Friday, March 28, 2014

This is Grace. "Just Because I Love You..."

Growing up, my mom left unexpected gifts for my sisters and I on our beds or sent packages to us during university with a note that simply read, "Because I Love You".  This was key to helping me understand what grace means.

Awhile back, I was reading up on the word grace and was blown away by its richness, so this is me passing it on..  the quotes mostly coming from here.

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. 1 Cor 15:10 ESV

For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16

Thus says, the Lord, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you." Jeremiah

"But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you." James 4:6-8 ESV

“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” -Anne Lamott

“For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.” - Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430) 

“The growth of grace is like the polishing of metals. There is first an opaque surface; by and by you see a spark darting out, then a strong light; till at length it sends back a perfect image of the sun that shines upon it.” -Edward Payson (1783-1827)
“A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough today to last him for the next 6 months, nor can he inhale sufficient air into his lungs with one breath to sustain life for a week to come. We are permitted to draw upon God's store of grace from day to day as we need it.”
- D. L. Moody See: Deut 33:25; Psa 46:1; Heb 4:16 
“God appoints our graces to be nurses to other men's weaknesses.” - Henry Ward Beecher
“God is no faultfinder, always looking for things to condemn in us. He estimates us at our best, not our worst.” - Henry Ward Beecher

“Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue." - Eugene Gladstone O'Neill (1888-1953)  

“The motive and purpose behind the law ... is to make it clear exactly how much you must do and no more. Grace refuses to put a ceiling or a floor on concern for the neighbour.” - Joseph Fletcher 

“Men may flee from the sunlight to dark and musty caves of the earth, but they cannot put out the sun. So men may in any dispensation despise the grace of God, but they cannot extinguish it.” - A. W. Tozer (1897-1963) 

“As heat is opposed to cold, and light to darkness, so grace is opposed to sin.” - Thomas Benton Brooks (1608-1680) 

Grace does not destroy nature, it perfects it.” -Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) 

Grace binds you with far stronger cords than the cords of duty or obligation can bind you. Grace is free, but when once you take it, you are bound forever to the Giver and bound to catch the spirit of the Giver. Like produces like. Grace makes you gracious, the Giver makes you give.” -E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973)  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What Young Adults Need in Church

  • To get into the Word (not talk about Christianity or Biblical subjects, but to be reading the Word straight up).
  • They need to know you are going to acknowledge that it's tough, while being told it's going to be great all at the same time.... the hope of something greater.  
  • They want to feel needed and empowered to contribute instead of just attending.
  • They want to feel like they fit or are at least wanted.
  • To have a listening ear and voice of wisdom in one's life meets one of our deepest needs and cravings.
  • To be given great permission to be ourselves and to dream and be believed in.
  • To be coached and stretched beyond our current capacity (we will hate you and love you for it).
  • Too often young leaders feel under celebrated when they feel sent and ready to move on to a new job or place.  We need to create a culture that celebrates this going.
  • We need to be more frank with God without being careless with our words.  We often fail to open up out of a fear of embarrassment, misunderstanding, or religious formalities.  We should really fear not talking to God even more.
  • Accept questioning and potentially unfair or misunderstood comments about your life with grace.  People will comment on your scenario unfairly and you need to be the bigger person.
  • Know and speak clearly about your spiritual convictions and preferences personally before you apply them universally.  Too often we ignorantly put our opinions on the world without really living them out ourselves or knowing if it's really the best or only right way.
  • Don't be ignorant in believing that this is the hardest time of your life because there will be harder times in your next two years ahead.  It's a new and different hard and you can't see out of it, but you know you will and can push through.