By Your Grace…

WHAT YOU BECOME

Many churches teach a gospel that is so hard to follow. ..

And when we struggle to stay on what they say is the right path…

We feel ashamed and end up staying away from the most important relationship we have, our relationship with God.

When I became a Christian, I felt so much pressure to get involved in church, to participate in ministries, to go to most of the services, go out and evangelize, even though that was very uncomfortable to me. It was like, now that you are a Christian, you have to get involved, and if you don’t, perhaps you are not a real Christian. That is how I felt for a long time, however our salvation is not based on our work:

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast”

–  Ephesians 2:8-9

I felt that If I didn’t get involved, or participated in some of the activities at Church I would be letting God down, I would be less of a Christian. It took me some years to realize that this is not how God wants us to feel. He doesn’t want to pressure us into getting involved, and there is no list of good deeds that will make him love you more or less.

Attendance to church and participating in a particular ministry are not the most meaningful aspects of being a Christian, the relationship we have with the Father is! We don’t have to feel pressure to participate in any of the ministries at Church, we don’t have to feel guilt for missing a service. I believe that each one of us has a purpose in life, and we just need to figure out what our purpose in life is.

““What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.”

– Hans Urs von Balthasar, Prayer

Dear God, please show us your purpose for our lives. It is our desire to be closer to you, to honor you with our work. Please show us which path to take, show us the desire of your heart. Amen

 

 

Dreams & Reality

I was reading Douglas Malloch’s poem “Be the Best of Whatever You Are” (read below) the other day and it made me think about our dreams and expectations versus the reality of our lives.

We all had, have, and will have many dreams throughout life, but many of these dreams will not become a reality. What should we do when our dreams do not come true? Should we give up and become mad at the world, mad at God or mad at those we expected to help us in achieving our dreams?

I like to think that the best way to deal with a failed dream is to accept our reality, accept the life we have and accept who God created us to be. No all of our dreams can and will come true, we need to learn to make the best out of what we have. God can, and will use you! Your life does not need to be perfect, by the way, what is a perfect life? My standards of a perfect life might be totally different from your standards, therefore do not measure yourself against others. Do not let your past hold you back, the past is the past, and God can make all things new. He wants to use you right now, right where you stand. So let Him do that. Be the best that you can be, be a blessing to those around you, be the friend to offer a shoulder to cry on, be there for those in need, and do it with joy, do it knowing you have a purpose in life, knowing that you are standing right where God wants you to stand.

“Whatever the activity in which you engage, do it with all your ability, because there is no work, no planning, no learning, and no wisdom in the next world where you’re going.”

–  Ecclesiastes 9:10

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Be The Best of Whatever You Are by Douglas Malloch

“If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill
Be a scrub in the valley–but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.

If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway some happier make;
If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass–
But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here.
There’s big work to do and there’s lesser to do,
And the task we must do is the near.

If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can’t be the sun be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail–
Be the best of whatever you are!”

Good Reads – Suggested Readings

Good Reads

“God calls you his poiema, the kind that moves, the kind who has hands and opens them up for the task of the day and whispers not my will but yours. So let’s pick up the pen, the pan, the brush. Let’s open our eyes, our hands, our hearts. Let’s see the fear then laugh in his face because somebody has to. Why not let it be us? Let’s carry on together.” One Way to Live Wildly Free by Emily Freeman

“People tend to become who you believe them to be. So believe the best.” Let’s Believe the Best About Each Other by Holley Gerth

“God wants to be our guide. Our feelings should not be what drives our decisions. We must put our trust in what God says and check our feelings at the door with what the Word of God says”. Feelings Are Not Facts by Starla Jimenez