But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. 2 Peter 3:18
Thank you for the comments on the “selfishness” thoughts and C.S. Lewis quote on the last post. I don’t have much time to write this morning but I’ve been thinking about the fact that for years, when I was in my impressionable mid-20’s, I attended a legalistic church. My family was there for about 10 years and have only been out of it for 2 years. I KNOW FOR A FACT that some of my awkwardness in church settings in particular stems from that experience. There was a lot of strife and judgementalism at that church, and I wonder…..if, for 10 years, I was on guard expecting to be judged for everything I did and said at a place I was a member of and frequented on a regular basis, wouldn’t it make sense that at times I will still feel on edge? So I give myself a little more grace and understanding, instead of being hard on myself. Obviously, I still have a responsibility to let God continue to soften and humble my heart, and to teach me to put SELF behind me, and Christ before me.
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
We go to a wonderful church now, healthy and loving. I praise God continually.
I’m thankful for my past though because I am constantly being blown away by grace in our new place.
A book that has helped me is Tired of Trying to Measure Up, Getting Free from the Demands, Expectations, and Intimidation of Well-Meaning People, by Jeff VanVonderen. (He has written several other helpful books on spiritual abuse and grace, too)
It’s important to learn from any abusive experience, so that we don’t continue practicing the abuse on our own friends and family. When you spend a lot of time in a bad environment you can’t help be influenced. But God is good, merciful, and redemptive!
We don’t have a formal Sunday evening service at our church, instead, we have Bible studies at people’s homes. Last night we had the study at our place for the first time. The living room and kitchen were crowded. It was wonderful; and I broke free from some of that pride by playing a hymn for singing. I was so anxious about it “what if I make a mistake” but Rich told me “just DO IT!” and it was fine, it was beautiful (not my playing–the experience), I was able to play AND listen to all the voices singing, “My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name”.
Pictures from the weekend:
|Seth F, the children’s youth group leader, invited Jacob (neckalace) and Ethan (blue shoes) for a sleepover. The young man in the cap is another of their friends from church. They had a great time.|
|Rich and I took the kids out for ice cream downtown. The weather was hot all week and while we were eating the ice cream, it started to break with some rain and thunder.|
|Rich and Grace
|Makes me laugh; after church we usually do a fast food drive thru for lunch OR, as in this case, we stop and get buns and deli meat. Jacob had a box with two watermelons on his lap and he made all the sandwiches. We ate on the way home.|
|My thrift store finds of the weekend: a bunch of great books all for just two dollars.
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
YET I WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
He makes my feet like the deer’s;
He makes me tread on my high places.