Monday, November 30, 2009

You've Got a Friend

Here's a song for my good friend, Julie. I'm thanking God for her true friendship today! 

"You've Got A Friend"

When you're down and troubled
And you need a helping hand
And nothing, nothing is going right
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.
You've got a friend.

If the sky above you
Should turn dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind should begin to blow
Keep your head together
And call my name out loud, yeah
Soon I'll be knocking upon your door.

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running, oh yes I will
To see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Oh, you've got a friend.
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend.
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend.
You've got a friend.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Quotes From the Past

When I first heard about grace, I found a Yahoo group on grace called Believer's Rest.  I never posted on this group, but I read and enjoyed the posts very much.  I almost considered this group like my "grace church" at the time.  The archives for this now defunct group were accidentally deleted long ago, but I copied some of the posts.  Here is one by a member of that group.  I hope it encourages you as much as it has me..

"[God] bundled up every one of [our] sins and placed them on the sinless One, His unique Son, Jesus the Christ.  He dealt with the 'sin' issue once and for all...

"Where there is no law, and there isn't for us as Christians, then there is 'no transgression.'  We can't violate something that doesn't exist in our life.  Let's forget sinning, as God, did, and go about loving, loving, LOVING because that's all we can do.

"Every breath we take we worship Him, full and free, without realizing it.  We are totally free to love as God wants us to, and His Spirit fulfills everything God wants from us.  It's really an 'effortless' thing that we just rest in."
                                                           Marcus Chewning

Friday, November 27, 2009

So Beautiful

Can we hear God singing this song to us?

You are so beautiful to Me..
You are so beautiful to Me..
Can't you see?
You're everything that I hoped for,
Everything I need..
You are so beautiful to Me!

So beautiful - we are altogether lovely in His eyes, a delight to Him!  He wants us to see that, to see that we're beautiful!  Often it seems He impresses this truth on me when I'm at my worst, feeling sinful or condemned - that is when we need to hear it the most, isn't it?  No matter what we do we are beautiful to God!

Everything that He's hoped for - We're the child of His dreams, His dream come true!  We're just as He dreamed we would be, made just as He desired, fulfilling all His hopes.  We are perfect new creations wonderfully made by God Himself!

Everything He needs - He doesn't need us to change or be any different than we are right now.  We are perfect to Him, made complete and whole in Christ!  He is so delighted with what He made, His great masterpiece of grace - us!   He knows we have all that's needed because He gave it to us when He gave us Himself!

We are so beautiful to Him!  Have a beautiful day in our beautiful God!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

No Condemnation

I have been reading some messages by Rob Rufus lately on how Jesus dealt with our sin and gave us His righteousness.  It has been so encouraging!  So great to meditate on the truth!  It is so beautiful to think that because of Jesus, we are never condemned.  Never!  To me, condemnation is the opposite of acceptance, and acceptance for me is just another word for grace.  The law covenant was a covenant of condemnation and ministered death; the grace covenant is a covenant of acceptance and ministers life!

It is so easy to feel condemned and guilty when we sin, but such a relief to know that those feelings are not from God!  He never condemns us or berates us for our sins.  Condemnation and guilt feelings leave us feeling ashamed, but God says all who call on His name (believers) will never be ashamed!  So those shame feelings aren't from God at all!

He never even convicts us of our sins!  (That goes against what I always thought - but when I really look closely at scripture, I don't see any place where conviction of sin is used for believers.  Wow!)  In the past I thought His main focus was in pointing out our sins, but that isn't so!  He is not pointing out our sins, He is busy pointing out our righteousness which we have as a gift in Christ!

One of my favorite Bible passages is Isaiah 54.  I remember sitting in church one day reading that chapter and suddenly seeing with new eyes verses 9 - 10: 
    “ For this is like the waters of Noah to Me;
      For as I have sworn
      That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth,
      So have I sworn
      That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.
      For the mountains shall depart
      And the hills be removed,
      But My kindness shall not depart from you,
      Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”
      Says the LORD, who has mercy on you.

God swears He will never be angry with us or rebuke us - that is so amazing!  That means that any sinking feeling that God must be angry or disapproving of us after we sin is A LIE and not from Him!  In fact He says His kindness and the peace between us will never be removed from us, never!  Even when we sin!  Even when we sin, He is looking on us with kindness and is at peace with us - wow!

Isn't it wonderful that God isn't focusing on our sins?  Jesus already took them to the cross and brought us forgiveness.  He is finished dealing with sin, for He said on the cross 'It is finished!'  God is focusing on the fact that we are the righteousness of God in Christ.  That is the truth that He is speaking into our hearts.  He knows what He did in us through Jesus, and He did something wonderful - He got rid of our sins and our old sinful selves and re-created us in Christ as holy and righteous children of God having the very righteousness and life of Christ within!  We have a new heart and nature that is pure and innocent and beautiful to God!  Wow - we are beautiful to Him! 

I want to be strengthened every day in the truth that God never condemns, accuses, guilts, convicts, disapproves, shames, or gets angry with me!  He is always saying that I am His righteous and holy child, made perfect by the once for all sacrifice of Jesus!  That's true for everyone who believes in the Son!

Peace to everyone who stops by today!  And Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Your Love Makes Me Sing

Your love is amazing, steady and unchanging
Your love is a mountain, firm beneath my feet
Your love is a mystery, how You gently lift me
When I am surrounded, Your love carries me

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Your love makes me sing!

Your love is surprising, I can feel it rising
All the joy that's growing deep inside of me
Every time I see You all Your goodness shines through
I can feel this God-song rising up in me

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Your love makes me sing!
                                       Brenton Brown, Brian Doerkson

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Will Jesus Ever Backslide?

I read this quote from a message by Ryan Rufus recently and loved it:

"You do not have a covenant with God. God didn’t make a covenant with you. He made it with His Son. He made it with Jesus. And then He brought you into it because you are in Jesus. Jesus will never ever break His end of the covenant – He fulfills it perfectly. He is eternal! He is a perfect sacrifice. He offered a perfect sacrifice, which perfectly removes your sins and perfectly makes you righteous.

"He EVER lives to intercede for you and I! That means in the eternity of eternities if we ever sin then we are STILL righteous! We will never ever get kicked out of His Presence and the oath God makes with us – the way it works is that God binds Himself to the New Covenant – the grace covenant – and says;“I will bind Myself and promise that I will never, ever relate to man through his righteousness but I swear by an oath to always and ever relate to man through Christ’s righteousness and on man’s behalf!”.

"The New Covenant is not a fault-finding covenant. You have to get that – you have to see that. It can never be a fault-finding covenant because God is not relating to you through your performance. He is relating to you through Christ’s performance. God will never find fault with Christ – He is perfect. He is absolutely perfect! For you to break covenant with God or to lose your covenant with God would mean that Jesus would have to be made unperfect. It would mean that Jesus would have to backslide. It is absolutely impossible for Jesus to backslide – He is absolutely perfect in all description. He is indestructibly perfect. He is immutable and unchangeable and we are perfect with Him and He has made us perfect forever. This is the good news! This unlocks Scripture!"

The only way we could lose out on the New Covenant would be if Jesus were to backslide!  Imagine Jesus backsliding - it is so ludicrous!  Jesus is just never going to sin - never!  If anyone's righteousness is sure, it's HIS!  And since we are in a covenant based on HIS righteousness, not our puny filthy-rag-righteousness, therefore we are SECURE!  SAFE!  HOME FREE FOREVER!  We just can't mess this up.  I love how secure my righteousness before God is, since it's actually His righteousness given to me for free.  And it's true for you, too! Have a great day in Him, celebrating the fact that the unbackslideable Jesus is keeping you!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Recently I've been reading a book by Darin Hufford called The Misunderstood God.  It's very good and eye-opening, basically showing that the true nature of God is often the polar opposite of what we may have come to believe.

He talks about how God in love will never leave or abandon us.  It's wonderful to know we are secure in Him and He won't ever reject us.  Our relationship with Him is a "done deal".  We just can't mess this up!  Here are some quotes from the book on that subject:

"Security is free, open space all relationships need to grow.  You have that in God...Your relationship with God and your security with Him can never be taken from you.

"The starting point of all true relationships is the knowledge that we will never be abandoned - our experience of love will never be taken away for any reason.  This is the foundation of relationship with God and, therefore, the very foundation of faith.

"What kind of security is there if it's not total and absolute?  We give it to our children without a thought - why wouldn't God, who created us, give the same as our 'Father'?

"Love is the author of forever covenants."
                                                                 Darin Hufford

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wonderful Truths of Grace, Part 6


God loves us.  To love is to give value, thus God's love for us shows us that He see us as valuable and important to Him.  To love is also to delight in, thus God's love for us shows that He delights in us and wants us around.  He likes to be with us.  He actually likes us!  He made and likes each one's personality and enjoys being with us.  He knows us in every way, knows us in our nakedness, and loves us as we are!  He rejoices over us and sings of His love for us (Zeph. 3:17)!  We are the pearl of great price that He "found" and just can't give up! 

His love is so deep and wide it truly fills Him and encompasses everything He is, so much so that He is actually defined as love! And it is a perfect love.  God actually loves us with the same love Has has for Jesus (John 17:23)!

His love for us is a great big love.  It cannot get any bigger, and nothing we do or think would ever make it get smaller.  His love absorbed all our sin on the cross, taking away anything that would keep us from fully enjoying that love.  Yes, it is in Jesus' life, death and resurrection that His wonderful love is revealed.  He went through the hell of carrying all our sins in order to bring us back - that's true love!

He doesn't relate to us in order to "use" us, and He has no hidden agenda - just showering His love on us and being with us is an end in itself.  In fact, just being with us in loving union the "main thing" with Him (John 17:26)!  His focus is not on changing us but on loving us.  Relationship with us is the most important thing to Him!  God has a wonderful plan and goal for our life, and it is to love us, to love us, to love us...

God's love is without condition, given for free.  We don't have to do or be anything to get it or to keep it coming.  It's ours already - now and forever - freely given just because that is how He is!  He will never relate to us on any other basis than love!  Not on the basis of sin, performance, law, change, growth, teaching a lesson, - not anything else but LOVE!

And this love is a forever love.  It will outshine the brightest stars and outlast eternity.  We are loved for good, for all time, forevermore!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

God's Focus

I don't know where I read this quote, but I love it and thought I'd share it:

"God's focus is not on changing us but on loving us - and not loving till we're helped or healed, just loving freely with no expectations."

"Mostly what God does is love you....Observe how Christ loved us.  His love was no cautious but extravagant.  He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of Himself to us"  (from Eph. 5, MSG).

So many times I fail or get confused, and He is still there loving.  Just loving.  His love is like cool water pouring down on parched lips or a refreshing breeze in the hot desert.  He just keeps on "loving freely with no expectations." 

That makes me feel free, and I should feel free because I AM FREE in Him!  You too! Free from shoulds, free from ought to's, free from regrets, free from struggles to "understand", free - free to enjoy being loved!  We are in the Lover's arms expectations...only Life....only freedom and relief!  I needed to hear that today!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Just the Way You Are

So many of the lyrics in this song just fit how God relates to us:  with grace and acceptance, not "conditional love."  We don't have to change a thing.  If we never improve, never do another thing for Him, never fully understand or live out grace, it doesn't matter.  He accepts us just the way we are. I see it as a love song from God to us:

              JUST THE WAY YOU ARE

Don't go changing to try and please me,
You never let me down before,
Don't imagine you're too familiar,
And I don't see you anymore.

I would not leave you in times of trouble,
We never could have come this far,
I took the good times, I'll take the bad times,
I'll take you just the way you are.

Don't go trying some new fashion,
Don't change the color of your hair,
You always have my unspoken passion,
Although I might not seem to care.

I don't want clever conversation,
I never want to work that hard,
I just want someone that I can talk to,
I want you just the way you are.

I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew,
What will it take till you believe in me,
The way that I believe in you?

I said I love you and that's forever,
And this I promise from the heart,
I couldn't love you any better,
I love you just the way you are.

                                                         Billy Joel

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wonderful Truths of Grace, Part 5

                        WE ARE SAFE AND SECURE

Because of what Christ did for us, we are safe in His hand and nothing or noone can pluck us out.  The evil one cannot touch us (1John 5:18b).  God will never leave us or forsake us - so there's never anything we or anyone else could do to ever make Him leave.  Sin is the only thing that brings  alienation, and since He's taken all our sin away already, we'll never be alienated from Him again, no matter what, ever! 

We're stuck together by "grace glue"!  He promised He'd never turn away from us or stop doing good to us, and He's given us a new heart that won't turn away from Him (Jer. 32:40).  He'll neither leave us nor let us go.  We can fail and still be "in" - that's security in His love.  He put us "in" and keeps us in by His grace, not be any work of ours; and since it's up to Him and His work, it's done and sure.

We're not vulnerable.  We don't have to think that "anything" can happen to us; we're safe in His hand.  He won't harm us.  He won't send evil things on us, for He only gives good gifts.  His Life in us will buoy us up in every situation.  He will never leave us alone no matter how we react to hard times.  He will carry us safely in His arms no matter what.  He always leads us in triumph (2 Co. 2:14).

God has a hold on us and He's not letting go.  His Spirit sealed us for the day of redemption - we're secure in Him.  He will finish what He's started in us.  He will bring us physically to the heavenly kingdom (I say physically because our spirits are already there, relaxing on His lap on the throne, "seated with Him in heavenly places" - Eph. 2:6).  With Jesus, we cannot lose.  And we can't mess this up, it's a done deal.  As R.F. Capon says, "You can't get away from a love that will not let you go!"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Happiness of God

I have spent most of my life thinking of God as an sullen God or a disappointed God.  At least I usually saw Him as a very serious God.  Yet more and more He's showing me He's a happy God.  He's jovial and joyful.  He's got a spring in His step, a sparkle in His eyes, a song on His lips!

God is happy, I believe.  He's happy because He knows grace wins!  God is happy about the perfect, finished work of His Son and what it accomplished - the forgiveness of humanity!  And He's happy when we see that finished work on our behalf, delighting in our smile as we realize we are loved and accepted for free.  The good news of grace is the happiest message in the world!  He did a perfect work in us and He's happy with what He made us - new creations in Christ.  He is always pleased with His work, and we are His workmanship...that means He's pleased with us!   We are beautifully re-made by God Himself, Designer Originals with His stamp of approval on us.

If He's happy with what He made, we need never condemn ourselves for failure.  We need never fear He'll withdraw favor if we do something poorly or mess up.  He doesn't see us in terms of good or bad actions but only as alive and new creations in His Son!  He's joyful about what He sees!  And if God is happy with me, I can be happy with me, too....

God, I wasn't feeling very joyful today, yet I had been planning on posting this and so I went ahead and did so.  Just typing the words in encouraged me!  Thank you for Your joy in me even when I don't feel so happy.  Thank you that you ARE my joy and happiness which can never be stolen from me!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rejoicing Always

God gives us joy and He is joyful in us.  And nothing can take away our joy!  Here is part of a message by Graham Cooke that is so encouraging on our joy in Him:

"Living in Christ makes us vulnerable to laughter. Laughter is more than a choice; it’s a requirement for us that we be happy. God’s highest plan for our lives includes a desire for us to find, live in, and love the joy that is in Christ. God is good news! His love and presence is an absolute tonic for us.

“'These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full,' Jesus said in John 15:11. Every time God speaks to us, or reveals more of His nature to us, joy is part of that equation. Beholding Him and becoming like Him is an invitation to party and celebrate with Him. Everything God says to us is designed to bring us into joy. Everything in the Kingdom of Heaven is about gladness, joy, happiness, and laughter. God wants to bring a smile to our faces.

"God is joyful because He knows what’s coming next. He knows the final score. When you know the end from the beginning, you can’t help but laugh at all of evil’s schemes and tricks. They become irrelevant when you know that you win. There is a continuous joy in Christ that runs so deep that no one else can even touch it...

"For me, joy is a safeguard. It’s a shield against the enemy. When the enemy comes, we can laugh in his face—because God laughs at him first...

"Psalm 23:5—'You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.'

"When we’re on the battlefield just trying to survive the next wave of the enemy, God is thinking about menus. He looks around and says, 'What a great place for a picnic! We can have sausage rolls, meat pies, cheese sandwiches. This will be perfect.' He is so secure in who He is and in His power to defeat any enemy that He can feed us in the middle of the worst battle of our lives. And that confidence should be a source of pure joy in our lives."
                                                           Graham Cooke

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Wonderful Truths of Grace, Part 4

                       WE ARE COMPLETE IN CHRIST

There is no need to try to become something we already are or get to a place where we already are.  We are complete in Him (Col. 2:10).  God says He already foreknew, predestined, called, justified and glorified us (Rom. 8:29-30).  God says He already washed, cleansed and sanctified us (1 Co. 6:11).  We're home.  We're sitting on Daddy's lap, held close by Him, at home with Him.  We already have all of God and all in Him.  We are not lacking in any way.  We're already close to Him - one with Him, in union, "in" - and you can't get any closer than that!  We are already pleasing to Him - as pleasing as Jesus is.  We are already communing and fellowshipping with Him.  The Spirit even prays for and in us, and that's perfect prayer.

Our relationship wasn't put in place by our works and it isn't maintained by us, either.  Nothing we do can change His love for us.  We're not trying to get righteous, get closer to God, get God's favor, or get an intimate relationship with God - we already have a perfect relationship with God.  We are righteous and accepted right now, so there is no need to strive to get what we already have.  We're perfect to God right now, perfected forever by the one perfect sacrifice of Jesus!

We live out of what is already true.  We live in the land of "already there", not the land of "trying to get there".  We are full of Him; we shall not hunger, shall not thirst, shall not walk in darkness, shall not lack!

A Little Change

Since I've started blogging, I've been thinking of how to have a blog that fits both my personality and my purpose.  I've decided after much thought to remove the comments area and instead might put up an email address for anyone to contact me with comments, questions, thoughts, and etc.  I've found that sometimes if I have a really big question, I would rather contact the person directly by email to ask it. So it's a bit of a personal preference.

This decision wasn't based on any comments I received at all; it was based on my own personality and my purpose for this blog.  So I hope that is okay with everyone who stops by here!  All I have met have been so kind to me as I entered this new world of blogging.  I have appreciated all your comments and support.  You have each been part of my growing understanding of grace!  So I hope that my decision is okay and will be a good fit for this blog. I am stumbling along a bit finding what works best for me. 

                                       With love to all from


Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Daddy and Me

I look at the sin and what's lacking
   in my faith, in my understanding
You don't look at that
You see a child
That needs to run and play
A child that needs to smile again

You see someone precious to You
That You hold close
You see Your baby
Your precious one that You hold
  so dear
You snuggle Your baby girl close to
  Your heart

You are delighted in Your little one
She's perfect in Your eyes and
 Always will be
You look in her eyes and are delighted
  with her

You see someone you want to talk to
Someone You like to be with
Someone You want to share Your life with
Someone special to You

She is held so close and safe
She need never fear
For Daddy will take care of her
She's warm and embraced in Your arms

You love to hear her laugh
You look at her with compassion,
  so proud of her
You're never too busy for her
You love to play with her
To watch her dance with joy
  and live free

You love Your girl - that's me!

Thank you so much for this, Daddy!  I needed to hear that today!  You hold me close!  You love Your precious child!  I will always be in Your arms.  It's a LIE that I'm ever far from You, displeasing to You, or lacking in any way in Your eyes.  I love You!

It's true for all of us, no matter how we feel, no matter how we've failed, no matter how little we understand, no matter how our faith lags - we're still little children held safe in His arms today!  We are hugged!  We are cherished!  This is what we were made for!  Just to be loved by our Daddy!

Behold, what manner of love the Father has given unto us, that we should be called the CHILDREN of GOD: and that is WHAT WE ARE! (1 John 3:1)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More Fall Photos

Here's some more fall photos.  The top one is at my aunt's farm - she has some beautiful woods!  The middle one is the view from the top of my neighbor's driveway.  The bottom shows leaves on the grass.

Peace to all who stop by today!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wonderful Truths of Grace, Part 3


Since Christ is in us, the spirit is alive because of righteousness.  Christ has given us His righteousness; we're not only declared righteous, we are righteous because we have a new nature, the nature of Christ within - His very life and righteousness!  When He died, He took our old sinful self down to the grave with Him, and when He rose He raised us up a new holy, self in Him!  We're new creations, with a new self created in righteousness and true holiness (Eph. 4:24).  We've been perfected forever (Heb. 10:14).  Since we've been justified (made innocent and right with God), there's no condemnation because it's God Himself who says we're right with Him! 

We delight in God's law in the inner (real, true) self.  We don't want to sin; it's not our nature.  We've been given a new heart that desires to do good and longs to please Him, and He has caused us to walk in His ways.  He's given us a new heart that won't turn away from Him, and He's promised He won't turn away from us or stop doing good to us (Jer. 32:40).  He's taken away our sin and made us good!  When joined to sin, we were separate from Him.  Now joined to Him, we're separate from sin!  So now we can stop worrying about sin and just enjoy our being together with Him!

Having His perfect righteousness, we have a perfect relationship with Him always (righteousness means right relationship).  We are right with Him always, even when we sin or fail!  We never lose that relationship or go out of fellowship!  Christ earned all this for us and gave it to us as a gift.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wonderful Truths of Grace, Part 2


We are in union with Him!  God created us for intimate union and constant fellowship with Him, and that's what we have right now and for all eternity because of Christ's finished work!

The one joined to Christ is one spirit with Him  (1 Co. 6:11).  We are all we were ever meant to be:  one with the One who is Life (Dan Stone).  There's no more separation.  His Spirit is in us.  We're hidden with Christ in God.  We're in Him, and He's in us.  We're one with Him as He is one with the Father!  No need to try to get closer to God, for we're in Him - you can't get any closer than that!

Our life is a dance with our Lover, and we'll gaze into each other's eyes for all eternity!  We're wrapped in His arms of love and can't get away.  Nothing can take us out of Him.  He's always with us and we're always with Him.  We'll never be alone!  We have all of Him in us already, right now!  We're filled with God through our union with Christ  We have everything since we have Christ (Col. 2:10)!
May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14