Extravagant Grace

Lately I’ve had several opportunities where I could have seen Grace in action

In my own life, the lives of my children, the lives of my friends….the operative phrase being

…could have seen.

This morning, as I’ve spent some time listening…to not only my thoughts but the Holy Spirit, the phrase “Extravagant Grace” kept rolling over and over me like a strong yet gentle ocean wave.

How often we bask in this unmerited favor! We want that grace to envelop us like a thick, soft blanket on a cool night! Or diffuse on us like the cooling spray of water on a hot Summer’s day! Oh, we enjoy it! And we want more.

But, how often do we extend that beautiful, comforting unmerited favor?

When spouses, children, friends and other Christians don’t act or talk or walk like we think they should, where’s the grace?

Years ago, there was a hamburger commercial and the elderly lady was always going around saying, “Where’s the beef?” indicating that all the other hamburger joints served up something “less than”. Inferior. Not up to her standards.

I’ve seen so many posts on the ever loving yet, ever painful Facebook lately, that do nothing but tear down…people, ideas, processes, churches, families, Christians, leaders, morals, men, women and children. We don’t like how someone is behaving; they are not behaving up to my standards, they don’t agree with what I think is right and true, so they are idiots or wrong or pious or un-Christlike…or, you can fill in the blank.

Now, before you jump to the conclusion that I don’t think there are absolutes in this world, I absolutely do! The Bible, the Word of God, is an absolute. It’s true. It is infallible.
There are actions that require discipline and there is a time to call someone on whatever they may be doing that is contrary to what God says. But, the Word also says to get the LOG out of your own eye before you jump on a brother about the SPECK that is in his! Luke 6:41-43

So, my challenge to all of this next week is to throw out grace, the unmerited favor, like it’s confetti! Someone cuts you off in traffic? Throw out grace instead of the one-fingered salute. The frazzled mama at Walmart who has two cartloads of groceries in the 20 items or less lane? Throw out grace instead of dirty looks. Your spouse has screwed up again and you don’t think you can take it one more time? Remember the grace that has freely been given you. A fellow church member has got his shorts in a wad because he doesn’t think he has been recognized enough for his good works? Love him anyway. Let God work out the details.

I leave you with this:
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. II Corinthians 13:11, 14 NIV

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Be a Product of the Product

A couple of weeks ago

I was with a couple of friends

And we were at a Young Living essential oil class

Meeting with like-minded oilers!

During the course of the class we watched corporate videos

Announcing new and exciting things that were going to be taking place in the company

Exciting stuff

Stuff we had been hoping and waiting for

Stuff we didn’t even know we wanted

At one point,  we divided up into teams and played a game

So many points for each item of Young Living we had with us

Here we are

Digging through our purses, our pockets

Searching for yet another Young Living product

Lip balm, Lip gloss, Thieves Waterless Hand Cleaner, Oils, Oils and more Oils

Brochures, Flyers, Supplements, NingXia, Nitro

Lotions, Diffusers, Diffuser Jewelry

Books,  T-shirts, Backpacks

Thieves Mints, Thieves Cough Lozenges, Thieves Spray

We just kept pulling out more

Our points were piling up

Our team took the longest to tally because of ALL THE PRODUCT

There were 3 on the team and our totals surpassed all the other teams

By a lot

More than double

Maybe even more than triple

Because after it was all said and done

We found more product that we didn’t even count!

We won!

Our Crown Diamond leader used this game to send home the message

Be a Product of the Product

Let others see you using your Young Living items in your

Every day, Walking around

LIFE

When others see you using your oils

Your supplements

Reading the Chemistry of Oils book

Diffusing Peace & Calming at your desk

They will ask

And you can tell

How this company and all of the products have

Changed Your Life

And how it can change theirs, too!

This game, the message

Be a Product of the Product

Really got me to thinking

I love these oils and supplements and books and lip balm and and and…

But the One I truly want to be a Product of is

Jesus

If you look at me you can tell that I love Young Living

Can others look at me and tell that I LOVE JESUS?

Am I a Product of HIM?

I’m not talking about wearing a t-shirt or having a bumper sticker on my car

Or sharing a meme on Facebook declaring my love for Him

Do I have Jesus spilling out of every nook and cranny of my life?

Do I talk like HIM?

Walk like HIM?

See others like HIM?

Love like HIM?

How long does it take for others to see Jesus in me?

Father,

Help me to live this life that is a gift from You

With an out loud Faith

An out loud Love

An out loud Joy

So that others will see and ask

“Why are you so different?”

And I can say

“It’s all because of Jesus”!

Amen

Change Me? I’m Okay

I’m okay

That’s what all the books tell me

Jesus loves me just the way I am

Right?

I want to be all that I can be…

Seriously?

Do I really want to CHANGE?

No

Not really

I’m pretty comfortable

Feeling mighty righteous and holy

Looking pretty good to all those looking AT me

But the One who looks INTO me

Knows

He knows the peel looks good on the outside

But the fruit inside is, well,

DRY

Tasteless

Lifeless

Matthew 5:6 NLT

God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

Yes!

I want to be hungry!

Not for physical food

But righteousness!

No more dry fruit

No more looking good on the outside but shriveled on the inside

Fill me up, Lord

Let the Spirit renew my thoughts and attitudes

I will put on my new nature

Created to be like God–

Truly righteous and holy

National Plan Your Epitaph Day

Today is

National Plan Your Epitaph Day!

Sounds a bit morbid, I guess

But when you think about it

Don’t you want to have a say in your final words here on earth?

What do you want to leave with loved ones, friends and strangers?

Words of Wisdom

Words of Wit

Words of Warning

Words of Praise

Classic sayings such as

Gone, but not forgotten

In Loving Memory of

Forever in our hearts

Too well loved to ever be forgotten

Everlasting life through Christ

Loving memories last forever

Ours for a little while, with Jesus forever

Or funny

I was somebody.
    Who, is no business
    Of yours

Or witty

Lester Moore was a Wells, Fargo Co. station agent for Naco, Arizona in
the cowboy days of the 1880’s. He’s buried in the Boot Hill Cemetery in
Tombstone, Arizona:

 Here lies Lester Moore
    Four slugs from a .44
    No Les No More

John Penny’s epitaph in the Wimborne, England, cemetery:

Reader if cash thou art
In want of any
Dig 4 feet deep
And thou wilt find a Penny

On a grave from the 1880’s in Nantucket, Massachusetts:

Under the sod and under the trees
Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.
He is not here, there’s only the pod:
Pease shelled out and went to God

Oops! Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York:

Born 1903 – Died 1942
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if
the car was on the way down.
It was.

In a cemetary in England:

   Remember man, as you walk by,
    As you are now, so once was I,
    As I am now, so shall you be,
    Remember this and follow me.
        – To which someone replied by writing on the tombstome:
To follow you I’ll not consent,
Until I know which way you went

Bible verses

Be thou faith unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 
Revelation 2:10

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. 
11 Tim.1v:7

Well done, thou good and faithful servant. 
Matthew 25:21

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 
Matthew 5:4

Or wise

Live so that when the final summons comes you will leave something more
behind you than an epitaph on a tombstone or an obituary in a newspaper.
Billy Sunday quotes 

What will you leave behind?

I’m thinking my epitaph shall read

This world was not my home
I was only  passing thru
I only worked here part-time!

Gravestone for my Grandparents
William Caswell Cheek b.1870 d.1920
Carrie Belle Finley Cheek b.1875 d.1952

Walking By Faith

Let your Faith be bigger than your Fear

Bad news

Job loss

Unexpected bills

Sickness and disease

Rebellious children

Aging parents

Dying

Living

All these things can fill you with fear

But God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of love, power and a sound mind!

Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first inaugural speech said

“Only thing we have to fear is fear itself”

We often dwell on our fears and they keep growing and growing

We have to choose to let Faith take control of our minds

Quit dwelling on the negative

Speak the Word

Say it aloud

Hear it

Listen

Obey

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…” (Isaiah 43:1-2)

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

And He Shall Supply All Our Needs

How often do we forget that God daily loads us with benefits?

Time after time

Our needs are supplied

More often than not

Our wants are satisfied, too

I’ve often sung the old song

He’ll Do It Again

You may be down and feel that God has somehow forgotten
That you are faced with circumstances you can’t get through
Right now it seems that there’s no way out and you’re going under
But God’s proven time and time again He’ll take care of you!

And He’ll do it again
He’ll do it again
Just take a look at where you are now and where you’ve been
Well hasn’t He always come through for you
He’s the same now as then
You may not know how
You may not know when
But He’ll do it again! 

We’ve been having some challenges lately

Not big by many standards

But any challenge you face seems large

When it is up close and personal

BUT

Every time God has supplied

Every time the money has been available

Every time it all worked out

I’d like to tell  you that I didn’t worry

I’d also like to tell you that I didn’t fret

I can’t

I worried

I fretted

I trusted God

Then I worried some more

I fretted some more

I gave it all to God

And I took it all back again

I prayed

I whined

I shed a few tears

And when it was over

I thanked Him

I asked for forgiveness

I asked Him to help me trust Him more

From the start

All the way to the ending

Without wavering

Without doubting

Because I know

He’ll Do It Again….and again….and again

Philippians 4:19
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

My Life Is A Reality Show!

Real

I want to be real before my God, my family and my friends

What you see is what you get

I don’t want to be one way at church

And something entirely different at home

I refuse to put on my “religious” face around my church family

And live like the devil in my own home

Some have accused me of not being spiritual enough

Because I don’t have their brand of religiosity

Because I like to laugh and enjoy the silly moments in life

Because I don’t place myself on a spiritual throne and cast stones

I will not apologize to the HTT (holier than thou) crowd for loving God

And enjoying the life HE has given me

I don’t always hit the mark

But God’s mercy is new every morning

I get up and run at it again

Though I fall I shall stand

God loves me as I am but loves me in such a way as to not leave me there

If you want to see someone looking pious and sanctimonious

You are gonna have to look somewhere else

This chick is REAL