Grace in your face

 

Tonight was a whirlwind for my husband. Our friends were visiting from Idaho. They moved away five months ago and we were SO blessed to have a real hug in person, to visit and to sit at a meal together.

There was sharing and laughter and good eats. Then the guys decided to take our friends Subaru for a drive. Our friend had bought it six months ago, just before his move. My boys LOVE Subaru’s and everyone was excited to check it out. The first ride was a run with my sons in the car. They took it to back roads and on a gravel road did some showing off.

Then the guys brought the boys back and went out by themselves. Dan was driving our friends car. There was a little playing with the car on a straight away back road, but Dan had slowed down and was driving normal when a curve was coming up, that he knew was there.

Dan had not driven a stick in ages and this car had power. Dan slowed down before the curve and somewhere somehow,  that is when things changed quickly. He describes the moment as slow motion. The car left the road and rolled. There was no guard rail, there was no skidding, there was no wreckless driving, just a ditch to meet and it totalled the car.

The men were trapped, upside down. They unbuckled and dropped and had to break out the window to get out of the car. There is so much that was happening in their minds and in the process, I was not there, so I can not fully comprehend or relay the experience. But what I can relay is the reaction of a Godly friend.

Dan was panicked in that car. He is claustrophobic in normal situations, there was a moment he was trapped. The car had smoke coming in, our friend had a bloody nose, the airbags had went off, they were buckled in and it took breaking a window to get out of the car.

Our friend talked Dan through the panic and kept a level head.

Dan was beside himself to have destroyed a friends beautiful car. Our friend assured him  over and over that this possession was not more important than Dan. He was thankful to be with Dan. He was full of grace and kindness and forgiveness. There was nothing but assurance and an example of love.

This reminds me how the Lord is with His children. He is full of grace, full of love, full of assurance. He knows His children’s hearts and when we come to Him with a contrite heart, asking for forgiveness, our God offers it. Just in this way. No strings attached.

God also showed favor and grace in another way. Our finances are a mess. But we have enough set aside for the deductible of the accident. We were saving it for moving when the home is taken away, but we know that there will be a different provision if and when that time comes. Our God IS a supplier and full of mercy and grace.

There was no ticket, the police officer found no fault with Dan’s spotless driving record, and stated. ” usually, there would be a ticket, but I see no sign of reckless driving and a ticket will not help your situation so I am not going to give you one.” Again this is a sign of how unmerited grace works. We did not deserve that favor, it was just given.

Our friend Don  (Best friends dad) was over for dinner as well and  happened to not go on that drive .  He received the call and went to them. He did not give us women details to worry us, he went with a calm. He was saved from the experience of the wreck and I am so thankful for that. He was there to be a calm and a hand to aid the guys at the site. He was an encouraging and solid voice and I am SO blessed he was there. Another example of God’s grace!

My husband and our friend…. WALKED from the car. The fireman said they were extremely lucky to have no injuries. Again, this is a sign of grace.

Dan was angry at his fault at wrecking a friends car, he was furious, he felt bad, he felt foolish, we have a thousand different ways we would have rather this day have gone, but we have experienced grace in a way we never had before.

This friend, never once raised his voice or blamed Dan in the situation, but assured him and encouraged him instead. The wife (my best friend) was with me when we got the news and she was teary eyed, not over the vehicle or the disappointing concerns of what to do to fix it all, but she was teary eyed over knowing how bad my husband would feel. She was concerned for us and our finances. She was concerned for us and not themselves.

What have I learned from this example? Think twice where I would find fault with another, even if fault is theirs, I can find that as an opportunity to extend grace!  I can show love regardless of a situation. There are far more important things than what my small mind may see.

Thank you dear friends for being a living example on being a child of God that gives unmerited favor to others…. grace is an amazing gift to receive!!!

Challenge this day friends: Recognize areas in your life where you have experienced grace. Extend grace in new ways to others in your life. Be a living example of Jesus.

Hebrews 4:16-

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

(NIV)

Thank you Lord for keeping your children safe in their time of need!!!!

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Chocolate’s anyone?

When the boys were small they loved to play with play dough. I had been keeping them busy with a brand new color while Dan and a friend played a very intense Grand Turismo game session on the Playstation.

Our boys had come into the living room with their latest creation on a plate.
“You want some chocolate?” They asked Dan. Dan grabbed a piece and pretended to eat it.

They went over to our friend Mark. ” You want a chocolate?” they asked. Mark picked up a piece of play dough that resembled a piece of chocolate quite perfectly and popped it in his mouth, all the while his eyes never leaving the game. That is until the flavor of what he just put in his mouth began to sink into his brain.

The boys were as shocked as Mark when they realized that he ate their play dough.

How often do we take something in our lives that we think is going to be sweet and good and all that yumminess, only to find out it is bland and lifeless and leads to an upset stomach.

There are many counterfeits to the word of God. There are many ways we try to fill ourselves up to try and get a smidgen of joy. But even if I forget for a moment, I am brought back around that the only way to have the fullness of joy that leaves me daily stronger and healed, is through the Word of God. Knowing the Father through the Son. Tasting and seeing that the LORD  is good and taking refuge in Him.

Challenge this day my friend : Evaluate what you are tasting, even if it looks good, is it the real deal?

Pslam 34:8

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him. ( New Living Translation )

Where does my help come from?

People have come and gone. As the storms of life roll in, I find there are very few forever faithful friends. You know, the friend that is there not because they want something but because they want to see you through for once.
However there is time even my faithful friends are not enough.
There have been storms after storms that we are facing this season in the Anthony household. I have struggled with the fibro and virus after virus, Dan gets laid off and we lose more than half our income, best friends live thousands of miles away, a close loved one is currently in critical condition, many friends and family members are watching their marriages fall apart and losing the will to fight for them.
I have my burdens and the burdens of others constantly laying in my lap.
In a matter of months things ‘look’ grim.
A normal human nature is to ‘worry’ over all these issues. To feel hopeless or frustrated because just as you get above water again, a new wave crashes over the top of you.
We need to know the truth, that worry accomplishes nothing. To give up hope and despair leads to destruction, not your victory.
My eyes need to be on the amazing God that has ALWAYS seen me through every single storm. My help is the same today as it was yesterday. last week, last month and the last three decades. (Man this makes me remember how old I am )
I can stop and see grace from His hand and His favor at every turn.
God is my help, He is my source.

I have joy because my strength is in Him no matter what my circumstance. He walks with me. His plan for me is that I prosper and He gives me a future full of hope.

I ask you this day; “where does your help come from?”
I challenge you: Humble yourself and allow help to come. See your victories and focus on those moments when help arrived and know it will come again. If you don’t know the Lord as your help, consider Him. He is an amazing ally!