Tag Archives: christianity

Don’t Use Grace an an Excuse

"Oh, I didn't go to church this week. I'll give myself grace." "Oh, I missed the gym all week long. I'll just give myself grace." "I sinned. But, that's ok. God gives me grace." Don't fall into this pattern of thought. There is more to grace than that. Remember the scripture: Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

I feel as if I have rediscovered grace this past year. Working through my trial of faith and coming to grips with what I believe, as well as my own interpretation has caused this. Two sources have really helped my understanding of grace (President Uchtdorf’s talks and the Continuous Conversion), and I really feel like I am just beginning to truly understand grace within the Mormon perspective.

What I have come to realize is that I didn’t really understand the concept of grace before last year. I mean, I knew what it was and how it worked with the atonement, but I didn’t understand the depth and the purity of grace. And, sadly, I’ve come to notice that many of us in the LDS Church misinterpret what grace really is (that’s why I loved the Continuous Conversion and Uchtdorf’s talks because they are trying to reestablish what it is).

Yes, we as LDS members believe in works. No, we don’t believe that they come before grace or above grace or instead of grace. Grace is everything. Grace is the all. Grace is how we are saved. But, we still have commandments to follow, standards to uphold, and charitable works to accomplish. That is one thing that has always bugged me about some followers of other religions. They tend to use grace as an excuse.[ctt title=”Don’t use Grace as an excuse!” tweet=”Don’t use Grace as an excuse! @themorrelltale” coverup=”VF8Ws”]

"Oh, I didn't go to church this week. I'll give myself grace." "Oh, I missed the gym all week long. I'll just give myself grace." "I sinned. But, that's ok. God gives me grace." Don't fall into this pattern of thought. There is more to grace than that. Remember the scripture: Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Grace as an Excuse

Ever since focusing more on the grace of our Lord and Savior, I’ve noticed that phrase a lot more in social media. It could be something hopeful as “I had a really tough day, I’ve been super busy and my mood has been low, but I have to give myself grace and I’ll get though it.” That’s a good way of using grace–we forgive ourselves and lift ourselves up out of our rut with hope.

But, then there are times like this, “I didn’t go to the gym today, but I’m giving myself grace.” “I know I said no more coke this month, but I really needed it because today has been crazy, so I’ll give myself grace.” Honestly, to me, those uses of “grace” just seem like an excuse. I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s Better than Before, which talks about habits, keeping habits, and staying away from things that break habits. There was a chapter about rewards and a chapter about loopholes. This is true to point on that–we sometimes turn “grace” in our lives into excuses or loopholes to get out of responsibilities or habits or resolutions. We need to stop that.

There are also those who profess to be Christians but don’t necessarily live a Christian lifestyle. They proclaim they believe in Christ as their Savior, therefore they are saved by grace, then go about their daily lives. If they sin, it doesn’t matter, they are saved by grace. They can live how they want because it doesn’t matter–they are saved by grace. That isn’t how grace works. That is being a hypocrite: “Forasmuch as this people draw near unto me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their hearts far from me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precepts of men” (2 Nephi 27:25). God doesn’t want us to live our sinful lives. That’s not what grace is supposed to be used for.

Grace Improves Us

Yes, grace forgives sin. But, we have to repent of that sin. We have to actively try better, actively be better. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf is my absolute favorite general authority and has such an eloquent understanding of the Gospel. Talking about grace, he said,

But the grace of God does not merely restore us to our previous innocent state. If salvation means only erasing our mistakes and sins, then salvation—as wonderful as it is—does not fulfill the Father’s aspirations for us. His aim is much higher: He wants His sons and daughters to become like Him.

With the gift of God’s grace, the path of discipleship does not lead backward; it leads upward.[ctt title=”With the gift of God’s grace, the path of discipleship does not lead backward; it leads upward.” tweet=”‘With the gift of God’s grace, the path of discipleship does not lead backward; it leads upward.’ #grace @themorrelltale” coverup=”69mRV”]

It leads to heights we can scarcely comprehend! It leads to exaltation in the celestial kingdom of our Heavenly Father, where we, surrounded by our loved ones, receive “of his fulness, and of his glory.” All things are ours, and we are Christ’s. Indeed, all that the Father hath shall be given unto us.

To inherit this glory, we need more than an unlocked gate; we must enter through this gate with a heart’s desire to be changed—a change so dramatic that the scriptures describe it as being “born again; yea, born of God, changed from [our worldly] and fallen state, to state of righteousness, being redeemed of God,becoming his sons and daughters.”

I have recently realized that the Gospel is one of continuous progression, not perfection as the goal. The only ones who can ever be perfect are Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. But, we can continue to progress. That is the wonderful thing about His grace–it allows us to transcend our sinful mortal state and return to him! But, we have to show that we are worthy by showing that we want it desperately.

The prophet Moroni begged us to “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.” (Moroni 10:32)

"Trying to understand God’s gift of grace with all our heart and mind gives us all the more reasons to love and obey our Heavenly Father with meekness and gratitude." Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Grace Leads us to Obey

We need to lead the lives that God wants us to live. That is why He has given us commandments. That is why He has told us how to live throughout His earthly ministry. He doesn’t want us to say, “I am saved by His Grace” and be done with it. No. Our job isn’t done yet.

President Uchtdorf (can’t you tell I absolutely love him!) said,

The prophet Nephi made an important contribution to our understanding of God’s grace when he declared,“We labor diligently … to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. (2 Nephi 25:23)

However, I wonder if sometimes we misinterpret the phrase “after all we can do.” We must understand that“after” does not equal “because.”

We are not saved “because” of all that we can do. Have any of us done all that we can do? Does God wait until we’ve expended every effort before He will intervene in our lives with His saving grace?

I feel that this is the biggest misunderstood concept of LDS theology by both Mormons and other Christians.[ctt title=”Is the concept of grace and works misunderstood by the majority of Christians?” tweet=”Is the concept of grace and works misunderstood by the majority of Christians? #grace @themorrelltale” coverup=”pe5m_”] Christ doesn’t meet us half way. He reaches down to the very depths to lift us up. We don’t have to rise at all to meet him. However, does He want us to have our backs turned and just wait for Him? No! We should continually keep our eyes on Him and still reach for Him, knowing that He will help us. We should be anxiously engaged in trying to reach Him, with full understanding that we can’t do it without Him. We should show our love for Him and His wonderful gift of Grace. We aren’t repaying Him…there is no way we could ever do that. We are just showing Him that we love Him. After all, actions speak louder than words:

If grace is a gift of God, why then is obedience to God’s commandments so important? Why bother with God’s commandments—or repentance, for that matter? Why not just admit we’re sinful and let God save us?

Or, to put the question in Paul’s words, “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” Paul’s answer is simple and clear: “God forbid.”27

Brothers and sisters, we obey the commandments ofGod—out of love for Him!

Trying to understand God’s gift of grace with all our heart and mind gives us all the more reasons to love and obey our Heavenly Father with meekness and gratitude. As we walk the path of discipleship, it refines us, it improves us, it helps us to become more like Him,and it leads us back to His presence. “The Spirit of the Lord [our God]” brings about such “a mighty change in us, … that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.” (President Uchtdorf)

In conclusion, I urge you Christians, please don’t use grace as an excuse. Have your face directed towards Gods at all times. Continually be trying to find Him and reach Him. Allow His grace to change and improve you. Be an example. Shine His light through your words and actions for other to see so that they may find Him and be blessed by His grace as well.

Click here to learn more about the LDS interpretation of Grace.

How do you use Grace in your life?

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Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Book Review | Jihad, Jesus, and Peace

I am always interested in the similarities and differences in different religions. I believe that all religions have grains and seeds of the One Truth. So, when I saw this book on one of the display shelves in the library, I was very interested in what this book had to say about the ending days and Islamic jihad and how it’s related to Christianity.

The author, interestingly enough, is of Egyptian and Middle Eastern descent, even though he is a Christian and was one of the founding pastors of The Church of The Apostles in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael Youssef explains on the back cover that he would “provide answers that are concise and biblically accurate.” As a historian, this really intrigued me because it seemed like it would be a pretty unbiased book, though with a hint of Christian perspective.

Jesus, Jihad, and Peace, a very conservative Christian's view of Islam. It's a bit skewed and definitely biased.
Via

But, I was wrong.

The first few chapters were interesting. It talked about some of the basic of Islam, as well as the historic culture of the Arabs and how that influenced the culture of Islam. Just like Mormonism, sometimes it’s hard to tell between the culture and the actual religion. However, I already knew that information from high school and college history classes. But, I don’t really keep up with the news well, so the next part was interesting to me: he explained the difference between “moderate” Muslims (the ones that believe their religion is one of peace), ISIS, The Islamic State, The Muslim Brotherhood, Al’Qaeda, and other fractions and fanatic/terrorist groups.

Once Youssef set that up, he started to sound very anti-Islam on a whole. He said that those fanatic groups, although evil, had more of a truth on what the Koran says than the “moderate” Muslims. He would like to believe the “moderate” Muslims were the true Muslims, but they didn’t really understand their Allah’s commands of subjugation and creating a world caliphate according to the Koran. He used passages from the Koran to show that the goal of Muslim religion is to dominate the world into a theological dictatorship known as the World Caliphate. He claims that the word Islam doesn’t come from the Arab word for peace, but subjugation. He says that the violent actions against infidels, unbelievers, and hypocrites, is the true jihad, and jihad of inner struggles and against Satan are secondary. He says that most governments, including the US’s has been compromised by Islamists connected to the Brotherhood and they are taking down our government and subjecting us very subtly from the inside out.

I hated the way Youssef started to sound! He also used Bible quotes to prove that the AntiChrist will be the Islamic prophesied savior, their version of a Messiah. He uses Bible prophecies to connect them to Muslims, as if Islam is the Devil’s tool. It made me sick. Half the book just sounded like he was better because he was Christian and automatically saved. It read very conspiracy theory. I mean, he says he has studied this and researched it and read sources of all sides. Well, I have read the Koran as well, and have had numerous Muslim friends. The Koran was peaceful and respected the Christians and Jews (although almost in a patronizing way) and a lot of the teachings of the Koran is parallel to the teachings of the Bible! Also, for crying out loud! Using the Koranic passages that talk of war against non-Muslims during the time of Muhammad to show how “evil” Islam is…does he not realize that God of the Jews commanded them to do the same to non-Jews in the Old Testament, even to kill all the herds and animals of the tribes they were to decimate?!?!

Overall, this was a really disappointing book. Although, it did teach me a little bit more about the fanatic Islamist groups. It was also a little ironic because I had finished it a few days before the Paris attacks, and I had started to write this post during the weekend. We now know that ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks, as well as a few other suicide bombings (and then, coincidentally, a few natural disasters) in other countries on the same day. So, there was a little apoplectic/conspiratorial part of me that thought, “he was right!!” But, that only lasted for 5 minutes.

What is your opinion on this book, the attacks on Paris, and just current news with fanatic Islamist groups?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Book Review | Continuous Conversion

If you have been following my Instagram or Twitter for a while, you know that I have just been raving about The Continuous Conversion by Brad Wilcox. Seriously! This book has been a game changer! As you know, this year, I’ve had a little bit of trial of faith. But, this book has helped me refocus on the plain and precious truths of the Gospel!

To truly believe in your faith, you need to have a real conversion. It is a progress. It takes time. #mormon #lds

Because this book is just so stock full of amazing truths, I’m going to do the same as I did with One Thousand Gifts and just list some of my favorite quotes! But, whether or not you are Mormon, I seriously suggest reading this to focus on Christ, His Grace, His love for us, and His plan for us. (He does include a few chapters on the LDS temples, but I decided to leave those quotes out and focus on ones that other Christians could relate to as well.)

“God isn’t just proving us, He’s improving us.”

“‘I can’t do this Mormon thing,’ a friend told me. ‘I’ve tried and the expectations are just too high.’ And she’s not alone in her thinking. Many people, as they feel themselves falling short of perfection, are tempted to quit trying. But are there only two options? Think of it this way: When a person is learning to play the piano, are the only two options performing at Carnegie Hall or quitting? Similarly, in mortality, are the only two choices being perfect or giving up? No. Growth and development take time. Learning takes practice. Discipleship is a journey, and true conversion is a continuous process.”

“Sometimes finding hope and motivation to keep moving forward…is as simple as going back to core doctrines and refocusing on them through new eyes.”

“True conversion occurs when we stop trying to earn heaven and start trying to learn it. Conversion deepens as we understand the purposes and power of God and recognize how freely He offers His help…Conversion is refined as we nourish our testimonies and bring life to our discipleship. Conversion endures as we draw on the power of Christ’s name and His holy temple. Conversion allows us to reach outward as we serve int he kingdom and juggle life’s many responsibilities.”

To truly believe in your faith, you need to have a real conversion. It is a progress. It takes time. #mormon #lds

“I guess it would be easier if getting a body or getting baptized were our ultimate goals, but those are not the end. They are just a means to the end. Going to the temple and even going to the celestial kingdom are not the ends. They are means to the real end. The ultimate goal is for all of us to become more like our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.”

“Elder Dallin H Oaks said: ‘The Final Judgement is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts–what we have done. It is an acknowledgement of the final effects of our acts and thoughts–what we have become.”

“We accept the Atonement by faith, which includes repentance, covenants, and ordinancesBaptism and temple ordinances are not attempts to add to the finished works of Christ’s sacrifice. These and other righteous works are extensions of our faith, by-products of our acceptance of Christ, and evidence of Christ working with, in, and through us.”

“How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him?”

“Parents know that children are learning and growing. Their love is bigger than smelly diapers and temper tantrums. They see beyond such moments to the children’s great potential. God must feel the same.”

“Giving up would be rejecting the Atonement. Trying is accepting the Atonement.”

“In the command, ‘Be ye therefore perfect’ (Matthew 5:48), the Greek word that was translated as perfect is teleios, which means ‘finished’. We are finished as we place ourselves in the hands of the ‘finisher of [our] faith’ (Moroni 6:4). As we make covenants with Christ, He offers to be our tender tutor.”

“I visualize grabbing the iron rod as grasping the arm of Jesus Christ. The only way any of us can make it is by holding on to the Savior and being infused with His power.”

“Because of the necessity of agency and choice, we must be the one to grasp, figuratively or literally, the extended had. It is that outreached hand that we call grace.”

“Taking hold of His hand and allowing Him to lift us doesn’t happen automatically or quickly. It is a spiritual skill that has to be learned and relearned, and then, that learning must be continually applied.”

To truly believe in your faith, you need to have a real conversion. It is a progress. It takes time. #mormon #lds

“Occasionally I have seen a man walking near the BYU campus carrying a large cross bearing the words ‘saved by Grace’. He seems to thinks LDS are missing that message. On the contrary, we already acknowledge and agree that we are saved by grace alone. However, we also recognize that being saved by grace is only part of the purpose of Christ’s cross. Christ came to save us by bridging the abyss between humans and the divine, but then what? Salvation assures there is life after death and life after sin, but there also has to be life after salvation! Our goal must include more than returning to and making peace with God. It has to be transformed by Him.” 

“When I focus too long on my inadequacies, I peter out quickly in my quest. When I focus instead on Christ, I find ‘the power of godliness’.”

“The Bible is not religion; it is a history of those who had religion. The religion of those who live within the covers of the Bible centered in living oracles and the ordinances of salvation. Theirs was a religion of prophets and apostles. That is the same religion we enjoy today.”

“My oldest son, Russell, would say, ‘We believe in the exact same Christ you do. We just know Him better.’ How could Russell make such a bold claim? Because we have additional scripture and the words of modern apostles and prophets who testify of Christ and help us come to know Him. It is one thing to believe in Jesus. It is another thing to know Him.”

“Too many LDS were zealously testifying of truth without actually knowing the gospel…Some LDS go through all the right motions without feeling any of the emotions. They settle for rule following instead of religion, for obedience and sacrifice instead of consecration, for testimony instead of conversion, and for cultural Mormonism instead of the soul-transforming fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. IT is time for a little zeal with our knowledge. It is time for a few alarm clocks to ring. ‘Awake and arise, come forth, and do not tarry.’ It’s time for wide-awake discipleship.”

“While serving his mission…my son David once wrote, ‘People need to realize that Christ’s Atonement is not just about giving us a fish, but teaching us to fish. It is not bout feeding us for a day, but rather feeding us for a lifetime–an eternal lifetime.’ If this were not true, then Christ’s suffering could be dismissed as nothing more than a kind but shortsighted act of a friend who is allowing us to turn in His homework with our names on it. Such a good deed might get us a passing grade in the moment, but it wouldn’t teach us anything in the long run.”

You NEED to read this book!
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Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Book Reivew | From Baptist Preacher to Mormon Teacher

** I received a free copy of the novel from Cedar Forts, Inc. in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

As some of you may know, this year, I’ve had some challenges with my faith. One thing that has hurt it was the knowledge that there has been an influx of Mormons leaving the Church this past year. Some of my friends have even left the church. So, I’ve been trying to refocus on the plain, simple, pure, and true center of the Gospel–Jesus Christ. I’ve been reading books written by Mormons on topics such as grace, faith, Christ, testimony, and overcoming trials of faith.

Since I was born in the Mormon Church, and have never known any differently, I’ve been really interested in converts to my church and their reasons why they left another religion to come to ours. So, when I had the opportunity to read and review From Baptist Preacher to Mormon Teacher by Wain Myers, I was excited and really interested. I had lived about 8 years in Virginia, where the Baptist church flourished. Although I personally never encountered any hate from baptists there, I have had friends who have. One Mormon friend of mine was invited by a Baptist friend of hers to a local baptist church’s “Bring a Mormon friend night” youth activity. The Baptist friend thought it was going to be a bonding experience. But, it turned out to be a Mormon-bashing experience. The Baptist friend profusely apologized to my friend. So, knowing that Myers was a Baptist preacher who turned Mormon really intrigued me!

Wain Myers went from a born again baptism preacher who believed he was doing God's calling to a being a convert of the Mormon church because he believed that God told him he was ministering for the wrong religion.

First of all, let me just say I love the way this is written. It is so conversational. Myers isn’t afraid to share his personal revelations and heart-felt heart-conversations with Heavenly Father. He also isn’t afraid to let his culture, heritage, and fun-filled personality shine through in his writing. There is definitely some Southern humor, as well as Baptist preacher mannerisms in it, which makes it a fun, quick read.

Myers was born to a church-hopping mother in a ghetto area, with a non-present father. But, at a young age, after a sermon at a Baptist Church, he had a clear vision that he was supposed to start teaching the Gospel. So, he spent his life working toward that goal. He became a Baptist Preacher, and he was a dang good one, too. He loved preaching, he loved sharing the word of God. But, he was being paid for it, which never set well with that. And, he believes because of that payment (manna, or temptation from Satan), his life started to spiral down. He was a preacher on Sunday, but during the week, living not how he was supposed to. He finally left his Baptist Church and moved. He met a woman who just emanated the Spirit from her and he had another personal revelation that she was to become his wife. Sebrina was a recent convert to the LDS Church, and he started becoming interested in the Church as he felt God was leading him to it.

Although there were issues Myers felt with the Church, especially the topic of blacks not being able to hold the priesthood before the 1970s, he trusted in God and allowed God to speak to him and let him know the church was true. He related an experience he had before he even thought about the LDS Church similar to Joseph Smith’s first vision: going to a secluded area and asking God which church he was to join. God answered to him none but that He would lead Myers to His true church. When Myers heard the Joseph Smith story, that was an affirmation that the LDS Church was the church he should join.

There were a few quotes that really helped me because they reflected the issues I’ve had with my church recently:

“One of the best things that happened to me while I was trying to find my Father’s straight and narrow path was that my faith in men of God was shattered. It didn’t feel amazing at the time, but now that I look back, it was nothing but amazing. You see, as I sought counsel from preacher after preacher and received heartbreaking answer after heartbreaking answer, I realized that I was looking for God in all the wrong places. It became painfully evident that I wasn’t going to find Him, the real Him, in any of the churches or pastors I was interacting with.
When I found the truth in the LDS Church, I didn’t see its leaders as men of God; I saw them as mortal men searching for answers–just like I was. That’s not to say that they weren’t men of God; that’s just to say that I didn’t expect them to be perfect. I knew that only one man has walked the earth in perfection. I have a clear understanding that we are all prone to mistakes and bad decisions–even Church leaders.” Page 82

 

“When people tell me that they’ve asked God if the LDS Church is true and haven’t received an answer, I know that they aren’t truly relying on God for the answer. Instead, they’re relying on their own understanding for the answer. ….
A young man once said to me, ‘Wain, I don’t get it. There are so many issues and past practices with he LDS Church that are bothersome.’ I responded by pointing out that his issues with the Church are all based on the actions of man, not God. I’ve dealt with–and continue to deal with–the problems I have because my faith is in God, not man. Members of the LDS Church are human and have shortcoming and flaws, just like everyone else. I cant judge them; I’ve got too many of my own weaknesses and sins to correct.” Page 130
 
It is definitely a book worth reading!
To purchase the book:
For more about Wain Myers:
Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Book Review | One Thousand Gifts

This summer, after struggling with both anxiety/depression, and a trial of faith, my mom suggested reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. This book is kind of a spiritual awakening memoir of Voskamp, who grew up in the Mennonite farming community of southwestern Ontario. She isn’t Mennonite, but deeply Christian and had a personal conversion once she realized the true meaning of eucharisteo .

It's all about eucharisteo
Via

Rather than do a normal book review, I want to just share some of my favorite quotes:

“Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.”

Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts book review--it's all about eucharisteo

“Now in the Bible, a name…reveals the very essence of a thing, or rather its essence as God’s gift…To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God. To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it.”

“I yearn for the stuff of saints, the hard language…I want the every fullest life…it is hard to think that the insulting ordinariness of this truly teaches the full mystery of all most important, eucharisteo.”

“In Christ, don’t we have everlasting existence? Don’t Christians have all the time in eternity, life everlasting? If Christian run out of time–wouldn’t we lose our very own existence? If anyone should have time, isn’t it the Christ-followers?”

“Time to breath deep and time to see real and time to laugh long, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done–yesterday.”

“All God makes is good. Can it be that, that which seems to oppose the will of God actually is used of Him to accomplish the will of God.”

Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts book review: it's all about eucharisteo

“The parent must always self-parent first, self-preach before child-teach, because who can bring peace unless they’ve held their own peace? Christ incarnated in the parents is the only hope of incarnating Christ in the child.”

“Feel thanks and it’s absolutely impossible to feel angry. We can only experience one emotion at a time. And we get to choose–which emotion do we want to feel.”

“Anxiety has been my natural posture, my default stillness. The way I curl my toes up, tight retreat. How I angle my jaw, braced, chisel the brown with the lines of distrust. How I don’t fold my hands in prayer…weld them into tight fists of control. Always control–pseudo power from the pit. How I refuse to relinquish worry, babe a mother won’t won’t forsake, an identity. Do I hold worry close as this ruse of control, this pretense that I’m the one who will determine the course of events as I stir and church and ruminate? Worry is the facade of taking action when prayer really is. And stressed, this pitched word that punctuates every conversation, its it really my attempt to prove how indispensable I am? Or is it more? Maybe disguising my deep fears as stress seems braver somehow.”

“I want that kind of crazy, happy joy, God…How have I lost it in the growing older, duller? How to see the world again thorugh those eyes? To live in the wide-eyed wonder of a world that unwraps itself grandiose and larger-than-life, so other wordly?”

“Only self can kill joy. I’m the one doing this to me.”

Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts book review: it's all about eucharisteo

“Grace is alive , living waters. If I dam up the grace, hold the blessing tight, joy, within dies…waters that have no life.”
[ctt title=” ‘Eucharisteo is, yes, more: it is giving grace away.'” tweet=” ‘Eucharisteo is, yes, more: it is giving grace away.’ @themorrelltale” coverup=”4dboG”]

“The communion service is only complete in service. Communion, by necessity, always leads us into community.”

“The work we do is only our love for Jesus in action, writes Mother Teresa. If we pray the work…if we do it to Jesus, if we do it for Jesus, if we do it with Jesus…that’s what makes us content…the contented, deep joy is always in the touching of Christ–in whatever skin He comes to us in.”

Even though Voskamp’s style of writing is very abstract, it was still a great read and allowed me to slow down my life and be thankful for the small things. I would recommend it to any Christian in any denomination. Honestly, I would recommend it to anyone!

Which quote did you enjoy the most?
 

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.