Grace In Freedom

Here is another radical grace-filled message from LIBERATE 2013. Our friend Steve Brown talks about grace in freedom by opening with this unbelievable gospel prayer.

“Father, they told us if we were good enough, if we worked hard enough, if we knew enough that you would accept us. And we tried…so hard. Tears welling up in our eyes, we turned to leave because we couldn’t do it anymore. And then, we heard your voice: ‘Welcome, child, welcome.’ And we came running. Father, we’re not here cause we’re good or cause we’re obedient, we’re here because we’re yours.”

Be encouraged as you watch Steve explain that it’s not about sacrifice, it’s about mercy.

http://liberatenet.org/2013/03/15/watch-steve-brown-at-liberate-2013/

Haircuts

I have absolutely no right to judge someone with a bad haircut. None. Whatsoever. In fact, I am far more likely to cry with you, well acquainted with the shame and sorrow that bad haircuts warrant. It was for this reason that a recent curb-side advertisement caught my attention.

I love passing the people on their iPods with signs in their hands and a groove in their step. I love watching them dance, grinning my approval, affirming their performance. I love imagining I got paid to play iPod Idol and dance my heart out. I have yet to patronize a company who employs such people, so perhaps the tactic is less than effective, but it looks like a fun job all the same.

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The Me Monster

I tend to make everything about me. What I have done and what I have to do. I am the “Me Monster” Brian Reagan talks about it in this clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVWHa5cpMZo&feature=player_embedded

Me! Me! Meee!

Recently, as I have been reading Scripture, I realized that there are two specific verses that I have always read through the lens of a Me Monster: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1), and “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). But God broke through and revealed to me the beauty of Himself embedded in these verses, and the Me Monster ended up looking undeniably ugly compared to the beauty of our Savior. It is true that these verses contain specific application for our us and our lives, but the brilliance of these verses is of Whom they truly speak.

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I Don’t Have My Act Together

I am always in need of a fresh reorientation to the gospel that assures me I am loved and accepted in spite of my weakness. I need help from the outside of myself; when I am left to my own devices, I become inward focused and obsessed with my feelings, my discontent, my weariness, and my inability to handle everything.

My pastor once shared a question he was asked at a leadership conference: “What one word would you use to describe leaders today?” Without hesitation he responded, “Tired.”

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Love Bears It All

A few years back, on a cold winter evening I received a phone call from my across-the-street neighbor. She wanted to give us some home-made rolls, fresh baked. Of course, I couldn’t resist. So, I put on shoes, grabbed my youngest son, Jack, in my arms–wrapped in a blanket–and headed out. I didn’t even pause to consider our front porch stairs and the effects of the recent (that day) winter weather. As I stepped on the first stair, my feet went out from under me. I grabbed the railing to stop my fall, but to no avail, I still fell. I landed three stairs down. My heart raced. Was Jack OK?! I looked at him, still cradled in my arms; he let out a huge shriek. I then examined him from head to toe…not one scrape or bump or possible bruise did I find on his fairly small, 12 week old, newborn body. I did, as one does, praise the Lord.

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Gospel 101

As a part of our ministry to you, we, at Dropping Keys, will provide a series of posts, posted weekly in addition to the regular posts by our contributors, that will include recorded or written sermons, interviews, conference talks, and any other audio or visual content that we feel will encourage you by pouring grace into your soul.

I (Kimm) can’t think of a better way to start this series than with a sermon entitled: One Story: Gospel 101. This sermon was first preached by Ray Cortese at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church in Lacanto, Fl. Sit back and enjoy Ray’s honest, free, and grace laced message:

http://www.sevenrivers.org/mp3/2012/january/120115.mp3

WWJD

Do you remember those WWJD (What would Jesus do?) bracelets? They came in every imaginable shade and color, from pure white to olive green. They were cute accessories, functioning as reminders and statements of faith for the one wearing it. The bracelet reminded the wearer to ask the question, “What would Jesus do?” in any situation. If the answer was “yes” then by all means, proceed with the action, because it’s good, and it’s what Jesus would do. If the answer was “no” then stop; a good Christian would never do something that Jesus wouldn’t do. It functioned as a statement of faith, because only real, true followers of Christ wore them, and wore them in public.

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