Tuesday, June 23, 2009

YES to GOD study: Ch. 1: An Open Door

So glad you have dropped by for the summer study of

Hope that you all had a blessed weekend celebrating Father's Day.
On Sunday morning I was at the kitchen table writing my Father's Day post keeping a watchful eye on Alivia. She was insistent that she make and serve Gene breakfast in bed. All by herself.

So she sprayed the skillet, cracked all 6 eggs, scrambled them with a whisk, poured them into the pan, heavily salted them, peppered and stirred them.
She toasted a piece of bread, buttered it, dropped it on the dirty floor, picked it up and without losing her rhythm spread jelly on it.
I gagged.
She made 4 pieces of bacon and a cup of cappuccino in the microwave and even made a package of instant grits.
All by herself.

She got out a cookie sheet, put a placement on it along with an index card with the message HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! Love, Alivia she then went and woke him up.

I knew a little dirt wouldn't hurt him so I just smiled as Gene took a bite of the toast.
He told her how good it was and she beamed.
Knowing the dirty toast was being served to the man that ate this last year, I just let them enjoy their moment.
All by themselves.

He was blessed, loved and full.
Conveniently too full to eat all of the overly salted eggs.
I just pray if I get breakfast in bed anytime soon from Miss Alivia that she serves me cereal. Suddenly I'm allergic to toast and eggs that make you thirsty.


Anything in blue is a quote from the book.

I loved the beginning of this chapter. I imagined Liz standing in the front door of her home just welcoming us in. To say that I'm glad to see you is a major understatement. Thrilled is more like it. Curb my enthusiasm? No way. Not when it's you.

Can't you just see Jesus saying that to us when we arrive in Heaven?

After inviting us into her home, Liz tells us That's what this visit is all about: slipping off the old and putting on the new. Letting go of the past and embracing freedom with our whole hearts.

Ms. Higgs has God's Word splashed throughout this chapter as if to back up the words from her heart.

1 Timothy 6:19b
Take hold of the life that is truly life.

The forgiven life. The grace-filled life.

That is one thing that really captured my attention with this book. Over the last year I have been told numerous times through e-mails and comments left of how much grace I have shown my teenage daughter who if you don't know, have given birth twice in one year. I do feel that I have shown her some grace, but I have also made the choice to watch her walk out my door covered in a coat of shame that I put on her.

So, how do I change? How do I clothe my girl in grace instead of shame?

It begins with an embrace, which is more than an elegant word for hug.

Hugs are short-lived and friendly...

An embrace is more intentional. Longer. Warmer. Far more personal.

Before reading this, I have never thought of the differences between a quick hug versus a embrace with intention.

We simply let the strength of our embrace express the depth of our thoughts and feelings.

I believe in you.

I support you.

I treasure you.

I love you.

Liz goes on to tell us that it doesn't matter where we have been, what we have done in our lives, that we are already wrapped in the Lord's embrace. Held close by nail-scarred hands.

She goes on to tell us that He is waiting for a return embrace from us. To accept the gift he's offering you. To listen for the whispered words you've longed a lifetime to hear:

You are loved. All is forgiven.

We are told the purpose of this book we are discussing:
Embrace Grace is for those hard-to-imagine days when the gospel seems too good to be true.

She wraps the chapter up with the sweet reminder that God has plans for us according to

Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

She encourages her readers to follow Him, saying it is the key.

God will be there for you, however dark the hour, however tenuous your faith.

How reassuring to know that no matter how dark the storm gets, God is there.
He is the One that will lead if we will just follow.

At the end of this brief, but power-packed chapter Liz had 3 questions under a section called Before You Turn the Page...
I really urge you to take the time to answer the questions she gives us.

In the comments below if you want to answer this question please do so:
What words do you wish God would whisper in your ear?

If you have more to share on your own blog, then please sign up under Mr. Linky below so we can come visit you. If you don't have a blog and are reading along you can leave your thoughts in the comments section. If you haven't picked up your book yet and you want to join in, you can join in anytime...we'd love to have you!

Have a wonderful rest of the week and don't forget to answer the question. Even if you're not reading the book, join in.

~Many Blessings~
Next Tuesday read and be ready to discuss chapter 2:
Embrace Doubt


Lelia Chealey said...

The answer I wrote in my book to the question was: "This way".

I always feel directionally challenged and really desire to be in God's will and live out the plans He has for my life.
Life just seems to get in the way though and more times than not, I seem to make the wrong choice. Has gotten better over the years as I grow closer to Him, but He knows how I have kept Him up all night probably pacing the floors of heaven wondering what in the world He is going to do with this child of His. :)

Stacy said...

I, too, had never thought about the difference between a quick hug versus a embrace with intention.

Thanks for including these words in your post: "Held close by nail-scarred hands." I must've read right over those words and would have missed an amazing imagery.

I love Alyvia's heart (not so much her food!!) in wanting to serve her dad. :) Yet another precious yet gag-filled memory.

Have a wonderful week!

Jill said...

Lelia- Sounds like I need to join in with this study. Thanks for the recap of chapter one. The question you posed has been on my heart lately - actually two nights ago I told my husband I wish God would just write on the wall what I'm suppossed to do (in regards to She Speaks - to go or not to go is the question.) Well perhaps He won't put it on the wall, but instead whisper to my heart. Mabye He already is and I just need to stop with the excuses and be obedient. Hmm, you've triggered some thinking...Blessings to you today, Jill

Pamela (His maidservant) said...

I love the fact that this feels like a casual read with deep implications. I actually slowed doen for a few minutes and savored the embrace.

I left me response to the chapters questions on my post.

Grief, has Gene read this post? He deserves "Father of the Year". Bless his heart....

Good to be back with you my friend~Pamela

Paula said...

Lelia, my sweet...I have loved reading this book so far, and will be posting in the next couple of days. I have some training tomorrow, so hopefully tomorrow night. Spent time reading chapters 11/12 of Micca's book to finish that, and it is amazing. Onto the last few pages. Love ya! xo

Paula said...

Done and dusted dear Lelia! I answered the question in my post, whoops. I am going to be sparodic in my posts, but you know that I am with you all the way. Love you, P xo

LisaShaw said...

Hey Sweetie, I have not purchased this book but all that I've read about it on your blog and others it seems like a "must get". I have a few ahead of it I'm reading now.

I've missed ya and came by to give my love. I pray you and your family are doing well.