Back around 2005-2007 I had an idea to create a Christian clothing line called “Grace Thru Faith/Christian Couture.” As my pea-brain was trying to recall why I had chosen that name, I quickly rifled through my stack of papers searching for anything that I had saved from 9-10 years ago. I came across a weary looking piece of legal sized paper with these words at the top of the page, 'Have an idea folder'. Yes! What a great idea! Wonder where that folder is today?!
Then I see that I started to write down why I had perhaps chosen this particular name with the words, “Ephesians 2:8-10—look at the footnotes.” As I am looking back at the pink hi-lighted and multiple starred footnotes in my Bible, I read about how these verses explain that our salvation is a gift from God. We are saved through faith, not by our works, only by His grace and mercy.
Pause with me for a few moments to take in just how life-changing and awesome this gift is. Grace = underserved favor. (I despise the word ‘deserve.’ More on that in a future blog perhaps?) God created us in His own image. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). And, shortly after He created humans, we messed up big time! Yes, ‘we’, not just Eve. Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, in Paradise, yet, they weren’t satisfied or content. And, I am guessing that you know the rest of the story. I bring this up as a reminder that even though we royally messed up in the beginning, (and there is sooooo much more to the story after that, if you have not yet done a Bible-read-thru, I highly recommend doing that with a trusted fellow Christ-follower. This website, spreadinggoodness.org, is great for more information.) God had mercy on us and made a way for us (through Jesus dying on the cross) to repent and turn to Him and receive this priceless gift of salvation.
Our pastor, Jeff Terrell at Harvest Bible Chapel KC (HarvestKC.org), recently spoke on how we are created. Ephesians 2:10 states that, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” “Created, to bring into existence something that is not. We were dead in our trespasses spiritually from conception" (Ephesians 2:1). Our saving faith is a settled conviction that leads to a transformed life. God said it, that settles it, I will live by it! Amen to that statement!
Have you received the free gift of salvation? Would you like to? If you have already received this gift, how will you thank God for it? How will you utilize this gift?
We entered 2021 excited for what was to come. Things were looking up! We had a goal, a vision, and a purpose that gave us great joy. We had it all planned out. Our amazing graphic designer, Preston, had created the artwork. I had sourced just the right garments. Our trusty local printer printed onto the amazing garments. We had created giftable items for folks who might be looking for something more than apparel. We spent several months curating, sourcing, and working towards our goal of launching THE most amazing thing ever. We had a plan; (we have learned over 5 years to plan far ahead of the seasons.) We even had a pop-up planned at a trendy store. We were super excited to launch this powerful, hopefully life-giving movement. Everything was on target.
Then…during a benign Monday night in early January, we got a phone call. For anyone who has ever been a caregiver, you know that when you see the facility name and number pop up on your screen, your heart drops a little bit.
In mid-March, Kansas declared that schools would close for the rest of the school year. Other states soon made the same determination.
Very quickly we started hearing terms like “Shelter at Home” and “Social distancing.” “Quarantine” was a word seldom heard these days…until now when we hear it daily.
The words “Pandemic” and “Plague,” although foreign and strange to the younger generation, engender memories giving rise to fear in the minds and hearts of the oldest among us.
Businesses and churches closed,
The economy faltered,
Violence at home is increasing,
and Deaths from the virus are reported daily.
Many of us have only seen times like these in movies or read about them in books.
and Discouragement is on the rise, exacerbated by the news reports and accompanied by weather fluctuations from cold and wintry to mild and spring-like and back to wintry again.
And we are all wondering, "How long???"
Nothing is certain except that nothing is certain.
I always love it when I read those words “But God” in my Bible. Often they follow bad circumstances or evil, offering hope to a situation that would otherwise seem hopeless.
As I pushed forward and backward the seemingly heavy vacuum and saw the white pup hair that was being taken away little by little, I lost it. Literally had a breakdown right there in the living room. The room was quiet except for the hum of the vacuum. It did not matter that no one was around, I could not help but bawl uncontrollably thinking of our beloved Gidget and the fact that we had to put yet another dog down...
What do you do when you lose a beloved pet? Kelly Sue shares her and her husband's journey through their grieving process of losing their beloved dog, Gidget, and how Barkin Dogs Rescue found them not one, but two new pups to adopt and love!