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The Last Goodbye

The Last Goodbye is the hardest one to say!12474537_s

The tide recedes but leaves behind
bright seashells on the sand.
The sun goes down, but gentle
warmth still lingers on the land.
The music stops, and yet it echoes
on in sweet refrains…..
For every joy that passes,
something beautiful remains.
Read the rest of this entry

Faith vs Presumption & A Give-Away!

This is WEEK 18 of the Character Development Series I am doing for 2012.  So glad you stopped by!

This month also marks the 1st Year Anniversary of Grace & Grit.  To celebrate, I want to give away a book by Max Lucado, one of my favorite authors.  His book, In the Grip of Grace goes hand in hand with our topic of Faith vs Presumption and it also talks about what is so very dear to my heart, God’s unmerited GRACE!.  To enter for a chance to win a hard copy of this book, just leave a comment sharing about something that increased your faith.  For extra entries, tweet or share about this give away on FB and let me know you did that.  This offer ends Wednesday, May 23.

Faith means:
1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. Read the rest of this entry

BONHOEFFER

    FAITH?….CONVICTION?….GOD’S WILL?…..PURPOSE?…..SURRENDER?….SACRIFICE?  These are the attributes explored in Eric Metaxas’ biographical account of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German martyr who gave his life to make a stand against the evil of Hitler and Nazi Germany.
In times of adversity, when being a Christian and taking action for your beliefs comes at a heavy price, men like Bonhoeffer reveal to us an example of a life lived for extraordinary purpose, and with extraordinary circumstances.  This book is a very detailed account of a brilliant and courageous life, a life that impacted millions and still holds relevant insight for the Christian of modern times.  It explores his passion for having a very intimate relationship with Jesus, and for teaching others how to separate from mere religious ceremony and regulation so that they could reach into the lives of others with purpose and compassion, and to make Jesus real and personable in everyday life.  It explores his thoughts on grace, and portrays how deeply a true understanding of God’s grace can penetrate a heart and feel it with deep conviction and purpose.  It explores the grey areas of decision that all Christians must face in times of war and unusual circumstances and Bonhoeffer’s deep convictions to honor what he believed God wanted him to do even if others misunderstood or did not agree.
I enjoyed reading this book, and found myself being able to relate to the time period and events through Bonhoeffer’s eyes in new and insightful ways.  It was quite disturbing to me, actually, to comprehend how drastically Germany changed in a very short period of time.  I couldn’t help but wonder about the possibility that Christians today could find themselves in similar circumstances.  If such were to transpire, I wonder how many modern Christians would be able to come forward and embrace pending death for the cause of Christ with the conviction and gratitude that Bonhoeffer and his comrades were able to do.  I highly recommend this book, and believe it will challenge you to look closely at your own beliefs and convictions.

We Each Have A Castle To Gaurd.

This is Dunrobin Castle in Scotland.  It is a majestic thing of beauty and yet it represents all the strength and fortitude a castle should.  Many of us will never get to travel to an authentic ancient castle, but we each have our own castle to gaurd…it is whatever God has entrusted to us on this earth.

He loves us enough to give us the resources that we need to defend our castles.  Castles have high walls and many are built on high hills or mountaintops so that the view upon the enemy is an advantage.  If we are his child, our  castle is built high upon a rock, the ROCK WHICH IS CHRIST.  He is an unmoveable, unchangeable, solid Rock.

Castles have many windows and vantage points.  These serve the dual purpose of letting in the light of the sun (they didn’t have electricity back then) and providing a view of the surrounding grounds and terrain.  From such a vantage point, an approaching foe or friend could be identified from miles away.  Our castles have windows to let in the LIGHT of God’s direction.  If we keep a vigilant watch, He will show us any approaching enemy and he will allow us His perspective and view on the surrounding world.

Castles often have protective features of  a controlled approach and entrance.  Many even have drawbridges and moats.  A moat is the water that prevents the enemy from being able to get ladders against the walls of the castle or otherwise provides a barrier to challenge the enemy’s ability to get close enough for a full fledged assault.  This forces the enemy to keep a distance in attack and makes it easier to defend the castle.  In biblical terms, WATER represents the LIVING WORD.  By staying in the Word of God, we add a protective defence to help us gaurd and defend our treasures and to keep the enemy at a distance.  The Word teaches us the battle plan and strategies for living a safe, protected and honorable life.  The Word keeps us holy, pure, and seperated from the world around us that is full of ungodly living, and wrong choices.  We need to monitor carefully what we allow to enter our castle for the enemy can often sneak in through something we allow, and then have the advantage of launching an ambush from within.

Did you also know that the castles of Medieval times had dungeons.  I think our castles should have a dungeon as well.  What goes in the dungeon?  The wrong thoughts, the wrong influences, the wrong associations, anything that is contrary to God’s will for our life, that would hinder our relationship with him and dishonor Him.

casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ  2 CORINTHIANS 10:5

What are  my treasures?  My home, my family, the Earthly blessings I have been given to be a trusted steward over, and most importantly…

My relationship with my Heavenly Father, the most high King and gaurdian of my life…for I am his castle to gaurd.

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