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May 12, 2018

Amazing Grace


We have all heard the song and know the lyrics, "amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me...". The dictionary defines grace as "being the free and unmerited favor of God." Favor is further defined as "an act of kindness beyond what is due or usual." Knowing what we know about God and that he gave his son Jesus to die for us, we certainly understand why His grace is called amazing.

Still, many take God's grace for granted or act in a way that discounts or dismisses the miracle of Jesus. What about you? Are you in awe of God's grace or do you find yourself moving through life numb to the greatest gift provided to you? Do you model Jesus in showing grace to others or are you short tempered and self centered?  

You see, grace is certainly a gift from God. It is also a gift you can give to others. Rather than jumping to conclusion, being irritated, or judging others try a bit of grace. When you think about speaking your mind, setting the record straight or getting even substitute in grace instead.

God's grace is amazing. It is limitless, powerful, life changing and available. Tap into God's grace by walking with Him, staying grounded in His Word and being like Jesus to others especially when they least deserve any grace from you at all.

Let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift he gave us in his dear Son! Ephesians 1:6

Mar 10, 2018

Perfection


We are told "to err is human". Still, many of us strive for perfection or believe others have achieved it. Perfect skin, perfect hair or perfect lifestyle seem to be just a product or purchase away. The grass is always greener and frequently the world can have you believing you too can achieve perfection. 

If you are like most people, every day you find yourself making a mistake or learning you were incorrect in your thinking, or a decision or action. It may be something simple like failing to complete a task because you are distracted, sending a text to the wrong person or making an incorrect turn while driving. It could be that you trusted someone and found them to be dishonest or thought a person was rude and learned they aren't rude at all but merely have a hearing deficit. We all have short comings and make errors. The bottom line is that no one is perfect and you can't be perfect either. 

As humbling or embarrassing as being imperfect can be, it serves as a great reminder that we are just human and the only one that is perfect is Jesus Christ. The pressure is off. You need not strive to be something you cannot be. God knows you are imperfect. That is exactly why He sent his Son to die for your sins. You are free to humbly and simply be in Christ and know that God loves you just as you are. You are perfect in God's sight because of the sacrifice and triumph of Jesus. Isn't that as perfect as you could ever want to be? 

“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 1 Peter 2:22




Feb 6, 2018

Letting Your Spirit Catch Up With You

Chapel at Providence St. Joseph Burbank, CA

And we're off! Does your life feel like a day at the races? Are you spinning in activity and finding there is not enough time in the day? You are not alone. It seems the more technology we have at our fingertips the less time we have to really enjoy the day. The 'do more with less" philosophy has only added to the problem. There is way less time for you in your day, not to mention the time squeeze that has been put on your relationship with God.

In the midst of the daily routine and constant quest to catch up, you must also take time to let your spirit catch up with you. Your spirit and your relationship with God should take top priority.  If not, you will find you are all out of sorts, misaligned, on the edge, and feeling in over your head.  Yes, I know you are too busy, too tired, and too stressed. That is even more reason to take 10 or 15 minutes to stop everything and be still. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes. Clear your mind. Soon you will feel calmer, centered, and focused because your spirit finally caught up with you. 

Now that you and your spirit are together sitting in a quiet place, you can actually listen for the still small voice of God. He is right where you are. He is resting upon you and delighted to have you in His presence. Now that is what I call the best catching up you or anyone could do.





“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10

Nov 21, 2017

I Am......Grateful



There are so many words that can be selected to describe a person. Adjectives frequently used reference age, gender, race, political persuasion, social status, and physical characteristics.  There may be references made to a person's character or lifestyle and accomplishments or failures. In some cases the words may reflect a bias or generalization and others may be very specific and descriptive.

You may use particular adjectives when describing those you love, work with, had past relationships with or have recently met. Words like old, young, short, fit, kind, anxious or others may find there way into your description. All too frequently individuals can be painted in a particular light simply from conversations or words spread via the "grapevine". In fact, you paint a picture and describe yourself subconsciously with your dialogue in your own mind.

The words you use to describe yourself and your "I ams" influence the way you live your life. You may, for example, tell yourself "I am smart, loving, beautiful and kind". You could, on the other hand, be saying, "I am unattractive, have no talent and can't succeed'. You really are what you think you are, so choose your "I ams" very carefully! 

If you are being critical or negative with your thoughts about exactly who you are, begin today with changing that dialogue. Start with filling your mind with a list that competes this "I Am"....I Am Grateful. List all the things you are grateful for and follow that with reminding yourself of the I Ams God believes about you:

I am a friend of Jesus Christ. 
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I call you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 
John 15:15

I am a work of art. For you are God's masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do. Ephesians 2:10

I am powerful. For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self control.   2 Timothy 1-7
I am a radiator of  light.“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14
I am the salt of the earth. “You are the salt of the earth.” Matthew 5:13
I am grateful!!!
Happy Thanksgiving From The Daily Journey

Oct 1, 2017

The Very Best


You know it when you see it. When it happens you can identify it and remember it forever. It is "the very best". It may be the very best vacation, apple pie, pair of comfy jeans, frothy cup of coffee, or slice of authentic NY pizza. Whatever it is, you know it when you experience it. It could be the very best relationship with a friend or group of friends, team, colleagues or church group. 

Everything about the very best is, well, perfect. Everything gels, suits your fancy, makes you feel great and leads you to desiring another dose of the best whatever it is. Often, you may not know that what you are experiencing is "the best" until later when it is compared to another version of the same thing. Then you realize that you had the "best" and you may even say, "oh wow, this is not as great as xxxxx. That was way better. It was the best I ever had." Best can be taken for granted. Best friends, best relationships, best organizations, best teachers, best jobs, best neighborhoods, etc. 

No matter what it is, the best can never be replaced and should always be treasured.
Jesus Christ is the BEST. Nothing compares or even comes close to His greatness. 

Jesus is....

Joy
Love
Hope
Peace
Friend
Messiah
High Priest
Prince of Peace
Light of the World
Beginning and End
Name Above All Names
Lord of Heaven and Earth
Quencher of Darkness
Author of Salvation
Good Shepard
First and Last 
King of Kings
Morning Star
Wisdom
Strength
Grace
Truth
Best
God


I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. Psalm 63:1-3