Grace Period

who-killed-jesus.jpg.crop_disp from www.ucg.org

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.”  (John 3:16 -Message Bible)

Wouldn’t it be great if things in the world were “right again?”

I’ve heard stories of atrocious behaviors in this crisis: hoarding toilet paper, hatred boiling over from one’s heart if someone sneezes, fighting over a clean grocery cart… 

However, in spite of the terrible ways we’ve been behaving, not just in our life times, but through ALL time, God’s GRACE has been there. Waiting for you. And out of His great mercy, we’ve been given a grace period.

When we come out of this COVID 19 crisis, and we will come out of it, things will never be the same. And some of that is good news – Never again underestimating the value of a hug, a gathering of people to dine, laugh and be together; Esteeming and caring for our elderly, looking out for neighbors, honoring store clerks, first responders, truck drivers, janitors; donating blood, staying home when you are sick, valuing having a job to go to, paying your debts, taking time to examine the condition of your heart, praying like your life depended on it… 

Right now, we’re in the in between. A moment in time when we should be taking stock of what’s really important. A grace period where we must choose what’s important. 

Do you accept the gift Jesus already pre-paid for you? A gift far exceeding any amount of Clorox wipes, respirators or doomsday preppers stash – A gift offered as payment of our ultimate debt and lasting beyond this crisis -lasting through eternity.

This current grace period is the time to choose. 

Choose to hear Him

Choose to accept Him

To believe

That’s Grace

PERIOD

 

photo of child reading holy bible

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Romans 10:9-10 “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

INDIE AUTHOR GOES ROGUE

Julie web site

 (READ ON FOR FREE STUFF!)

 Approximately ten years ago, I made the choice to follow Jesus Christ . Just as He promised, it wouldn’t be easy, but I took heart and knew He overcame. He gave me the strength to survive some dark valleys along the way and His light shone bright at the peaks of new territories. The journey led me from the valley of the sun (Arizona) to the Rogue valley of Oregon—a place I believe He may have spent a little more time in than in others. I fell in love with Jesus right alongside falling for the Rogue Valley. A few years passed and the hibernating seed of being a writer began to crack open. Advance five years, I followed His guidance and the book “grace” is written and published, with characters taken from my life and a setting in the beautiful southern region of Oregon.

I also followed guidance and prompting from WestBow Press, my self-chosen publisher, and have an up and running blog (www.juleseddy1.wordpress.com) and now; I am launching my new website:

http://www.julieeddy.com/

HERE IS THE GOOD PART:

Because I love giving stuff away and because I have also begun my Christmas shopping:

PLEASE take one moment to visit the site. Click on the BLOG page/tab and leave a comment, ask a question, or just say “Hello!” Click the FaceBook Icon on that page to access the devotionals and a full array of blogs.

To promote the site, I am giving away 20 signed soft covers of my book “grace”!

If you post/comment on my website your name is entered once.

Sign up for my blog at http://www.juleseddy1.wordpress.com or “LIKE” me on my FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/juleseddy1 and you are entered 5 times!

If you write a review on Amazon.com or goodreads.com or share/re-post or re-tweet one of my blogs, your name will be entered 10 times! I will do this until 12/15/13 and then will notify the winners.

I will ship out (and hand deliver, if possible!) your signed book to anywhere in the USA! There is no limit to the number of times you can enter and the artist who designed the cover also signed these copies. Good luck and talk with you soon!

 

“Grace” WORKS GREAT AS a GIFT (IF YOU ALREADY HAVE IT) OR KNOW PEOPLE WHO ENJOY READING TRANSFORMATIONAL STORIES OF FAITH TESTED.

Because I am an “Indie Author” (independent)—I am doing this without the backing (and paycheck) from a publisher. The best I can hope for is that all the time and money I spend writing serves my readers, entertains, and points to my guide, my savior and the ultimate “author of salvation” Jesus Christ.

Thank you and may God bless your holidays!

 

WRECKING BALL

WRECKING BALL

WRECKING BALL

WRECKING BALL
“What happened to Miley?”

I know this is “old news” but I like to moll things over—

“For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45)

And, I’ve said it before, I just got on Facebook this summer—I’m a little slow to catch on.

Miley Cyrus–Everyone’s seen her visual transformation, the foam finger incident and then there’s the racy video she released as she floats across the screen naked on a wrecking ball for her #1 smash hit. (Pun intended.)
I’m guessing that the people asking the above question must remember her in her youth; her Disney days, her Hannah persona, the images of innocence.

No one asked this question about Madonna when she used sex for her image.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be raised by a famous father, constantly in the spotlight and also to have such talent. Her world is different. All that fame. All that pressure to perform, to be different, to be the next big thing. A totally different world.

“’If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’…those who heard began to go away one at a time”…(John 8:7)

I saw part of an interview with her father Bill Ray Cyrus on Piers Morgan Tonight. -(Also apparently old news!)-He asked him to comment about being her father and the “twerking.”

He didn’t raise his voice, yet he seemed pained and a little sad when he said, “That’s still my Miley.”
She is still his child.

I don’t know her world, but I had the same question asked of me.
My sister’s friend had just read my book, “grace.”

“What happened to your sister?” she asked.

She knew me in my college days. The days when my world was different.

Back then, I didn’t care what people thought of me. I didn’t know Jesus. I was breaking the shackles my “good girl” image and wanted to no longer be bound by shyness, insecurities and the labels put on me by my family, teachers, neighborhood, etc.
Behind the new care-free collegiate image was a girl who was taking control, re-defining her world.

I was going to be the wrecker of hearts.

Deeper down I was wrestling with some demons– My heart turned numb after being broken by the one I thought was true. My innocence slipped away on a dark unsuspecting night after too many beers. The two people I counted on for stability became embattled in a lengthy war of worth.
In those days. I was confused, directionless and envisioned no future for myself, so I was going to party like there wasn’t one.

That’s who my sister’s friend remembered.

I have learned these things: this world can break your heart (over and over again), AND every one of us has our stains.
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18)

God understands the brokenness and wreckage of which we are so capable.

But these things I also know.

I am His child.

The light of Jesus shines even brighter in our dark places.

“Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29)

I am worthy of my Savior’s death on a cross.

“Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2Cor 5:17)

Transformations take time, but I was pulled from my own darkened depths and know that God has good things planned ahead.
“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.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

But people like to cling to their images, their thoughts, their judgments. It’s almost comforting to trash-talk people living wild lives—makes your world not seem so crazy.

God loved me too much to leave me where I was.
What happened to me is He plucked me from my “wrecking ball” and healed my heart.

He is the One who sees you for what you truly are no matter where you are.
He sent His Son as ransom for our wreckage.
And He is still “in the business” of reconciling this broken world.

So the next time you are tempted to judge someone where they are at presently, take a moment–

Guard your tongue.
Check your heart.
And remember:

We are all His children.

Dark Alleys and Illuminated Paths

Light in the Dark

Light in the Dark

DARK ALLEYS AND ILLUMINATED PATHS

I run in the mornings. I love the summer; even though it is hot, I am assured a lighted path. My mind can immerse itself in my IPod, in memories, in prayers. In the winter, I am on guard. The very same path I run is dark and shadowy and, being a woman, one must always watch for predators. My mind thinks on the runner’s body they found in the Indian Bend wash, the coyotes I’ve seen scavenging for food, the bobcat, hidden fears.
Amazing what a little light can do.

The dark cannot survive the light.

Un-forgiveness is a dark and murky place for our human hearts.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (John 1:5)

The light of Christ seeps into this very darkness and illuminates it with healing mercy.

But what about the times when it appears the darkness is winning?

It was the 1980’s and I remember hearing a story about a church-going lady that has stuck with me to this day. My eyes prick with the memory of the events. She lived in a lower-class community. She had many friends, a loving family and children who loved her. She sought to spend her life giving and caring for those the world left behind. She was going house to house to ask for money to give to the needy in the community on behalf of her church. While she was out on this mission, she went missing.
It was spread across the news. The troops of her church rallied. The posters of her beautiful face plastered on light poles, message boards and newscasts. Where was she?

It was later found that she had been abducted, tied up on a chair and abused. The two men who did this, did it for the less than three dollars that was in her pocket book.

Her family spoke of how they forgave. They knew she would want that from them. They did it to honor her and because of what they believe.

This kind of forgiveness would take me years. I would have to seriously work at it. They did it immediately. And to be face to face with an oppressor and to forgive them in the heat of the moment? It’s just not in me.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

So many questions. So much I don’t understand.
I don’t know why bad things happen to good people.

After torturing her sufficiently, they realized there really was no more money. They killed her that day.

Darkness appears to have won.

The abducted woman went to her grave with forgiveness in her heart.

Her family knew this, but how did the world know?

It was one of those “Dateline” or 20/20 type shows that really revealed the amazing part about it. Her convicted killer told the story of how, even as they were abusing her, she was forgiving them. They had not bound her mouth, because they were asking her where all the money was. She gave them her whole purse and told them to take it all. Told them she had more than money to offer them. She told them about Christ. She shared His story. She shared her life and continually told them she forgave them. Her message got through, to more than one.

And her story is just one of thousands. As I was researching to find her name and the exact details, I came across hundreds of other stories of Christ’s power at work in the hearts of abused, raped, tortured individuals who illuminated Christ’s light into the darkness with their immediate forgiveness toward their oppressors.

Although I was young, I remember my mom explaining the word “martyr” to me; (probably to stop all my questions!)

Worldwide, over 70 million people are martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ.

And this is in just the last 100 years!

“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16)

The end of the story is that one of those thieves repented. (Sound familiar?) His darkness was turned. The light of Christ shone through her into the darkness of that place she was held.

She apparently wasn’t nodding off in church during the message about being the “hands and feet of Christ.”

Even in dark situations, light overcomes.

Share the stories of the light. You never know who it might impact.

BENCHES

bench

You see them in parks. You see them in playgrounds. They are found on front porches and in the front of the grocery store.
Besides a place to sit, what is it about benches?

When I asked Heidi Rosner, the artist behind the cover of my book “grace,” to add in a bench at the river scene, she said, “No problem. I do it all the time in my artwork. People love ‘em!”

A gentle man in his 80’s had finished “grace” and told me the bench was one of his favorite scenes because of what it meant to him. “In my marriage,” he said with a glimmer in his eye, “Oh yeah… Connie and I have had our ‘benches.’”
In the scene, and apparently for his relationship, the bench is a place of reconciliation; a place of confession; a place of releasing fears, finding comfort and new beginnings.
When I picked out the bench (and I never knew there were so many choices!), I chose the simple wood slats with iron bolts keeping the posts together. The bench was special for the characters in the book; it represented vulnerability and risk. But this bench represented all these things and more.

There are similarities that I hoped the reader would find there.

There is a “place” made of wood and iron that we can go to find a new beginning; a place of hope, confession, healing and rest. A place that we can lay our burdens, place our trust and release our grip of things we hold tightly.

“Lead me to the Cross where you love poured out
Bring me to my knees, Lord, and rid me of myself” (Hillsong United)

“At the Cross you beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees,
And I am lost for words so lost in love
I am sweetly broken…” (Jeremy Riddle)

So, the next time you see a bench, take some time, bend at the knee and take a seat. Rub your hands along the splintery wood. Thumb over the iron bolts holding it together and know that there is a place you can come to pour it all out, a place you can find peace, a place of healing and a place to release.

“…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross…3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” (Hebrews 12)

The Cross is the place is where you find the One who can hold it all together for you.

FIERCE LOVE

fierce love

FIERCE LOVE
“I will cease to live if I cannot be with you.”

Sounds Shakespearian, or maybe a line from “50 Shades of Grey,” or a RiHanna song?

It’s all about context.

Now-a-days this could be a codependent red-flag if spoken by a boyfriend, lover, stalker, etc.
Change the context; it changes everything.

–Scene change–
Picture these words being spoken by a parent or grandparent who, through no fault of their own, is faced with the thought of being denied access, sight and time with their beloved young child or children.
Though I am not a parent, I have been witness to this type of love; a fierce, almost angry, wild love.

Altruism: the sacrificial love of one for another.

It is a willingness to set aside your very life for the life of someone you love so intensely that life wouldn’t be worth living if they aren’t a part of it.

Soldiers do it for the love of their country.

A parent will step in and sacrifice for their innocent children.

This love is found between siblings, partners, families and spouses who willingly lay down their life to save their beloved.

But what if you were asked to sacrifice your life for something you didn’t care that much about?

Envision being asked to die for your abuser.

Or, for a follower of a different faith that harmed your country;

Or, the ex-boyfriend who dumped you for the larger breasted, more popular girl in school.

What about for the friend who betrayed your trust?

Or, being willing to give your full life for the child who turned away from all your teachings, stole from you and chose a drug ridden path on the streets…

**gulp**

This type of love happened.
This love happens.
This love is available to us because of Jesus.
It is the love He demonstrated on the Cross.

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-7)

God, our father in heaven, loves us with such intensity that he sent us the ultimate sacrifice so that we would not cease to live. What He accomplished on the cross makes a tough life worth living, makes death not final and turned everything on its head. It’s the upside down that made things right; the death of an innocent for the lives of the unworthy.
It is the most quoted and therefore the most recognizable verse: John (3:16) “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

He seeks us out when we are lost. He calms the storms of the seas of our life. He provides daily for our strength and gives us a hope worth clinging to when all else seems void.

Just know that no matter how unworthy this life can make you feel; that no matter what shames haunt your heart and, despite the burdens that weigh down your willingness to carry them one second longer, you have One that knows you, One that empowers you, One that believes in you, One that died for you because of His fierce, fierce love for you.

Recession Brings “grace”

IMG_20130514_183310_506Five years ago, as I was working at Scottsdale PD’s Crime lab as a fingerprint technician, I went part-time to help care for my terminally ill father in Colorado. I figured I could return to full-time within a year or two.–The “recession” changed all that. After my father passed away, I found myself with some extra time on my hands and a desire to pursue some old dreams. I enrolled at Scottsdale Community College and began honing my (at that point) “latent” writing skills. These new skills and the inflamed desire to write are what brought about my first fiction novel “grace.”
“grace” is a novel set in southern Oregon that follows four friends’ lives and is threaded with the overarching theme of undeserved forgiveness. It contains tragedy and murder, life and death, good and evil, as well as triumph, love and second chances.

PLEASE COME AND JOIN IN THE CELEBRATION OF GRACE AT A FREE COMMUNITY EVENT!
JUNE 1ST AT ASU’S SKYSONG CONVERGENCE ROOM (SE corner of McDowell Rd and Scottsdale Rd)
Enjoy a free continental breakfast and hear a reading from “grace”
A book signing and Raffle will follow.
Event is FROM 10 AM TO NOON
(for more info check details at AZCentral.com, Phoenix New Times.com and on the events page at K-LOVE.com)
“grace” will be available at the event ($15.20 for SC, $33.75 HC and $5.00 for the e-book) and also at Amazon.com and other online retailers.

FREE WATER-SKIING!

free waterskiing
My college roommate left the university paper on the counter for me to read. Was she trying to get rid of me for the summer? I read on:

“Water ski instructors needed for Camp Vega, an all-girls summer camp in Maine.”

Hmmm. I grab up the paper. My attention is now focused. Both my parents were competition water-skiers. My family grew up waterskiing throughout the summer in Colorado. Now, with the both my sister and I away at college, the competition ski boat was sold and we only sporadically, recreationally skied behind the old blue outboard boat we cleverly named “Bluie.”

“Four Competition Ski Nautiques. Ski all summer and be a part of molding young ladies lives. Must be able to instruct all levels of skiers and to safely pull skiers through the slalom course.”

No problem.

So I made the call. Throughout the phone interview and job details I heard, “Free waterskiing. Free waterskiing. Blah-de-blah-de-blah-blah.” Something about being a camp counselor, getting free meals and something about $800 for the summer plus $2oo for travel, and then I heard it again, “Free waterskiing all summer.”

I was in. I sold my sister on it too. Both of us were hired to be Water-ski Instructors and looked forward to a wonderful summer of free waterskiing in Maine!!
I should have paid closer attention in my geography class– Maine is that state all the way up there by Canada; with all the cold temperatures and a plethora of chilly lakes.

I should have paid closer attention in math class– $1,000 for the whole summer: June, July and August. Adding in the camp counselor part of the job, this was a 24/7 position. Break that down hourly and we’re talking about $0.37/hour. In 1991, you couldn’t even buy a Snickers bar for that.

Did I also mention it was run by a retired cop? He ran the place with an iron fist, keeping all in fear and ensuring the campers were safe and had the time of their lives. (As if being sued by the campers’ wealthy parents wasn’t enough fear!)

It was beyond exhausting. Days being tossed on the lake all day long with young girls whose ages ranged from six years old through to fifteen years old and at every level of aptitude. Some girls had never been in a lake while others were already competition slalom skiers. After a marathon day filled with that, I was assigned to “Saco;” a bunk filled with fifteen angst driven twelve and thirteen year olds mostly at this camp so their affluent parents could travel all summer.

Originally my bunk had four counselors assigned. Two quit before all the attention-starved campers arrived. Lucky them. Their positions were never filled.

Did I mention all that free waterskiing I did? No? I think I skied twice. I chose days where the water was warm enough so that I wouldn’t have to report to the nurse’s station for hypothermia and then I was already so exhausted from all the other duties, I could only summon two or three passes through the course.

Yet, I still have so many fond memories of that time. The trip across country with my sister will forever be re-told as the adventures grow through each telling; how we almost died when we ended up in the wrong part of Chicago, how we got stuck spending the night in a cockroach infested single-wide hotel in Pennsylvania, and the story of the lake spider (the size of Connecticut!) crawling up my sister during a ski staff meeting.

Heidi, my remaining co-counselor, became instant friends by sharing a bond forged in the “trenches of Saco.”

I (reluctantly) fell in love with all the girls by summer’s end. Tears stung my eyes watching Sarah who belted out the leading role in Sound of Music. I was hoarse from screaming encouragement at Ashley who scored the winning goal against the rival soccer team. And Jill, my very favorite camper, successfully skied the whole slalom course in the final water ski competition. On, and on and on the achievements and growth that happened over one summer. Until just a few years ago, I still maintained contact with some of those campers. Saying good-bye was one of the most emotional days of my life …

It was the toughest job of my life on many levels: physically, emotionally, financially…

Until now.

This writing thing is brutal.

I just received my first review on Amazon.com. It wasn’t very uplifting. It is from a family member.<br />
Don’t get me wrong, I am so very grateful for all who have spent the money and took the time to read my first novel “grace.” So grateful. And I am grateful for those who will take the time to write a review and to be very honest about it. So grateful.

Author Kristen Lamb summed it up for me in one of her blogs titled “HOW BOXING CAN MAKE US BETTER WRITERS—LESSON ONE.” She writes, “Think of this job like boxing. We’re in the ring. Outside (and even internal) critics are going to seek to gut-punch and knock the wind out of us. Their objective is to drop us to our knees and make us give up.”

The world out there is rough. Family has always been my “soft place to land.” I didn’t see this one coming.

Just like the end of that summer watching my favorite camper Jill’s face, eyes puffed and red from all our crying and hugging good-bye, as the yellow school bus shuttled her out of my reach and back to her parents on August 30, 1991.

Gut-punch.

On my knees, trying to catch my breath.

I think about the time it took for me to finish “grace.” The hours I spent writing, re-writing, editing, then re-writing, then re-rewriting, and revising and re-revising. Then more edits and more re-writes. The writing courses, the writing critique sessions, the weekends spent at my computer from sun-up to sun-down. Add it all up and I am not even close to a Snickers bar.

I’ll never forget the wise words of one of my upper division Creative Writing Professors. He said, “If you’re doing this writing thing to make the ‘big bucks’ you should get out now. It’s the rare occasion when a writer makes lots of money, but that is never why you become a writer. You do it because you love writing.” He went on to cite all these (now dead and now famous) authors who were penniless.

I didn’t write “grace” or any of the stuff I write to “make the big bucks.” I don’t write to become even remotely “famous.” I write because I have to. I write to honor the dream that God placed in my heart many years ago to be a writer. I wrote “grace” because I truly felt God nudging me, time after time, to put it out there.

Did my abilities get in the way of His message? Possibly.

I put a little bit of everything in “grace:” love, betrayal, murder, a football story, a boy with his dog, death and new life, and all in a beautiful location. A little bit of everything and hoping to appeal to everyone with the underlying message that true grace is available to everyone. My mistake is thinking that everyone will accept grace.

Determined to not give up, I arise from my knees.

That review aside, God’s message is still golden. His message is grace. Not my character in the book. The term grace has been described as “undeserved forgiveness.” Lots of people have problems with the idea of something they don’t have to work for–something free–something given to them when they don’t feel they deserve it.

I don’t blame them. I will be the first to yell, “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FREE WATERSKIING!”

And what Jesus did for us—the underserved forgiveness that He accomplished for us by doing what He did on the cross—it doesn’t cost us a thing. But don’t, for one second, think that it didn’t come at a price. It cost Him dearly.

As discouragement pricks at my eyes and my exhaustion from working long hours at these other “real jobs” so that I can have these other “free hours” to spend on writing and trying to honor what sparks God has put in my life to write about, I grit my teeth and remember another lesson I learned along the way–

It was another “not-so-kind” review from a former class-mate that I took too personally. I recall sharing my feelings with a third party who was also taking the course. His words got me through, “You didn’t write this for her anyhow.”

You got that right.

When I set out to complete “grace,” I decided that if it made an impact on just ONE person, then all the hours, all the late nights and early mornings, all the money I threw at it and the heart I put into it would be worth it.

As I tuck in my chin and raise my gloves, I prepare my armor for another day. I take heart in all the positive words of encouragement, the prayers, and the kindness of those who have supported me along the way and who continue to remind me of the Truth –I don’t write for reviews. I write to point the world to something greater than me and I do it to try to honor the “free” gift I have been given.

So grateful.

CHOSEN

Uncle Marty, Corky, Jamie

What a terrible feeling—to not be chosen…or worse yet, to be chosen last. I have flashbacks here of 3rd grade gym class and “dodge ball” day in the auditorium—the choosing of the teams. No one wants to be chosen last. Whether it is true or not, the person choosing thinks you’re too slow, not athletic enough, not good enough or simply that there is another one better than you. Those chosen last are the “runts” of the team.
My Uncle Marty is a great story teller. At family gatherings we all end up at the kitchen table captivated by his unbelievable stories.
But his stories are true.
He allowed me to use one of his stories about his first dog, Corky, in my book “grace.” The characters in the book are fiction, but the event captured in the book is true. –Corky was his first dog. She was specially bred to be a hunting dog. Regardless of how special and well bred of a line she came from, she was nonetheless, the runt. Her faults were being born last and her silky black coat was not quite perfect – a tiny bit of white tarnished her.
But my uncle chose her – flaws and all.
He became her master. Under his careful guidance, instruction, training and discipline, she excelled. She outperformed some of the most highly bred and trained hunting dogs; undoubtedly out-doing all her siblings. She was truly a “one-in-a-million.” She made spectacular retrievals and underwent some extremely difficult hunts, all under the direction and supervision of her master who was always prepared to step in if she got into trouble.
When you saw them together, their bond was heartwarming and enough to spark a little jealousy; she never took her eyes off of him–unless he gave her a command. Oh, how he loved that dog and how that dog adored and obeyed him. It was really something to witness.
And yet, with God, we all have this same opportunity. To be “chosen;” to excel under the careful guidance and wisdom of the One who will be there when we get ourselves into trouble. At times, He will even discipline us, but He will find us when we are lost, guide us when we stumble and, when we keep our eyes on Him, He will direct us and show us the way.
John 15:16 and Ephesians 1:4 in the Bible remind us that it is HIM who chooses us and not the other way around. He doesn’t think we are too slow, not good enough or the “runts,” even if we are born last or fall short, He still chose us.
Flaws and all, we are CHOSEN.
And under the guidance, discipline and love of the Creator of the Universe, the One who breathed the stars into existence and the One who knows every hair on our heads, we can excel and become the one-in-a million.