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Good Morning, Grace

So, it really happened. The very thing I tried to avoid happening did indeed happen on the platform of our church in the Sunday morning service. Let me explain. My husband and I were going to be singing a special in the service with our Minister of Music and his wife. I was really excited about this. We had been planning it for some time and it was our first time to be singing as a quartet. We had practiced and were ready to go. The song was placed in the order of service after the 2nd song sung with the praise team and congregation. For the first two songs I was singing in the choir loft in my normal spot. I would have to make my way down around the corner of the band in an opening to the platform. I motioned to our guitar player and asked him to move the music stand over so I would have room to slip through the opening easily when it was time to sing. All was well till I was about to round the corner and my foot caught on the music stand. It made a loud noise and I did catch it from falling over. Good Morning, Grace!

I did something this time that years earlier I would not have been able to do. I took a deep breath, smiled and let it go. Can I tell you straight up that this is not because of a work of Amy. This is the evidence that Jesus has been doing something in me. It is all Him, not me. Over the past few years, God has been teaching me that there are times when you have to let things go. Before I probably would have not have been able to concentrate on singing my part because I was so embarrassed about tripping. I would have fretted and wondered if everyone was thinking, “Wow, what a klutz?” or “We had a beautiful flow of worship going and you messed it up.” Psalm 126:2 reads,  “Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them.”  Now I realize that this verse is in the middle of a praise song that is sung in the Old Testament how God had released Israel from captivity. It is a song of degrees that they sang over and over each round with more intensity than the time before. However, I could relate to this verse on reflection this morning. The Lord has taught me it’s okay to laugh at yourself, to sing on, and let the small stuff go! This has not been an easy lesson to learn, but I am grateful that the Lord loves us where we are in our walk and helps us along with patience and wonderful grace. Remember, You also may be an encouragement to someone who has been struggling to not sweat things that need to be released. So with His help I will laugh and sing it loud, “Let it go, Let it go, Let it go!”

In Remembrance

The Easter Season is one in which we remember all that Our Lord did for us on Calvary. In remembrance of this unselfish act of love by our Savior, I would like to share with you a post I wrote a few years ago.

On February 23, 1945, one of the largest air raids by the Royal Air Force took place. It happened in Germany at Pforzheim, which is to the west of Berlin.  After World War 2, and because of the many air raids that took place, the rubble of the city was overwhelming so the people began to gather it all into one area. The rubble was gathered then overlaid with dirt and sod. It is called “Teufelsberg” or  “Devil’s Mountain”.  A place of death and sorrow now looms attesting to the fate of the city.  Where there was once a flat place is now a mountain of remembrance.

At the time this was done, I am sure no one realized this would be a place where children now laugh and play. The trees in this place are beautiful and the mountain is abundant with grass and vegetation.  It is a place where couples walk and picnic, and kite flying is a prevalent pastime.  It is amazing that out of death and destruction comes new life and purpose.

This reminds me of another hill of death and destruction: Golgotha, or the place of the skull. At this place, judgment was placed upon those that had broken the laws of the land. It was where justice was satisfied. A place of shame, and a place of death looms to the fate of the guilty.

At Golgotha, a miraculous event took place. One who knew no sin was crucified on a cross. The only man in the world from the beginning to the end of time that had never committed one wrong thought, act, or deed bore in his body your sins and mine. Because of a Holy God, the justice of our sin would have to be paid. I am the one who deserves the judgement of my sin, yet Jesus stepped down from Heaven and took the place that was rightfully mine.

Hebrews 12:2 reads, ”Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of God.”  On this mountain, He endured the cross so I could have joy. From the death of Jesus springs eternal life for all who are willing to accept it.

Golgotha, which to me was once a place where death and sorrow loomed, is now a testimony of a life transformed by the grace and mercy of God. I will look to the mountain which is now a remembrance of the life I now have in Christ.

“I will lift up my eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.”  Psalm 121:1

“Day By Day Grace”

“It does not matter where God places me or how.  That is rather for Him to consider than for me.  For the easiest positions He must give grace; and in the most difficult His grace is sufficient.  So, if God places me in great perplexity, must He not give me much guidance? in positions of great difficulty, much grace? in circumstances of great pressure and trial, much strength?  As to work, ministry was never so plentiful, so responsible, or so difficult; but the weight and strain are all gone.  His resources are mine, for He is mine.”

–J. Hudson Taylor, Missionary to China

“Grace.” It is a small word, but the depth of its meaning transcends time and place.  As a child, my teacher in Sunday School taught me that Grace meant “God Riches At Christ’s Expense”. This definition of grace helped my childish mind to wrap itself around this concept. God extended salvation to me because of his grace. Titus 2:11 reads, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”  In my sinful state, I needed what He showed to mankind through Christ’s death on the cross. I needed the salvation he offered.   Songs, poems, essays and sermons have been written expressing in words the amazing grace of God.  Perhaps the most well know is “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” (John Newton)  Countless men and women throughout time have been awe struck by the “salvation grace” he poured out upon the human race and great debaters have gathered to discuss the importance and deeper meaning of the word, “Grace.”

However, As I grew and matured in my faith and walk with Christ, I experienced first hand the grace God gives to us on a daily basis. When the storms of life came upon me I discovered beautiful “day by day grace”.  In small trials and overwhelming storms of life, I found not only a friend I could count on but also a grace that was as big as I needed it to be. (Ephesians 2:7)  When I was in situations beyond my control and nothing I could do could have any bearing on the situation, I discovered the great grace of God was there for me.

In  2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul declares, “And he said unto me, My Grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  Paul experienced trial upon trial to spread the word of God to the people of that time.  In the circumstances beyond his control Paul discovered the day by day grace of God an invaluable source of strength and encouragement. For in weakness we discover reliance upon God to be the only strength available.

J. Hudson Taylor had truly discovered grace when he penned the words above.  Perhaps you are struggling in the location God has placed you. I can honestly say I have been in that situation.  I was in a place where I wanted to get out. I wanted God to immediately fix the situation and make it better. (A lot of “I, I, I ‘s” don’t you think? 🙂 ) I wanted to be removed from that place, but God had something to teach me first. He wanted to show me that there was not only “salvation grace” but also “day by day grace”. No matter where God has placed you or what you are going through we have a God who loves and cares about you. Sometimes, He puts us in a place so we can see who we really are and who He really is. God might immediately remove you from the place of trial or He may wait, but no matter where we are God has our best interests on His mind and heart. We might want to give God the benefit of the doubt that He knows about our present circumstances and has a plan that is bigger than us. Our purpose is to please Him and glorify Him.  We can do that in everything.  Let us never forget that as Christians, we have at our disposal a magnificent amount of grace. We have help in our time of need. You may experience this day by day grace today.

“His resources are mine for He is mine.”