Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Short Leash

   I've written before about my Border Collie, Grace. I'm crazy about that dog. We got her when she was 7 months old, from an abusive situation. I need something to love on and she needs lots of love, so we make a good pair.
   When we first got her, if we put her in the backyard, she would climb the walls of the dog pen and climb the chain-link fence. Since then I've kept her on a short leash. I've been afraid that she'll run off. When I walked her around the pasture, she would strain hard on the leash, literally pulling me around.
   One day, my husband said "Just let her go. She can't get out of the pasture fence".  I wasn't so sure. I was afraid to do that but finally I let her go.
    She ran like the wind across the pasture and leapt high in the air, chasing butterflies and bumble bees. Over and over she would run and leap, then she would come back to me. It does my soul good to see her running free, using the skills she has been bred to use, then coming back to me.
   Jesus doesn't have me on a short leash either. He lets go of me to make my own choices. I don't run very far away from Him anymore. I know that I can trust Him. I know that I can find peace and security in Him. Just like Grace has found security in living with me.
"Because You are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of Your wings. I cling to You, Your strong right hand holds me securely", Psalm 63:7-8.
"So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free", John 8:36.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Gift of Grace

   When I began writing this blog I thought I would write about the damage caused by childhood sexual abuse and the steps I took in healing from it. But in the 2 1/2 years I have been writing it, God has transformed me from a woman depressed and fearful of life to a woman with rest and peace and joy. And it's all because of Grace.
   Of all the gifts God has given me, Grace has been the hardest to accept. Because I felt unworthy and Grace is free and undeserved. It doesn't require an apology or a thank-you. It doesn't need to be wrapped or reciprocated. I can't work hard enough to earn Grace; no amount of money can buy it; there will never be a vote deciding who receives it. Grace is the pure, untarnished favor of God formed in the figure of Jesus Christ.
   God knew me before I was shaped in my mother's womb. He looked down through the ages and saw a little girl ravaged by abuse. There was no hope for fixing that broken child-no self help books, no support groups, no sanctimonious preachers. No hope except for the love of a Savior carrying out the plan of God for Grace. It's the best gift I've ever been given. 

"For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God's wonderful Grace and His gift of righteousness for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ", Romans 5:17. NLT

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"This I Know"

   I've been an infant in my Christian walk for a long time. I've been teething on "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so". It has just been for a year or so that I have believed that Jesus loves me. I had always thought that I was too bad for Jesus to love.
   Now that I've graduated from that basic truth, God wants to take me a step further. He is trying to teach me that "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world". I have been selfish, self-absorbed, and self-indulgent. It's as if the only word I can speak is "Me! Me! Me!".
   God is opening my eyes to the fact that there are many people in the world, our country, my city, that do not have all that I have. Like choking on my first taste of solid food, I don't like the taste of greed and excess.
   I have so much more than I need. My house is filled with things I merely wanted. It's time to take a few steps to reach out to someone who needs what I can give.
"You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God's Word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food", Hebrews 5:12.
"Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others", I Timothy 6:18.