She Collided Into More Grace

I want to see

 She Collided Into More Grace

40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 15

Reflections on John 6 – 9

“…One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”  John 9:25

About four years ago, she was spiraling into a black hole of depression, doubting God’s love for her, questioning her purpose in life. Her faith was becoming shattered and trust was replaced with doubt. Her mind, will, and emotions were exhausted, fragile, drying up and withering away. Nothing made sense anymore. Prayers were lifeless and she felt that God was not listening. Was God there in this mess she was going through?

She ventured further on a path of addiction and hopelessness…careening further from truth, driving blindly through a storm towards a train wreck.

The flashing red lights warning of an approaching train was carelessly disregarded until she was on the track. The sound of the train’s whistle pierced the silence, along with her terrifying scream as the enormous bright light of the oncoming train swallowed the darkness where she sat behind the wheel of her car.

The only explanation she has for what happened next is a miracle of God’s immense love and mercy for her.

Within seconds…in a flash she looked at her rear-view mirror to see the train speed by with the sounds of the screaming whistle and screeching wheels pulsing in her chest…and she wept and wept and wept.

If you happen to ask her about all of that, she will tell you that she heard God call her name immediately after she crossed those tracks. And she will tell you that simultaneously, her eyes were opened to believing God was in the mess with her. He was in control of her life. And the mess she was living was his perfect plan and his perfect storm to reveal his glory to her.

She knows he pursued her when she was blind and desperate. She collided into more grace. She has never been the same.

Collided into Grace

About 40 Gifts of Lent 

I am anticipating the arrival of Easter and celebrating the most amazingly good gift I’ve ever received. I want to focus my heart on the fulfilled expectation of Christ’s first coming and the glorious expectation of His second coming. I want to focus on the freedom I have in Christ to overcome strongholds, yet also to gain strength, hope, and peace as I lean into the trials…To continue reading, please go here: 40 Gifts of Lent

#LentChallenge

Completely Known and Still Loved

To Never Thirst Again

Completely Known

40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 14

Reflections on John 1 – 5

“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” John 4:29

She goes to the well in search of water and has a collision with the transforming power of the gospel of grace. Her soul is thirsty to be satisfied with something more…but she has looked for it in all the wrong places. She is broken, lonely, and in need of real love and acceptance.

She doesn’t know what she doesn’t know. She doesn’t know that she needs Jesus.

And there you are, Jesus, understanding who she is. You know everything about her, everything she has done and every place she has been. Yet, because you are a wonderful, merciful savior you are not condemning but accepting, not shaming but cherishing, not ridiculing but redeeming her forever.

There is nothing I have ever done or ever will do that will prevent you from pursuing me. You know me completely. You go to the dark places where I live to shine your light of grace and mercy.

I need to collide into grace everyday…moment by moment. It is a gift to be pursued by you…to be completely known and still loved.  You are the Messiah.

To Never Thirst Again

 

About 40 Gifts of Lent 

I am anticipating the arrival of Easter and celebrating the most amazingly good gift I’ve ever received. I want to focus my heart on the fulfilled expectation of Christ’s first coming and the glorious expectation of His second coming. I want to focus on the freedom I have in Christ to overcome strongholds, yet also to gain strength, hope, and peace as I lean into the trials…To continue reading, please go here: 40 Gifts of Lent

#LentChallenge

On The Road to Emmaus Meet the Hero of the Story

Emmaus 1

On The Road to Emmaus, Meet the Hero of the Story

40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 13

Reflections on Luke 20 – end

Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. Luke 24:17 (NASB)

We often read the Bible as if it were fundamentally about us: our improvement, our life, our triumph, our victory, our faith, our holiness, our godliness. We treat it like a book of timeless principles that will give us our best life now if we simply apply those principles. We treat it, in other words, like it’s a heaven-sent self-help manual. But by looking at the Bible as if it were fundamentally about us, we totally miss the Point…like the two on the road to Emmaus.

As Luke 24 shows, it’s possible to read the Bible, while missing the whole point of the Bible. It’s entirely possible to read the stories and miss the real Story.

Contrary to popular assumptions, the Bible is not a record of the blessed good, but rather the blessed bad. The Bible is not a witness to the best people making it up to God; it’s a witness to God making it down to the worst people. The OT predicts God’s rescuer; the NT presents God’s rescuer.

There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them. So, if we read the Bible asking first, “What would Jesus do?” instead of asking “What has Jesus done” we’ll miss the good news that alone can set us free.

In all of its pages and throughout all of its stories, the Word of the Lord reveals the Lord of the Word. Some people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it, but (as you’ll soon find out) most of the people in the Bible aren’t heroes at all. They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose), they get afraid and run away. At times, they’re downright mean.

The gift is the plot line of the Bible, which is Jesus-centered. He is the Hero of the Story.

Adapted and Quoted from The Gospel Coalition | Tullian Tchividjian | Reading the Stories and Missing the Story | Reading the Bible Narcissistically

Emmaus

About 40 Gifts of Lent 

I am anticipating the arrival of Easter and celebrating the most amazingly good gift I’ve ever received. I want to focus my heart on the fulfilled expectation of Christ’s first coming and the glorious expectation of His second coming. I want to focus on the freedom I have in Christ to overcome strongholds, yet also to gain strength, hope, and peace as I lean into the trials…To continue reading, please go here: 40 Gifts of Lent

#LentChallenge

The Great Artist |Sunday Respite | 40 Gifts of Lent 2014

Sunday Respite 2Sunday Respite | 40 Gifts of Lent 

God is the Great Artist–Creating a Masterpiece

Lord, in the morning you hear my voice.
In the morning I pray to you.
I wait for you in hope.
Psalm 5:3 (NIrV)

Let God show you His way for you today. Pray about everything–the big things and the little things .Give your entire day to God and then wait to see what He will create with it.

God is the Great Artist, and your day is His empty canvas. Watch him do his work; he will pair his colors into your life–colors of Jesus’ love, mercy, peace, hope, and joy. And you will not be disappointed.

Trust Him to take your ordinary day and create a masterpiece.

Adapted from, Jesus Calling, 365 Devotions for Kids, Sarah Young, page 193

Jumping Tandem

About 40 Gifts of Lent

I am anticipating the arrival of Easter and celebrating the most amazingly good gift I’ve ever received. I want to focus my heart on the fulfilled expectation of Christ’s first coming and the glorious expectation of His second coming. To continue reading, please go here: 40 Gifts of Lent 

#LentChallenge

Repentant Helplessness

Repentant Helplessness 2

Repentant Helplessness

40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 7
Reflections on Mark 6 – 11

“I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief.”  Mark 9:24

I’m trying to be brave but I’m full of doubts. I am helpless to cure myself, to stop repeating the same mistakes, and to fill my mind with peace. There are many times when I’m running through life at a very fast pace, doing my own thing without prayer…unaware of the danger that lurks around the corner.

The danger ahead is doubting and unbelief and failure to call out to God. I’ve created so many messes because of not trusting God’s plan nor asking for his help. I’ve picked up my own shovel to dig ruts and large potholes just for me to trip over and fall into face first. Why do I do this over and over again? It’s the pain of sin and helplessness that brings me to my knees.

The amazing gift is that I don’t need to wash off the dirt and mud or clean and bandage the wounds before approaching God, just a repentant helplessness. He has already washed me and healed the moral and spiritual wounds. When I am weak and cannot muster the strength to meet these challenges, all I need to say is, “Help me.”

I sense his embrace, my soul is brighter and I’m ready to walk (or run) around the corner to face what life has in store.

Repentant Helplessness 1

Additional Reading: King’s Cross by Tim Keller

About 40 Gifts of Lent 

#LentChallenge

Coffee-for-Your-Heart-150

A Really Good Story

A Really Good Story

A Really Good Story

40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 6
Reflections on Mark 1 – 5

He did not say anything to them without using a story. Mark 4:34

We want to raise a generation who find their identity in the story of God. Tell them a story they will never forget, a life changing truth that is bigger and better than themselves. Teach them, instruct them…cause them to ponder and question, to want more of a really good story.

Thank you God for making us characters in and carriers of your great story of grace. You are the author, the narrator of this really good story, the hero that rescues us from ourselves.

Look for God in these coming days, to write stories of redemption that will reveal his glory and showcase his grace—leaving you reveling in his goodness and rejoicing in him.

We’ll grow in our lives what we plant with our love” ~Bob Goff

A Good Story

About 40 Gifts of Lent 2014

I love the anticipation of celebrating birthdays with my children and grandchildren and can’t wait to gather again with my family and friends around a brightly lit tree at Christmas. My focus for any event or special occasion is mostly on the gift I will buy and then tape it up with all of the wrapping and trimmings to make it a beautiful presentation to give away. I do enjoy watching them rip into the paper and toss the pretty bow without a care to get to the inside of that package.

It’s so much fun to be on the receiving end of good gifts!

I am anticipating the arrival of Easter and celebrating the most amazingly good gift I’ve ever received. I want to focus my heart on the fulfilled expectation of Christ’s first coming and the glorious expectation of His second coming. I want to focus on the freedom I have in Christ to overcome strongholds, yet also to gain strength, hope, and peace as I lean into the trials…To continue reading, please go here: 40 Gifts of Lent

#LentChallenge

Watch Wait…Be Ready

Watch Wait Be Ready

Watch, Wait…Be Ready

40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 5
Reflections on Matthew 25 – end

Watch, therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”  Matthew 25:13

And the story shines on with light fighting the darkness, gaining victory over strongholds, giving strength through the trials. The king, the giver of life and bearer of true light is betrothed, he has gone on a journey, and he is going to return to be married.

We are his bride and a bride prepares to meet her bridegroom.

The bridegroom is coming!
Watch for his return
Wait…
Be ready!

We are called to watch for him, to do our work to prepare for him.  Do not lose hope in waiting. Do not fall asleep when there is work to be done.

The gift of readiness is to be alive and alert…to use all of the means God has given you to know him and love him and trust him.

“So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may stay away from temptation. Your spirit wants to do what is right, but your body is weak.” Matthew 26:40-41 (ESV and  Easy-to-Read version)

Lamp

Reflections on Matthew 25 – 28

About 40 Gifts of Lent

I love the anticipation of celebrating birthdays with my children and grandchildren and can’t wait to gather again with my family and friends around a brightly lit tree at Christmas. My focus for any event or special occasion is mostly on the gift I will buy and then tape it up with all of the wrapping and trimmings to make it a beautiful presentation to give away. I do enjoy watching them rip into the paper and toss the pretty bow without a care to get to the inside of that package.

It’s so much fun to be on the receiving end of good gifts!

I am anticipating the arrival of Easter and celebrating the most amazingly good gift I’ve ever received. I want to focus my heart on the fulfilled expectation of Christ’s first coming and the glorious expectation of His second coming. I want to focus on the freedom I have in Christ to overcome strongholds, yet also to gain strength, hope, and peace as I lean into the trials.

Lent is usually about giving something up to remember the sufferings and ultimate price that Christ endured on our behalf. But I’m not doing that this year. While I’ll never forget the price Jesus paid to rescue me, I don’t want to give something up in order to remember…to receive inner peace or a personal triumph of going without.

I want to anticipate and receive unexpected gifts during Lent. I want to rip open beautiful presents everyday to discover a different gift inside. When I discovered the link to #theLentChallenge to read the entire New Testament during Lent 2014, I immediately knew, by making this commitment, I would receive (at least) 40 gifts! My heart is bursting at its seams in anticipation for the gifts God will show me.

You are welcome to join me in opening a new gift everyday. It’s not too late to start.

More Grace,
Donna

#LentChallenge