Trading Flaws for Grace

Kathy Cheek

I am flawed. Every day I miss the mark. Every day I lose patience and say things the wrong way which means I should not have said them at all.

I keep messing up. Last week I forgot to pray for someone I assured I would remember their prayer request. I saw her at church and the stress of her situation was written across her face and I was reminded that I need to pray. I was also reminded of my negligence.

I stand in the line at the grocery store and chit chat with the cashier or another person in line with me and forget to share the Lord in some way when God opens the door and gives me a moment to open my mouth and be a light in a dark world. When I get in my car and pull out of the parking lot I shake my head disappointed in myself because I let that moment slip out of my hands.

I have negative and critical thoughts about someone and then I am filled with guilt. I should know better. I do know better, and yet…there were those negative and critical thoughts exploding in my mind.

The list is endless.

There is bad news and there is good news.

Bad news: I have flaws and I mess up—consistently. I am not perfect. Not even close. Sometimes I am just a big mess.

Good news: I am a sinner saved by grace. Then the good news gets even better. There is someone who is perfect. Jesus is the perfect one. He perfectly loves me every day. He loves me although I am flawed and when I miss the mark. I am desperate for this kind of love and He offers it to me freely every day.

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10 Ways to Beat Selfishness

Selfishness can be an uncomfortable topic. We want to think we are better than the pettiness of selfish actions and attitudes.

Yesterday I realized things I was upset about really came down to…being too caught up in my own interests. Busted!

Simple ways to put others first.

Nothing?

Do nothing from selfish motives or self-conceit.  Nothing?  Oh, this is hard! Self-focus is the natural default setting of our sin nature. If we could see a print out of our motivations over the last week, we’d be shocked at how pervasive selfishness is in our thinking.

There is a striking contrast in the progression of verses in this passage. 

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How to Fight (Daily) Discouragement

There’s a saying about the little things in life. It’s the little things, so the saying goes that can end up being the big things. This can be true in relationships, careers, and attitudes. A teensy mouse can terrify a huge elephant, and so the story goes, one young man with the proper vision took down a giant who had defied armies. The unnoticed dripping faucet by day rings out like a maddening racket in the quietness of night, when one longs for quiet and sleep. It’s the little things we are thankful for, we rejoice in and the little things heaped upon us that can undo us in one moment.

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Yelling Is A Choice

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Yelling is a choice …. Yelling is a choice. 

I am struggling. This is my ongoing battle as a mother. I am impatient, I want my girl to hurry up.

I am learning that being on time is never more important than speaking kindly to her.

Getting schoolwork done is never more important than living and breathing patience.

Obedience is not effective when enforced by fear, by volume.

When my frustration wells up in my throat and swells my voice and she hasn’t stopped moving, but never in the direction I want her to go, when I send her for shoes and she comes back barefoot with pen and paper …

 ….

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The Simple Truth

The Simple Truth
If I could only write to you one more time, I would tell you this little story.

I sat in large circle with the rest of our church staff. I was with my favorite friends doing one of my favorite things. We were praying for one another and listening for the individual messages that God wanted to share with each person in the circle. We loved that God still speaks and this trusted group of people enjoyed the freedom to be His messengers with one another.

I listened to the prayers and messages given to my friends. “The Father has designed you to carry influence with governmental leaders.” “God is going to use you to help free women from the slave-market.” “You are so full of creativity.

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Rest, Rejoice, Refuel

 

 

Rest rejoice and refuel

Sometimes we can lose the view on our journey and we need to remember the importance of learning to rest, to rejoice, and to refuel our souls.  It is easy to forget the simple significance of this and soon find the evidence of its lack felt deep.

Taking the time to rest, rejoice and refuel in my day has not always been my habit. Yet, I have found, through those hard life lessons, this pattern has powerful results.  More importantly, it keeps my heart close to the Father, the sole source of wisdom and peace which leads me to live out faith before those I love.

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Friendship and Why Your Friends Need You

-A new command I give you- Love one (1)

“And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. And being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.”  Mark 2: 3-5

In Mark 1:40-45 Jesus filled with compassion, touched the leper and he was healed.  In Mark 2, Jesus returns to Capernaum. Jesus meets many at a house. Can you imagine the excitement to hear Jesus speak, to be touched, to see his penetrating eyes?

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For those of us who can never get our acts together

Woman whisperingI hear voices inside my head.

Not schizophrenic voices, but the kind of self-talk that makes me feel less than. Voices that tell me I’m not good enough, not spiritual enough, not humble enough… That everyone around me succeeds in pleasing God, but that I don’t measure up because I can’t get my act together.

We all hear those accusing voices from time to time, and we often try to drown them out by trying harder.

We strive, adopting personal disciplines such as quiet times, tithing, fasting and serving in one form or another. We pray and read our Bibles and we do good things.

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