Tag Archive | Peggy Wright

But for grace!

 It’s Sunday, a day I love to enjoy. Briefly let me sum up what penetrated my heart today. It is all about grace, saving grace, amazing grace, nothing but grace!

The songs, the sermon, the skit at church this morning communicated this theme, that we are saved by grace and grace alone. Not by good works of our own puny efforts, but by the grace provided by Jesus’ death on the cross. That wonderful lesson put joy in my heart today and will until the day I leave this earth clothed in Christ’s grace.

Today I give you a song, the one sung with conviction and power by members of Little Flock’s worship team. It sums up my testimony.

If Not For Your Grace”

  by Israel Houghton and Aaron Lindsey

Where would I be if not for your grace? Carrying me in every season.

Where would I be if not for Your grace? You came to my rescue

And I want to thank You for Your grace.

Grace that restores, grace that redeems, grace that releases me to worship.

Grace that repairs visions and dreams, grace that releases miracles.

Your grace – Your grace –

Have you experienced this wonderful grace? Leave a comment and let’s share our joy.

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It was a good day

When I got up this morning, while it was still dark, I saw a sliver of the moon in the pre-dawn sky with a star-like planet glowing close beside it. It was the start of a good Saturday.

I anticipated the “No Other Gods Bible study women” coming to our house at 8:30. After my own quiet time and coffee, I showered, dressed, and made muffins and a fresh pot of coffee. I peeked my head out the door and saw the sun shining and felt its warmth, a welcome relief after so much cold and snow.

The women came bringing their smiles and their Bibles. We shared a sweet time of fellowship and what we had learned during our week of study. There were some tender moments, some “yes, I know what you mean” moments, and some prayerful moments.

After the ladies left, Sweet William and I went to pick up my little black car and found that Bob Montgomery Honda is true to their word in giving good service. We were satisfied. Since I was only a hop, skip, and a jump away from my Dad’s house, we stopped for a short visit. He and Esther were glad we had come.

Afterward, Bill and I went to one of our favorite restaurants, China Garden, for lunch. It has been a special place for us since we were first married.

I got a chance to go to the Dollar Tree, a place that has a little of everything and where I could spend a lot more than a dollar if I let myself.

I managed to resist going by a thrift store, my personal addiction, because I really don’t need anything and I’m trying to save money instead of spend it.

When I got home, the day had turned so beautiful that I opened my kitchen window for some fresh air as I typed at the computer.

Daylight was fading but I still had time for a walk. I took our Maltese along, who has become a chubby buddy through the winter. Let’s don’t talk about his owner’s weight.

I donned my walking shoes and grabbed Buddy’s leash. It felt good to be out moving. As I passed a neighbor’s house, I watched the mourning doves doing some sort of dance in the air. A dozen or so of them twittered as they flew from one tree to another, from one yard to another. I wondered if they were enjoying this day like I was.

On the walk back to my house, a flock of Canadian geese flew overhead, honking at me below.

After a good stretch, I was happy to have made it almost two laps of my lane. Supper and a movie finished me off for the day. My snugly warm PJ’s feel good now.

My grandson, Ethan, has a standard phrase with which he starts his bedtime prayers when he spends the night. Tonight I’d like to echo them.

It’s been a good day.    

 

 

Please leave a comment and tell me about your day.

A fresh word

 

This is my first week of the new Bible study, No Other Gods, by Kelly Minter.  I admire this young woman who writes Bible studies and is wise beyond her young years.

Today, as I was reading a verse from the study, I had an epiphany.  I know I have read 2 Corinthians many times. Why is this verse is not highlighted, circled or in some way marked as choice tidings like so many other verses in my Bible?  But it wasn’t. It lay there on the page as a fresh Word to be discovered and assimilated.  Perhaps it struck a resonating chord today because of the conversation I had last night with two sweet young friends.

After Little Flock Celebration Choir practice last night, two young women came into my office where I was gathering my coat and bag. They came just to chat with me.  I can’t began to tell you on paper, I mean on computer screen, how very dear these young friends are to me.  At my grandmotherly age, having young women who want to hang around and talk is a treasure I hold close to my heart.

As women will do, we talked here and there and everywhere.  It was one of those conversations that would be hard to keep up with unless you possess the xx chromosomes of femininity.  (Please guys, don’t take offense.  It’s just the way we girls are made.)

The conversation turned to trials and troubles, our own and those of others.  We all have them.  Problems are no respecter of persons or age categories. And we wondered why they come and must be endured?

Don’t you wonder why sometimes?  I certainly have wondered and questioned and felt the frustration of not getting the answer.  I’ve had to settle with knowing my God has His reasons and that one day, in a place far better than I am now, He will explain, or either I will be so overwhelmed and delighted in His presence that I won’t even care to know anymore.

And so I wake this morning to find a nugget of gold in my Bible study.  Second Corinthians 1:9 records Paul’s counsel to the church and to me, and perhaps to you.  Under inspiration from God, he wrote:

Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.  But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God  who rasies the dead.” (NIV, emphasis mine)

An answer to my question has been right there all the time.

I can attest to and confess that I have tried relying on myself quite a number of times, only to realize I was not up to the task.  When I turned to my Father, after attempting and failing, I found He was more than able and His grace quite sufficient.

I am encouraged this morning by the words of a loving God who cares about my quandaries.  He spoke directly into my heart today. I won’t say much more except to give one more companion verse I found while looking for the other one.  I looked in First Corinthians 1:9 before I realized I was in the wrong book.  It is equally good, and for me, follows on the heals of the other one.  It says:

God, Who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.”

Faithful! Oh that word conjures up memories of His faithfulness to me in the past, time after time after time.

Wow, I just want to shout “glory” this morning!  There is a purpose in my trials and troubles.  He has not left me alone to struggle by myself.  He has called me into fellowship with Jesus.  And He is the faithful God who will do what He has promised.

I am filled up with courage today. I hope you are too.

 

Please leave a comment.

Tell me how God has been faithful to you in your trials. I want to rejoice with you.

Left to wait

 I learned something not long ago. Actually it was revealing. Let me tell you about it.

I waited for someone the other day. I made an appointment, called and confirmed the time and place. Normally, when I know I may have to wait for any length of time, I bring a magazine or book so I am not “wasting time.”

But this day, I didn’t think to bring anything with me.   So there I sat at McDonald’s on Blue Lick Road, drinking coffee while watching and waiting for her. But she didn’t show up, nor did she call to tell me why.  I was disappointed, hurt, frustrated.

Here is the revealing part. I thought of how many times I had left my Lord waiting for me – the One who redeemed me from my debt of sin, paid the ultimate price for my soul, and offered me His friendship. Many times, I made plans to meet Him, then I let something else get in the way, or simply forgot.  I have canceled too many appointments or put other things first.

Other things. How many times have I let other things get between God and me?

I have just started a Bible study by Kelly Minter (remember her from the Ruth study?). The title is No Other Gods.  Today’s study got me to thinking about any functional gods I have let become too important in my life.

What other things could be more important than my relationship with Jesus? The way that relationship deepens and grows is by spending time with him.

David said, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsts for thee, my flesh longs for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is . . .” (Psalm 63:1)

The priority of keeping my early morning appointments with my Savior and Lord cannot be stressed enough. Especially as I  consider the incredible thought that He looks forward to meeting with me.  I do not want to disappoint Him again.

 

Please leave a comment.  I enjoy getting to know you when you put your thoughts into words.

A letter from a friend

 

  When I went to the mailbox, there it was. An envelope with the tell-tale stickers all over it. I knew who sent it before I looked at the return address or recognized the familiar hand writing.

A letter from my sweet young friend who lives in another city is always a welcome treat. She and I have been pen pals for a number of years now since she moved away. We used to go to church together; and she was in my Sunday school class at one time.

We talk on the phone occasionally. We even manage a visit one in awhile.

In this day of email, Facebook, cell phones, and instant messages of all sorts, letters are an old fashioned way of communicating. Yet my friend and I treasure this ritual.

She says she finds little time to write these days, being a mother of a delightful pre-schooler. She spends a lot of time interacting with her daughter, volunteering at her church, and keeping the home fires burning for her husband and family. No wonder she doesn’t have much time to write. And that is part of what makes the letter so precious. It is her offering, her sacrifice of time, that tells me she values our friendship.

I have to say I enjoy having my cell phone handy when I need to make a quick call or talk to Sweet William. I am a little duck in the big puddle of Facebook, checking on friends and family. And email is one of the most efficient ways for me to communicate when I am at the office.

But there is no substitute for the written word on paper stuffed in an envelope that is covered with cute stickers.  There are even a few lines written on the outside to entice me to delve into the contents. It is worth much more than the 44 cent stamp that brought it to me.   

It is a memorial of friendship. It makes me remember her and our times together. It brings a smile and a chuckle.

I can’t wait to start a letter back to her.

The written word.  I’ve been reading and thinking about it alot lately.  God allows us to share ourselves through words spoken and written.  It is the same with Him.  He shared Himself through spoken words to prophets and the written word preserved for us in the book called the Holy Bible.  Yet, even more astounding is the truth that He shared Himself like no other ever has.  The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. 

In the beginning was the Word . . .

Please leave your comment, your words.  I love reading them.

A gentle reminder

 

This week I randomly picked the book of Ephesians to read at my early morning quiet time.  

When I’m not in a group Bible study with a particular passage to survey, I am free to go where the Spirit leads. I came to a halt at verse 12 of chapter 1. This is how it read in my Amplified Bible:

So that we who first hoped in Christ – who first put our confidence in Him – have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of His glory.” (emphasis mine)

I was struck down by those words and began to meditate on them. Right there at that very verse, I had penciled in a date, 1-23-10, almost exactly a year from this day.

Hum, the same book of the Bible and the same verse captured my thoughts in January. Something is up. I wanted to go back to last year’s journal writing and see what was going on with me then.

Sure enough, on January 23, 2010, I had recorded my thoughts. Here is a portion of what I wrote:

What would it look like if I lived out my daily activity for the praise of His glory?

I’m stumped and stymied by that heart question this early morning. I try to be pleasant and put on my best face and behavior at work and with my piano students. My work and performance evaluation reflect my attitude for sure, and I want a good reflection. Even one of my goals is to ‘leave them smiling’ whether that’s a checkout person at Kroger or the optical assistant at Lens Crafters. What if I did that in the deeply intimate confines of my home – with Bill each day? What if I determined to leave him smiling each morning and came home with my most cheerfulness each evening. What if he so looked forward to my home-coming because I reflected the joy of the Lord within me?”

It would seem that I am still a work in progress; otherwise why would the Holy Spirit bring me back around to that mountain again?

I must confess there are long days at work, and I come home weary and worn out. I’ve given the best I have to other people. Sometimes when I come home, I’m just given out. I’m not sure that is a good enough excuse to allow me to grump and grumble as soon as I walk into my home.

Home should be a refuge, a safe place, a sanctuary for Sweet William and me. Admittedly, sometimes it’s a tilt-a-whirl and a roller coaster.  

So once again in January 2011, I pray a prayer from last year.

Oh, Father, I pray for a Son-shiny day in my heart today. I can determine all I want to, but unless Your strength is exerted in me, I am helpless and hopeless. I am asking for bread this morning, not candy or frivolous stuff. Bread that gives strength and nourishes my very soul. Bread that only You can supply. Bread that will make my inner woman strong and able to live a life pleasing to You all day long.”

And I add one last request this Janaury 2011.

Let me live for the praise of Your glory!

What’s your hurry?

 

It was snowing as I drove to work this morning.  A little more caution is needed on snowy days now that I drive that little black Honda.  My old car, the big blue Cadillac, was a tank on snow crusted roads, and I had no fear.  Well, not as much fear.

I left in plenty of time to get to work and still drive at a safe, slower speed.  That is until I got behind a salt truck. Actually, there were three cars ahead of me, and we all followed the truck on curvy Preston Highway.  There are only two places to pass on the entire journey.  There was no passing today.  And the truck was going at the rate of 25 mph.  Not kidding. 

Bill called while I was still a couple of miles from my destination and said, “I guess you are there now.”  No, I was not! I told him my predicament, and he explained to me that the truck needed to go slow so it could spread plenty of salt to make the road safe for travelers.  Travelers like me and the 15 or so cars that were now in line behind the truck.  OK, I understand.

When I realized I would not be able to go faster then 25 mph, I had to tell myself to relax and enjoy the ride.  You know, I have said that often as my life mantra, “Life is a journey, enjoy the ride.” Funny how I needed a reminder today.

As I drove past familiar places, I noticed things I’ve not paid attention to while doing 55 mph.  I observed the beauty of fresh fallen snow.  I prayed for people on my prayer list.  And it became a pleasant ride.

Why are we in such a hurry all the time?  Is it only me?  Often I buzz from one activity to another, from one appointment to the next.  Sometimes, I’m thinking about the next thing to do while I’m doing the present thing.  Can’t I just be in the moment and live it for what its worth?

We have become a people living in the fast lane, I’m sad to say. Sitting on the porch and waving to the neighbors is from the “olden days.” Playing sandlot ball with the cousins and the kids on the block has succumbed to organized sports and lots of scheduled practice days.  We boast of multi-tasking.  “I’m just so busy” has become our badge of worth. 

Today we have so many opportunities to do things and learn more.  Does that mean we have to do them all on the same day?

Is it any wonder we have trouble being still and knowing He is God?

The 23rd Psalm imparts these lovely words to those driving themselves frantically: 

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He restores my soul.”

I need my soul restored quite often.  It has never been the Lord’s plan for me to run myself ragged. I need to take a breath, slow my pace and simply enjoy the ride.