“Grace Like Rain”

The scent of fresh rain is one of my favorite scents in the world. Yes, it can get old easily if the rain doesn’t stop for days. But at the sight of a much needed rain fall, I always feel such a sense of peace and calmness in my life. (Don’t get me wrong…too much rain can be disastrous!) Yet much, like the waters of my Baptism, the rain washes away all the dirt and makes things clean again. In addition, growing up with my Dad, Uncle, and Grandparents who farm, I also know the vitality of rain to the harvest season.

Do you ever think of grace like that rain that washes down and makes all things new? This morning, I was listening to my Pandora station when the song “Grace like Rain” by Chris Tomlin came on. It is one of those songs that I love because it is the words to the hymn “Amazing Grace” (one of my favorite hymns) intermingled with words from the new songwriter. The additional lyrics really caught my attention this morning: “Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me; Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away, washed away”

And that is the thing, friends, God’s grace does rain down on us. God’s grace rained down on me during my seminary journey. God’s grace rained down on me when I went to work at Super Awesome Bible Camp. God’s grace rained down and continues to rain down on my family as we journey the path of mental illness. God’s grace rained down on us during our parent’s divorce. In fact, the more I think about, the more and more I see the fingerprints of God’s grace in my life.  The truth is that God’s grace continually rains down on us through life’s joys and sorrows. And God’s grace continues to rain down on you too friends!!

Yes, sometimes the soil is so dry, parched, and desperately in need of rain and we keep asking for that rain to come so we lift up our prayers asking for God to provide. And eventually God does provide and the rain does come. The same goes for the grace of God. God knows when we need it and God will provide it for us. It is just often God’s timing is so much different than ours. (Do you ever wonder if God is in a completely different time zone than you are?)

Yet God always comes and rains down on each and every one of God’s people!

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Unspeakable Joy Revisited!

Awhile back I posted about a Chris Tomlin Christmas cd where he does the song, “Joy to the World” but interlays it with a chorus he wrote. Two words from the chorus really hit me when I heard the song for the first time. Those two words were “Unspeakable joy.” As we enter into the Ephiphany season, may we always remember the unspeakable joy we find in Christ who tells us who and whose we are. The words from the chorus go as follows: “Joy, Unspeakable Joy, An Overflowing Well, No Tongue Can Tell, Joy, Unspeakable Joy, Rises In My Soul, Never Let Me Go (Copyright Matthew West)” So as I put away my Christmas decorations, I cant help but cling to those words. God never lets us go! God tells us always who and whose we are! May we never forget that!

And since it is so easy for us to forget that I ask you to check out Matthew West’s song on his Christmas cd titled the “Day after  Christmas.” It is a reminder that the light of Christ is with us throughout the year!

Outrageous Grace! Unspeakable Joy!

Outrageous Grace! Unspeakable Joy! Last night I was at a church meeting and one of the ladies shared a poem that talked about the crazy “jingle jangle” of the holidays and how there is no mention of taking time to pray etc. As I closed my eyes and sat and listened to her read the poem, the one phrase that really jumped out at me was the phrase, “outrageous grace.” (Now leave it to me and all the rest of us good Lutherans to really find ourselves resonating with that phrase) But what is outrageous grace? What does outrageous grace look like? I think outrageous grace comes in so many and various ways. Outrageous grace is when someone stops to help you when you are having car troubles. Outrageous grace is holding an infant in your arms and knowing that nothing but nothing can seperate us from the love of God. Outrageous grace, I believe, is watching parents interact with their children. I am reminded of my friend L and her son. She really doesnt like making sugar cookies but she did it because her son wanted to. And in the end, the mess and the smile on his face was totally worth it…that is outrageous grace!! 🙂 Outrageous grace is taking time this holiday season to stand in the cold and ring the bell for the Salvation Army. Outrageous grace is patiently waiting for your first child to be born! (GirlwithBlog and J, I’m thinking of you today) Outrageous grace is realizing that Im not always right! What does outrageous grace look like to you?

In addition, I happened to be listening to one of my favorite Christian radio stations yesterday when another phrase jumped out at me. Im not one hundred percent sure on the artist but I think it was Chris Tomlin. The song is his rendition of “Joy to the World” (I think thats the song) and in the middle he keeps repeating the phrase “unspeakable joy”. So what is unspeakable joy? In many ways I think outrageous grace and unspeakable joy can look a lot a like. Unspeakable joy is hearing a friend tell about the benefit that was held for her and being overwhelmed by the many people and the money that was raised. Unspeakable joy is reading about a college friend and her family’s adoption journey. Unspeakable joy is watching a seminary friends family grow especially after their long awaited journey of getting that child about 3-4 years ago!

Unspeakable Joy….
Outrageous Grace….
Unspeakable Joy…
Outrageous Grace