Grace

He Raised Us Up

Last week we celebrated Easter. He is risen! This is our hope and foundation. Continuing that theme this week I’ve been meditating in Ephesians.

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These verses stood out to me yesterday:

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, has made us alive together with Christ, (by
grace you are saved;) And has raised us up together, and made us sit
together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he
might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us
through Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:4-7)

Take a few minutes to reflect on these verses and thank Him for what He has done for you.

Amazed at His grace,
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Prayer for the Grace to Age Well

This past week I had a birthday. My wife is reading a book titled, “Hearts On Fire: Praying with Jesuits,” edited by Michael Harter, SJ. I picked it up and read a short prayer titled, “Prayer for the Grace to Age Well,” by Pierre Teilhard De Chardin, SJ, which follows:

shadow“When the signs of age begin to mark my body (and still more when they touch my mind);

when the ill that is to diminish me or carry me off strikes from without or is born within me;

when the painful moment comes in which I suddenly awaken to the fact that I am ill or growing old;

and above all at that last moment when I feel I am losing hold of myself and am absolutely passive within the hand of the great unknown forces that have formed me;

in all those dark moments, O God, grant that I may understand that it is you (provided only my faith is strong enough) who are painfully parting the fibers of my being in order to penetrate to the very marrow of my substance and bear me away within yourself.”

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Photo courtesy of and copyright Free Range Stock, http://www.freerangestock.com, “Photographer,” Free Range Stock Archives.

 

I’ve Got Your Back (Guest Post)

Praying you and yours had a wonderful Christmas. Here’s another guest post by a friend of mine, Bill Mann. Have a wonderful new year! – Stacy.

I’ve Got Your Back (Abridged)
Lessons on mentoring from the story of David and Jonathan
By Bill Mann

1. Every David needs a Jonathan
2. Jonathan’s loyalty to David was intentional

There are a couple more lessons to take away from the story of Jonathan and David.

3. Mentors take risks for their friends. Jonathan took risks – he was almost killed himself, and he risked his relationship with his father, and his reward for his actions was that he lost the right to inherit the throne  from Saul. As Jesus said in John 15:13, there is no greater love than one who is willing to lay down his life for a friend. Jonathan was willing to do that, even if it involved risks to himself and his future.

In the same way, mentors can take risks with their friends by sometimes  giving them the “tough stuff” – telling them that their life or conduct is in  need of repair, or helping them figure out how to deal with an area of  their life that is weak or holding them back. Such advice can be invaluable. Sometimes we mistakenly think that ministry to another only takes place  in a church. We forget that most of the life of Jesus as reported in the  Gospels takes place outside a church or synagogue. Being a mentor is  really a ministry to your friends.

4. Mentors dispense grace to their friends. A mentor invests in his friends without an expectation of receiving any benefit. There is no quid pro quo involved. David was in little position to reciprocate with Jonathan by doing similar things in return, although I can imagine that he would have done the same for Jonathan if the situation had been reversed. That’s called grace – unmerited favor, which really is not earned. David did nothing to  deserve Jonathan’s favor. It’s a picture of what God does for us – grace is unmerited favor. We don’t get what we justly deserve. That’s what a  mentor does – a mentor invests in another’s life with no expectation of  personal gain, other than to help his mentee to be the best that he can be.

Do you have a Jonathan in your life? If not, who has your back? Take time to pray about finding a Jonathan or a David in which to invest in each other’s lives. It may be the best ministry you ever had.

Bill Mann

He is Risen!

stacy with SydneyJesus rose to new life and through His death, resurrection and ascension, we
have hope.  I marvel at the wisdom of God’s plan, the lovingkindness shown
toward us, and the amazing grace He distributes toward us.  The Father adopted
us into His family.

One such grace is Sydney Grace Rinehart who arrived in Brady and Hannah’s arms,
adopted into their family on March 20.  Paula and I and Sydney’s cousins have
been with her a few days now.  What a precious gift she is to Brady and Hannah
and to our whole family.

In the past, you have prayed for Brady and Hannah to have children.  Sydney is
His answer to yours and our prayers.  Praise be to Him!  Thank you for praying
with us over these last few years.

He is risen indeed,
Stacy

“The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your loving-kindness, O lord, is
everlasting;  Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” Psalm 138:8