Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Trip on some Grace Juice, Baby"

This is what Marsuvees Black, a weird character in Ted Dekker’s book Showdown drawled when he was about to do something strange. I’m not going to talk about the book (I cannot remember much about it- only that it was the first of his books I considered too weird for my liking).
I just needed a cool title for my post ;-)

We hear about it a lot. We know we need it, but its definition is still somehow vague(at least, to me) so I’m asking, “What do YOU think of grace?”
It’s a kind of tough question, esp. if you haven’t been thinking about it, so if you need a little assistance, here are a few perspectives on it courtesy Scandalous Grace, by Julie Ann Barnhill. The more you read, the more you understand, I hope!

“Grace happens to me when I feel a surge of honest joy that makes me glad to be alive in spite of valid reasons for feeling terrible. Grace happens when I accept my wife’s offer to begin again with me in love after I have hurt her. It happens when I feel powerfully free to follow my own conscience in spite of those who think I am either crazy or wicked. Grace is the gift of feeling sure that our future, even our dying, is going to turn out more splendidly than we dare imagine. Grace is the feeling of hope.”
– Lewis B. Smedes

“Grace is uncontrollable, arbitrary to our senses, apparently unmerited. It’s utterly free, ferociously strong, about as mysterious a thing as you could imagine. First rule of grace: grace rules.” -Brian Doyle.

“God gives his gifts where He finds the vessel empty enough to receive them.” – C. S. Lewis

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 3: 23- 24, NASB

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” – 2 Corinthians 8:9, NASB

“When we open our hearts to each other we allow grace to enter. It is as simple as that. And suffering – events that break open the heart- can become the refiner’s fire that leaves us fully open to the truth about love and compassion.”- Kathleen A. Brehony

“We are to be dispensers of grace, not dispensers of judgement.”- Dr. Ben Carson

“Grace overcomes shame, not by uncovering an overlooked cache of excellence in ourselves but simply by accepting us, the whole of us, with no regard to our beauty or our ugliness, our virtue or our vices. We are accepted wholesale. Accepted with no possibility of being rejected. Accepted once and accepted forever. Accepted at the ultimate depth of our being.”- Lewis B. Smedes.
And of course:

“Grace: it’s the name for a girl. It’s also a thought that [can] change the world” – U2, from their sloooow song Grace.

P.S: Actually I understand “grace” better when it’s an experience, rather than a definition. Unfortunately, I can’t think of any experiences at the moment :- (
Anyhow, "may the grace be with you."