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This Is Grace

By |2022-01-23T08:06:03-05:00January 23rd, 2022|

Les Miserablés begins with paroled convict Jean Valjean stealing a priest’s silver. He’s caught, and he expects to be returned to the mines. But the priest shocks everyone when he claims he’d given the silver to Valjean. After the police leave, he turns to the thief, “You belong no longer to evil, but to good.”

Such extravagant love points to the love that flowed from the fountain from which all grace comes. On the Day of Pentecost, Peter told his audience that less than two months before, in that very city, they had crucified Jesus. The crowd was crushed and asked what they must do. Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38). Jesus had endured the punishment they deserved. Now their penalty would be forgiven if they put their faith in Him.

Oh, the irony of grace! The people could only be forgiven because of Christ’s death—a death they were responsible for. How gracious and powerful is God! He has used humanity’s greatest sin to accomplish our salvation! If God has already done this with the sin of crucifying Jesus, we may assume there’s nothing He can’t turn into something good. Trust the One who “in all things . . . works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).

Good News for Feet

By |2019-10-10T07:54:16-04:00October 22nd, 2019|

The ad brought a smile to my face: “The most comfortable socks in the history of feet.” Then, extending its claim of good news for feet even further, the advertiser said that because socks remain the most requested clothing item at homeless shelters, for every pair of socks purchased the company would donate a pair to someone in need...

A Feast of Love

By |2019-10-10T07:47:50-04:00October 21st, 2019|

In the Danish film Babette’s Feast, a French refugee appears in a coastal village. Two elderly sisters, leaders of the community’s religious life, take her in, and for fourteen years Babette works as their housekeeper. When Babette comes into a large sum of money, she invites the congregation of twelve to join her for an extravagant French meal of caviar, quail in puff pastry, and more...

Steel and Velvet

By |2019-10-10T07:46:16-04:00October 19th, 2019|

Poet Carl Sandburg wrote of former US president Abraham Lincoln, “Not often in the story of mankind does a man arrive on earth who is both steel and velvet, . . . who holds in his heart and mind the paradox of terrible storm and peace unspeakable and perfect.” “Steel and velvet” described how Lincoln balanced the power of his office with concern for individuals longing for freedom...

Name of Names

By |2019-09-18T13:57:44-04:00September 21st, 2019|

The name of Antonio Stradivari (1644–1737) is legendary in the world of music. His violins, cellos, and violas are so treasured for their craftsmanship and clarity of sound that many have been given their own names. One of them, for instance, is known as the Messiah-Salabue Stradivarius...

Guiding Light

By |2019-09-11T13:55:42-04:00September 4th, 2019|

The restaurant was lovely but dark. Only one small candle flickered on every table. To create light, diners used their smartphones to read their menus, look to their tablemates, and even to see what they were eating. Finally, a patron quietly pushed back his chair, walked over to a waiter, and asked a simple question...

Who Is He?

By |2019-07-15T12:17:49-04:00July 19th, 2019|

On our way home from our honeymoon, my husband and I waited to check in our luggage at the airport. I nudged him and pointed to a man standing a few feet away. My spouse squinted. “Who is he?” I excitedly rattled off the actor’s most notable roles, then walked up and asked him to take a photo with us. Twenty-four years later, I still enjoy sharing the story of the day I met a movie star.

Victory Parade

By |2019-07-12T16:29:06-04:00July 17th, 2019|

In 2016 when the Chicago Cubs baseball team won the World Series for the first time in more than a century, some sources said that five million people lined the parade route and gathered at a downtown rally to celebrate the championship. Victory parades are not a modern invention. A famous ancient parade was the Roman Triumph, in which victorious generals led a procession of their armies and captives through crowded streets...

Every Story

By |2019-07-03T16:38:04-04:00July 4th, 2019|

I opened the whimsically illustrated children’s Bible and began to read to my grandson. Immediately we were enthralled as the story of God’s love and provision unfurled in prose. Marking our place, I turned the book over and read the title once again: The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name...

What Kind of Savior Is He?

By |2019-01-04T16:13:00-05:00January 9th, 2019|

Last year, friends and I prayed for healing for three women battling cancer. We knew God had the power to do this, and we asked Him to do so every day. We’d seen Him work in the past and believed He could do it again. There were days in each one’s battle where healing looked like it was a reality, and we rejoiced. But they all died that fall. Some said that was “the ultimate healing,” and in a way it was. Still the loss hurt us deeply...

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