Wednesday, October 2, 2013


I painted a lot today and then I worked on outside mural.  I had some visitors come in: an out-of-towner checking it out, a couple ladies doing laundry down the street who were bored and wondering around, and then the neighbor girl – showed me an art project she had learned about, dealing with designs drawn on paper, cut out and a sculpture made from it.

I was reading tonight (have been working on this book for some time, since I read so rarely anymore) in Gayle Haggard’s book “Courageous Grace”.  We haven’t been to their church in several weeks now, but I totally agree with their understanding of grace.  I’ve also been reading their about restoration:

Anyway, about the book, I like how she does a run-down on pp. 58-61 of the ‘flawed’ figures of the Bible: Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Moses, Miriam, David, Peter, Paul, etc. and etc.  Unfortunately, especially as Americans, we put the biblical characters as ‘flawless’ and look to them as examples, which we should, in their flaws as well!  None of us is perfect, yet God can still use us!  That is the whole point – we all need grace, and therefore, extend grace to others!  Not only that, but I like how on p. 65 she talks about John Wesley – we even look back on church leaders in more recent years as flawless – none are!  On p. 63-64 she discusses “We have to ask ourselves whether the gospel is really about our personal perfection or about the forgiveness and redemption God offers us that make us perfect. … In the original language, the word translated “perfect” actually means complete, or lacking nothing.”   The bible points out the flaws as well as the successes of our ‘heros’ – “Therefore, should we put men and women leaders on pedestals today because of their calling and gifting and expect flawlessness from them, and deny them their own personal journey, their testing and growth, in God?  Should we not consider that although we have much we can learn from these men and women, they are like us, sinful humans saved by grace, not by performance?”   We are all on a journey and we are all ‘in process’ – we need to quit shooting our wounded and reach out with the same grace God has given us. 

She mentions Corrie Ten Boom on p. 81 – I have always loved this story, of where Corrie had to reach out and take the hand in forgiveness of the one who caused her and her sister so much pain in the concentration camp.  When I finally had gotten to the point of forgiving ALL who had hurt me throughout my life, I visualized that same experience she writes about – with each and every person I forgive.  It was a very powerful time and experience for me, especially since I had been abused so severely and hideously by so many people.  But it was the most freeing experience, and to this day, I can let go and forgive much more quickly and completely as I continue to get hurt by people in this life.  It is such a freeing way to live.  On p. 82 Gail writes, “We can learn, from so many who’ve gone before us, that we are never the better for holding on to our grudges.  I’ve heard it said, “I will never let another man destroy my life by making me hate him.”  Think about it.  Refusing to forgive someone who has offended us only produces bitterness and unhappiness in our lives and feeds our own high-mindedness.    We can never be totally at peace when we are holding onto unforgiveness.”   

I totally agree … I call the decade of the 90’s my ‘healing’ and ‘anger’ decade.  I was so hateful, was getting sicker and sicker mentally and physically because of all the bitterness I was holding onto from my past.  When in 2002, I finally forgave everyone and from then on, began a true healing decade, I got better and better, inside and out!  What a difference.