You have to have spiritual ears to hear the meaning of Amazing Grace blown through the pipes along a beachfront in the South West of Western Australia.
What a glorious experience!
To him it was a tune to be learned, to me it was a melody that conjures up so many remarkable thoughts.
A song written by a Slave Trader, John Newton, in the 1700s a few years after he encountered God’s saving grace during a viscous storm.
I’ve met hundreds of people throughout my life that claim the same Amazing Grace that saved that slave trader, saved them.
Saved them from what?
Maybe John Newton used the idea of being in a storm with no way of anchoring to safety as his inspiration to this timeless song.
All human beings experience that unsettling feeling of being broken apart by life’s circumstances. That feeling of being shipwrecked with no hope of survival.
Imagine instantly feeling the storms around have lost their power. The sun is shining and peace overwhelms you.
You can’t explain it away but the things that used to control you have lost their power.
God’s Amazing Grace is available right now to those who believe.
Being a wretch isn’t as terrible as it seems.
Being a wretch is the first step towards Amazing Grace. You have to feel lost before you call out so you can be found.
I’ve felt lost many times in my Christian journey and God has always been faithful to put me back on track.
To those of us who believe, Jesus said “I’ll never leave you or forsake you” What an amazing promise.
The first verse says it all!
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind but now I see
I look forward to meeting the man who played one of my favourite hymns of all time for me and have the ears to experience it’s true meaning for him. He’ll never be the same.
I pray you have an awesome day!
Imagine you finally get that dream job, the forever house, you married the love of your life, but you can’t seem to enjoy any of it or them.
Paradise without purpose visits every single human being on the planet 🌎.
We try so hard to avoid struggle until struggle is unavoidable, why?
I’m convinced we have the wrong idea of what paradise actually looks like.
Marketing companies, story tellers and the human heart that yearns for peace doesn’t help. We conjure up all sorts of fantasies of a place called PARADISE!
That dream job that you finally got started rotting the day you started.
That house that you could finally afford started to feel empty.
That life partner you finally convinced to walk down the isle suddenly became your daily reminder of how inadequate you are.
All these things and more lead us to a better way! They force us to redefine paradise!
Paradise in its historic setting depicts a space that is bliss, completely harmonious and absent of toxicity.
Picture ointment that the alchemist creates to sooth the senses and heal wounds. Then picture flies landing in such a wholesome setting and destroying all the calming and healing elements.
As a spiritual human being, Jesus taught a very clear message where paradise actually is. He said ~ “Don’t seek a place or a time to find the ultimate abode or dwelling place, the kingdom of God is within you”
If my purpose in life is simply to reach a destination, a title or accumulate x amount by a certain time, flies will swim in my pool of hope indefinitely.
If my purpose in life is to be connected with my creator, void of accomplishing anything other than being true to my God given conscience, then my paradise cannot be penetrated.
Jesus also made a promise about paradise when He said, “I have come to give you life and give it in abundance”
Jesus offers something more dead religion.
Perhaps flies have landed in your ointment, spoiling everything good around you. Can I encourage you to go to the one that makes fresh batches of soothing ointment for your soul right where you are.
The moment we believe in God’s promises once again, we begin to discover paradise right where we are.
Our purpose in life is to be connected to the creator and from there all heaven’s gates and resources are available to us right now, not some future time or place.
As a concerned parent, who doesn’t dread the thought of their children going wayward.
As an over enthusiastic and empathetic friend, boss or manager, who doesn’t dread the thought of their friends or team being bullied or struggling to cope.
OVER PROTECTION, Let me illustrate.
I’ve recently come into the world of being a green finger, wanting to help my wife around the garden.
I believe greatly in routine and systems, so I implemented some around the garden. I made sure every plant gets watered and then some.
Rule number one
Some plants don’t need that much watering. I started to enjoy the green growth and never missed a day.
Here’s where the problem is, I started loving the plant so much, enjoying every new leaf to the point it started rotting at the base of the stem.
We can overdo things out of our genuine desire to help. We want to minimise the pain life brings to others that we start interfering with their growth potential.
Rule number two
Understand that it takes more than water to grow a plant.
Just because I was disciplined at watering the plant didn’t compensate for my lack of knowledge in assisting growth in other areas of the plant.
Nurturing requires a full knowledge of the plant not just a desire to see it do well. This is a lifelong journey that we can’t get through text books.
Life teaches us to dig deeper and be more attentive to detail if we want the fullness of its offering.
It’s not too late to be a wholesome parent, friend, boss or manager.
Caring for others is definitely a prerequisite to helping others achieve their goals. As importantly, it’s knowing when not to interfere which is an art we can all learn as well.
Let’s never go overboard on any truth we discover, and perhaps give ourselves a reasonable break when we discover such a life uttering bit of wisdom.
Hopefully our frangipani will survive after my wife and I attended to it this morning.
An incredible lesson learned from the humble garden.
Shame often operates from a power imbalance.
Regardless of motive, shame can move strong individuals to a place of brokenness.
Bosses, managers and those in lead roles can use shame to deter others from misbehaving. Given the circumstances, most individuals carry a greater weight of authority beyond their character.
Character and integrity may have been the instruments that opened up the opportunity to take on a lead role, they aren’t always the guarantee that these qualities keep them there. Often in the height of success, humility is exchanged with pride.
It’s at this point shaming others is the most convenient to maintain a position of authority.
No one has the right to shame you regardless of their position.
Let’s look at another power base, RECONCILIATION.
It was Jesus who taught such a profound authority in the idea of reconciliation when he coined the phrase ‘He that is without sin cast the first stone’ when the elites of his time tried to shame a woman for her lifestyle.
Reconciliation is the great equaliser, recognising human beings as fallen creatures in need of a redeemer rather than judge.
I’ve been on both sides of this equation, feeling incredible shame to the point of despair and hopelessnesses. I’ve also felt God’s free gift of Grace offering reconciliation and rapturing my heart to a place of unspeakable joy.
I may have the power to shame others but it’s unprofitable for all of us. I also have the power to free people from their failures by extending encouraging words and actions. We Both Win!!