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…

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Passin' it on...

My friend, Tonja, has something posted on her blog that needs to be read by everyone, especially with the election getting so close, so I wanted to pass it along. Go HERE to check it out. It's long, but definitely worth the read. AMAZING!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The 3rd Commandment

Following are the notes from this past Sunday morning's sermon regarding the third commandment, from the sermon series, "Living Life to the Power of Ten."

#3 - There is Power in the Name
Exodus 20:7

Exodus 20:7 - ""You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name."

***When we make a choice to enter into a relatinship with God, we also accept the terms of the covenant.

***Make no mistake: There is power int the name of God.
Acts 4:5 - 12 - "The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest's family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name did you do this?" Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

***The name of the Lord was indicative of His presence to act in their midst.

***To use God's name is to bring Him into the situation. When you use His name, He listens!

Matthew 12:36 - "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken."

***Your words now reflect your fate later - they will either justify or condemn.

Acts 19:11 - 17 - "God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, "In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out." Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. (One day) the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor."

***The power of God's name is for those who know Him personally.

***What does it mean to use God's name in vain? to use it in a manner unworthy of His person.

***We are called to use God's name in a manner worthy of His person.

***Wants WANTS you to use His name and display His glory.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The 2nd Commandment

Following are the notes from this past Sunday morning's sermon regarding the second commandment, from the sermon series, "Living Life to the Power of Ten." I'm a little later posting them than usual, but it's been a good, yet busy, week.

#2 - Faithful and True
Exodus 20:4 - 6

Exodus 20:4 - 6 - "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. 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, but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments."

***God desires an exclusive relationship with you that is real and personal.

***God does not dwell in objects and cannot be controlled by human manipulation.

***The second commandment tells us how to worship the true God. He comes directly to our lives where we are face to face with Him.

***We have access to the presence of Almighty God and He invites us to come.

***There are many people who would like to perform a ritual to Him rather than to walk with Him.

***God is not after your money, your abilities or your gifts. He wants YOU.

***To seek after that which is empty will leave you empty.
Psalm 135:15 - 18 -
15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
made by the hands of men.
16 They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but they cannot see;
17 they have ears, but cannot hear,
nor is there breath in their mouths.
18 Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them.

***He leaves you free to choose whatever you desire, but you are not free to choose the consequences.

***Those who struggle with the second commandment are those who are captivated by the world around them.

1 John 2:15 - "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

***Here's a good question to ask kids: 'What is the most important thing you see in mom and dad's life?' It takes courage to ask that kind of question to kids or anyone you are close to.

***When you give up everything for God, He gives back everything you need for abundant life.

***Let Him have His way in your life and you will experience a love relationship like you have never experienced before.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Being a friend.

Making a long story short, I took Grace to soccer practice tonight. I usually try to take her to one of her practices each week because I want to be an involved aunt and I love the time with her, but I usually take my ipod along to either watch a movie I've downloaded or listen to music that I have on there. I've discovered it's a great place to worship as I am still, quiet and listening. Tonight, this song got my attention as I listened to the words, and the tears were flowing. Just thinking of people I know who have been through such tragic things and, as the writer of it, what Steven Curtis Chapman's family has been through as well. It's powerful.

I did a little research and found it was based on Galatians 6:2 -'Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ' and Luke 5:18-20 - 'Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.'

I need to remember to be THIS kind of friend and be attentive to the needs around me day in and day out.

A good song like this is timeless.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Small changes and big blessings.

I decided to change my blog colors for a while in, I hate to say, 'honor' of halloween, but to me, it's just a fun day for kids to dress up and get candy! Plus, as I was doing that, I realized that in my header picture, Grace has a pumpkin on her shirt, so I thought I'd go with it for a while. I've always focused on the glasses more than her shirt. Funny how you see what you want to, huh?

Anyway, this has been a great week. I love the change in weather and wish it could be like this all year long, but then, I'm sure I'd take it for granted, so I guess I really don't wish that, but I do wish it would stay like this for a while.

About the week, all I did was go to work every day, took Grace to soccer practice on Tuesday night, had church stuff on Wednesday night, then on Thursday, I took part of a vacation day and had a great lunch with our new pastor's wife. I tend to be a bit nervous in new situations like that, but it was simply great! We 'clicked' immediately and I was sitting there, totally at ease, thinking how cool it is that God can bring new friends into our life so quickly if He chooses to do so. Don't you just love when you meet someone like that and you can sit there and talk and talk, about deep stuff, funny stuff and everything in-between, and before you know it, it's almost been 2 hours?! She had to go pick up her children from school or I am sure we could have talked even longer. In thinking about our conversation since then, I have more to ask her about, so I hope we'll be doing that again sometime soon. Thursday night, I just hung out with my sister, Grace, and a friend of Grace's, so that was fun too. Tonight, I went to see 'Nights in Rodanthe' with friends. I didn't love it, but it was okay. Tomorrow, Grace has a soccer game, then I'm going to go hang out at my sister's and venture a bit more into cardmaking. We both have tons of supplies, it's just more fun to work together and share ideas. I may post pictures if I come up with anything exceptionally creative! :-) I'm kind of excited about tomorrow too! Sunday night, we have a 'concert' to premier the new CD our choir made a couple of months ago. That should be fun.

Another cool thing is that I had a chance on Wednesday night on the way to children's choir to speak to our new pastor and tell him how much I have loved his sermons and how they challenge me all week long. As it should so happen, I was passing through an area of the church just as he was doing the same, so it was really a perfect one-on-one opportunity. He was very gracious and just asked that I continue to pray for him and his family. Moving all the way from Canada would be a big adjustment for anyone! We really are blessed though and I want him to know I appreciate the work he's putting into his job here. I just know God has great things in store...

...and I can't wait!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The 1st Commandment:

Following are the notes from this morning's sermon regarding the first commandment, from the sermon series, "Living Life to the Power of Ten."

#1 - First Place
Exodus 20:3; Matthew 22:37-38

Exodus 20:3 - "You shall have no other gods before me."

Matthew 22:37-38 -"Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment."

***God loves you and is inviting you into a personal relationship that lasts for all eternity.

***God is not looking for first place in your heart -- He wants your whole heart.

***If you don't understand the first commandment to love Him (He's desiring to be YOUR god), all the others turn into a bunch of rules.

***God is not interested in you being happy; He is interested in you being holy.

***He will allow things into your life to shape and mold you into the person He has called you to be.

***To obey this commandment means you will live with confident expectation that God is in control.

***Worry is the warning light that tells us we don't understand the first commandment.

***He is telling us, "I want to be something you cannot find in any other relationship -- I want to be GOD." (the God who cares for your life)

***What we don't turn over to him takes control and eats away at our life.

***When you try and take control of what rightfully belongs to God, you also take all the responsibility for its outcome.

***The best thing for your life is to surrender it to Him.

***Does God have your whole heart?

***Is He the 1st person you turn to?

We are very blessed to have a pastor who makes us think like this and keeps us mindful of these things with such thought provoking points. Isn't it amazing how so many of these are things that we know, but don't always stop to think about or do on a daily basis?