Foreshadow Unveiled – It’s Still About Grace

If you have been following my blog, you will know that I have been writing about God’s grace for several blogs now…. and I had ended my last blog with a “teaser” that I would next write about how God’s grace protected my heart from bitterness. But — I’ll need to save that for another time (and blog) because in this blog I am going to address another aspect of grace and—also reveal the “foreshadow” I talked about in my first blog. (Remember, in writing, a foreshadow is a hint of things to come later. And … “later” is now!)

My pastor would be so proud of me because if you’ve been reading my blog you may have caught that I used alliteration in my sharing about God’s grace. First there was Saving grace, then Sanctifying grace, and the last post, Sustaining grace. I’ll continue that format for one more blog. This blog, I want to talk about Sharing God’s grace. (I know — I broke the pattern — 3 words instead of two.)

When we have received and been abundantly blessed by God’s saving, sanctifying, and sustaining grace, then we need to be equipped and willing to share God’s grace with
others. No, I’m not talking about witnessing, or telling people about God’s grace, but rather extending or demonstrating God’s grace to others, especially to those it may be difficult to extend grace to.

John, the beloved disciple, in his gospel, describes Jesus this way: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) “Full of grace and truth.” Roman 8:29 tells us God’s plan for us after he has saved us by his grace is to continue his work of sanctifying grace and conform us to the image or likeness of Jesus Christ. That means God wants us, Jesus’ followers, to be people who are full of grace and truth — that our words and lives demonstrate grace to others in the same way God has demonstrated grace to us and in the same way Jesus demonstrated grace and compassion to people when he was here on earth.

Do you remember a recent blog about living up to my name? Ann – “gracious one” or full of grace. Going back in time about 20 years, if you had asked me, I would have thought I was doing a pretty good job of living up to my name. I tried to be “nice” or gracious to the people around me…and to be honest, it wasn’t too hard because my “circle” of friends and acquaintances were pretty much all Christians and believed and lived like I did.

But on Easter Sunday, 1992, my comfortable Christian world was unexpectedly upended by the bombshell announcement from my son, Dan, that he was gay and his roommate was actually his homosexual partner. This totally unanticipated revelation quickly revealed to me how little I understood how to demonstrate grace to someone who was living in a lifestyle that was so foreign to me and identified as sinful by God’s Word, even though it was my own son whom I loved very much. The mental and emotional struggle began: How could my son be gay? And what kind of relationship could I have with him? I knew the Bible condemned homosexual behavior so if I continued to show my love and affection to my son, would he interpret that as acceptance of his homosexual behavior, or if I stood firmly on Biblical truth, would he view that as rejection of him? My desperation drove me to God’s Word. I had to have answers — and God quickly revealed to me that he wanted to teach me to be like Jesus — full of both grace and truth. He could teach me to follow the example Jesus set in the gospels, he could fill me with his grace and empower me by his Spirit, not only to love my son with God’s unconditional love, but he could also equip me to stand firm in the truth of scripture at the same time.

I knew I also needed to learn all I could about the condition of homosexuality from a Christian perspective and God graciously orchestrated events to provide the contacts and information I needed.

God is so amazing and so faithful to use the painful times in our lives for our good and his glory. He took a very painful time in my life and used it to teach me so much about his love and grace, and how I was to extend grace to my son Dan — and his partners — in the same way God had extended his grace to me. He also showed me it was possible, by his enabling to extend love and compassion to my son, his partners, and other gay people without compromising the truth of God’s Word.

A few years ago, I was asked by the acquisition editor of a Christian publishing company to consider writing a book—telling Dan’s and my story—to help families and Christians in general to know how to respond to someone who is gay, particularly if it is a loved one or friend. The book, entitled If I Tell You I’m Gay, Will You Still Love Me? One Mother’s Journey to Truth and Grace, has recently been published by CrossBooks. The book, written with my son’s full knowledge and support, is now available on the following websites: CrossBooks, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles and there may be others I don’t know about yet. It is my prayer God will use the book to help those struggling with this issue and to help Christians respond to those who are gay with love and compassion, while standing true to Biblical truth. Check it out!

Now the “foreshadow” has been revealed. Continue reading

God’s All Sufficient Sustaining Grace

I’ll start this blog with a qualifying statement: One of the challenges of writing a blog is finding the time — or making the time– to write regularly- especially for me who hasn’t learned yet the discipline of writing a short blog! That’s certainly my challenge and explains the absence of a blog posting from me for several weeks. In a not-too-distant future blog, I’ll reveal a major time challenge that has been requiring many hours of my time. But for now, some more thoughts on grace — God’s sustaining grace.

On Jesus’ last night with his disciples, before being arrested by the Roman soldiers later that same evening, he shared many important truths with them that he wanted them to remember after he was gone. He stressed a new commandment that he was giving them — that they were to love one another as Jesus had loved them, and their supernatural love for one another would be a sign to the watching world that they were disciples or followers of Jesus. He reminded them that he was the Way, the Truth and the Life; he explained to them that he was the true vine, they were the branches, and they were to abide in him, drawing their spiritual and sustaining life from him. He also promised the coming of the Holy Spirit who would indwell them and teach them all things. He promised to leave his peace with them, and that he would fill them with his joy. He summed up these wonderful promises on a somber note when he solemnly stated: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Jesus wanted to remind — and prepare — his disciples — that life would not be easy for them, but that, although he was going away, he was not abandoning them. Through the Holy Spirit, he would be with them, and in the midst of “tribulation” which was certain to come, he would give them his peace.

In spite of this caring reminder of Jesus to his disciples then and to us, his followers today, our reaction to the trials of life is often a perplexed “Why?” We often fail to factor in the reality that we live in a fallen world, under the curse of the original sin, and “bad things” will happen in the lives of everyone. Trials and suffering are the lot of living in a fallen world. Admittedly, sometimes the “tribulations” we face in this world can seem overwhelming. There are times when tribulation after tribulation stacks up in our life and like Job in the Old Testament, we cry out “Why, Lord?” and may feel we cannot face the present or the bleak future. We pray, but God doesn’t seem to hear or answer our prayers.

If we live long enough in this world, all of us will encounter some days that are painful and difficult, and admittedly, some people seem to be afflicted more often and more deeply than others. Now before all of you become too depressed, let me quickly add some words of great hope. God wants us to know — to really know –.that God’s sustaining grace is available — and sufficient for whatever tribulation he allows in our life!

The apostle Paul, whom most would consider a spiritual giant, shared a time in his life when he was suffering from some unidentified, but very painful affliction. Interestingly, he described it as a “thorn,” a messenger of Satan (not only physical but spiritual affliction), and even more interesting, Paul stated that the Lord had given him this affliction to keep him from becoming too conceited (or unusable for the Lord’s purposes) because of the tremendous revelations he had been given by the Lord. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) Whatever the affliction was, it became so unbearable that Paul pleaded with the Lord, not once, but three times, to remove the affliction. God’s loving and purposeful answer was, “No, I’m not going to remove the affliction, but instead I’m going to teach you to know and experience that my grace is sufficient for you, and my power is made perfect in your weakness.”

Paul’s amazing response was: “Therefore, I will boast more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me…..For the sake of Christ, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Amazing!

I am so thankful that Paul was willing to be made an example and demonstration of the sufficiency of the sustaining grace of God in the most difficult and painful of circumstances. That same grace is available from God today for each of his children as we look to him in trust and faith.

I want to briefly as possible (some who know me would say that is a challenge for me!) to share one experience in my life where God provided his sufficient and sustaining grace to me.

My husband, Jerry, and I were in our early 40’s and involved in a ministry God had started, and tremendously blessed, in our home. My husband was a gifted Bible teacher and his teaching style forthright and challenging, and often filled with humor. Our home was filled with people, mostly young adults, with a hunger to know God’s Word. People were being saved and and growing in their daily relationship with Jesus Christ. But in the midst of this thriving ministry, my very healthy husband became ill with flu-like symptoms which gradually worsened until he ended up in a coma in ICU. Specialists were called in, extensive blood tests were done, but doctors could not identify his illness. They only knew some strong infection was raging throughout his body.

Many intense prayers were offered up for JEERRY’S healing, by the 100 or so who were involved in our local ministry and by many friends and supporters around the country. They were prayers of faith and confidence that God would heal Jerry. It was inconceivable to us that God would let him die…not when he was using Jerry in a powerful way in the lives of so many people. But, his condition continued to worsen, and after 9 days in ICU, on an Easter Sunday morning, God took Jerry to his heavenly home at the age of 43.

Time and space does not allow me to share all I would like to at this point, but for me, it was a time of deep loss, and questions. I had not just lost my mate, I had lost my partner in ministry. The future looked uncertain and lonely. But God! My faithful Father became so real and close and ministered to me so faithfully each day, especially through his Word. Those first few mornings following Jerry’s death when I would wake up, and think, I cannot face this day without Jerry, the Lord would literally bring into my mind Lamentations 3:21-23: But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is his faithfulness. And that reminder that his mercies were new and available every morning would give me strength and determination to trust my Father for that day.

The Lord gave me hope in the midst of the pain and questions. When I struggled with what purpose the Lord had for me, now a single person, he graciously assured me through Psalm 138:8 that “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;” and how wonderfully he has done that through the years that followed. When the confusing questions would overwhelm me and I would sob out, “Lord, I don’t understand, I just don’t understand,” his gentle and reassuring answer was: “I’m not asking you to understand. I’m just asking you to trust me.”

When my husband became sick and died, I had no health insurance and no savings, but within one year of my husband’s death, God had amazingly made provision to pay off all expenses associated with his illness and death. His fingerprints were all over the needed provision of jobs, homes, cars, people he has put into my life and the unexpected paths he has led me on.

But it was during those days of Jerry’s illness and death that the truth of his grace being sufficient for me became an ongoing reality. . It is in our weakness, that we experience his power and provision. It is in our times of desperation, we discover his sufficiency. His grace continues to be amazing!

In my next blog, I will share a time when his grace became a life line that protected my heart from bitterness.

Until the next blog….may you know daily the sufficiency of his sustaining grace!

Living Up to My Name

In Bible times, the name given to a child had significance and was usually chosen because of its meaning. My full first name is Annetta, and I was told my parents chose the name, not because of its meaning (I’m not sure they knew if my name had a “meaning”), but because it was the name of a distant cousin (whom I never met or knew) and was a name my mother thought was very pretty. But, when I was in high school, I decided I wanted to use the shortened name “Ann,” again not because of any meaning that might be associated with it, but because my name was so often mispronounced and misspelled. So, I became “Ann” and have used the shortened version of my name ever since. My mother, however, never accepted the change, and I was always “Annetta” to her until the day she went home to be with the Lord.

A number of years ago, I was delighted to discover the origin of the name “Ann” was from Israel, a variant on the name Hannah, and the meaning of “Ann” was “gracious” or “full of grace.” What a great name to seek to live up to — and a daily reminder of the source of all grace, Jesus Christ, who came into this world “full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14), and that “from his fullness, we have all received, grace upon grace.” (vs 16).

In previous blogs, we considered very briefly two aspects of God’s grace — first, saving grace, and then, sanctifying grace. God extended saving grace to us when in his great love for sinful man, he sent his Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. For those who would believe on him, and receive him as Savior, God extended more grace and gave us the right to become his children, part of his family. He brought us into a new relationship with himself.

This new relationship, a child of the King, calls us to a different and higher way of living and being. God makes this a reality by providing sanctifying grace through His Holy Spirit whom he placed within our spirit when we received Christ as Savior. God makes very clear through his word the high calling he has placed on us — and made possible by his sanctifying grace.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us
to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright,
and godly lives in this present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of
of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ…” (Titus 2:11-13)

“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your
body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not
your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1
Corinthians 6:18-20)

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness,
humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another in love and, if one has a
complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you
also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in
perfect harmony…” (Colossians 3:12-13)

“…God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works, but
because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus, before the ages
began.” (2 Timothy 1:9)

God has not only called us “to a holy calling,” but in his generous mercy and extravagant grace, as we choose to be obedient to his Word, he enables us to walk in his truth and grow in his grace and our calling to be “just like Jesus.”

In this life, followers of Jesus are on a journey of grace, and he has promised that his grace will be sufficient for our every need.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9)

Seeking to walk in and by the sanctifying grace of Jesus leads us to experience more and more his sustaining grace.

Looking forward to sharing with you in my next blog some times in my life when God has faithfully provided his sustaining and sufficient grace.

Stay tuned….

Living in “Cheap Grace” … or “Costly Grace

During Jesus’ ministry on earth, he made some remarkable, demanding, and often not fully comprehended statements about what he expected of those who chose to follow him. To the rich young ruler who came to Jesus, wanting to know what he had to do to have eternal life, Jesus responded: “Go, sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.(Luke 18:18-23 ESV).

Another time, when great crowds were following Jesus, he turned to them and said, “If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:25-27 ESV).

In a similar vein, Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” (Luke 9:23-25 NIV)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a young Lutheran pastor, was only 39 when he was executed in a German concentration camp, martyred for his unwavering faith and uncompromising stand for Jesus Christ and against the evil regime of Hitler which he lived under in Germany. Bonhoeffer literally demonstrated in his own life his bold declaration: “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

In one of Bonehoeffer’s best known books, The Cost of Discipleship, he shares some important insights and concerns on what he describes as “cheap grace” versus “costly grace.” Many years later, his words are still very timely for us. Quoting from The Cost of Discipleship:

“Cheap grace is the enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace. Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks’ wares…..Grace is represented as the Church’s inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost. The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the cost has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities for using and spending it are infinite…..

“Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”

In contrast…. “costly grace” calls us to intentionally follow Jesus Christ. “It is costly because it cost Jesus Chris his life and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ‘you were bought with a price,’ and what has cost God much, cannot be cheap for us.”

Bonhoeffer lived out these words with a devotion and passion to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, even to his literal, physical death. Today, Christians in many places around the world (think Syria!), like Bonhoeffer, are also literally dying because they claim and embrace the name of Jesus Christ. In our own country, sadly, there is a growing hostility and intolerance in some areas toward Biblical values and those who seek to live by God’s truths in their daily lives. Also sadly, many who claim to be Christians, want to live by cheap grace, having the assurance of God’s love and a home in heaven when they die, but not wanting to daily die to self, to call sin what God calls sin, to pursue holiness in their lives, and to take up their cross and live a totally surrendered life to Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul clearly exhorted the early Christians: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not our own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV)

God’s grace, though freely and generously offered and bestowed upon all who will receive his Son, Jesus Christ, was extremely costly to him. It is his deep desire not only that we humbly receive that grace and become his sons and daughters, but that we then live in the reality of Roman 12:1 & 2: “…present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” May he enlighten the eyes of our hearts to give us a deeper understanding and appreciation of his great love for us and the privilege that is ours of being totally devoted to Jesus Christ and living daily by his Word. (Ephesians 1:17-20 ESV)

Not only does our loving Father want to enable us by his Sanctifying Grace to live in “costly grace,” but he also wants us to know and experience his “Sustaining Grace” as we encounter the trials and tribulations of living in a fallen world.

Stay tuned……

Inexhaustible Grace

When I think about the many powerful sermons that have been preached on God’s grace, the countless numbers of thought-provoking books that have been written on the subject, and the numerous beautiful songs that gave been composed about the unlimited and marvelous grace of God, one might wonder what else could be said on the subject of grace.

So — my disclaimer up front is: I am not writing as an expert on the subject who can “add” anything to what others have said or written. I’m just an ordinary person who has experienced the grace of an extraordinary God in my life and I want to share with others — or maybe just give a reminder — of some of the wonderful truths he has taught me–first from his Word, and then experientially in life. Grace, in its simplest terms, is undeserved favor–received from a holy and loving God, what we totally do not deserve or merit.

Often our first encounter with God’s grace is described as experiencing his “Saving Grace.” — grace that completely forgives our vilest sins when we believe in Jesus Christ and receive him as Savior. By that simple act of belief and faith, we come into a personal relationship with the Almighty God of the Universe. Isn’t that mind-boggling!! That same God who spoke creation into existence takes us into his family by a spiritual rebirth and he becomes our Father and we become his child — for all eternity. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12 ESV) Awesome! But, as wonderful as that is, it is only the beginning of the grace he wants to make available to us.

Many years ago I was introduced to pastor and author, Max Lucado, (not literally–just to his books!) and was captivated by his giftedness in putting words on paper. I described him as an artist…who painted with words! One of his books written back in the 1990’s carried the long but expressive title and subtitle: God loves you just the way your are, but he refuses to leave you there — He wants you to be — Just Like Jesus.

That title so aptly describes first, God’s Saving Grace but then, the next step in God’s journey of grace in our lives–His Sanctifying Grace. God’s purpose for every child of his is that they become “just like Jesus.” (Romans 8:29) And, his transforming sanctifying grace makes that possible. The process begins by making us a totally new person. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV.) We have new purpose in life; “…and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (2 Corinthians 5:15 ESV)

God speaks very clearly on how his grace is to be applied to our lives to transform us and enable us to live godly lives. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright lives in this present age.” (Titus 2:11 ESV) “The Lord knows those who are his, and, ‘Let everyone who names the names of the Lord depart from iniquity.” (2 Timothy 2:19 ESV) God makes very clear the direction our lives are to take because of his sanctifying grace.

I wish God would just reach down and give us a “holy zap” of sanctifying grace and instantly make us into godly, self-controlled persons, always choosing to “depart from iniquity.”
But, if we’ve been a Christian longer than one week, we know it doesn’t work that way. Sanctifying Grace is a journey toward becoming “just like Jesus” but God has promised he will not give up on us, but at the “day of Jesus Christ,” he will bring the good work he has done in us to completion. (Philippians 1:6 ESV) But… the journey is a joint venture between us and God. God will be faithful on his part, but I must also be responsibly faithful on my part. More about that later.

Okay, I’ve already broken all the “writing tight” rules so will sign off for now and save more for the next blog. We’ll also ask ourselves the question: “What is ‘cheap grace’ and am I ever guilty of turning God’s rich grace into ‘cheap grace’?

Stay tuned….

A Few Thoughts on Grace

A Few Thoughts on Grace

I’m not sure it’s possible to limit a post to just “a few thoughts on grace” — not when it’s God’s grace we’re talking about. God’ grace is so rich in it’s depth, and is truly “amazing” in its availability and sufficiency. In 2 Peter, vs 16-17, the apostle Peter warned the Christians to whom he was writing that they should be aware of those who were twisting the Scriptures and not be carried away by their errors and lose their stability. Instead, in vs 18, he encourages them to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

But, we can’t “grow” in God’s grace until we have first personally experienced the magnitude of his grace demonstrated for sinful man when Christ died on the cross for our sins to make possible our salvation from the penalty of our sin. Ephesians 2:8 states plainly that we have been saved by grace — God’s unmerited favor toward us through faith — and none of this is because of anything we have done or can do. The verse goes on to say “… and this is not your own doing (not of any works we can do), but it is the gift of God to us. I accepted God’s gift of grace and salvation as a young child, but it was a more recent date when God unmistakably showed me how little I appreciated his grace. To be honest, I didn’t see myself as a “really bad” sinner. Oh, I realized I was a sinner enough to need a Savior, but I was sure it didn’t require as much of God’s grace to save me, as say the apostle Paul who had Christians imprisoned and some killed. Or maybe even serial killer, Ted Bundy, who came to accept Christ on death row in prison. These guys were really bad dudes…and I was sure it took up a lot more of God’s grace for forgiveness of their sin than I did for me as a child of seven…or for that matter, as an older Christian who still committed some “little” sins — or so I thought.

God in his love … and grace.. gave me a rude awakening of my need for God’s grace equally as much as the worse of sinners (that’s a story for another time). He wanted me to see the evil in my heart as he saw it and learn to appreciate his grace. In our eagerness to get to verse 8 in Ephesians 2, we tend to rush through vs 7 and miss the richness of that verse. “so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace toward us in Christ Jesus.” Some day… God’s going to put me on display….and proudly proclaim: “Look at the immeasurable riches of my grace I poured out on Ann. Anything she became or achieved was because of my grace poured into her life.” Reminds me of verses 7 & 8 in chapter 1 of Ephesians where Paul again was talking about the riches of God’s grace and how He had “lavished” his grace upon us. Don’t you just love that word “lavished!” It’s rich in meaning. Webster defines lavish this way: “expended or produced in abundance; marked by profusion or excess.” What a beautiful description of the heart of God toward us….he just “heaps” up his grace on us!

Not only are we to “grow” in our understanding and appreciation of God’s rich, abundant grace toward us, even though we are totaling undeserving, but he also wants us to grow in the way we extend that same grace to others.

But that’s a blog for another day. Stay tuned……

My First Blog — a “Foreshadow”

There are some “perks” to growing old. Let me change that — I prefer “maturing gracefully.” Lincoln University, in Jefferson City, MO is located only a few miles from my home. Several years ago I learned that the University offered a special “perk” for “Senior Citizens” 65 and over, allowing them to audit classes for only $25 a semester after a one-time application fee. They even provided a complimentary parking pass to park in student parking! It was a deal I couldn’t pass up and an opportunity to take a class in Creative Writing that I had wanted to take for years.

Much to my surprise, however, I discovered that the class was Creative Writing for fiction–
not something I was particularly interested in or thought I had any talent for, but since that was the only creative writing class offered, I decided it would probably provide some general principles to improve my writing. One of the terms I learned that is effectively used in fiction writing was “foreshadowing” — inserting something early in the book or short story that is a subtle indication of something important that will be revealed later.

So, consider this, my first attempt at blogging, a “foreshadow” of something important that will be revealed later! That’s all I’ll say at this time. (Are you hooked yet?)

The first big decision in starting to blog is to decide what to name your blog. If possible, you want a name that is distinctly yours and yet easy for people to find, and creative, if possible. The past few years the Lord has been teaching me experientially what it means to walk in Biblical truth and grace, so that seemed a good name to use for my blog… something about truth and grace. I searched on WordPress to see if any one else had used those words in their blog name….and to my amazement every conceivable arrangement of those words seemed to be already in use. So, I decided to name my blog, at least initially, something that was personally mine — “Ann M. Mobley.” See how much I benefited from my taking a Creative Writing class?

My first blog post is going to be brief, although those of you who know me well, know writing “tight” is something I have to work at! I do want to draw your attention to the Scripture verse by my blog portrait — “.. grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18). In God’s providential grace, I was exposed early in life to the good news of the truth of God’s Word. Like all the rest of mankind, I was born a sinner and therefore it was my nature to be sinful and I needed to be forgiven of my sins in order to have a relationship with God. Even as a child of seven, I could understand that, and also understand that God loved me very much and had sent his Son, Jesus, into the world to die for my sin, and be raised back to life by God, to demonstrate that Jesus’ payment for my sin (and the sins of all who trusted him) was sufficient. With the simple faith of a child, I received Jesus as my Savior, and began a wonderful, life-long journey of “growing in the grace and knowledge of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

That on-going journey is some of the things I will be sharing from time to time on this blog.
I’ve often said I could sum up the testimony of my life in four words: “God has been faithful!”
But if I did only that, you would miss all the amazing ways he has orchestrated and displayed that faithfulness. I hope you will stay tuned for my frequent, but not regularly scheduled, postings.

Still learning to walk in truth and grace…..

Ann