Not where I Belong...

Grace and Redemption (part 2)

You can read part 1 of the story here

And then it happened. 
I was on my way to the airport and stopped to fill up the rental car at a gas station.  I had in mind how much I thought it would cost to fill up the car…and I was $10 over in my estimation!!! How blessed I am!....
Just as I was getting buckled in and about to start the car, a man approached.  Clean looking, bold yet respectful in keeping his distance from the car…no limp (I don’t know why that is important…but somehow it is)…He raised both hands up to indicate he meant no harm, I lowered the window just a bit to see what he wanted…the lot was full of other cars and people, I felt safe. 
“Ma’am, I’m just trying to get enough money for some food.” “Just a minute.” I raised the window back up…I can give him a couple of $$...that would be so generous of me…and then I will have made up for my earlier sin of neglect.
NO, De Anna.  Give him that $10 you just got back in change.
Without a hesitation, I gave the man that $10 bill and heard him say, “God bless you…” he looked relieved…turned around and was on his way on foot to somewhere…I do not know. The whole thing happened as if some sort of perfectly natural everyday routine sort of thing...yet it was not ordinary, it was not routine...This was different.

“God, did I just give him way too much?  Is he going to waste it on alcohol or drugs?”

Then it occurred to me…he just might squander that money.  He just might not really want food…But that is between him and the Lord.
Since this whole thing happened…I have thought about how God allowed me to redeem myself in His eyes…

what am I saying?  I felt redeemed in my own eyes…

1. an act of redeeming or the state of being redeemed.
2. deliverance; rescue.
3. Theology . deliverance from sin; salvation.
4. atonement for guilt.
In my own eyes, I felt redeemed...atonement for the sin of neglecting and dishonoring the poor man from two days earlier.. And while, yes, maybe the LORD was in fact giving me a second chance to do the right thing, it was a tender lesson for me as well...

You see, Redemption is also the ACT of REDEEMING or the STATE of Being REDEEMED...of which I am, according to Ephesians 1:7.

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,
 in accordance with the riches of God’s grace."

While I am so very thankful that God has redeemed me from my sinful state apart from HIM, he continues to redeem me from myself...I literally would self destruct with out HIS merciful GRACE...

Here's the thing...God generously and lavishly poured out his Grace and Love and Mercy and Redemption by giving His One and ONLY Son so I would be saved from the guilt and shame and dispair...from my poverty of spirit. 

And I waste it.

I squander the beautiful grace on any given day.

I embrace the Grace God has given for myself but fail to extend that same grace toward others

I am not unlike the one who begs for GRACE only to Squander the very GIFT given.  I am not why do I see myself as if I am?

"have you not discriminated among yourselves and become
 judges with evil thoughts?"

James 2:4 NIV

Today, I am asking God to forgive my selfish, judgemental, self-exalting attitude...and asking that He allow me a heart like that loves lavishly, filled with grace and redemption...

I have asked my friend, Kristi, to forgive me... and like Jesus, she extended grace...

Grace. Un-merrited Favor. Getting what I don't deserve.  GRACE.

The Word. Worship. Prayer. These are my ROOTS.

Grace and Redemption (Part 1)

I did it!  I blew it!  I blew it big time. 

AND in front of my new friend.

I was in Texas celebrating a year's worth of Scripture know...hiding God's word in my heart, meeting up with my friends who live in my computer (grin)...

I met up with Kristi at the airport, my sweet new friend from East Tennessee...and we were on our way to Houston First Baptist Church to meet up with other ladies who joined Beth Moore in memorizing at least 24 verses in 2011. 

Some of the girls have blogged about the trip and you can read about the event here or here

Judy had already texted me to say that she and Nesha and Carolyn had saved a seat for us. Kristi and I were getting quite anxious to be there...if only the GPS would work with us...the directions "Sally May" (my affectionate name for the GPS voice) wanted to take us was through a huge pile of rubble dug up by the highway department of the great city of Houston.  Uggh!!! we "forced" her to give us another direction...around the rubble so we could get to our destination. 

Waiting at a red light, it happened;
the moment that I blew it.
And it didn't occur to me that I had blown it until the light turned green
and I had totally missed an opportunity.

Telling this might be easier if I had not been studying the book of James. 

I mean, I could tell you what happened and why I feel I did the right thing at the moment and I could totally make myself sound believable and in a way that you would be able to sympathize with me and understand that, seriously, I did the right thing!....Right????

Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.
If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action,
is dead.
James 2:15-17 NIV

Right there at the red light a homeless man…dirty, old nasty looking clothes, unkempt hair, begging from car to car.  Begging. At the windows. Of the Drivers SIDE !...with a limp. 

I think I even heard myself say out loud, “He could get arrested for doing this, I think.” 

He’s at my window. I wave Him away.  Light turns green. Relief. I must move on.

Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world
to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?
James 2:5 NIV

I literally “felt” the Holy Spirit sigh…I had missed HIM.  I had missed being the FAITH I propose to have.  I missed putting into action the Word that I had hidden in my heart through Bible Study and Good-Girl-Jesus Stuff. 
“But Lord, I am on my way to meet up with my friends to Celebrate Scripture Memory, and my purse is in the back seat, and …”
My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ,
don't show favoritism.
James 2:1

That night, after a wonderful time with friends I had met online via Bible Study blogs and FaceBook pages…friends who lived in my computer… now real, live...FACE to love with King Jesus..
I lay down, tired…
 filled with the love of God in my heart…knowing Him more than I did this time last year…blessed and content to be a daughter of the One who has loved me with
an everlasting love…
And I see Him in my mind…

dirty, old nasty looking clothes, unkempt hair,
begging from car to car.
Begging. At the windows.
Of the Drivers SIDE!...
with a limp.

I hear (again) myself say,

“He could get arrested for doing this, I think.”

He’s at my window.
I wave Him away.
Light turns green.
Relief. I must move on.

“Oh, Lord.  What did I do? I neglected your Word. I neglected the poor.”

"Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled,
but rather healed.
Hebrews 12:13 NIV

 But you have insulted the poor...For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."
James 2: 6, 10 NIV
“Lord.  I am sorry.  Forgive me. Please send someone to Him that will not turn their head, who will not neglect the poor. I am so sorry.”
The weekend I had planned to spend celebrating went by in a whirl-wind of love, laughter, shared hearts and heartaches…bound together by the One whose Words are Eternal…Jesus Christ. 
I was overwhelmed by love…God’s love.  He was so gracious to me to allow me to enjoy this tremendous opportunity to sing and celebrate and embrace the teaching of His Words through the hearts and insights of The Chosen Ladies at the event.  I could cry me some happy tears just thinking about it…
And then it happened.
(part 2 will follow )

The Word. Worship. Prayer.
These are my Roots...