glimpses of grace, vol. 9

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It is almost the beginning of the Advent season, which is somehow unbelievable because this fall has seemed to fly by in some ways and stretch beyond what I thought I could take in other ways. But this time is the perfect time to stop and willfully make ourselves see the glimpses of grace in the here and now, that are around us all the time. Here are some great reads, to touch hearts and souls, to transform us for the better.

Lori Ferguson Wilbert wrote about walking in shame and this is the best post I have read in a while. Every part of my soul relates to walking in shame, no matter what season I am in right now.

Life is hard, but God is good. The simple truth is, life is hard. But our God is good and there is always hope. Jason Helveston writes here about four reasons why life is hard because, as he says, we usually want to find deeper meaning in our hardships. Here are also specific ways to respond to our difficulties, and there is wisdom in these words for all of us.

Here, Christel Humfrey writes a beautiful post on our current pain that reminds us of future gloryWe were made for eternity, and God’s blessings in the here and now remind us of that beautiful future. Yet it is so easy to forget this, which is why our current pain reminds us of our future glory.

So often, we turn away from others and from God — because of fear, shame, or most likely — pride. We do not want others to see the ugly side of our hearts, of our lives, so we limp forward, pretending that we are fine. Francine Rivers writes beautifully on what happens when we allow things to entangle us.

Here is an absolutely beautiful post from Ann Voskamp, on how to live when the breaking waves of life, stress, fears, or sorrows come. “When tough things keep coming at you — you think you have to get tougher. I say it quietly, not sure she hears me over the waves? “Hearts that get tougher — leave you with nothing of value to give.” Love is what we have to give —- and love comes from places that are vulnerable and soft and tender enough to feel — to break. Only those who are really vulnerable enough to be broken —  get to be the ones who really love. Only those who are really vulnerable enough to be broken —  get to be the ones who really love. It can be that when you feel broken — it’s proof that you’ve given.”

Gavin Ortlund writes about 3 ways to respond when slandered. Slander, like gossip, is something that I think we are bound to face when we are in ministry and going about the ways of the Lord. So here are some wise, grace-full tips on responding to slander in a way that it honors God.

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