Thursday, 8 November 2012

Grace Notes:An Introduction

Dear Reader, you are warmly welcomed to the first in a new series. Allow me to introduce you to 'Grace Notes'.

Please don't fear that you will have to sing. Although, as far as I'm concerned, nothing beats a good sing-along for raising the spirits!

I would like this to be a place and space to pause and rejoice over the good things in our lives - to celebrate life in all its rich fullness and to celebrate our relationship with God

Now for a bit of explaining:
When I started this blog the purpose was to reach out, make friends, connect, share, reflect on issues of life and faith as God led me to do so. In that sharing I have found a greater intensity and depth of emotion has been coming to the surface. Some deeply personal issues have been aired. The tone has been rather confessional and a little dark at times, truth be told.

So why 'Grace Notes'?
It is because I want to let in The Light. To bring in more of a balanced view of life.
My natural inclination these days, as a person struggling with many physical health problems, concerns and circumstances beyond my control, is towards anxiety, worry and fear. 

However hard I try, these issues seem to come to the forefront, especially during the dull days of Winter when life is more of a struggle. I can't seem to change myself and the turn of mind I've developed.

And that's the problem - trying to solve it myself instead of resting in God's grace and trusting His provision. Forgetting to lay it all at His feet and seek help in His word.

So it seemed a good idea to focus purposefully on the grace of God and be reminded of His never-failing goodness and blessing which is always available to us.

We will be looking at various aspects of grace as we go through this series. It will not only focus on what God has revealed to us but also on how we can demonstrate that grace to others in how we live.

Grace can be defined as God's unmerited, unearned favour and blessing that He bestows freely, universally and individually

As Philip Yancey says in his wonderful book: 'What's so amazing about grace?' -

 "There is nothing you can do to make God love you more. And there is nothing you can do to make God love you less." 

Yet we can be blind or indifferent to it and need our eyes opened to see, appreciate and receive this grace. It is rather like God pouring out a Power Shower of blessings but we only feel it as a trickle and fail to see how heavy and full it really is. 

"Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
           The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries"  
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Now some thoughts on grace to get us started:

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythm of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly" ~ Jesus speaking in Matthew 11:28 -30 The Message

The idea of 'unforced rhythm of grace' in the verse above is for it to be as straightforward and simple as breathing - a natural part of how we live, move and have our being.

The rhythm of grace is nothing like the Undulating Uncle, Sad Dad or Desperate Disco Diva movements you might find on display at a family wedding reception.

Rather, it resembles the best of 'Strictly Come Dancing' - a smoothly sinuous, snake-hipped, seasoned professional movement with an ease and relaxation to it that speaks of confidence and ability.

We don't start out as seasoned professionals in our understanding or expression of grace. The key is to walk and work with God and watch how He does it

As we keep company with Him, primarily through reading His word and spending time in His presence, we will learn how to live freely and lightly, trusting in Him to help us be at peace and recover our lives.

We rest in God's grace as we become confident of His ability to provide for us daily.

In the same way as the blood-bought sacrifice of Jesus runs through the Bible like a scarlet stream; grace could be seen as a golden thread that highlights aspects of God's character on every page

The aim of this new series is to be encouraging and inspiring. If it manages to be informative too then that's a bonus.

It is my hope to post something regularly (energy, health and time permitting of course) - if not necessarily weekly - that fits in with the theme of 'Grace Notes'. 

Serious reflections will still take place on the blog though - for those of you who prefer the meatier and challenging themes - as that is a huge part of who I am and what I do and you cannot fight nature completely!

For now, I need a reminder of the daily notes of grace that God pours into our lives and I hope you will appreciate it too. As usual, your own comments are warmly welcomed.

Remember to 'Follow' or sign up by email if you don't want to miss anything.

Until we meet again: 'May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all' ~ 2 Corinthians 13:14


  1. What lovely thoughts on grace!

  2. Thanks, Anita. I really appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment! Grace is a topic dear to my heart and I hope to explore more of its loveliness in future posts.

  3. Thanks for inviting me along Joy. Lovely to read your blog, to find others with the same 'inner' feelings and the same ups and downs along the way. Bless you for your openness.

    1. So pleased you came! Thanks very much for your kind thoughts. It's good to know I am not alone with my inner feelings. :)