Last year, I wrote about the invisible Grace of that happened on this miraculous time. I was (and still am) amazed at the apparent paradoxes that happened on that day.

Christmas is so many things to so many people.  But above all, Christmas is Love coming down and giving Grace to those who have faith.

Enjoy Brian Johnson's 'Love came Down'.
  1. Thou shalt believe that your truth is THE only valid truth.
  2. Thou shalt interpret and judge a man's heart through those actions you see. Nothing else is to be considered.
  3. Thou shalt use your vast knowledge of God to be right in any and all arguments, especially if others think you should apologize. Use favorite Scripture pieces at will.
  4. Thou shalt debate this vast knowledge vigorously with others. They must understand your truth at all costs. All costs.
  5. Thou shalt seek the approval and admiration of others above all else. They must see you as you think God sees you.
  6. Thou shalt not develop unholy relationships. They cannot love you if they do not agree with your truth.
  7. Thou shalt seek to make others holy through your truth at every occasion. It is your duty as the protector of your truth.
  8. Thou shalt use grace to show the largesse of your heart. Make sure everyone sees it.
  9. Thou shalt exhort others by telling them what you know God wants to tell them. He speaks through you. Make sure they listen and understand. This is especially important during their times of intense suffering.
  10. Thou shalt never question any intent, thought or action you have. Fight mightily or flee swiftly those who do.
  11. Thou shalt never doubt the First Commandment. It is your only rock in a very shifting world.

-- GraceGuy
A close friend of ours has decided to stop chemotherapy treatments because her cancer is too advanced. It was a difficult decision for Giny and her husband Dave to take. 

When we were going through similar difficult times in our lives, Giny helped me understand the grace that is wrought in just one day. What follows is a deeply personal letter we have sent them recently for their 35th anniversary. I post it here because I recognise that her wise words started me on my path to understanding God's daily grace.

Giny and Dave,

Thank you.

These 2 words sum up our deepest and hard-to-express feelings we have towards the both of you. You were (and still are) partners with us in our trying times, you understood our pains, you saw pieces of yourselves in us. When the night was darkest for us, you lit a little candle that would help us see our way. Your brilliantly simple wisdom of the value of just one day will remain in our hearts and mind forever. 

You see, we had developed the habit of planning our schedules way ahead of time. Juggling family, work, church, friends, sports, etc. had become second nature. But when the 'cancer and chemotherapy' ball was added to the act, everything came crashing down. 

You have taught us that God gives us just one day. One day to pray, to laugh, to love, to suffer, to work, to share, to exhort, to teach, to rejoice, to praise, to forgive, to fail, to cry, to ask forgiveness, to learn, to deepen our relationship with Him. One day to depend solely on His grace, to eat the manna on the ground and fully trust that tomorrow, His grace will be renewed again. One day, where yesterday is an experience, tomorrow an adventure and today a clean slate. One day to fully appreciate life and all it's wonders. One day to live in the present moment, with the peace of the knowing that the One who holds tomorrow works all things together for our good. 

We stand strong on the foundation that, one day, we will be rejoicing together in His presence for all of eternity. So thank you for helping us see the eternal value of just one day.

- GraceGuy
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.
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.

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

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