No one is Excluded

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Where I First Met Grace (FmF)

Lois house400dpi

Photo courtesy of Barb Utley.

Linking up with Lisa Jo Baker for another Five minute Friday. Prompt is grace.

I still remember the day.

I walked through the gangway, around the back of the brick bungalow and opened the basement door.

Inside the smoke-filled room I saw long tables set up with scraps of paper and Bibles piled on the end. There were bowls of pretzels and twenty-year-olds sitting around crunching. The aroma of coffee filled the room.

Then Lois Peterson, a woman with long dangling earrings sat down on a stool and started talking. She instructed us where to turn in our Bibles. She assigned verses to those who raised their hands.

I felt a warmth I never felt before.

Lois talked about God like she knew him. I mean personally knew him. Her blue eyes sparkled as she told us we could know we were going to heaven.

Lois said God loved us so much he sent his Son to die for us. That when Jesus died on the cross he shed blood. And because he never sinned it was perfect blood. The only thing that could take care of our sin.

Lois called salvation a gift—something we couldn’t work for. Because if we earned it, then it would no longer be a gift.

And she said it was because of God’s grace that Jesus died. All because of grace.

It was the first time I had heard the word. I had heard about Jesus dying before, I didn’t realize how it personally affected me.

What Lois talked about wasn’t something I could do, it was something God had done.

She explained when Jesus said, “It is finished” when he was on the cross, he was talking about the payment for our sins, for my sins. That it was his blood that washed them away.

And I was hungry for this thing called grace.

I knew I was a sinner. I lived with me.

I wanted what she offered. I opened my heart and believed it.

I accepted God’s gift, Jesus.

And that’s where I met grace.

We Need to Talk (FmF)

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Hooking up with Lisa Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday. Prompt: ordinary

I’ve seen you before. I’ve looked into your eyes when you’ve looked away.

I see your hurt. But I want to tell you something.

You matter. You are important.

Sure, it probably doesn’t mean a lot coming from me. But it’s true.

I’ve come to understand some things in a new light.

You aren’t what you think you are—ordinary. The truth is you can’t be.

The maker of everything we see created you.

Purposely he chose each of your features.

He didn’t just haphazardly choose that nose, that mouth. They were handpicked with you in mind.

He gave you that hair. Those eyes that others look to.

And see your hands? They are capable of helping those who are feeling low.

I see you. And I know you don’t feel special, but you are.

The same God who hung the stars in place and named each of them. The same God who fashioned each snowflake to be unique.

He’s the one who made you.

And if that was’t enough, he gave you His Son. He let Jesus be beaten and tortured so that one day when you saw it for yourself, you would believe it. You would hold onto him forever.

I’m talking to you.

You—in the mirror.

Imagine That (FmF)

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Imagine what it will be like when we open our eyes and see clearly for the very first time.

When all around are those we love who went before us. There at the table people are laughing and smiling bigger than ever.

And as you stand there with your mouth gaped open you see him. He’s much better than anything you could imagine.

His eyes are deep and when you look into them you get lost because of their depth.

You are drawn to him with a pull like no other you’ve ever known.

And all you can do is stare. Stare at the hands outstretched to you. You see the holes he left there.

And you know he knows you. Just like the times he sat with you when everyone else left.

He puts his hand on your shoulder and you feel a warmth that radiates your whole being.

And he speaks your name. And then you cry.

Because you’ve heard that voice before. It was the voice that tried to comfort you when you lost one loved one after another. The same voice that told you,

“It’s going to be okay.”

And you know what? He was right. You’re with him now. Forever.

Imagine that.

Linking up with Lisa Jo Baker at Five minute Friday.