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Monday, September 28, 2015

I believe.

Why DO you believe what you believe? A seeker of fairy tales, a believer in legend and myth, a simple minded weakling? If that is what you want to call me, go right ahead. 
I believe in one true God, who died to know me, who rose to save me, 
and calls to YOU today. 
Your Creator is not distant, He is not heartless and He is not make believe. 
In this great age of unbelief, be different ... 
Seek for yourself and you shall find.
Peace. Forgiveness. Love.
-JLR Grace

by Carol Wimmer

Third Day: "Creed"

I believe in God the Father, 
Almighty Maker of heaven and Maker of earth,
And in Jesus Christ 
His only begotten son our Lord.
He was conceived by the Holy Spirt, 
born of the virgin Mary.
Suffered under Pontius Pilot 
where he was crucified dead and buried.

And I believe what I believe in 
is what makes me what I am.
And I did not make it, 
no it is making me
It is the very truth of God 
and not the invention of any man.

I believe that He who suffered
was crucified, buried and dead.
He descended into hell
and on the third day He rose again.
He ascended into heaven 
where He sits at God's mighty right hand.
I believe that He's returning to judge
the quick and the dead of the sons of men.

I believe it, I believe it. I believe it.
I believe it, I believe it. I believe it.

I believe in God the Father, 
Almighty Maker of Heaven and Maker of earth
And in Jesus Christ His
only begotten Son our Lord.
I believe int the Holy Spirit, 
one Holy Church
The communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sin
I believe in the resurrection
I believe in a life that never ends.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

grace in the wilderness

Wolcott Falls: Wolcott, NY 9/14/2015

On this past Monday (9/14/15) in celebration of Rosh Hashanah, I participated in the ritual of "tashlikh" or "casting off", symbolically casting my sins into a body of water by throwing rocks representing my sins for the year.
"He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea" (Micah 7:19). 

I should have most likely thrown a number of huge boulders.
Sin. Ugh. 
Why are we humans so fallible and filthy? 
Even Paul said; 
"I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate." (Romans 7:15). 
And he was was a pretty "good" guy, yet, even he could not get it right all the time, Saint Paul, the apostle - chosen by the Messiah - screwed up. 
God is funny that way, He seems to choose some pretty messed up individuals to represent Him down here... 

God, You gotta love the guy, He really seems to have a great sense of humor.
Of course to be fair, flawed - imperfect - screwed up people ARE all He has to work with!

My sins? Well, they are grievous and many. 
The ten commandments? I've trespassed every one in the course of my life, not "merely" in thought - but in deed. 
I have much to be forgiven for. 

For this forgiveness, I am grateful, and in my gratitude I commit to love. 
May I walk in forgiveness each day He allows me on this earth, may I remember how much I have been forgiven and extend that forgiveness to others. 

I offer you this reminder today:

Do you doubt? (Yeah, well so did Thomas.)
Do you deny Him? (Yeah, well, so did Peter.)
Get over yourself.

Seek and you shall find, look not at the reflections or shadows of God that have been perpetrated by the "church", instead look for yourself. 
You will discover a God who came to earth as none other before Him, a Man who lived like no other before, or since. 

I was blessed to read the following from Jeremiah during service on Monday evening. My prayer today is that we all may go out in the dance of the merrymakers - and that we all may find grace in this wilderness.
In love, 
JLR Grace 

Jeremiah 31: 1 - 7

1"At that time, says the LORD, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people."
2Thus says the LORD: "The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest,
3the LORD appeared to him from afar. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
4Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again you shall adorn yourself with timbrels, and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.
5Again you shall plant vineyards upon the mountains of Sama'ria; the planters shall plant, and shall enjoy the fruit.
6For there shall be a day when watchmen will call in the hill country of E'phraim: `Arise, and let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God.'"
7For thus says the LORD: "Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, `The LORD has saved his people, the remnant of Israel.'

Friday, September 11, 2015


On this 14th anniversary of 9/11 I implore you, my fellow Americans, to not only never forget, but to REMEMBER who you are and for what we are called to stand for. 
The last few years it seems we have developed an alternate reality, one where we apologize for America, for who we are as a nation, the mistakes and atrocities committed may be many - but despite that fact, we remain the grandest experiment humanity has ever embarked upon. A country, different from all in recorded history, with a government of the people, by the people and for the people. We now must ask however, who have we allowed ourselves to become? Are we still governed by the people? Or have we given power over to the wealthiest among us. Do we strive to govern ourselves, or instead cry out for a government to rule and control our populace because we are too lazy to take care of ourselves, or because instead of courage, we choose fear. The history of America is not without mistake, not without shame of injustice, that being said, it is indeed a history of bold - courageous and brave men and women standing for liberty and freedom. 
Am I proud to be an American? You bet your ass I am proud to be an American. 9/11 is just one example of what we have to be proud of. 19 men attacked us that day, thousands responded in the face of great peril to save their fellow countrymen. You tell me where the shame lies in that story. 9/11 is a story of good versus evil, in our modern age we have begun to deny evil is reality  - it is politically incorrect. Well, evil is a reality and it is at work in our world. America has fought and stood against evil and tyranny, only fools with a lack of understanding of history would believe otherwise. 

I am a conspiracy theorist from way back. I do not believe Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone shooter and I am confident that extraterrestrial evidence is kept in Area 51. However, when people start ranting that the events of 9/11 were only contrived by our own government, they again expose their ignorance of the broader world and what exactly is happening in it. We are at war with Radical Islam, whether we want to be or not. ISIS, for example, is Islamic, regardless of what our current administration proposes. We are also in a battle with those who would work to destroy our nation from within, who strive to strip our people of their freedoms, some of these are our very own elected officials - whom "we the people" offer our liberties up to on a plate.

I offer up this prayer today, for all the peoples of America, that we would stand together - regardless of race or religion, as so many before us have called for us to do. As Martin Luther King Jr said, "we must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools". We, as a people, are the greatest force this world has ever seen - remember who you are America, remember your power to change this world.

Remember America, before it is too late for our children, and NEVER FORGET.
- JLR Grace 9/11/2015

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
John Adams (The Works of John Adams, ed. C. F. Adams, Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1851, 4:31)

"I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth–that God Governs the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?"
Benjamin Franklin