With gratitude to God we welcomed Grace St. Catherine into our hearts and home on November 21, 2021. In just ten days this eight week old puppy gained a few pounds and expanded the meaning of her name, “Pure Grace.”
Gary and I need the gift of grace as we entertain this energetic German Shorthaired Pointer puppy. She has already caused laughter, delight, confusion, and tears.
We must extend grace to one another as puppy parenting is emotionally exhausting and physically taxing. Short nights, squeaky toys, indoor messes, puppy cries, and a cute wrinkled face inhabit each day. Taking turns to work, shower, and clean the house also have evolved into new household rhythms. Training a puppy is not for the faint of heart. Thankfully her little facial expressions and antics abound with cuteness.
Because of Grace’s age, she is in the teething stage which means she bites everything and everyone – this is tough. Her little jaw clutches with strength and her feisty personality reveals great determination. Gary and I both have battle wounds that reveal the places Grace’s canine razor-sharp teeth have penetrated the skin.
Grace – The free and unmerited favor of God. Courteous goodwill. A divinely given talent or blessing. A willing or happy way. Regard with approval and favor.
We all need grace. Grace St. Catherine caused me to ponder grace.
Through the gift of grace, God moves on our behalf in ways we are unable to move ourselves. God’s grace offers forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and blessing. God meets our need through grace even before we recognize its centrality to life’s existence. Because of this extraordinary offer of God, we shift from self-centered living to servant minded sacrifice. As God’s grace pours into our lives, He forms us to reflect His character and treat others with blessing and love. (2 Timothy 1:9, Ephesians 2:4, Romans 3:23-24)
We all need grace.
Take a moment to gaze upon God. Notice His grace in your life. Express gratitude to Him for this indescribable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15).
As God transforms our souls though His gracious attention, we move toward Him and others. We grow in the capacity to offer grace to those we meet and engage throughout the day. Courteous goodwill and kindness flow as we extend grace to one another when the demands of life bring stress, conflict, and weariness. Grace occurs through caring connection when confusion and difficult times arise. We get to follow our Savior and move toward others offering the grace we receive from Him. (Titus 2:11-12, 2 Corinthians 12:9)
We all need grace.
For what do you need grace today? What might be a way to offer grace to others?
The entrance of Grace St. Catherine into my heart has heightened my awareness of and thankfulness for God’s grace to me and all of humanity, I find myself singing through historical hymns regarding grace.
Allow yourself to soak in the Truths sprinkled throughout these lyrics. These two favorite hymns bring deep gratitude to my soul. I hope they offer balm to your soul as well.
Grace Greater than Our Sin – Julia H. Johnson (1910) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxKxLVKFrqc
Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, Grace that exceeds our sin ad our guilt! Yonder on Calvary’s mount out-poured, There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.
(Chorus) Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that will pardon and cleanse within; Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that is great than all our sin!
Sin and despair, like the sea-waves cold, Threaten the soul with infinite loss; Grace that is greater – yes, grace untold – Points to the Refuge, the might Cross.
Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace, Freely bestowed on all who believe! All who are longing to see His face, Will you this moment His grace receive?
Wonderful Grace of Jesus – Haldor Lillenas (1918) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhSOnw8a_AI
Wonderful Grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin; How shall my tongue describe it, Where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden, setting my spirit free; O the Wonderful Grace of Jesus reaches me!
(Chorus) Wonderful the matchless Grace of Jesus, Deeper than the mighty rolling sea; Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain, All sufficient Grace for even me. Broader than the scope of my transgressions, sing it! Greater far than all my sin and shame. O magnify the precious name of Jesus, Praise His name.
Wonderful Grace of Jesus, reaching to all the lost; By it I have been pardoned, saved to the uttermost. Chains have been torn asunder, giving me liberty; O the Wonderful Grace of Jesus, reaches me!
Wonderful Grace of Jesus, reaching the most reviled; By its transforming power, Making me God’s dear child, Purchasing peace and Heaven, for all eternity; And the Wonderful Grace of Jesus, reaches me!
We all need grace. Does a favorite hymn or contemporary song come to mind as you ponder grace?
Some of my favorite contemporary songs regarding grace are:
Grace to Grace – Hillsong Worship
Grace Got You – MercyMe
Grace upon Grace – Matthew West
The is Amazing Grace – Phil Wickham
Amazing Grace – Chris Tomlin
As we enter this Advent season let the grace of God form you. Embrace His grace in your life with gratitude. Extend His grace in your life towards others. Experience grace-filled weeks leading to the celebration of the ultimate gift of grace, the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
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Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
Ephesians 2:4-5 – But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Hebrews 4:16 – Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.
Phil Yancey. What’s so Amazing About Grace?. Grand Rapids, MI. 2002.
Clark Whitten. Pure Grace: The Life Changing Power of uncontaminated Grace. Shippensburg, PA. 2012.
Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.
MercyMe. Grace Got You. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtiUjNT_vAM
Hillsong Worship. Grace to Grace.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS3OgXaHoycg