When Grace Prevails

It is a vicious cycle, isn’t it? You lose your temper. You drop the notorious F-bomb. You run the red light. You commit some egregious sin. Whatever the case may be, you have failed and now, you feel absolutely horrible. We just can’t shake the shame. We can’t seem to forgive ourselves. It is here that Grace prevails.

For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God;  it is not from works, so that no one can boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 NET

God’s grace has saved us through faith. Here’s the thing that caught me – it is not from works so that no one can boast. Neither you nor I can take credit for it! The simple truth is that we need to forgive ourselves and move on. There are people in this world that cannot forgive themselves. They live a life that is miserable. What has it accomplished? Nothing.

Today, I want to challenge you today to forgive yourself and move on because God has already done it and there is nothing that you can do to change that.

 

Thoughts | Did I hear from God or was that last night’s pizza?

Have you ever stepped out in faith thinking that you heard from God only to find out that it possibly could have been last night’s pizza? We have all had that feeling. If you haven’t then just wait, it is coming! Seriously though, we all have that moment when we think that God has spoken clearly to us that thing will happen in a certain way if we step out in faith.

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Just because you may have missed God doesn’t mean that you were wrong to step out in faith. He knows where you are at when you made the decision. I am a believer that since you stepped out in faith, God will honor that faith in some way. He will honor us when we step out in faith. Even if it was last night’s pizza.

Book Review | The Allies:Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, and the Unlikely Alliance That Won World War II

51acrqo1k6lThe Allies was a great book that captured the heart and soul of these three leaders. Each leader’s life is chronicled from beginning to end in a great way in this book. I was amazed at the details that the author put into not only the people but in the events that surrounded the war. Though it is a large book, it is an easy read. This book is certainly geared towards the history enthusiast.

Get Your Copy of The Allies Today!

Nope – I Do Not Always Understand

“I don’t think that we’re meant to understand it all the time. I think that sometimes we just have to have faith.”
– Nicholas Sparks

Just when you think that Murphy couldn’t do any more damage, he decides to sideswipe you. You just can’t seem to get a break, yet there’s complete peace about what is going on all around you. I have heard it best put this way; “chaotic peace.” Over the past twelve years, this is where we found ourselves. It seems like we can’t escape this cycle that never ends. But I know one thing that is for sure is that He never ends either.

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Perhaps, I should start with the reason that I decided to write this. For twelve years, Sara and I have seen some of the weirdest things happen in our lives. We have had car trouble, house issues, health woes, financial hardships, etc.  One may bring up the fact that we are tithers and according to Malachi 3 when doing so that the devour is rebuked for our sake. It would be easy to question God and wonder why these things happen if we are tithers. It would probably be even easier to doubt that it would be to know in faith that God has taken care of it all.

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In a previous post, I referenced the time where I came to God and made the statement that I just simply did not understand. God’s response in my heart was that He did not call me to understand, but to trust Him. The response honestly took me off guard.  Aren’t we, as human beings, designed to understand all things and learn them? Then I recalled a scripture that I have always remembered since I was a child out of Proverbs 3:5-6; “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” In some translations, it reads “and He will make it plain and straight.”  Our trust is not in the government nor people, our trust is not in ourselves or our own ability to provide, but our trust is in Him.

 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:13 NLT

This is one of the most quoted scriptures that you will find in the Christian vernacular. The problem with this is that we find ourselves reading it as I can do everything. The intention of this passage was not that we can do everything, but that we rely on Christ’s strength to do everything.  I am so grateful that during these trials that we are seeking our true Provider. Our trust is the ultimate Father. I believe it’s so important that our children see that our trust is in God regardless if we understand or not. When they become older, our hope is that they will trust Him. Sure, it would be easier for you or me to automatically go into the woe-is-me mode. I will tell you one last thing before I leave you and it’s found in Ephesians 6:13;

“Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].”

Having done all that you can possibly do that the crisis demands…stand. Stand firm. Don’t quit. Press into what God has in store for you and not what the enemy tries to throw at you. Regardless of your understanding or lack thereof – stand! 

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A Dream of Unity

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

He would have been 90 years old. A life cut short by an assassin’s bullet, Martin Luther King, Jr. curtailed the status quo and went forward into the history books to change the world. His speeches and his thoughts can be found in millions of places around the globe. His touch can be felt in every Civil Rights activist’s march. His stamina and determination can be felt in the halls of the most prestigious universities, government buildings, and civic centers. He helped bring to light the perils of the African American community.

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A far cry from many who protest using violence to get their message across, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man whose protest was one of peace. Was this man perfect? No. However, his message was received by many who knew that even in his imperfection, he would speak hope and truth into the lives of millions. I am not sure what he would think of the world today. I would pray that he would be proud that there has been changed since his passing in 1968.

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I believe that he would be honored to see that his legacy changed the way we all live today. I believe he would be proud that no longer are there segregated bathrooms, restaurants, schools, and the like. I believe that he would be proud to see African American leaders in our nation’s capital. I believe that he would be proud to see his children, his grandchildren, and his legacy marching forward into the next generation.
I also believe that he would be disappointed in some areas hoping that the work he had done would bring unity and not division. I believe that the dream that he had for America would outweigh the forgiveness that we all have towards our brothers and sisters. I believe that he would desire to see that instead of victim-centered life that all men and women would live a victorious minded life. The dream that he had for America was one of unity.

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His hope was to drive out darkness with the light of Christ and with the hope that all men would one day come together in one accord. I have enclosed the video of his speech at the national mall in Washington DC in 1963 entitled “I have a dream.”