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Grace From the Brim of a Cup

I have shared coffee with so many people in my life and each time it is an experience in which I find great joy. Each coffee event gives me a chance to really see God's mighty grace in play. I suppose it is because I choose these times to look for His grace at work and to try to see it in my life as well. Over several cups of coffee I saw my great friend find a new man who loves her deeply. I have focused on and fought through public education struggles with co-workers. I have listened to and cried with a friend who was diagnosed with cancer and shared my cancer struggles with many women. Over the brim of a coffee cup, I loved on a friend who just celebrated a new job. In each encounter I looked for and shared my thoughts on God's grace in the event.

I was asked last week what the platform for this blog was and of course I was quick to respond that the platform was God's Great Grace. After, though, it made me go back and really think about why I chose God's grace as my platform and made me really look at my life to this point, my families' lives, my friend's lives, and the work that God has done all around me. 2 Corinthians 6:1 says, "As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it."(NLT) Paul is writing this to his friends in Corinth who are followers of Christ and had received his grace through baptism. They were true believers of God and had professed this through baptism. They were His people. So, because of this profession, they were to receive His grace and turn from sin. That is, not to ignore the grace that He has given us by making it worth nothing by remaining in sin. God's grace is a free gift, that we cannot earn in any way, but because we accept His grace, we must continue on the path of serving Him. So, as I look over the brim of my cup at all of the grace that God has poured out on me I want to be sure to use it for His glory. I take daily stock of His grace in order to be sure I really see His grace in order to follow his direction of not remaining in sin. If I never take time to look over the brim of my cup to see His great grace, how can I ever be involved in living a better life? I believe God wants us to take a really good look around us on a minute by minute basis to see the grace that He is giving us freely in order to see his work in our lives and then to be able to follow his direction.

Do you ever take time to see the great grace of God in your life and then to reflect on it? I would love to hear any story you would choose to share, because His grace is so great and worth celebrating. Oh, there is so much I can share with you about the grace that has been poured out in my life and I can imagine that there is even more that I have not taken notice of that would also become a great story to tell. As I took note, this week, on so much grace that has been given to me I thought about the fact that some people may not even know what grace looks like in their life and may need some examples, so I thought I would share. I am not sharing any of this to shine any glory on myself, but only on God and his great work and to help people begin to recognize what grace might possibly look like in their own lives. Here goes:

One of the greatest testaments of God's grace in my life is my husband. I was a single mother with a 6 month old bi-racial child in my first year of teaching when he asked me out. I was recently divorced, sad, lonely, and afraid. He walked right in and has been here for the past 30 years. God's grace was all over that! When I look at this event through 2 Corinthians 6:1, I know that God's grace was present and I needed to repent of my sin, which was divorce, and allow God's grace to shine in this new marriage. Praise God for this man in my life!! Another awesome pouring out of God's grace was my job as an elementary school administrator in my home town. I had just left a contract, mid year, which you should never do, and was greeted with open arms back into my community to serve in its school district as an administrator. I definitely had to repent of some prideful sins that occurred in my previous administrator position and this grace led me to a very successful position to end my education career. And most recently, God's grace shined in my retirement when I went to Him to help me see how I could be used for him once I retired and he put this blog, my new book, and other new positions in place for me to continue working for Him. In these examples, I had to humble myself completely to His authority in order to not become prideful and have had to ask for forgiveness many times. These are big examples of God's great grace and sometimes easier to see and share. But, I have some examples of ways you may not realize are God's grace as well. How about God providing me with a sunroom exactly when I needed to begin carving out daily time to pray and study? What about making sure I was home at the exact moment my aunt fell and cracked her skull, and nobody else was around? Or, the snow that has fallen for months, here in town, because we desperately need water in our area? Maybe, it's the fact that someone gave me a Christmas tree stand for my son because it was his sweet families first time having a live Christmas tree, yet they didn't have extra money for a stand? Or, could it be the fact that my grandchildren's Medicaid was approved exactly when they needed to see the doctor? Suppose God's grace was when the storm broke long enough for my family to finally have Christmas dinner together in February? It just might be that I received a free cruise and was able to take my best friend for free when she desperately needed time off. Maybe it was the fact that we had been putting money away from my husbands social security for so long that we had forgotten about it until we needed it to purchase a new truck so we could travel, and out of the blue I remembered we had it. OK, how about this? I have a personal trainer and friend who keeps me accountable for working out each day so that when I slipped on ice and fell, I was not terribly injured. Let's see, maybe His grace was given when my grandson was allowed to leave NICU and go home for good, and now is a smart, thriving 8 year old. I could go on, and on, and on, I am sure, and so could you if you were to take time to sit down and really look for God's grace in your life. My best friend recently completed one entire year of writing in a gratitude journal each night. This is her way of looking for and at God's grace on a daily basis. She often let's me know that I was what she wrote about that night. God's grace has built our strong friendship. My husband thanks God each night before he goes to bed, for the blessings of that day. I write about the graces I see in a reflection journal each morning. These are the ways we intentionally look for God's grace in our lives.

If we continue to just go through life without stopping to see the marvelous grace we receive every day, minute, second, how can our lives ever be changed and improved? How are we able to glorify God for his goodness and share with others, if we, ourselves, do not see His great graces? Right now, stop! Name one of the graces you have received from God today. Write it down, maybe share it with a friend, your husband, your child. Tell someone of God's great work in your life. Now, if there is an area in your life you need to repent about based on that grace that God has given you, so you continue not to sin, do that as well. Acts 20:24 says, " However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace."(NIV) God wants us to notice his grace and to share it with others in order that others might come to Him and enjoy his graces. What will you begin to do, now, so that you can recognize, reflect on, and share, the great grace of God? Please take time to share an example of God's grace in your life on the comment section of this blog. Other's would love to see how God is working and moving in your life. We would all love to hear about God's grace in your life and be able to celebrate it with your and thank God for it.

Now, look over the brim of your hot treat, and notice, I mean really notice, God's Great Grace!

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