Tuesday, November 2, 2010


"Grace. Grace. God's grace! Grace that will pardon and cleanse within!

Grace. Grace. God's grace! Grace that is greater than all my sin!"

Today I am thankful for Grace!

The words to this old hymn have always meant a lot to me. God's grace is so indescribable. It is totally undeserved. You can't earn it - you can't buy it. Yet is is the key to our forgiveness and ultimate happiness.

I was not raised in a Christian home. My parents believed in God. My mom had gone on and off to a Nazarene church growing up and made a profession of faith. My dad had been raised in church and went every Sunday. Neither one really lived that life when I was younger. They took me to a church down the road mainly to Sunday School and the occasional "special" church service. When I was in the 3rd grade, in the Detroit School system, busing was adopted. While my parents were not prejudiced, they did have a problem with me getting on a bus to go 10 miles away, when I could walk 5 minutes to school. Anyway, through the prodding of my grandmother, I went to Temple Christian School - a 35 minute drive from my home. Not sure that all made sense, but I do know that God had his hand in the decision. Through that experience, I was saved at age 10, 2 days after my birthday.

Long story short, at that time, I didn't fully understand "grace". It wasn't until my late teens when I had walked away from the faith I adopted at an early age, that I realized how much I need God's grace and forgiveness. I was living a pretty wild lifestyle and headed down a bad road. One night, actually New Year's eve, while sitting alone on a staircase, very drunk and ashamed of several of my actions, I heard a still small voice. I knew that God was speaking to me and telling me that I needed to give it ALL to him. He would forgive me and help me to have a better life. I prayed that night, but wouldn't fully surrender for about 6 months. I struggled with alcohol for those 6 months and still to this day, I know that I cannot take a drink. I haven't in over 20 years, but that doesn't mean that there aren't times that I am tempted. I just know for me it is not a good choice. That's where God's grace comes in - I felt like the lowest person on the earth that night. I felt that no one could love me or forgive me. But God did! The best thing - he still does!!!

Over the course of my life, I have needed God's grace and forgiveness and I am so thankful that it ALWAYS available and greater than ALL my sins.

I am not perfect - never will be on this earth, but I am so thankful that I am forgiven!

Now to the other "grace" in my life - Grace Church!

In 2008, when I knew that my marriage was in DEEP trouble, I was invited to visit Grace. The boys and I had been to several good churches in the area, but just really hadn't found a home. I was trying to keep peace and kept hoping that we could go as I family somewhere - that never happened. Anyway, that first Sunday, I felt God's presence and knew that this was home. In the 13 years that I had lived in Columbia, I had never felt that way about any church that I had been a part of. Don't get me wrong, I had been to some great churches with great people, but never really felt that I was home. Little did I know that God would use my church to help with the healing that I needed in my life. Not just the spiritual healing, but the emotional scars that came with divorce. Satan tried very hard to convince me that I would never be able to "serve" in the church and that since I had messed up my marriage and "ruined" my boys life - I needed to fade into the background and just feel lucky to even get to go to church. Thank God for Pastor Brian and the many friends and other Pastor's that I met. God used them to allow healing and restoration to me. I still have scars and there is still pain, but God loves me and he is using me where I am. He has helped me to see that my boys need to put their ultimate trust in HIM (Thank God!) I hate what has happened to ALL of us - it was never what I wanted. But God's grace is ALWAYS enough!!! Let me say that again: GOD'S GRACE IS ALWAYS ENOUGH!!!! No matter what sin, no matter what pain, NO MATTER WHAT - his grace is sufficient.

So today I am thankful for GRACE!!!


  1. Please excuse my typos - I am an emotional writer and sometimes my fingers get ahead of my brain - I will try to do better :)

  2. Thank you for sharing so much, Jodi. I am thankful that God brought you to Grace Church and into my life. BTW - what typos? I must be an emotional reader :)

  3. This is going to be a long comment but I have to share it..it's one of my favorites and a quick reminder when Satan lies to me too about how God can't use me...
    A water bearer in India had two large pots hanging at the ends of a pole that he carried across his neck. One of the pots was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house. The other pot had a crack in it, and by the time it reached its destination, it was only half full. Every day for two years the water bearer delivered only one and one-half pots of water to the master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments—perfect to the end for which it was made. The poor little cracked pot was ashamed of its imperfections and miserable that it could accomplish only half of what it had been designed to do. After two years of what the imperfect pot perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer and said, "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."

    "Why?" asked the bearer, "What are you ashamed of?"

    "Well, for these past two years, I have been able to deliver only half a load of water each day because this crack in my side allows water to leak out all the way back to the master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all this work without getting the full value of your efforts," the pot said.

    The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path." Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot noticed the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because half of its load had leaked out once again.

    Then the bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path and not on the other pot's side? That's because I've always known about your flaw and took advantage of it by planting flower seeds on your side of the path. Every day as we walked back from the stream, you watered those seeds, and for two years I have picked these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just what you are, he would not have had this beauty to grace his house."

    I'm so thankful God uses cracked pots (crack pots ha!), aren't you?