Amazed By Grace

Amazed By Grace, Humbled To Witness It

What is grace?

There are several definitions online, but here’s mine.

Grace is an unexpected expression of love and compassion from one human being to another.

When I see evidence of grace in this world, it easily brings tears to my eyes.

Simply put, I am amazed by grace.

It’s like witnessing a little bit of heaven on earth.

How blessed we are to be in the right place at the right time to witness grace and mercy right in front of us.

Amazing Grace

Many years ago, I worked in downtown New Orleans.

My job was located in a huge high-rise, and I remember taking the elevator down many flights just to get to the cafeteria on the bottom floor.

At lunchtime, I would always see this homeless woman sitting and eating at a table by herself.  I knew she was homeless because I had seen her before on the street.

She usually hung out nearby the office building, head down, wearing an odd hat and mismatched clothing.

My heart went out to her. She never begged or talked to anyone but would hunker down in a corner on the street.

Busy people going to and from work passed by her every day.

That’s why I was curious to find her in the cafeteria my first day on the job.

Was she with someone?

I never saw her with anyone.

amazed by grace

The next day at work, when I came down for lunch again, there she was eating at her table.

And the next day, and the next day.

I felt sorry for her but was glad that she was able to have enough money to eat a nice plate lunch.

One day, my lunch hour was a little earlier than usual.  I went down to the cafeteria and, sure enough, there was the same homeless woman in front of me in the food line. She was mumbling incoherently to herself as she picked out food to put on her tray. When she got to the cashier, there was “no charge” and the homeless woman went and sat down at a table.

WOW.

This happened…every day.

I get happy chills thinking about it.

Some dear person in that hi-rise building made sure that the homeless woman had a hot plate of food every single day.

A Place of Grace

I’m no longer at that job in New Orleans.

Memories of my responsibilities there – writing and working with attorneys have all faded…but the cafeteria in that downtown high-rise will always be, in my mind, a “grace place.”

humbled by grace

Heavenly Father – thank You

for Your glimpses of grace

in this crazy world!

Share

Narcissists Hurt

Why Do Narcissists Want To Hurt You?

That’s a good question.

Did you know that almost two million online search results pull up when you look into the roots of this common personality disorder? Many websites exist to offer you advice and consolation.

Narcissists hurt

Is There a Narcissist in Your Life?

No doubt, the world is full of narcissists – I’m sure you know at least one.

I’m talking about those challenging, life-disrupting people who feel that the world is all about them. You’d better feel that way too, or else you’ll feel the consequences of their displeasure.

Worse yet, if you’re not in their pocket, stroking their ego, then “you’re” the one with the problem.

If you question a narcissist and their motives, you hear things back like:

I don’t remember saying that.

You’re paranoid.

If this sounds familiar, you have a very tough road ahead, and I’m sorry you’re having to deal with it.

What Can You Do About The Narcissist in Your Life?

I’m not a therapist, and every situation is different.

I do encourage you to research the subject as much as you can.

Even more importantly, I encourage you to pray about it. Talk it over with God. He is listening.

You may be wondering, should you put the “No Contact” rule into effect to protect your own well-being?

That might work in some cases if you only see the narcissist occasionally. (However, that would be pretty difficult if the narcissist is your boss.)

Another question: Even though you’re constantly the target who is talked about in the office or elsewhere, as a Christian, do you have to just take it?

Again, a difficult and sometimes emotional question to answer.

A Helpful Website

I was doing some research on narcissism and came across a website that may be helpful to you.

The best part? It talks about narcissism from a Biblical perspective.

Narcissist Traits – They Stumble A Lot

The narcissist is full of pride, but also deep inside (where no one can see) the narcissist is also insecure.

Pray for God’s strength and guidance and that you will know when it’s time to leave the relationship, if your circumstances permit.

Know also that, some day, in God’s providence, truth and justice will be served.

Dear child of God, in the eyes of our Heavenly Father:

You are greatly loved

You have value

God will place joyful people in your life if you ask Him.

Surround yourself with others who genuinely love, respect, and care about you. It’s the best feeling!

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4, (ESV).

###

*Scripture quotation is from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Share

The End Of The World

End Of The World

Have you ever thought about the end of the world?

As Bible-believing Christians, we know what’s eventually coming.

Increased persecution, chaos, and a one world demonic cult ruling earth’s inhabitants in the guise of world peace – to name just a few of the realities.

For some people, the final events are too scary to even consider.

If that describes you, trust me, I get it.

End Of Days

the end times

When I first became a Christian, I purposely avoided reading the Book of Revelation.

I tried to read through it on my own and got lost.

What did all that symbolism mean? 

I was so overwhelmed that I gave up and spent my time in other books of the Bible for many years.

Frankly, I had no idea at the time what I was missing. 

Of course, we’re not supposed to “dwell” on the end time events, but we do need to be aware of them.

Fast forward to a few years ago, when an opportunity arose that I couldn’t pass up.

The Book Of Revelation

Like an answer to a prayer, my church offered a Revelation Bible study, also known as Eschatology.

Simply put, Eschatology is a long word meaning the study of the end times.

I jumped at the chance to learn more.

It was a 3-part course which, in totality, would last several months.

I’m so glad I took the course. Let me encourage you to not be afraid to jump into Revelation if an Eschatology study is offered at your church.

It is so worth it!

After completing the course, the symbolism that scared me off so long ago, finally made a lot more sense.

If you’re interested in a quick overview of end time events, you can find a briefing here: https://www.gotquestions.org/end-times-timeline.html

However, I recommend a more in-depth Bible study rather than a flyby through one article on the Got Questions website 🙂

Through the entire Book of Revelation, we have a blessed reminder that God is Sovereign, and Jesus is coming back.

Our Righteous Judge

Sadly, what some people fail to accept is that Jesus will return as our righteous judge.

My heart breaks for those who, for the remainder of their lives, refuse to put their personal faith and trust in Him.

I have nothing but great pity for those people.

If Jesus’ return happens within our lifetime, that means that all remaining unbelievers, including those we personally know, are headed for everlasting suffering – an eternity of torment, no saving grace offered, beyond any complete human description.

Jesus’ words are clear, as presented here in Mark 8, among other passages.

38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38, (ESV).

want to pray for someone

Every night, my husband and I pray by name for someone we know who is lost. We pray specifically that his/her heart will open up to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The thought of a non-believing friend going to hell is tragic.

But, despite the limitations of my and your human understanding, we must trust our Sovereign God and know that He alone will judge righteously.

The End Of Days

Keep your eyes on the news.

I should clarify: keep your discerning eyes on the news and on Jerusalem. There’s a lot of significant events underway.

A word of caution: your red flags should go up if you hear of anyone setting an “exact date” the rapture will occur.

Date-setting is just doomsday, hysteria-promoting, nonsense.

Here’s What We Can Delight In

We can delight in knowing that everything is in God’s timing, not man’s.

We can delight in knowing that only the Creator orchestrates the future, and that prophetic events are falling into place according to what God has appointed.

The good news is that, for true-believers, Jesus has provided us the way to spend Eternity with Him.

###

*Scripture quotation is from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Share

The Gift Of Our Savior

God’s Gift Of Our Savior

An unexpected present

“Thank you. You shouldn’t have!”

 “You didn’t have to do that!!!”

Have you ever said that to someone who gave you an unexpected present?

As humans, we appreciate a surprise gift, but it’s also in our nature to feel a little confused.

Uh oh, was I supposed to get something for him/her?

What’s today’s date again?

Similiarly, it’s hard for people to accept the truth that our salvation, as Bible-believing Christians, is a gift.

“Free,” as in we can’t earn it, even if we try.

We are well-intentioned people, but our good deeds could never equal what Christ did for us on the cross.

There is no comparison.

We are not “little gods” here on earth as atheists (who trust only in themselves) would have you believe.

But, what about that helpful thing I did for my neighbor yesterday?

What about that flat tire I changed for a stranded motorist?

Those are good and admirable things, yes!

Because you are a Christian, you want to and will do good things, but the very act of helping someone is not the hope of your salvation.

The Golden Rule

I’m sure we all remember hearing the adage, “Do unto others…” when we were growing up. There are also a few different rewordings of that proverb, depending on the source.

What does the Bible say?

Matthew 7:12 reveals these words of Jesus from His Sermon on the Mount,

12 So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.Matthew 7:12, (ESV).

We are to love and bless others – a reality of our Christianity.

What The Golden Rule Is Not

The Golden Rule, however, is not the foundation of God’s plan of salvation.

What is the foundation?

Not “what,” but Who?

Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior.

We are sinners in need of a Savior.

The gift of our Savior

Mere words cannot adequately describe just how marvelous!

There’s nothing you nor I can do that is worthy of what our Savior did for us.

Despite our unworthiness, our prayers to Him, in His will, reach all the way up to Heaven.

14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 1 John 5:14, (ESV).

Life’s Purpose

Love Him, pray to Him, thank Him, delight in Him.

And love your neighbors.

Bless them with friendship, kindness, and compassion, and spread the transforming news of the Gospel.

You’ll get some rejections, but don’t ever give up talking about your faith.

Please hit the “share” button below if you think this post will encourage someone.

God bless!

###

**Scripture quotation is from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

**Begg, Alistair. “The Great Marvels of Our God.” 26 January 2018. Web Access 29 January 2018. Used with permission. Copyright Truth For Life. Used with Permission.

**Scripture quotation is from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Share

Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Like A Little Glimpse Of Heaven

I don’t know about you but come winter, I long to see snow.

We’re talking about a deep longing, like when I see a chocolate chip ice cream cone.

Texas had some winter precipitation recently, but it just wasn’t the same.

I’m talking about finding some bundle-up, go-outside, throw-some-snowballs, kind of snow.

What to do, what to do.

And then it hit me.

“Eureka!”

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

If you’ve never been to Eureka Springs, Arkansas please check it out.

You may want to consider it for your travel plans sometime.

It’s a fun destination, about an hour north of Fayetteville.

The downtown area is charming, and the food is delicious.

Eureka Springs

Best time to go?

Opinions on that vary, but for us, we prefer the winter months.

Let it snow

This trip would be our third time for a visit – that’s how much we like it there.

Some of the town’s attractions shut down for winter, but there’s so much more to see and do.

variety of wildlife

We also like to go there to see the variety of wildlife, the picturesque landscapes, the cozy cabins, and the SNOW!

Where to stay?

This trip, we chose a secluded cabin in Cinnamon Valley, just minutes from downtown.

Cinnamon Valley

Cue the happy dance.  🙂

God’s Spectacular Design

As predicted, snow started falling.

Delicate flakes blanketed the trees surrounding us.

It turned cold fast, with a capital C.

The temperatures dropped below freezing, as did the wind chill.

plenty of wildlife

Every day was a new adventure.

Spectacular views greeted us on our hikes through the woods.

We even saw a bald eagle soaring above us!

His creation is just one of the many reasons I delight in God.

It’s so beautiful, I can’t help but say a little prayer.

Thank You, most gracious Heavenly Father,

for who You are.

The wonders of Your creation never cease to amaze me.

Who are we to deserve such a gift?

Thank You for sending us Your Son,

and thank You for providing us

with glimpses of Your perfection,

through Him, and through Your creation.

How Beautiful Is Heaven?

My husband and I made quite a dent in the walking trails.

At one point during a morning hike, the property owner drove up and told us about a black bear that was spotted a month earlier making itself at home on top of another camper’s car. He also pointed out that some of the tracks we saw belonged to some mountain lions that frequently hang out in the area after dark. 

Hmm…it might be time to go back to the cabin now. We don’t want to be on the menu.

Here’s my handsome (and freezing) husband beside the frozen pond.

temperatures dropped

Can you imagine how beautiful Heaven will be?

No one creates a masterpiece like the Master Creator does, and no one is mightier than Almighty God.

When we see the spectacular displays of His creation and power, it should remind us that…

5 God thunders wondrously with his voice;
    he does great things that we cannot comprehend.
6 For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’
    likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour.
7 He seals up the hand of every man,
    that all men whom he made may know it. Job 37:5-7, (ESV).

###

*Scripture quotation is from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Share
1 2 3 37