When I was a young boy, I had found a collection of inspirational poems in a used book shop. I begged my mom to pay the indicated 4$ (and even included the guilt-inducing wide eyes). She was graceful enough to oblige and I began to read it fervently. 

It has since become the best 4$ investment I ever begged my mom to make. Out of that collection was a poem called 'The Touch of the Master's Hands'. 

I wrote a short blog post a while back on it but I recently stumbled upon an essay of the author by Lilly Walters, from the 'One Hand Typing and Keyboarding'.  

For Myra, writing such a telling image of Grace came from a deep personal experience. Enjoy Ms Walters' bio of Ms Brook Welch.
 
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Meet Myra Brooks Welch.

Myra Brooks Welch, a resident of La Verne, California, was called "The poet with the singing soul." Hers was a very musical family. As a young woman, Myra’s special love was playing the organ.

In 1921, she heard a speaker address a group of students. She said she became filled with light, and "Touch of the Master’s Hand wrote itself in 30 minutes!" She sent it anonymously to her church news bulletin. She felt it was a gift from God, and didn’t need her name on it. It’s popularity spread like magic. Finally, several years later, the poem was read at a religious international convention - "author unknown." A young man stood up and said, "I know the author, and it’s time the world did too. It was written by my mother, Myra Welch."
    
Then her name, as well her other beautiful works of poetry became known worldwide. All of her poetry told of the rejoicing she had in God’s love.

What the world did not see, was the woman who created these masterpieces: Myra in her wheelchair, battered and scarred from severe arthritis, which had taken away her ability to make music. Instead, her musical soul spoke through her poetry. 
She took one pencil in each of her badly disabled hands. Using the eraser end, she would slowly type the words, the joy of them outweighing the pain of her efforts. Her words, a joyous expression of the wonders of life, as seen by a singing soul, touched by the Master’s Hand.

(c) 2003, Lilly Walters, from the 'One Hand Typing and Keyboarding' 
 
 
I recently heard JD Greear preach at a local conference. He exposed his biblically-based view of how the Gospel affects one's personal life.  

Taken from his latest book, Gospel, JD gave is his 4-point daily prayer which encapsulates deep truths about Grace.

It has since become a daily reminder for me as well. Thank you JD.

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1. In Christ, there is nothing I could do that would make Him love me more, nothing I have done that makes Him love me less

2. Your presence and approuval are all I need today for everlasting joy

3. As You have been to me, so I will be to others

4. As I pray, I'll measure Your compassion by the cross and Your power by the resurrection

- JD Greear

 
 
Once in a very rare blue moon, a story comes along that takes my breath away, pulls out the tears hidden deep in my ducts and rips my attention away from everything else. In return, the story gives back an undying admiration to the graceful choices made, the inspiration to live courageously and a fresh perspective on 'sweating my small stuff'. 

But beyond the touching story, beyond the singing talent, beyond the courage to go on stage, I am in awe of the mother's compassion, mercy and grace. Moira Kelly chose to care for and raise abandoned and disabled brothers she found at an orphanage.

I can't help but see this as an example of God's Grace towards me. I was crippled by my sin, helpless and abandoned in a shoebox without hope and facing certain death. He reached down, through Christ,  to find me, to take care of me, to love me, to guide me and to give an eternal hope for an eternal home.

Enjoy the blue moon.
 
 
Nehemiah was an example of using Grace and Truth in the leadership position God had put him in. Nehemiah knew that to be a good leader you had to have clean hands and a pure heart. The basic quality for leadership is the same as the basic quality for success in a person's life. And that is to be true to one's belief and values. 

So what made Nehemiah so special ?
  • Nehemiah had a sense of calling. 
  • Nehemiah patiently waited for the right timing. 
  • Nehemiah established reasonable and attainable goals. You know one of the reasons why leadership fails is 1) they have no goals whatsoever or 2) they establish goals that are not reasonable, measurable or attainable. 
  • Nehemiah made prayer and recollection a priority in his life. 
  • Nehemiah rearranged his priorities in order to accomplish his goals. 
  • Nehemiah acted decisively when it was time for him to act. 
  • Nehemiah took time to rest, to plan, to pray, to think. 
  • Nehemiah became personally acquainted with his task. 
  • Nehemiah made shrewd use of his time. 
  • Nehemiah surrounded himself with trusted allies. 
  • Nehemiah provided vision for the people. 
  • Nehemiah involved a broad-based work team in the work. 
  • Nehemiah never wavered in the face of opposition. 
  • Nehemiah executed a plan to accomplish his goal. 
  • Nehemiah didn't hesitate to take emergency action when emergency action was necessary. 
  • Nehemiah was very visible and approachable. 
  • Nehemiah managed his resources very well. 
  • Nehemiah verbalized his dependence on other's help, and he did it again and again. 
  • Nehemiah was not afraid to get his hands dirty. 
  • Nehemiah took care of his people financially. 
  • Nehemiah personally sacrificed to accomplish his goal. 
  • Nehemiah refused to live above his people. 
  • Nehemiah didn't hesitate to discipline inappropriate behavior. 
  • Nehemiah had a great view of the value of his own work. 
  • Nehemiah exuded integrity before everyone. 
  • Nehemiah showed discernment in dealing with people. 
  • Nehemiah didn't hesitate to attribute his success to others.
  • Nehemiah kept his promises. 
Whether you believe in the veracity of the Good Book or not is besides the point. The example given here of someone who wisely persevered against all odds, with great Grace, is worth a moment of reflexion.
 
 
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14

The 'Grace and Christ' series focuses on the aspects of His ministry on Earth and how it demonstrated Grace.

Here I look at how Christ used Grace to train the disciples he handpicked to deliver His message to the world.

- When they lacked spiritual understanding, Christ's grace provided instruction

- When they lacked humility, Christ's grace provided His example

- When they lacked faith, Christ's grace provided miracles and mighty deeds

- When they lacked commitment, Christ's grace provided His prayers

- When they lacked power, Christ's grace provided the Holy Spirit
 
 
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14

The 'Grace and Christ' series focuses on the aspects of His ministry on Earth and how it demonstrated Grace.

Here I look at what my humble reactions should be to to His graceful actions towards me:
  
- Christ's grace teaches me, my humility should make me His student

- Christ's grace forgives me, my humility should make me repent from my sins

- Christ's grace leads me, my humility should make me follow in complete dependence

- Christ's grace serves me, my humility should make me serve Him and others

- Christ's grace hears me, my humility should make me pray about everything

- Christ's grace is with me, my humility should make me worship His presence.

His Grace should stimulate humble actions in me.
 
 
Marion Gordon 'Pat' Robertson, a well-known american religious figure, has given the world many organisations and corporations, some of which did some real charitable good in the world.

Unfortunately, his legacy will be tainted with one of the best examples of LACK of Grace. He proclaims he believes in the Bible and its doctrines - I can't judge that. But I can criticize his comment on Haiti's destruction and it's relationship with God.

Grace stoops to help, not point the finger
Grace understands that God has a plan, not blame a pact with Satan for a catastrophe
Grace demonstrates humility in front of the unknown, not pride itself on knowing 'facts'
Grace cares for the innocent, not blame their ancestors
Grace glorifies Christ, not Pat.
 
 
Anyway
by Mother Teresa

People are often unreasonable
Illogical and self-centered. 
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, 
People may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, 
You will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, 
People may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, 
They may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, 
People will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, 
And it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, 
It is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
 
 
Following the post on Grace and Humility, I was reminded of many instances in history when people who were given Grace, through no merit of their own, used this gift as a platform for personal pride. I realize that our collective past is riddled with 'Christians' who based their justification of superiority on their faith. Grace disagrees with them. 

The apostle Paul, in 2Cor 15:10, says :
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

Maya Angelou wonderfully penned When I say I am a Christian as a true representation of Grace. 
 
 
Chuck Swindoll gave this illustration before one of his series. He spoke about a very telling scene in the based-on-real-life movie Black Hawk Down.

In a raid, a task force of Delta Force soldiers, Army Rangers, and Special Operations Aviation Regiment attempt to capture two of Mohamed Farah Aidid's senior subordinates in the Bakaara Market neighborhood of Mogadishu. The mission is led by Major General William F. Garrison and is supposed to take no more than half an hour. The extraction by the Delta team is successful, but the Somali militia, armed with RPGs, shoot down two Black Hawk helicopters, and the resulting rescue extends the mission to over 18 hours. (WP)

In this one scene a colonel, played by Tom Sizemore, was trying to get a convoy of trucks out of the battle zone. The trucks had been under siege by the enemy and there had been terrible wounds and deaths that had occurred. The colonel went to the lead truck where the driver had been killed and pulled the body out. Then he turned to a Sergeant and told him to drive the truck out of there.

The sergeant responded that he had been shot to which the colonel replied, "We've all been shot! Now drive the truck."


Why do we need Grace ? Because we've all been shot... and because we've all shot others.
 

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