Lent on Purpose {and The Mystery of Grace}

GRACE

Have you ever tried to explain grace to a 5 year-old?

Has a five year-old ever taught you a thing or two about grace?

Have you ever considered if grace could exist without love?

These are some things I’m pondering over at 5 Minutes for Faith today as I contemplate this Lenten season. I’d love to have you join in the conversation. Simply click the button below!

 

And friends, I still haven’t forgotten this place and my utter desire to update all of you. Thank you for your patience as I try to find my new groove and figure out where blogging (and the time it takes) fits. I am determined to make room somewhere…soon.

For now, will you join me over at 5 Minutes for Faith? I’d love to see you there…

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Epic Grace {A Book Review}

I assumed it would be a light read. A simple testimony on how one has grabbed hold and clung on tight while being flipped upside down. That’s what grace does, after all, in epic proportions. And I was intrigued to know if the author’s experience was similar to my own…or worse.

The funny thing about grace, you learn to realize, is that once you understand what it’s capable of, there is no worse. Only similar. None of us can be the exception. We wouldn’t want to, anyway, because look at where being the exception leads you — hung on a tree, left alone to die. And no, there’s no graceful way to say that.

What I enjoyed most about this book was that the author felt like my next door neighbor. One I could meet with at the fence any time and gain some perspective I hadn’t seen in my everyday — how every circumstance is laced in glorious grace. You just can’t get high enough on the fence to see it sometimes.

I like what he said about perspective:

At best, we humans have a three-dimensional ability to see the world around us…Our vision is limited. It is restricted by our humanness on the one hand and by circumstances beyond our control on the other…Why is it, then, that we are so surprised when things sneak up on us? Why is it we’re so easily blown away by the circumstances and trials that seem to come out of nowhere? ~ pg 156

Friends, do you see where grace sneaks in and grabs hold? Some day I’m determined to become merely blown away by grace freely offered rather than the circumstances and trials. For they both creep in when you’re not looking, but only one offers any form of control…even if we have to give it away to obtain it.

I really enjoyed the real life, personal examples Kurt Bubna shared in this book. And the journey this life has lead him on provides many. I could relate to each one. Some hit too close to home for comfort. Others made me appreciate my path a bit more.

After reading, there was one topic he touched on a few times I couldn’t stop thinking about. And I wanted to share it with you. I’ll quote directly:

God will use whatever means necessary to create in us the likeness and character of His Son. He is absolutely committed to our spiritual growth. In fact, God is far more concerned with our growth than He is with our comfort. ~ pg. 144

So, when life surprises you–and it will–what are you going to do? Who will you trust? Where will you turn for help? Who will you love the most? Remember this: God will use whatever means necessary to bring ongoing spiritual development into our lives. ~ pg. 153

It’s the “Who will you love the most?” question that haunts me still. Because think about it, friends…God is passionate about me becoming whom He has made me to be. He won’t rest until the job is done.

And what I can’t seem to wrap my mind around is this:

  • God loves me in spite of me.
  • What’s more, He loves me enough to not be satisfied with the me that spites.
  • Not only that, He’s willing and offering to help me become what He has created me to be — a likeness of His perfect Son.

So I don’t have to do this alone–even though He has instilled in me all that’s required.
THAT is epic grace!

I know it deep in my marrow, and still I struggle with loving Him…the most.

Friends, I long to say I love my Creator above all. And some days, I can. Other days, grace does it for me. I’m so thankful…

So if you’re like me…if you need to cling tightly to the lifeline that grace is. If you desire to feel you’re not alone in the battle. If you realize you are far from perfect yet He loves you anyway — this book is for you.

You can view the trailer of this book HERE. It is a very good depiction of the testimony shared within the pages.

You may also purchase the book HERE. (I’m not an affiliate. Just making it easy)

How about you, friend? What does grace mean to you? Do you still struggle with the perspective grace gifts us with? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Note: I am a part of the Tyndale Blogging Network. I have received this book for free in exchange for my review. All opinions and thoughts listed above are my own.

The Scandal of Grace

Grace Perfected

I’ve done things I regret. Said things I shouldn’t have. Thought the unthinkable.

Some days I try to picture how dirty and decrepit I must have looked while Jesus was on the cross.

Still He chose to save me. His love broke my fall.

No one can make sense of what He saw…in me…in you…in any of us to choose to die in our place. Because there is no sense to pure, raw, unadulterated love.

That, my friends, is the scandal of grace.

And I don’t know about you, but I pray I never get over where His grace has brought me.

For Jesus has taught me how to live…in scandalous grace.

I’m free because of Him.
My life is a gift…from Him.

I can praise Him, rest in Him, find shelter under Him, thank Him, bring all I have to Him, strive to emulate Him…all because of grace.

He. Is. Enough. What scandalous grace.

Scandal of Grace

Hillsong UNITED

Subscribers, CLICK HERE to listen in to this wonderful song below:

Grace what have You done.
Murdered for me on that cross.
Accused in absence of wrong.
My sin washed away in Your blood.
Too much to make sense of it all.
I know that Your love breaks my fall.
The scandal of grace.
You died in my place.
So my soul will live.
Oh to be like You.
Give all I have just to know You.
Jesus there’s no-one beside You.
Forever the hope in my heart.
Death where is your sting.
Your power is as dead as my sin.
The cross has taught me to live.
And mercy my heart now to sing.
The day and its troubles shall come.
I know that Your strength is enough.
The scandal of grace.
You died in my place.
So my soul will live.
And it’s all because of You Jesus.
It’s all because of You Jesus.
It’s all because of Your love. That my soul will live.

How about you, friend? How has grace captured you lately? How do you face the scandal of it all? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

The Favor of GRACE {AGAIN} ~ Five Minute Friday

I’d like to list it as a hobby:
Just writing.
Without worrying if it’s right or not.
And then linking arms with others who feel the same.
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

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Today, I’m joining others
As we write unabashedly
For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone:

AGAIN

He nearly pushes me out the door, thrusting me into the driving wind. I’m pulling my coat tighter, hoping to hide behind my hood as I hear Him whisper “Please…do this for Me…”

That’s all it takes for me now days and He knows it. Because I can’t deny it:

He has done more for me than He will ever ask of me.

And I’m still a bit perplexed why my argument of sending someone else didn’t make more sense to Him. Someone more knowledgeable. Quick on their feet. An extrovert, perhaps. Surely He doesn’t want me representing Him and all He’s capable of.

Grace doesn’t mask everything…does it?
Can it really make something out of me?

I’m greeting her with a smile now, praying she doesn’t see right through me. When I realize. That’s exactly what I need to have happen.

Friend, can you see Him through me? Please, look again…

I remove my hood and hang up my coat as she welcomes me in. And I share my story. Nothing more. That’s all He’s asked of me. I tell her all about my scandalous love affair and what His love has done to me. How his grace moves me. And I show her how I’m on a journey Home.

Later, she asks to join me and I get the chance to make an introduction.

That evening, He thanks me for abiding and I see it.

Grace doesn’t mask anything. It lays itself bare. Nothing hidden.
For that’s where true beauty is found.

The next day, He whispers, “Child, will you do this for Me again?”

Yes, Abba. With Your grace, I’d do anything for You. Again and again.

STOP.

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?
Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you? What does grace mean to you? How do you share your story? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

And one more thing I just have to share…

Click for details on this wonderful eBook!

My friend Kris has poured her heart into a book that could change your perspective on refinement, redemption, and the sacrifice Christ made for you on that cross.

If you would like to take Lent to the next level this year…if you see the refiners fire ahead and are hesitant to step in, please, don’t hesitate to check this out
DETAILS HERE.