Saturday, November 27, 2010

Grazing on Grace

A beautiful snowfall last night left us wakening to a winter wonderland. It came and went without notice, so like God wouldn’t you say? “When you help someone out… do it quietly and unobtrusively. This is how God, who conceived you in love, working quietly behind the scenes, helps you out.” (Matt 6:3-4, Message).

It doesn’t take much pawing beneath the surface to find something good on which to graze. This ram knows how to feed on God’s grace without a whole lot of ado. His wonder is all around and within us if we too scratch the surface. Happy Thanksgiving season indeed.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sensing Grace at Thanksgiving

We’re continuing to sabbaticalize well here in the Lake District. Winter is arriving tonight with arctic blasts out of Siberia coming up and over the hills to the north; snowfall tonight.

Today I was focusing on putting away Money in the memorization bank--where thieves cannot break thru and steal. My working edge is in Matthew 6: 5-15:

“And when you come before God don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat? Here’s what I want you to do: find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. The world is full of so called prayer warriors who are prayer ignorant. They’re full of formulas, programs, and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:

Our Father in heaven, reveal who you are. Set the world right. Do what’s best—as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.

When I was working on the part, “your focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace”, it was morning on my way over the fells to Ambleside and I took this picture, thinking to myself, “Lord, if I can’t sense your grace here in this moment where can I sense it?” it was a blessed being moment. Later in the day I passed these sheep around our local backyard tarn, Loughrigg. What a peaceful picture of His creatures keeping pace with the Spirit, feeding on what He has provided. Today, gratefully, the Lord has also been my shepherd.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving tomorrow. From the far side of the pond. Your brother and sister. Vance and Bethyl Joy