Initially, ‘Glasses of Grace’ started because my niece, Grace, had to get glasses for reading. Since grace is such a spiritual topic and the fact that my niece is such a doll, I started thinking about the ways God shows us His grace on a daily basis. From His servings, His glasses, of grace to us - to seeing the world through the eyes of grace (or Grace, since she had new glasses and better sight), it made sense in more ways than one, so a title was born. Blessings and all, this is my life…

Monday, September 29, 2008

Money

With all the talk about the economy right now, our pastor felt led to change his sermon yesterday (Sept 28)...we'll be back to the 10 Commandments next week, but for now, the topic is money, from a sermon series titled, Where Your Treasure Is:

Worship Through Giving
2 Cor 9:6-8

'Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.'

***Our response to God's goodness is an act of worship.

***We are not to just receive good things from God -- we are here to give to God as an act of worship.

***God has a law of identical harvest. Gal 6:7 - 'Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.'

***God acts toward us in unconditional love, but not unconditional blessing -- blessings come as a response to our obedience (!!)

Malachi 3:7-10 - 'Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says the LORD Almighty. "But you ask, 'How are we to return?'
"Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.
"But you ask, 'How do we rob you?'
"In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.'

***When you understand God's perspective on money, you will be set free.

***Tithing is not giving a gift to God, it is giving back to God what is already His.

***Anything less than a tithe is not a tithe.

***Tithing is an act of worship where we sacrifice what is precious to us.

***If you can't afford to tithe when you are poor, you will never tithe when you are rich.

***Our use of money reflects our heart.

***He is not asking for the 'extra.' He is waiting to see if we love Him enough to sacrifice what is dear to us.

***There is nothing more frustrating to God than to see His people receive immeasurable blessing from Him, then be stingy with what they receive.

Then, one of the last things he said, was 'How can we be mad at the people on Wall Street, etc if we are also not doing what we are supposed to be doing in our giving to God??'

Food for thought.

Friday, September 26, 2008

OUCH!

I called this morning to check on how much that ticket I got a couple of Sunday mornings ago for creeping around that stop sign would cost me and can you believe I have to pay $120??!! Dang! I have until mid-October to pay it. That is a good thing since I don't have it right now...a girl I work with had gotten a ticket for the same thing and hers was like $70 or $75, so that's what I was expecting. When they told me $120 this morning, I was in shock. Oh well. It's only money, right? I must admit though, I have been coming to complete stops since then, most of the time anyway! :-)

Good news...I went and voted this morning! I can't even imagine how crowded the polling places will be on the day of the election, so I decided to get that little, actually BIG, responsiblity out of the way early. My step-mom and sister went with me and we were all through in about 10-15 minutes...Definitely one of my better choices. If you have a chance to do that where you live, I highly recommend it. I'm ashamed to admit that I hadn't changed my voter registration info since I moved about 4 years ago, so I was sort of under the gun hoping my change info would go through in time for me to vote in this election, so I was THRILLED when I found online earlier this week that it had been changed. When I got there today, I filled out the form they had, a woman took it to her computer to verify my info, then came back over and said, sort of loudly on her way back to the counter where I was standing, 'Wow...It's been a while since you've voted, hasn't it??' but THIS is what I heard, 'WOW...IT'S BEEN A WHILE SINCE YOU'VE VOTED, HASN'T IT???' I was like, "Okay...you don't have to say it so loud!!!! :-)" Then she started giggling and cupped her hands over her mouth like she was going to shout it and said it again. It was actually pretty funny. I will definitely be doing better from now on! Isn't it funny how someone can say something and depending on your guilt or innocence in the matter, you can hear it totally differently than how they say it? Although I was guilty, it was sort of funny. :-)



What else?? I went to a surprise party last night for a friend and client from work. She turned 60 yesterday and her husband had called about 3 or 4 weeks ago to invite me, the CPA I work under (Judy) and our boss (Ben). They have been great clients and in the 18 years they have been using our firm, Sue and I have become great friends. Their company is based out of Northern Ireland and they moved here from England to open a branch in the US in 1990, so we were some of the first people they contacted and started using when they came here. Her husband runs the company and she's the main office person and bookkeeper, so with that being the case, not knowing the US rules and requirements when they came here, outside of the basics of tax law, Sue and I have had to learn a lot together over time. We've become friends in the process. Although I was inclined to not go to her party at first because I didn't think I'd know much of anyone there, when Judy and Ben agreed to go, I got excited about it. I called Sue yesterday to wish her a happy birthday and from our conversation, it was obvious that she had no clue what was going to happen that night. It was a lot of fun when she realized I was there. I can't wait to talk to her next week and see what her recollection of the whole night has been. My boss took his camera, so we got a few pictures. If he will e-mail them to me, I may post them here in a few days. We'll see. I was VERY glad that I had changed my mind and decided to go. I could tell it meant a lot to Sue and it was definitely the right thing to do. I love when I make good decisions! :-)

Okay...I'm off to find out what time the debates start tonight. Even though I've already voted, I am eager to see what they have to say. If you have a chance to vote early where you live, definitely take advantage of it!

Hope you've had a great week.

Monday, September 22, 2008

New series -- The introduction

We started a new sermon series on Sunday (Sept 21) titled, 'The Power of Ten,' based on the Ten Commandments:

"Living in the Father's House"
Exodus 19:3-6; 16-19


Exodus 19:3-6 - Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, "This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 'You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you [will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites."

Exodus 19:16-19 - On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.

***What was God's intent in giving the 10 Commandments? To guide us to have the best life possible in a coventant relationship with Him.

***The 10 Commandments were not given to the world, but to those in a love relationship with Him.

***The 10 Commandments came from a heart of love, but were delivered with absolute firmness.

***The 10 Commandments were delivered in such a way as to instill fear, in order that all would hear and obey.

***The 10 Commandments were delivered in sternness because God saw people wandering off in ways that were not good for them.

Ezekiel 33:11 - Say to them,"As surely as I live declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?"

***Because God loves us, He has given us specific instruction to live in harmony with Him.

Exodus 20:1-17 - The 10 Commandments:

1 And God spoke all these words:

2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

3 "You shall have no other gods before me.

4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

13 "You shall not murder.

14 "You shall not commit adultery.

15 "You shall not steal.

16 "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

The Power of Ten puts you in a position:
-- to reflect God's character to a watching world
-- to know God
-- to experience God's blessing

Friday, September 19, 2008

'Let's Talk'

This is from September 14 (we had a guest speaker on the 7th):

(This one catches me up to date....the ones prior to this are below)

"Let's Talk"
Acts 4:31

***Is Jesus someone you've met from afar or do you know him? Has He changed your life?

***Have you talked to the Lord lately?

***If we don't spend time with God and knowing Him, we do not need to be out in the world talking about Him.

***An encounter with God should be your normal daily experience - is it practical in real life?

***Prayer isn't a duty, it's the heart of your salvation. Can a person be saved who does not pray? Can a person be in love with Christ and never talk to Him? There are scores of people who believe in God, but never utter a word of prayer.

***Do you think God is worthy of your time? Does He deserve our best?

***Do you WANT to spend time with Him? Not that you HAVE to, do you WANT to?

***The most important part of your day is time spent with Him.

***The early church had nothing but God, and turned the world upside down.

***Boldness comes from the presence of God.

***Have you learned to talk to God?

***The greatest gift we have is our relationship with God, but sadly it's the one thing we most neglect.

***Do you give to God thinking He is impressed, or do you spend time with Him?

***Everything in your life is a by-product of your relationship to Christ.

***Do you ADMIRE God, or have you MET Him?

'The Pillar of Worship'

These are from August 31:

"The Pillar of Worship"
Revelation 19:1-6

***Worship is a heart to heart encounter with the living God.

What does worship mean? Why have we come?

***In worship, we learn to say, 'Yes, Lord,' 'so let it be in my life.'

Trust Him -- from eternity's perspective, it is all going to be alright.

True worship is the desire to know and accept the will of God.

***In worship, we commit ourselves to do the will of God.

The will of God is not just something to be accepted; it is something to be asserted.

***In worship, we find the joy of our salvation

True worship is a testimony that the word of God is 'good news.'

***In worship, we find the assurance of victory - by looking to the past and seeing that the battle has already been won.

True worship finds its hope in the reality of Jesus Christ.

'The Pillar of God's Word'

These are from August 24:

"The Pillar of God's Word"
Isaiah 66:1-2; Acts 6:1-7

***Time given to study the Bible is not an academic experience; it is an encounter with God.

***There is only one way to honor God - OBEDIENCE.

***Your study of God's word is (1) a decision to live in the presence of God, (2) a decision to know the will of God, (3) a decision to join the (I missed this word..maybe community) of God.

Scripture reference:
Luke 22:39 - Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.

***More than He feared the cup, Jesus loved the hand from which it came.

***It is only when you have confidence in the relationship that you will have the confidence to obey.

***Obedience is discovered when it costs something - Love is revealed when it hurts.

***Strength is not found in how courageously I struggle, but how completely I surrender.

***If you don't spend time in God's word, you will not know him; If you don't know him, you won't love him; if you don't love him, you won't obey him.

***How you honor God's word, you honor Him.

'The Pillar of Prayer'

These are from August 17:

"The Pillar of Prayer"
Acts 6:1-7

Pillars of a church God can use:
--Prayer
--God's word
--Worship

***You cannot understand the ways or purposes of God unless you spend time with God.

***The mighty activity of God in history has come through fervent, united prayer among God's people.

Scripture references:
Acts 2:42 - They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.


Acts 4:31 - After they had prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Acts 12:5 - So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.

***The work of the kingdom is not done by our ability, but by God's power.

***The early church had nothing but God and they turned the world upside down.

***If we lose our sense of desperation for God, we are in trouble.

***Prayer is a clear reflection of your relationship with God.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sermon notes - the introduction

Okay. I said earlier in the week that I was going to start putting my sermon notes on here so I could keep track of them better...handy reference...and for anyone who might care to read them, so these are from his first sermon in this series on August 10, "Indispensable Pillars of God's Church."

"The Wonders of Tomorrow"
Joshua 3:1-7

***Keep your eyes focused on God's activity.***

***If you want to see the wonders of tomorrow, prepare yourself today. ***

Scripture references:
Joshua 3:5 - 'Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you."'

Isaiah 55:8-9 - "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Proverbs 3:5-6 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight."

Jeremiah 33:2-3 - "This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it - the Lord is his name. Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know."

Hebrews 2:3 - 'how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?'

***Everything God does in our life and in our church is thru relationship...not religious activity***


This is just the first week. I need to get caught up through this past Sunday, so I'll be sure to work on that tomorrow evening or this weekend. There is a lot more to come and it will make you examine your life like never before...his sermons are also online, so if any of this catches your attention, which I'm sure it will in the weeks to come, check it out at www.fbcjonesboro.com and follow the link at the bottom of the page to 'sermons.'

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm back! :-)

I am thinking that this next week, I am going to start posting the sermon notes that I take in church each week. Our new pastor's sermons are incredibly thought provoking, sobering and well worth sharing, plus I am going to try to figure out the 'labels' thing so they will list on my sidebar and be easier to find. I really thought first of all about doing this for myself so I would have them all in one place, but then I know some blog friends have asked me to share some of his wisdom, so this will accomplish both of those goals.

His first sermon series is titled, "Indispensable Pillars of God's Church," those being prayer, God's Word, and worship. I'll work on getting that done this week.

Second, as you may have noticed, I added a 'McCain/Palin' button on my sidebar. I found this on another blog I read and loved it, so I added it here too. I am normally not a very political person, but am very happy that McCain chose Sarah Palin and that his party, and many Americans, have been energized by it. I just hope that everyone will get out and vote as it is our priviledge and resposibility! After I watched her speak at the Republican National Convention, I got to thinking that I didn't know for sure where I am supposed to vote, so through the fabulous, 'all knowlege is only a click away' internet, I discovered that I was still registered at the address where I lived before I moved....almost 4 years ago! Shame on me! As luck, or to me, God's hand, would have it, I was at Grace's soccer game last weekend and there was a woman walking around with voter registration/ change of address forms, so all I had to do was fill it out and give her that form with my new info. Hopefully I will hear this next week about my new polling location, but if not, I will be on the phone trying to find out. This woman was clearly an Ob*** fan, so I didn't say too much for two reasons: (1) I didn't want her to take my info and not turn it in, and (2) she just kept yapping and Grace's game started while I was filling out my form and I didn't want to miss it! I will make my statement in November when I vote~ :-)

I could go on and on about money being tight, getting a ticket this morning on the way to church because I didn't come to a complete stop at a stop sign (wonder how much that's gonna cost??), a car that needed a $600 part this last week, gas prices, and everything else, but I won't because everyone is fighting those battles right now too, many much moreso than me. Hopefully things will turn around soon, and besides, it could be worse...look at all those people who lost so much of their lives and possessions to Ike a few days ago.

We have much to be thankful for, so I choose to focus on that!

I'll work on the sermon notes this week...I'm eager to share Pastor Mel's wisdom!