Archives For grace

Beating our fists bloody at inexorable air, trying to defy the passage of time, we find–at the end of the line–our bodies, our hearts, our minds

Fail

As we decline into that good night.

Our rage a peripatetic fit, the fight unwinnable…

Until:

The inexorable slide is swallowed up in the tide of the grace of an ineffable God.

Our bodies made new, our minds renewed:

Free at last from sin’s crimson stains, the mortal takes on immortality

Only joy remains

Only joy.

Time, Wounds, & Healing

randomlychad  —  October 15, 2013 — 13 Comments

Time itself does nothing to heal us. Work is required.

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All I Can Do

randomlychad  —  August 28, 2013 — 14 Comments

The last year and a half has been a tumultuous time for my family and I (to say the least). Soaring victory was followed by agonizing defeat. And to add insult to injury, my wife’s health took a turn.

Needless to say, we were left reeling, shaken, wondering which end is up…

“Finding my way back to sanity again”

Thankfully, Lisa’s health has turned around. Even so, after holding it together for so long, being strong, I had a breakdown of sorts a few weeks ago.

“I don’t really know what I’m gonna do when I get there”

Have you been there? So whipped, and wiped, you just didn’t care? It took me by surprise to find that, yes, I’m just a man afterall–incredibly weak, frail, and small.

“Gracefully fall back to the arms of grace”

Yet, even so, somehow God’s strength is perfected in my weakness. I don’t presume to understand it, but I will gladly fall upon it…

Time after time: until the faith shall be made sight, and all is set right.

It’s all I can do.

How about you?

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I don’t normally roll this way, but where Silver Linings Playbook is concerned, I watched the movie before I read the book. The film was intriguing enough, was messy and real enough, that I wanted to read the book.

Then I came across the line highlighted in the picture above. And it wrecked me. You may not think it particularly significant, but the mere notion of a man deliberately, intentionally trying to be kind, instead of just right, fired up the synapses of my tired mind.

It made me sit up in bed.

It made me think of Jesus.

You may not see the connection, but this is un/fortunately how my brain works. On the surface, what does a novel ostensibly about a man with bipolar disorder and/or traumatic brain injury have to do with Jesus?

It’s Pat’s (the protagonist) commitment to try to be kind instead of right–to live differently from the norm–that put me in mind of Jesus. For how did he (Jesus) live?

John chapter one tells us that “the law came by Moses, but grace and truth by Jesus Christ.” Grace.And truth. Not just truth (law), but grace, too. Not either/or, but both/and. Moreover, Philippians tells us that Jesus ” who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped” (Phil. 2:6). Meaning he didn’t assert his rights to his own godhood, but instead “humbled himself, taking the form of a servant.”

He lived rightly, but didn’t assert his rights to be right. Instead, he was kind to those [us] who needed his kindness: sinners. Remember his words to the woman caught in adultery (by the way, where was the guy?): “Neither do I condemn you. Now go and sin no more.” (John chapter 8).

Elsewhere in the Scriptures, we are told that it’s “your kindness which leads us to repentance,” and that “mercy triumphs over judgment.”

Yet why do we so often get it ass backwards? Oh, we say we believe and teach the Gospel, but where is the kindness of Christ in our message of “sin no more, then come.” There may be truth, but where is the grace? The fact is, our Lord reserved his harshest rebukes for the outwardly religious, but extended his greatest kindnesses to the messed up.

To sinners. Of some such were we. Yet how is it that we get it exactly backwards, and have become so adept at shooting our wounded?

Brothers and sisters, this ought not to be. Let me ask you (let me ask me):

Are you known as a friend of sinners (like Jesus himself was)? Can you imagine with me a world where we were (as Jesus was) very intentional about being kind–instead of right?

Wouldn’t that be an amazing place to be?

Over The Edge(r)

randomlychad  —  April 30, 2013 — 12 Comments

This is a guest post from my friend, Ricky Anderson. Ricky is a Christian, husband, dad, database guy, and vehemently denies owning any more than one shed. His blog is at Ricky Anderson.net, and he can be followed on Twitter @Arthur2Sheds.

Please note that this post is part of a series on anger; there will be others as well.

—————-

I was angry.

No, I was out of control. I had been sent out to edge and mow the lawn, and I was ticked.

Our edger was an old one; inordinately heavy and obnoxious to use. It was electric, which meant plugging in the extension cord and hoping it’d reach the end of the yard. Anything it didn’t reach had to be trimmed by hand. That edger and I didn’t get along.

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Partway through my disgruntled efforts, the cord got snagged on the swingset. I didn’t want to walk all the way across the yard to pull the cable around the pole it was stuck on, so I simply yanked.

And yanked.

And yanked.

Harder.

And harder.

With no result. In my 12-year-old immaturity, I lost it. I started bashing the edger into the ground. I yelled at that stupid edger. I pulled out every word I’d learned at school.

Then the head of the edger broke. I turned it off and dropped it. As I started to calm down, I was rational once again and became afraid. What would I tell Dad?

I looked up and froze. Dad was standing ten feet behind me. I didn’t know how long he’d been there.

I mentally started packing my bags for military school. Maybe the circus would take me, or one of my uncles. I didn’t know whether to run or cry, but I knew this was not going to go well.

After a few moments, my dad spoke.

“Well, I guess it’s time to replace that old weed whacker. Hop in the car, let’s go.”

We got a gas-powered edger that weighed next to nothing. It was wonderful. And Dad never said a word about my childish tantrum.

Sometimes when I’m angry about a situation and I’ve messed everything up, I don’t want to pray about it. I don’t want to go to my Father and show him what I’ve done. So I get angrier and angrier, avoiding what I know I need to do.

And I wonder if he’s watching the whole thing as my Dad did, just waiting for me to calm down and let Him “make all things new” (Revelation 21:5).