor used a phrase that captured my attention.
He said we live in "an atmosphere of grace."  

Atmosphere of Grace
This is more than just a cool phrase.
What does this mean?
What does it look like?
How does it feel?

Quite honestly, I'm still trying to understand this concept.  
But I know it's true.  This is something God has been impressing on me for a while. 

This is reality:  I live in grace.

After spending years in performance-based religion, an atmosphere of grace sounds so inviting.  Like you can lean back, relax, let go of fear and just be yourself.  
It's safe.  No one is going to get mad at you and reject you for failing.  Your immaturities and imperfections are noticed, but not magnified.  You are loved through them. You are seen wearing His righteousness.

You are trusted.  You are believed in.  Your life matters.  

"In Him we live and move and have our being."  Acts 17:28

Living in an atmosphere of grace is really just living in Jesus, because He is grace.  
But the "living in" part is what I'm slowly discovering.  Not mere words or abstract ideas, but what it truly means in the daily reality of my life.  I want to understand what it looks like, how it works.  I want to see and touch it, to experience this fully.

If you have experienced this, then I invite you to share your stories of what living in grace looks like to you and how it's affecting your life.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Filtered Light

Sometimes the sun gets blocked.  There are only glimpses of light shining through.  Often I find myself frustrated, wanting to know more, wanting wide open spaces where I can see everything laid out in front, making it easier to control.  Or so it seems.

But control is an illusion and God loves me too much to lay such a  heavy burden on me.  So He gives light for one step only, just for today.  And when I relax and trust Him, I begin to see the beauty of filtered light.  

Resting in these gifts. . .

326.  Roses blooming outside my kitchen window.
327.  Enduring and faithful promises that hold true day after day, year after year.
328.  Encouraging words from saints of long ago
329.  Food in my pantry and fridge
330.  Being reminded that the most important things in life are invisible
331.  Affectionate hugs from my kids
332.  Clean dishes
333.  Tiramisu 
334.  Smiles from a kindred spirit
335.  Joy that bubbles up in a heart at rest.

"The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever."  Isaiah 32.17

holy experience

Monday, September 20, 2010

Still Waters

"You lead me beside still waters.  You restore my soul." 
Psalm 23:2,3

In the hectic, busyness of the day, taking a quiet moment to lean in hard against His strength and grace, I breathe.  

"...in quietness and trust is your strength."  Isaiah 30:15 

Peace flows in with the Living Water.  And as my soul quiets down, trust grows and I gain perspective.

Seeing His love through these gifts. . .

316.  Meeting new friends.
317.  Mango-darjeeling tea.
318.  Praying with a sister.
319.  Arepas con queso and a movie
320.  Pouring out and receiving back more than I have given
321.  Having the house all to myself for one night.
322.  Being greeted at the door by a bundle of furry affection
323.  Laughing till the stomach aches and the tears flow.
324.  Leaving a heavy burden in His hands and hearing His word to me, reminding me He cares for even these.
325.  A long drive on a quiet, moonlit night.

Being still,

holy experience