Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Lesson from Flora Grace

As the sun below the horizon begins to light up the pre-dawn sky, I'm sitting here reflecting on yesterday.  It was not a good day.  I guess I could say it was an out-of-control day.

Nothing in this life is really in our control except our own personal behaviors.

Flora Grace Barone was a professional musician, the only child of professional musicians.  As a tiny child, Flora was part of her parent's trio.  She was raised in clubs playing amongst the rich and famous. Oh, the stories she tells me....

As an adult, God called Flora to Africa.  She played and sang in clubs throughout the continent for a few years before her dramatic born-again experience.  In the early years of her faith, she still supported herself by playing in clubs.  The Frank Sinatra hit, "My Way", has always been one of the Trio's and her personal favorites.  Everywhere Flora played, this was the most-requested song.  One day, sitting at a piano in an African club playing and singing that familiar song, God spoke to her heart and told her to never play "My Way"  again.  This was the beginning of a surrendered life.

In obedience she never did.  From that moment on, it was God's Will alone in her life.

Fast forward through all her Missionary years in Africa to yesterday. Under Hospice care, the nurse had warned her the day before of what could take place if Flora got out of bed anymore.  She gave us her word that she would stay put. Well, the exact thing the nurse stated is what took place yesterday due to Flora's will to do things her way.  It was not a good experience - for her or for me.

Much later in the day, she humbly begged my forgiveness.  Tears streamed down the lined face of this elderly Woman of God. Her voice was barely audible as she said to me, "God has brought me full circle back to my beginning. I must never play "My Way" again."  Since I knew of how major the surrendering of her will in regard to that song was, I knew exactly what she meant.  And the Hospice nurse witnessing it all lowered her head as if in honor of such a Holy moment even if she didn't fully understand what Flora meant.

And it was a Holy moment.  The tears were not just for the trauma caused to me.  The tears were that she sinned against God by stubbornly doing things her way.  Once again, in that moment she surrendered her will.  Not Flora's will be done, but Hospices'.

Flora Grace Barone is truly a woman adorned with Grace.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Undeserving Extend To the Undeserving

The definition of Mercy is us not getting the punishment we deserve. The definition of Grace is us getting all the blessings of God that we don't deserve.  ~Joseph Prince
Mercy and Grace are freely poured out to us on a daily basis even when we are least deserving of them.  In essence, God has adorned us with these attributes of Agape Love.

Why?  Because He so adores us.

May we not be like the servant in the parable of the unforgiving servant, as recorded in Matthew 18:21-35.  Let us be like Jesus Christ to those in our sphere of influence - extending mercy and grace to the undeserving.

Is that difficult to live out?  Absolutely!  Why?  Because our flesh wants gratification.  Therefore, we must cause our flesh to bow its knee to our spirits.  "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."  Galatians 5:16 says, "I say then, 'Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.'"

It is do-able.  Make it your aim today to extend Grace and Mercy toward others.

Because of Him and Unto Him,