Simple Grace

Grace: n. the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.

What does it look like to live a life of grace?

 “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

What does it look like to be brave?

Bravery – the ability to confront attempts of intimidation

Brave – over come obstacles

When it is difficult to walk out of a lifestyle of grace we are going to Brave Grace.

Braving Grace – our attempt to live out a lifestyle of grace; not just give grace in certain situations, but actually make it a lifestyle. We are going to let it be an unconscious movement in our day to day living as Christ followers.

Brave – having the strength to face fear of difficulty

To be brave means to believe in something. It means you have to have faith in something or else there is no reason to be brave.

“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you…”

1 Corinthians 15:1-2

And just as Paul speaks of himself, we can say that whatever we are once we believe these truths, it is all because God poured out His grace – His special favor – on us. We do not have to strive to be brave or to have grace because Jesus does both in us. Our work of bravery is covered through His grace. In a world full of fear and judgement we can confidently look at the future Braving Grace.

Brave – the confident expectation of the Good News

“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…”

Philippians 1:6

Happy New Year, 2022!!

Happy New Year! I want to encourage you to pull in closer to Jesus this year. There is no better way to get to know Him than to get into the Bible – the Word. John 1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Understanding that we have been given a tangible piece of God through the written Word is paramount to a growing relationship with the King of Kings. We can experience Him in so many ways – through nature, relationships with others, emotions, life circumstances – but to truly know Him and understand His character and personality through these things, we must read the Bible. And there are so many ways we can do that in our technologically driven culture. If you own a smartphone, you can download The Bible App and listen to the Word while you drive, while you exercise, or when preparing a meal, even cleaning the house. We spend hours a day engaging in some form of media so plugging into the Bible instead of binging on the latest season of Longmire is absolutely a better way to start the new year right! Or you may choose to go old-school using your print Bible (this is my favorite way to connect to God).

I am going big this year after being inspired by a friend to do the “Bible in a Month” plan. I am attaching two different plans you can follow if you’d like to join me.

The first is a Book by Book plan making it a little easier to listen straight through several chapters/books at a time. The second is a plan which takes you through some of the Old Testament, New Testament, the Gospels, and Psalms & Proverbs each day. I prefer the second plan as it breaks things up, but the first plan would be more convenient for those of you listening in your vehicle or when it’s not as easy to flip between books. However, the plans are not interchangeable. Choose one plan from below and stick to it:

Get started today. Get started tomorrow. Just get started.

We’d love for you to follow us on social media on our Facebook page. Once on our page hit the sign-up button and invite your friends to join us too! Leave a note for us in the comments about what you’re most excited about in this new year! There is so much to look forward to in 2022!

Transformed Christmas

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2

Prepare Your Heart
Read Romans 12 & Luke 10:25-37

There is never a bad time of year to renew our minds. Honestly, the holiday season might be the best time to focus on getting our minds off of the pattern of this world and more focused on being transformed by the renewing of our minds. How do we renew our minds? We get in God’s Word.

The holidays can bring unwanted and unwarranted stress into our lives in which we need to be prepared. From long-lasting gatherings with family to holiday work parties, we find ourselves in settings that are not the norm to our day-to-day. Thoughts and interactions may not go the way we expect them to go but the Bible provides us a wonderful outline in the twelfth chapter of Romans as to what we can put our focus on during this season. Let this be a springboard for the future in every area of your life.

What does it look like to have a transformed mind?

  • don’t think more highly of yourself than you think of others (don’t be a disrespectful know-it-all)
  • think sensibly (put down that 3rd, 4th Christmas Cookie; don’t go into debt to give gifts)
  • love without hypocrisy (don’t plaster on a fake smile to talk nice to someone’s face then turn around and gossip about them -hold on, isn’t that “Maturity 101”? Oops, I better practice what I preach LOL)
  • detest evil
  • cling to what is good
  • show family affection and brotherly love
  • outdo one another in showing HONOR (NOT outgiving with expensive gifts unless that is what honor needs to look like in your specific situation)
  • be diligent
  • be fervent in spirit
  • serve the Lord (and those around you)
  • rejoice in hope (nothing, absolutely nothing is hopeless when Jesus is involved)
  • be patient in affliction (there will be a lot of people who have buried hurts that try to surface during the holidays – read all of the above if you’re tempted to judge them in that hurt)
  • be persistant in prayer (not prayer that is consumed with you thinking everyone else needs to change)
  • share with the saints in need
  • pursue hospitality
  • bless those who persecute you (and gossip about you, and say false things about you, and turn their backs on you – yeah, those people)
  • rejoice with those who rejoice (that will help with your struggle with those who persecute you)
  • weep with those who weep (don’t tell people they need to just “get over it”, cry with them have a little empathy)
  • live in Godly agreement (you don’t know everything but God does)
  • don’t be proud; associate with the humble (in other words, let some humble people rub off on you)
  • don’t be wise based on your own opinions (Proverbs 3:5)
  • don’t repay evil for evil
  • do what is deemed honorable by as many as possible
  • be at peace with everyone as much as it depends on you
  • don’t try to get revenge (ooooo, this doesn’t always look like criminal behavior, revenge comes in small packages too – like giving the cold shoulder, gossip, slander, etc)
  • feed your enemy
  • conquer evil with good
  • bear the weaknesses of those who have no strength (you sometimes have to dig a little and let others express their hearts to know when this is needed)
  • don’t live to please yourself (don’t apologize just to ease your own conscience; don’t exploit others in order to look good)
  • build up your neighbor (who’s your neighbor? Read Luke 10:25-37)

Only do what promotes peace this season – and every season for that matter, but start today. If peace will not come by a decision you’re making, reconsider that decision through prayer and ask the Lord to give you wisdom to make the adjustments toward the outcome of peace. If chaos, frustration, and confusion will likely be the end result – change your approach. Use the above “guidelines” to lead you into heavenly peace; brave grace by choosing to practice a renewing lifestyle according to Romans 12.


  • Continue reviewing this list throughout the season.
  • Where are your strengths and weaknesses in regard to renewing your mind in Christ Jesus?
  • How can you incorporate Romans 12 on a personal level in your day to day life?

We’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts or prayers in the comments below. We are excited to be part of your Christmas! To receive notifications and stay engaged with this Christmas devotional series, please follow us. And please share this with your friends and family!

Enjoy a Christmas Song

Grace for Distractions

“….you are worried and distracted by many things….” ~Luke 10:41

Prepare Your Heart

Read: Luke 4 & Luke 10:38-42

Between the months of November and December, our family celebrates a couple of birthdays on top of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I cannot say that it doesn’t add to the possibility for things to get hectic. Ironically enough I woke up today with many distractions going on in my mind. As I sat to read my bible I found myself wandering off into those thoughts and this same passage from Luke 10 – not a passage we would usually associate with Christmas – kept creeping into my distractions….”you are distracted by many things….” and then I was reminded about a wonderful quote I found from Oswald Chambers that reads like this:

Lord, in my consciousness this morning a crowd of little things presses in and I bring them straight to your presence. In your wisdom say, ‘Peace, be still,’ and may my ordered life confess the beauty of your peace.

Oswald Chambers

This is the status of my heart on many mornings. A “crowd of little things” can become the norm for us during the holidays. But in all of the distractions of life let’s press in close to Jesus today and begin to make that the norm so that our lives become a confession of the beauty of His peace.


  • What is the “crowd of little things” that keeps your mind distracted throughout your days?
  • Do these distractions cause chaos or frustration?
  • You have been given the mind of Christ. If you’re facing many distractions today, give them to Him and thank Him for renewing your mind.

We’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts or prayers in the comments below. We are excited to be part of your Christmas! To receive notifications and stay engaged with this Christmas devotional series, please follow us. And please share this with your friends and family!

Seeking Him. Jesus.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Jesus ~ Matthew 6:33

Prepare Your Heart:
Read Matthew 6:25-34

How do we seek God’s righteousness during this Christmas season? Wise men still seek Him. The “easy” answer is that we pursue right living – making good decisions, being honest, living with integrity, being kind, etc. It’s interesting how we are so trained to default to our own efforts.

If we look at what Jesus said here, we find that He didn’t tell us to go work hard to become righteous. He said to seek God’s righteousness. This means that righteousness is something to be found, not something to be done.

Righteousness is right-standing with God.  The righteous person can stand in God’s presence without guilt or condemnation, fully free from judgement. The reality of Jesus is that without Him, no one can achieve righteousness. If we could do it on our own, His sacrifice wouldn’t be necessary. If we didn’t need a Savior, we wouldn’t rejoice at His birth.

In this season of grace, we are reminding ourselves to focus on the one thing that really matters, which is Jesus. Do we focus on Him by doing good things? The more righteously we behave, does that help us to focus on Him? Or is it the reverse?

Romans 5:17 tells us that righteousness is a gift that we receive. We don’t earn it. But let’s take it a step further. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says:

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption . . .

Do you see it? Jesus became for us righteousness. The KJV says “who is made unto us.”  Became for us, is made unto us – Jesus is God’s righteousness on our behalf. When we seek the One who matters, when we pursue Him in His Word, in prayer, in faith, then we are seeking His righteousness. And from that place, righteous living will follow. We don’t seek righteousness by trying to be righteous. Rather, we become righteous when we seek Jesus. After all, He became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Spend this season seeking the One and find the gift of righteousness. And all the things will be added.


  • What are ways you can spend time seeking the things of God with as much intention as you seek for the perfect gift for friends and family members?
  • Do you receive God’s gift of righteousness as an actual gift or are you still trying to earn it?

We’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts or prayers in the comments below. We are excited to be part of your Christmas! To receive notifications and stay engaged with this Christmas devotional series, please follow us. And please share this with your friends and family!

Season of Grace

“…few things are needed—or indeed only one.”

Luke 10: 42

Prepare Your Heart:
Read Luke 10:38-42

During this Christmas season, just like every other year, it is going to be easy for you to get caught up in the busy schedule, the purchase of gifts, the events for family and friends, and the overall hype that accompanies the holidays. None of those things are in and of themselves bad. Just like it was not bad for Martha to want to host a successful gathering. It is not bad to attend a family event. It is not bad to purchase a few too many gifts to bless others. But where is your priority?

Martha wasn’t wrong, she was mistaken. She was right to want to take on the tasks that came with hospitality, but she let that be her focus and not Jesus. Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus was an example of a heart posture. Jesus was not scolding Martha by telling her she did something wrong; I would bet that He was deeply appreciative of all the work the women put into having Him visit their home and engage with them. But He knew, because He knew her heart, that Martha’s focus was not on Him.

Sitting at the feet of Jesus is seeking the heart of the Father. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.” I imagine Him explaining this to the room full of friends and family while Mary sat listening. And in Martha’s lonely frustration, I can hear Him responding to her from the Father’s heart – “precious girl, I just want to know you, the dishes can wait, come in here and sit down, I want you to know me. There really is nothing more needed, just One thing, Me, Jesus.”

This Christmas season, be encouraged to intentionally seek its purpose. There are really only few things needed in this life, and really only One. Jesus.


  • Do I have a tendency to make Christmas all about the hype – the gifts, the events, the busyness?
  • Do I truly allow Jesus to be the center of every element of Christmas?
  • Take a few minutes to pray about your heart posture as you move through this month and then quiet yourself to let the Holy Spirit speak to you.

We’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts or prayers in the comments below. We are excited to be part of your Christmas! To receive notifications and stay engaged with this Christmas devotional series, please follow us. And please share this with your friends and family! The more the merrier!

And one last thing. I have to share music because it is what makes me happy. Enjoy this beautiful arrangement by some beautiful people….

More on Grace

I found this from an old social media post. It's no less true today than it was the day I wrote it 8 years ago. It is probably even more relevant to current life circumstances. I pray it blesses you. 

For several months, God has been dealing with me in the area of grace. I have always loved the biblical principle, “for whom much grace is given, much grace will abound.” I will say, and I truly believe it, recently I have come to a new revelation and desire to understand how I can walk in the type of grace seen in the Word; it is not easy.

2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all the grace you need, you will abound in every good work.” It is very difficult to “abound in every good work,” when we are constantly at odds with others. We can fill our lives with “every good work,” going on about doing great things for God, yet never truly understand the concept of grace. We might even walk in His grace over our own lives, accepting it for ourselves but never accomplish the one true “good” work God desires for all of us – Love others as well as you love yourself, this is the second greatest command given by Jesus as He fulfilled His early ministry. yet, many of us do not walk in that love, again, we accept that love of God on our own lives, even to the extent of doing nice things for others, but we still seem to esteem ourselves above all others. This is not walking in grace.

I found it so interesting that one word used to describe grace was the word, “clemency”. Clemency means to have the disposition to show forbearance, compassion, or forgiveness in judging or punishing; leniency; mercy. Those concepts are the basic foundational truths of the New Testament. We are called to receive God’s grace so that we are able to walk in grace and extend grace, compassion, forgiveness, and mercy toward all others. These things should be extended toward everyone, not just those we choose or think deserve it. Deciding who deserves our grace is the antithesis of the Christian doctrine.

Grace means relinquishing our right to be right not sometimes but at all times. In 2 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul learned that God’s grace was sufficient for him, that God’s power was made perfect in weakness. I don’t think he was talking about weakness of the physical body because if you continue in the passage Paul says:

"I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties, For when I am weak, then I am strong. I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it."  

He boasted in his weaknesses concerning his reaction to insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties dealing with those people who were wanting to defame the message he was bringing in the name of Christ. These were people who he was trying to reach for the sake of the Gospel yet they refused to hear him, continuing to walk in opposition to him – insulting him, persecuting him, to the point of death. Ha! Now that’s what I call grace! He turned the other cheek, so to say, to the point of looking like a fool!

Grace allows you to do that. It allows you to show a person so much compassion even when they are insulting you or hurting you. To the world you look like a fool, heck, even to most of your Christian friends you are looking pretty foolish in those moments. But God’s power is made perfect in those moments! Resting in that truth is a beautiful freedom. I would suggest anyone try it!

Although it would be much easier to remove the “thorn” (seen earlier in 2 Corinthians 12), grace abounds all the more when we allow ourselves to walk in it through those difficult experiences, loving people through His strength and not our own. An entire world was changed because one man walked this perfectly, and we are called to emulate Him – Jesus!

Control Your Time, Please!

As I sat in my chair after the question was asked of the panel of leaders, sweat beads started to form on my brow. “How do you balance motherhood, work, family life, and everything else you do to help lead others?”  Sure, a question that many women sitting in the room were probably wondering. Just like the women who were chosen to inform and inspire us, we had a desire to lead well in our homes and in our vocations.  As the question was asked, the entire panel laughed out loud, shaking their heads up and down, making quick little remarks to one another as if to assure us, “yes, we get it, our schedules are a crazy mess too!”  But the heat was crawling up my back until the moment I heard these amazing words come from one of the speaker’s mouths:

“Time management is one of the most important things to finding success, but it can also be a huge SACRIFICE for some of you sitting in the audience. It does not come natural to everyone, even to people who are successful. But it must become important to you if you want to be successful as a high-capacity leader.”   

I wanted to jump up and down and yell, “YES!” For years, I have been told that I am a high-capacity leader. Frankly, I haven’t always known how to say, “NO,” well and ended up with more on my plate than I should.  Yep, I could get the tasks done, make the trip, lead the group, but only at the expense of everyone around me – sacrifice. The sacrifice of family time, the sacrifice of sleep, even the sacrifice of happiness – this panel speaker confirmed that Time Management is in fact a sacrifice. That day I realized, I must decide what I’m willing to sacrifice in the time I have been given in order to accomplish what God has given me to accomplish.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” The chapter goes on to list out the different things that take up time in our lives. Birth, death, taking time to sow into dreams, tearing down things that do not belong, building up things that do, crying, laughing, grieving and dancing, even a time to decide what things to keep and those things to throw away.  That’s a lot to accomplish day to day.  And according to Solomon, God already knew that we would be faced with having to make priorities and having to decide how to manage our time in this life well. And one of the New Testament writers reminded us: “God has given us everything we need for living a godly life” (2 Peter 1:3)

God gave us the ability to control ourselves – it is one of the Fruit of the Spirit, self-control.  Time Management is largely about managing and organizing the hours of each day – controlling our time. It is not some magical day planner, an alarm buzzing from your smart device, or an app you can download to your phone. Sure, all of those are great tools to help us manage our days but, when it all boils down to it, managing our lives and our time to reflect our priorities is something in which we must be intentional.

First and foremost, we must determine those things that are priority.  If we do not recognize our priorities it is going to be difficult to manage our time. Secondly, we need to prioritize our priorities.  Because sacrifice is involved in managing our time, we need to determine those things we are willing to put on the altar each day. Each day may change. I may determine that today I am going to sacrifice a little time with my kids because yesterday I took them to the beach and had a picnic. Sacrifice does not have to hold negative connotation. In regard to time management it can look like prioritizing each day, one day at a time, even if you do that monthly. You can look at your calendar to see if you have or haven’t spent time with a friend or a child. Maybe you do not physically keep a calendar but you still know if it has been days since you have taken a much-needed exercise break.  Either way, prioritizing your priorities is a must!

If you struggle managing your time and knowing when to say NO to one thing in order to say YES to something else, I would like to challenge you to take 15 minutes to do two things:

1) Write down anything in your life that is a priority. It can be people, events, activities, personal care, etc.

2) Then, using your priorities list, make a second list and organize those priorities in order from most important to not as important.  (I didn’t say least important because ALL priorities are important, right!?!) 

Once you have done these things pray over the list. Ask the Lord if there are any areas in your life that you are making higher priority than necessary. Pray that He will show you what your “most important” priorities need to be and those you can push a little further down the list. Ask Him to help you recognize when things need to shift. And then thank Him for giving you the ability to control yourself and your time. 

For those who love technology:

LIFEHACK is a great tool to use for time management. And the great thing about Lifehack is that they just updated the latest and greatest tools for 2021!

I’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts about today’s blog devo in the comments below!


Scripture References:
Ecclesiastes 3:1-9
2 Peter 1:3
Matthew 6:25-34

Grace in the Mediocre

Hebrews 13:5 “…be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

The word mediocre has several synonyms. Words like, ordinary, average, and second-rate. These are all words that you rarely want people to use when describing their thoughts of you. “Oh, she is a nice girl, ordinary in her appearance.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want people to say I’m ordinary! I want people to think I’m extraordinary! But in the grand scheme of things most of us will lead a life that is fairly average, ordinary, middle of the road. Heck, let’s just admit it…down right mediocre. The problem is we are not satisfied being average and ordinary. There is something deep inside of us that desires to be something more! The culture we live in testifies to everyone’s desire to be a rockstar by airing shows like, The Voice or America’s Got Talent. These shows give us the hope that those average, ordinary people just like us can really go somewhere, do something memorable with their lives. We talk up our children to help them feel that they are the best at what they do, allowing them to compete in sports by the age of 3, awarding them trophies and words of affirmation that go far beyond their ability. This mentality sets us up for serious disillusionment when real life begins because not everyone can be a rockstar. Not everyone can be the star athlete. Not everyone can be a Billy Graham or a Joyce Meyer. And that’s OK! Someone had to be their mother, or their father, or their hairdresser or their plumber.

Paul said that he had become content in every station of life, whether living in plenty or in want (Philippians 4:12-13). There is a reason every Christian needs to embrace the ability to be content in every situation. If we do not embrace contentedness we open the door to become frustrated with the call God has on our life at that moment. It is in the ordinary that God creates in us the extraordinary. If we take hold of the ordinary moments in life and find the pleasure in being an “average Joe” God has time to prepare us for the greater things to come. Just because we may never stand on a stage to speak in front of millions, become the NFL’s first draft pick, or have a number one song on the charts does not mean that God can’t use our daily sacrifice to do memorable things.

Today while you are folding laundry, cooking dinner (a mediocre dinner at that), scrubbing toilets or whatever it is you find so monotonous and dull, remember that you serve the God of the Universe and He made you and He’s your biggest fan! In God’s eyes, when we are going about His business, we are all superstars! Nothing about that is ordinary or mediocre!

Grace in the Waiting

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 27:13-14

Waiting. If we’re honest, most of us do not like waiting, yet it seems that most of our lives are spent waiting for something. From the moment a mother waits for the baby to be born until the moment loved ones wait for a person to breath their last breath, life goes by one waiting moment at a time.

Waiting is not easy. Waiting is hard. In a 2-day delivery world, waiting is made almost impossible – even if you wanted to wait. But waiting is necessary. God wouldn’t have breathed the words, “…be strong and take heart…” in regards to waiting if it didn’t require a little brawn. Waiting isn’t for the faint of heart. Thankfully, we don’t have to conjure up the strength and brawn it can take to wait.

If you’ve ever carried and delivered a child, you probably understand the necessity of waiting on a level that others may not. For ten full months the child remains unseen, and in a single moment, all of the waiting comes to an end and a baby is born. As a woman who has carried several children past full-term, I can attest that most waiting evokes the same emotion and need for grace as does waiting for a baby to be born. None of it is easy. There is a level of grace that is needed in any waiting. Even enduring the arrival of a baby, I still need an immense dose of grace just sitting at a stop light at times!

Imagine, for hundreds of years the world awaited a Messiah who was seemingly unseen. He was the Promise longed for; the answer to all of the world’s sin. And even still, centuries after Jesus was revealed, Romans 8:19 declares that, “…creation waits in eager expectation for the revelation of the sons of God.” All of us are in a waiting process. The waiting process makes the gift of grace so much more valuable.

I consider the prophet Isaiah who was declaring the promises of God without knowing he’d ever personally experience all he spoke of. He did not see the promise of the child being born unto us. He did not get to meet the wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace. He only got to tell of the promise. He didn’t get to see the physical human representation of grace through Christ Jesus, but that didn’t stop Isaiah from speaking of Him as if he’d already met Him. Isaiah remained confident, and he walked braving grace, declaring the Word of the Lord, all while waiting.

During this season, ask the Lord to reveal to you the grace He is providing for you as you wait for that thing you know you are waiting for.

Daily Grace

“Chasing White Mice”. I think that sounds like a good title for my first book. Or maybe, “Icebox Mayhem”. Or wait!! Maybe, “Bats, Bats, Everywhere.”

Are you wondering to yourself, “what in the world is this lady talking about?!?” Well, let me explain myself….

On July 3 – yes, the day before a major holiday – our 2.5 year old refrigerator decided to go on the fritz and let us know that at some point in the last few weeks it had been dying a slow death from a lightning bolt surge that apparently targeted it’s life over all other major appliances in our house (silver lining moment – take pause; saying Selah would probably be a little sacrilegious, but I do need a moment to process)! (And no, before you ask, we did NOT buy the extended warranty, and yes, we know we should have.) Anyway, we went to find a new fridge because everyone knows that it’s almost as much to repair an appliance then it is to just go get a new one! Sadly, it was going to be an entire month before any store from here to kingdom come would have something available to deliver. Yep, the effects of factories shutting down during covid are starting to ripple. So, we did what we thought was the next best thing – we found a little used appliance store and bought a “hold over” garage fridge until we could either get a new one for the kitchen or have the fried one repaired. That same day, I saw an appliance repair guy at my neighbor’s house and asked him to come over. He ordered a new circuit board, came in a week later, didn’t work! That’s another story in and of itself. While all of that is going on, I notice that the used fridge in the garage doesn’t feel too cold in the refrigerator section, but the freezer was really cold. It DOES have a 120 day warranty so another guy came out, both defroster control units are bad! Yeah. I could go into more detail, but you get the picture, right!?! Oh, did I mention we have four kids – 3 teenage boys and a daughter!?! You don’t go without a fridge with 6 adult humans in the house!!!! It doesn’t end there, people!

Rewind about a month – we could rewind a few months and start with Covid but that’s a null issue at this house right now. About a month ago, after telling my husband that I kept hearing little scratchy sounds, like the ones I heard when squirrels decided to take up residence in our gutters, my kids came running into the house, “Mom, Mom!! There are bats flying out of our roof, there’s a ton of them!!” So I run outside, mumbling to myself, “I knew it, I told him there was something living in our gutters, but he didn’t listen and now corona is living and breeding in my gutters!!!” Sure enough, BATS! OH. MY. WORD. What!?! Again, I could go on about this story, but you get the picture, right!?! It doesn’t end there either!!

Now let’s get back to the refrigerators where the saga continues….

Used garage fridge was fixed yesterday – Holla! As Mark went out to the garage to make sure all was well after the repair guy left, he is startled when he notices a white mouse with beady little red eyes sitting at the door as calm as could be just hanging out. Said mouse doesn’t scurry away quickly, he just waddles off behind the bins and waits for us to look for him, I guess? We set up a pet-friendly trap. Nothing happened over a 24 hour period. Nice! But weird! Was this mouse just a figment of Mark’s imagination (I did not see the mouse)? Did it have some weird spiritual significance? We asked ourselves those questions, because who finds a white mouse hanging out in their garage – FYI, we don’t live in a rural area, we live in a normal neighborhood, we don’t see a lot of mice. During the day. In our garage. Today we gave up being concerned about the mouse and were going about our business when low and behold, I catch a glimpse of that furry white pest having a good time running around my neighbor’s backyard! I quickly yelled for Mark, he grabbed the trap, and we went on a mouse hunting adventure! Let me just tell you now, IT WAS NOT A MOUSE! IT WAS A FREAKING RAT!!!!! Yes, it was a rat!! Definitely a rat! We almost had him, but he escaped into the neighbor’s banana tree. Eventually we had several neighbors running around the yards like a bunch of crazy idiots trying to catch this rat! Oh what a sight to behold! But, we got that rat! It took four grown adults, but we got that rat! Apparently, according to my friends on the city Facebook page, these white rats have been seen in the adjoining neighborhood also. Not cool. To set your mind at ease if you are an animal lover, the white rat was gently re-homed to the woods far away from our house.

As you can tell, there has been a LOT of BRAVING GRACE in the day to day around our house! Along with all of that, our teenagers had the disappointment of having their annual youth camp cancelled this week. It was a wise decision for leadership to make that move, but still a major blow. (I didn’t even mention the giant gecko who decided to have babies in my bathroom – yes, it’s like stinkin’ animal kingdom over here! We have sent three of them outside and today I can gladly announce, mom gecko joined them after she jumped on my shoulder as I ran out the house to help catch the mouse/rat! Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up!) I hope you are keeping up with the madness!

THIS. This is what it looks like sometimes to BRAVE GRACE! It is in the summation of the day to day hassles, heartbreaks, and heaviness, that life can start to feel overwhelming. Sure, it’s funny to tell these stories – seriously, I have been biding my time before sharing publicly because it’s straight ridiculous, and everyone can laugh at straight ridiculous! But the reality is, the day to day can get really old, really quick. Frankly, these moments have created financial burden, cost us time, they have caused damage to our home; all of these things have been extremely frustrating to deal with, even in the midst of the shear hilarity! Really, who does this happen to? Wait, wait, I can’t go there!

Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever wonder, “Who does this happen to?” There are days and weeks and months, and even years, heck decades, that people go through where the ridiculous doesn’t seem to end. One more pop up out of the waves for a quick breath, and maybe the next one will take me close enough to shore to rest. You. Are. Not. Alone. These things do happen to the rest of us. It might not be rats, or bats, or lightning strikes, or leaping lizards, or the death of a loved one, or a diagnosis, or a teenage heartbreak. But all of those things are happening to people all around us.

To live through the day-to-day without becoming completely overcome by bitterness & anger, we have to live BRAVING GRACE. We have to be willing to believe God is for us, that He does not leave us nor forsake us. We have to believe that God’s word will not return to Him void, and He will accomplish what He started in us – even amid the ridiculous. In all reality, that is where grace is braved the most. The apostle Paul walked into the most ridiculous of ridiculous situations and sang the shackles off of prisoners, smacked a ship into the shore, and from everything we know, surrendered his life in order to BRAVE GRACE! When we focus on the eternal, and strive less to protect ourselves from the temporary, we are BRAVING GRACE. It doesn’t mean we don’t feel the moments deeply. It doesn’t mean we ignore what’s happening. There is a song called, “Man of Your Word,” by Maverick City Music. One of the lines says, “you are present in every step; you are patient in every heartbreak.” That’s the sweetest picture of the grace God has for us. He isn’t glibly telling us to get over our daily frustrations; He tells us to remember He is right there in them with us. The grace He extended on the cross doesn’t end at a prayer of salvation. It takes up permanent residence in our hearts – but unlike those bats in my gutters, He never leaves. Unlike that stupid white rat, He doesn’t need to be re-homed because my heart is His home. And absolutely unlike the cheap excuse for major appliances, He doesn’t break and fall apart needing to be replaced. He takes my brokenness, and my moments of falling apart to gently remind me of His grace – His unfailing grace.

Go Brave Grace my friends! Today is ending and tomorrow we are promised new mercies!


The Grace of Self-Control

Galatians 5:22-23

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

The more I study grace, the more I am amazed at how it pops up everywhere I look! You will find a running theme throughout our website here at Braving Grace – Grace is not something you can earn! It is not something you can work for! It is the free, unmerited favor of God.

I was all prepared to write a little something about grace providing for us when it pertains to having self-control, but I was so blown away by the last six words of Galatians 5:23. I had to take a hard right turn and not sure where to start now!

Ok, so here goes…….

Self-control always seemed like such an odd part of this list we find in Galatians 5. To me it gives the impression that it is something we need to do for ourSELF. This immediately leads to us believing we are able to prove something or work for something in order to have the beloved control over something – restraint from a bad habit or lifestyle, not indulging in sugary snacks, the sheer will power to avoid that thing! But that’s not what it’s about at all! Self-control is a gift, and we already have it!

As you’ve probably read or heard many times (simply because it’s true), is that it is easier to understand what something IS if you first understand what it isn’t. I say this concerning self-control because many of us have ourselves fooled that if we keep ourselves focused and able to stick to the schedule or follow the calendar or stay on that diet, or avoidance of a toxic relationship, that we are masters of self-control. That is NOT necessarily what self-control looks like. It might appear like self-control, but really it is legalism at it’s finest because its masked in things that look good. It’s masked as something we’ve accomplished.

Anyone who is horrible at time management can tell you that the person who keeps a calendar (and actually follows it) is enviable because of their own “out of control” day! But what if that person who keeps the perfect calendar is secretly harboring agitation and inner turmoil making every effort to make it to the day that says, “Self-Care Day”! That’s not self-control at all – that’s being completely controlled by a piece of paper with numbers on it, suffering through a tedious week all for a couple hours of so-called rest!

Or another example: That one relationship. It causes hurt and you aren’t quite sure how to confront it with peace? So you avoid the person. Sure, you’re not talking to them giving the appearance of self-control to those who know you should put boundaries in place, but you are still poking around on social media to see if they’re being nicer to other people and still enjoying life without you. First off, there is no grace in that situation at all. And secondly, there is no peace. Heck, there is no peace or grace because if avoidance is what you think is helping you control yourself and the feelings you have with this person, you are working to change something that is not yours to change. It is the goodness of God that changes people, not our co-dependent relational habits disguised as caring about people. Avoiding the relationship to control your self is really more about self-righteousness than it is about control. Whew, I am worn out just thinking about it!

You see, grace gives the space for circumstances and people (including ourselves) in our lives to change. Grace gives us the space to allow self-control to be part of the gift, not an action in which we have to fight! Of all of the fruit of the spirit, none of them are ours to be worked for – against such there is no law – they are ours for the taking. Consider our study in the book of Ephesians. In Ephesians 1:13-14 it says this:

“…when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession…”

Do you see it!? When we believe in Him we are sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, He guarantees our inheritance so we can possess ALL that God has for us by His grace. The verse goes on to say, “for the praise of HIS glory!”

You guys! That is exciting stuff right there! You don’t have to ask God for more patience, or more joy, or more self-control!! YOU ALREADY HAVE IT sealed on the inside of you – it’s a promise! And God doesn’t break His promises.

Those six little words – “Against such things there is NO law,” change the game! You can NOT work to gain self-control. You can try for as long as you live, but until you accept the fact that you don’t need will power anymore, that you already have Holy Spirit power, you will fight til the end without freedom from whatever it is. If you have to work toward a self-care day, finding no rest or peace in the days surrounding it on your much too busy schedule, you are not walking in step with the self-control provided by the Spirit. You are walking in law. You are trying to attain something that you already have! “Against such things there is no law.”

Be encouraged. Read this list of what you already possess inside of you through the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Read it again, and again, and again, until you are fully convinced!!

Braving grace means thinking outside of your old ways and toward a life that sets you free from thinking it is about you in any way. It is not about you. It is all for the praise of His glory!

Be blessed and have an amazing day of brave grace! “Against such things there is no law.”

Love, Angela

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Grace and Gifts Abound

Read: Genesis 26:17-22 

We see here in Genesis that Isaac moved away to the Gerar Valley where he set up their tents and settled down. He reopened the wells his father had dug, which the Philistines had filled in after Abraham’s death. Isaac also restored the names Abraham had given them. Isaac’s servants also dug in the Gerar Valley and discovered a well of fresh water. But then the shepherds from Gerar came and claimed the spring. “This is our water,” they said, and they argued over it with Isaac’s herdsmen. So Isaac named the well Esek (which means “argument”). Isaac’s men then dug another well, but again there was a dispute over it. So Isaac named it Sitnah (which means “hostility”). Abandoning that one, Isaac moved on and dug another well. This time there was no dispute over it, so Isaac named the place Rehoboth (which means “open space”), for he said, “At last the Lord has created enough space for us to prosper in this land.”

An unlikey passage that made for an amazing devotion one morning as I sipped my coffee and waited for a revelation.  I love those moments when God drops a word into your heart from a portion of scripture that you would never imagine He would speak directly to your life.  To get to the story and application…

Isaac had settled in Gerar and goes about his business sowing seed, raising cattle, growing richer and richer as the days went by.  Well, this made the Philistines jealous so they went and filled in the wells which were dug by Abraham’s servants (Isaac’s daddy).  The King tells Isaac he is too powerful to stay among the people and sends him on his way.  Isaac then moves into the Gerar Valley where he is faced with disgruntled shepherds.  No one twittered so these shepherds could know that Isaac was coming to pitch a tent and make the valley his home for awhile. So it’s to reason they were frustrated but it was how they handled their frustration that spoke to me. 

In this story, Isaac prospers so much that the King sends him away.  I was moved by the fact that Isaac faced a group of people who determined to argue with him over the blessing of the fresh water when he was in a land that was able to provide more than enough for everyone who inhabited the region.  They were arguing over the blessing! 

I believe that is like many people today.  We don’t recognize that there is blessing, according to God’s riches in glory, for everyone.  Each one of us is given gifts and abilities in order to serve and encourage others.  Instead of recognizing that God has given to us all an equal measure we decide to argue and walk in accusation towards others.

“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”

1 John 3:17

When we shut up our hearts for love toward others, we’re acting as the Philistines who shut up the wells of Isaac’s father, which was provision for the people.  God wants us to use our resources to love others, not to argue and dispute over who has the rights to the resources – the Word says:

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…”

James 1:17

None of anything in this life is for us anyway, it’s all meant to be spent for the good of others.

Don’t spend life involved in arguments and discord. Rather, get along with what God is calling you to and pray that you are able to spend the resources to bless and not to accuse others of taking what is yours.  There is enough to go around! 

Braving Grace in Ephesians

Week 1 Devotional of BRAVING GRACE in EPHESIANS is now available!!

The message of grace is found on every single page of the bible if you look for it. Some passages come easier than others. But, in the book of Ephesians, you cannot miss the role grace plays in the promise of our salvation and living a full life.

Foundationally speaking, we can see the many results that come from the courage to see our lives through a lens of grace. God’s rich blessings are not merely an insurance of a Utopian eternity, but the many results that are provided for our current eternal relationship to our Heavenly Father – including this side of glory. Many people miss out on the hope of glory with a morbid idea that eternity doesn’t begin until death. That is not what Ephesians teaches us. That is not what the Bible teaches. Grace results in peace, mercy, power & love, and healthy relationships – right here, right now. Living life through the message of grace means leading a life of influence as we minister to others. Our relationships will be full of kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. These grace-filled attributes are not confined to help us feel better about ourselves or to win God’s approval, but to help us live a consistent Christian life, already made righteous and new. Grace will in turn affect our marriages, our family relationships, it will even extend into our jobs. When we decide to brave grace, we are giving the Holy Spirit full access to our lives. Understanding the free gift of grace ultimately results in living a life directed by and infused with the power that raised Jesus from the dead.

Next week we will begin diving into the book of Ephesians with all new devotional pages for you to study. We look forward to encouraging you in your walk of BRAVING GRACE!

Until then enjoy our BLOG and check out our DEVOTIONAL IN GALATIANS.

Audacious Grace

The audacity! How dare he push such a ridiculous ideology on us! How dare he try to come in here and tell us that he has a better way! Who does he think he is telling us we have to change?!


Jesus was audacious. Jesus was bold. Jesus was confrontational. Jesus was brave. Jesus was bold, daring, and fearless! This is the character of Jesus. I am not making up the life this man led. I am not interpreting scripture to make Jesus into something I want him to be. I am looking at stories in the Bible and I am seeing a man who was so brave, so confident, and so capable of obedience to the Truth that set people free, that people actually got set free. People genuinely changed, some physically through healing, some spiritually through repentance. No matter, people cannot come into contact with this bold and fearless man and not be changed!

Account after account, Jesus did not seek to answer every criticism that came his way. He stayed the course of the call on his earthly life. He knew that long before he was, I Am would send him. He knew the past tense was working within the present tense of who God, his Father was and is, and is to come. He did not veer from that promise, or that calling, because he knew the end from the beginning, the Alpha and Omega. He was there when it was all created and he is still here to complete it!

The audacity of Jesus, the audacity of the gospel message of grace, is what has kept the gospel alive for centuries. Consider the story of each and every person who decided to pick up this mantle of grace, a mantle of complete courage, in order to see to it that others might come to know of this gift of liberty and love. If grace was passive, I would not be writing this post. If grace was passive, you would not be reading it. If grace was passive, tables wouldn’t be turned over, lives would not be changed, and we would be living in bondage with no hope or future. Grace confronts what needs to be confronted in order to bring the love of the Father to light. Otherwise people stay prisoner to fear and death. This side of grace might feel uncomfortable to many, but we are told to emulate Jesus, just like the Apostle Paul did throughout his evangelistic journey.

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are found evangelizing Europe with the message of Jesus Christ and the unmerited favor of God. This was not appreciated by many leaders or by the religious. While the two men were headed to prayer on the day of Sabbath, they were arrested because Paul became aggravated by demonic activity and in boldness (not passivity) commanded a spirit out of a young woman. Her owners became so angry that they dragged Paul and Silas to the officials saying, “These men are seriously disturbing our city! They are Jews and are promoting customs that are not legal for us as Romans to adopt or practice.” (Acts 16:20-21) Does what Paul and Silas were doing sound passive to you? Not only were they doing the work of God on the Sabbath day, they were also preventing a fortune-telling business from succeeding. The audacity of these two men to cast demons out of this girl! Their willingness to confront the darkness landed them in the stocks. But that is not where the story ended. Their boldness to believe God showed itself in probably history’s most memorable worship service. One that caused “such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the jail were shaken and everyone was loosed.” (Acts 16:25-27)

The story of Paul and Silas’ courage created a domino affect that would end in the salvation of a jailer and his entire household. Their courage met their calling that day. They did not back down to old thinking, or to religious mindset. They did not keep grace in a box. They opened that gift up wide and bold and loud. They didn’t let the fear of man or the tradition of religious thinking keep them from boldly walking out grace through faith! They believed what God said was true and that what He started He would finish because of Christ Jesus!

Our faith cannot be passive. We must walk in grace, and at times it will be confrontational. It will address grievances produced by legalism and works-based teachings. The message of grace has the power to transform any life. It transformed mine! Someone daring enough to proclaim the Lord Jesus to my mother led to her entire household being saved. Just like that jailer and his family in Acts 16. Your audacious obedience to tell someone else, that it is by grace they are saved through faith, will lead to their hope and future. Our boldness does not need to be directed toward telling everyone the are wrong; our boldness needs to be used to point people to the truth of Jesus and that grace that saves! “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household!” (Acts 16:31)

So today, be audacious. Brave Grace!

Acts 16:11-34
Jeremiah 29:11

Grace in the Gap

A few years ago, I heard Andy Stanley speak at a leadership conference about trust in relationships. He said there are two gifts we have the option to give each other every day – to trust and to be trustworthy. He said often, there are unexplained gaps between what we expect people to do and what they actually do. And when there is a gap between what we expect and what happens, we have to choose to put something in that gap. Our choice of what we put in that gap will determine the health of our relationships – some people call this, giving the benefit of the doubt.

Trust looks very much like grace, yet not entirely the same. Though they are different we must have grace and trust, and allow them to weave successfully through our lives and how we treat people. Biblically speaking, grace is the free and unmerited favor of God. And trust is having confidence in the honesty or integrity of a person. Both can be given and both can be received. Both are also able to be withheld, and that is where relationships can become damaged. As Andy Stanley goes on in his message to leaders, suspicion is usually what goes in the unexplained relationship gaps and no one wins when we do that.

It is likewise with grace. In order to genuinely trust someone, it takes putting on Christ and offering them grace at times. So much is lost for everyone involved when we refuse to operate this way. What makes this difficult to do is that trusting someone usually means having to filter through past experiences with them. That may be a conversation, actions, their involvement with others, our biases or stereotypes of people, or other relationships which look similar in our minds.

I could almost guarantee that if we’d walk putting trust and grace in the gaps of our relationships, 9 times out of 10, we’d be speaking more truth (trust and truth have the same root) than when we start throwing out our own biased accusation of people.

When someone is late to a meeting, trust and grace say, “I bet they were having a tough time getting ready this morning.” And then grace shoots a text to let them know, “if there is anything I can do to serve you this morning, let me know, otherwise, see you soon.”

When we interact with people in that fashion, we also set the standard for people and they will want to be trustworthy. When we sow trust and grace, we will reap trustworthiness and honor.

The Bible says that where sin abounded, grace THAT MUCH MORE!!! That tells me that if we know someone who isn’t trustworthy or has unsightly or dishonorable bends, we should extend grace all the more and put that much more trust in the gap! Real change doesn’t come from our dogmatic biases that reflect distrust and a lack of grace. The bible says that it is the GOODNESS of God that leads men to real change! So we should walk in that same by believing His Goodness about people.

Consider the areas where you need to put grace in the gap. Who is that person in your home or at work that you need to extend grace and put trust in the gap? Where do you need to examine your own heart and determine how you can change your thinking overall to quit being suspicious of everyone’s actions?

Faith Makes Sense

Too often, I’ve heard Christians describe faith as something that goes against reason and logic. They happily declare that they “just believe.”  There is a degree of validity to explaining faith this way.  After all, we generally can’t explain how things in God’s kingdom work out; His thoughts are higher and His ways past finding out, the Bible says.

Yet something bothers me about explaining faith this way.  There are people who look for things to make sense and when we respond by telling them to suspend reason and logic, we lose them.  We make reason and logic seem unnecessary or irrelevant.  In fact, they are neither.  And if we will think differently about what faith is and how we operate in it, we can then present it as something that makes sense.

In Genesis chapter 15, God speaks to Abram and promises this childless man that he will have descendants beyond measure.  Then in verse six, we see a short verse that lays the foundation for all biblical faith.  It says, “and he [Abram] believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.”  Simply believing God was all it took for the promise to take root and for Abram to be judged a righteous man.  If you read about Abram’s (later Abraham) life in the book of Genesis, you’ll see that he made many mistakes and errors in judgement.  God didn’t count him righteous because he did everything right.  It was based solely on the fact that Abram believed God.

This same scripture is quoted multiple times in the New Testament as the example of how we receive salvation.  We don’t receive it by living a good life.  We receive it by believing in Jesus.  What does this have to do with faith making sense?  

Well, Abram could and did question the validity of having descendants beyond measure.  He and his wife were well past the years of making babies.  In the natural, God’s promise was unreasonable and illogical.  And if we assert that faith operates in the unreasonable and illogical, people disconnect.  But the point of Abram’s faith isn’t what he believed.  The Bible doesn’t say that he believed in the seemingly crazy promise and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  The point of his faith is in who he believed.  He believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

The fact of faith is that we can’t know everything.  We can’t know every detail behind every circumstance or understand the inner workings of every scenario.  That doesn’t mean that they don’t make sense at some level.  Faith doesn’t disregard logic and reason.  If someone that you know and trust tells you something that sounds hard to believe, your trust in that person helps you to stretch to accept what they are saying.  At least once in our lives, someone we trust told us something that we couldn’t quite grasp at the time, but we later told someone else, “I didn’t believe it at first but I agreed to go with him and he was right!  It was amazing!”

Faith in God works the same way.  Faith doesn’t have to believe in how something is going to happen.  Faith believes in the character and nature of the source of the information.  Faith believes God because you know His character and heart even when circumstances are hard to grasp.  When we believe God, faith makes sense.

Grace for All

Grace means “unmerited favor.”  It is the concept that the God who created all things loves us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus.  Through His death, burial, and resurrection, we are provided the opportunity to receive into our lives the same favor that God has for His Son.  It is a gift, pure and simple.  We can do nothing to earn or deserve it.  

The divisions that we have among people, whether based on race, religion, sex, age, economic status, or any other difference, can only be overcome by the knowledge that grace is available to all.  It’s not more available to one person or group than another.  No person or group is more or less deserving of God’s grace.  

Intellectually, people who believe the Bible can possess this knowledge.  But deep inside, any hint of a thought that we are either more or less deserving of God’s grace than any other person creates a divide.  We can hide that divide behind any of the differentiators listed above, but those are facades.  The bottom line is that if we harbor discriminatory thoughts about any other person for any reason, there is a root inside of us that doesn’t fully believe the message of grace.

I’m guilty of discrimination in all of these areas.  I’ve discriminated against people of a different skin tone, different religion, different age, the opposite sex, and people of a different financial position.  The bottom-line truth is that at the point of discrimination, whether in thought, word or deed, I didn’t believe that God’s gift of grace was available in equal measure to someone else.  I minimized that person or group, which means that I thought I deserved God’s grace more than they did.  Accepting this reality within me is the starting point.

Most people dislike the ugliness of injustice perpetrated on people because of bias, whether seen in an appalling violent act or unseen in affecting an unfair decision.  We wonder what we can do.  We can’t make another person behave or think differently.  We can’t single-handedly force cultural or institutional transformation. 

What we can do is choose to engage in a life-long pursuit of being a conduit of God’s grace.  We can allow the Holy Spirit to teach us from the Word.  We are responsible for actively seeking to understand the grace message and allowing ourselves to be transformed as our minds are renewed to that truth.  When the truth of God’s unmerited favor, available only through the finished work of His Son, takes root in us, it will uproot those broken perspectives that cause bias and discrimination.  When we live with the clear knowledge that grace is a gift that we could never earn, with eyes fixed on Jesus, we can begin to live Galatians 3:28 – There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Brave grace.

God, Grace, & Government

Ouch. I didn’t pick a sneaky title, I just went straight for the jugular – I am talking about God and Government all in one fell swoop! Some people will see that title and ignore me. They won’t want to hear what I think about politics considering they are averse to anything of the sort (and that’s not really what I am writing about anyway). But those of you who decided to see what I have to say, sit back and let’s talk! After all, that’s what a blog is for, right – so we can engage in conversation that most people don’t really want to be part of but we insist on sharing our thoughts anyway!?

So here goes…

It all begins with grace. That’s it. Sorry to let you down. Especially those who know I have a tendency to get a little sassy when I talk about my opinions. That is not the direction I will take today. Today is more about saving relationships in this heated time we find ourselves in as a nation.

I have a friend. She and I have different moral matrices (according to ZDoggMd and Dr. John Haight *see video below) and hold differing views about God and Government. Despite our differences, we love one another and have had a friendship that has been forged by commonalities, life milestones (some heartbreaking, others exciting), and time. As of recent, we found ourselves in the midst of a conflict that revolved around the need to be understood, each by the other, the subject matter involving politics which we both feel very strongly about. After several minutes of back and forth, we had recognized we were at an impasse and needed to step away from the conversation. We said all we could say, and we were most likely only going to hurt one another more deeply if we didn’t step away. I have to admit, she made the first move to stop the conversation and allowed me the last word, for that I am grateful as I tend to fight to the end with every intention of reconciling, not necessarily winning.

This is probably a scenario many people face – especially during this season where so many of us have differing views about how things should be. There is no better time to operate out of that place of grace than right now. When engaging in conversation about God or Government & politics, everything must be seasoned with grace. I do believe that is what Jesus wanted. And we see it time and again in Paul’s letters to the churches of the New Testament. He always begins each letter bestowing the grace and peace of God through Christ Jesus before he delves into conversation.

So what does grace look like when it comes to God and Government:

Grace looks like stepping back from a conversation that has no real bearing on eternal destiny.

Grace looks like choosing words that do not cut or intentionally create anger. Only using words to uplift and edify. (ouch, I am preaching to the choir with my quick tongue – please forgive me)

Grace looks like being willing to see another person’s perspective and be ok if you don’t agree with their narrative.

Grace looks like understanding that people are searching for answers and calling them idiots because they do not have them is NOT the answer.

Grace looks like making an effort to understand your own views and not just touting a party line (remember we are talking about politics here) because it’s all you’ve ever known – ignorance is not bliss, it is lazy (and yes, I said that with as much gracefulness as I could muster – even Paul in his letters was intense in his debates to convince people that their ways were foolish – read our Galatians Devos to see him in action).

Grace looks like believing the best in others, including yourself.

Grace looks like confidence in recognizing your faults without cowering under the pressure to disregard those beliefs because someone doesn’t agree with you. (This requires actively pursuing grace in all of those other areas up there, so be mindful)

We are in what is most likely the most volatile political climate felt by our generation. The things happening in our world are not the worst things that have ever happened in history – countless lives are lost in every generation because of the carelessness of mankind. But, for our generation and those younger, we have not experienced the level of division and discord being felt currently. We have got to rise up and be willing to have conversation without the desire to decimate our “opponent”. That has never gotten humanity anywhere! Braving grace regarding God and Government may be a daunting task but extending God’s grace is the only way we will survive what is ahead of us without destroying relationship with others. And that is really the only true eternal currency in God’s kingdom – people. Neither Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Mike Pence, or any other government official have the power or the money to infiltrate the very being of mankind, that right is reserved for the Creator. That knowledge should give us all a starting point to braving grace during the next several months of social media craziness and the conversations we will have & hear regarding God and Government.


*P.S. This is an excellent video discussing the psychology behind why we have conflict and how to navigate in it well. Disclaimer: I am not promoting the author/speaker outside of this specific video. I am not to be held responsible for individual perception of said resource or it’s effects on the viewer. It is not meant for furthering biblical studies, but solely addresses human behavior.