What’s So Amazing About Grace?

All through August and into the first week of September, we’re exploring a Wesleyan understanding of grace that is at work in our lives from the day we are born, the ways we can cooperate with grace for reconciliation and new life and how we continue to grow in grace on our faith journeys. As part of this worship series, we’ve asked SPUMC members and friends to tell us what makes GRACE AMAZING for them. You can respond, too, by emailing Rev. Ron. Here are some of the things people have sent in so far:

Beth Frank, our Office Manager, sent in a quote on grace from one of her favorite authors:

The movement of grace is what changes us, heals us and heals our world. To summon grace, say, “Help,” and then buckle up. Grace finds you exactly where you are, but it doesn’t leave you where it found you. And grace won’t look like Casper the Friendly Ghost, regrettably. But the phone will ring or the mail will come and then against all odds, you’ll get your sense of humor about yourself back. Laughter really is carbonated holiness. It helps us breathe again and again and gives us back to ourselves, and this gives us faith in life and each other. And remember — grace always bats last.” 

–Anne Lamott (pictured above)

Erica Benjamin, our Children’s Ministry Director sent in these two memes with her comments:

Parenting and grace go hand in hand. I think the most important advice a new parent can hear is to give your kids, partner, and self abundant grace. God always does. Below are two memes from an account about Gentle Parenting I follow on Instagram. The second is so accurate and Biblical. Unless we become like children, handing out grace and forgiveness like God, we will never enter the kin-dom of heaven. In the right here and now kin-dom, holding out on grace can cause harm that lingers within us and our kids for years. Luckily God’s grace leads us toward healing and perfection whether we were harmed seconds ago or decades ago.



Vera Summers passed along this music video:

You may have heard of Tauren Wells. He’s a Contemporary Christian Artist and this song he recently released of him and the lead singer from Rascal Flatts is amazing and all about God’s Grace! It’s called Until Grace, and don’t miss the fact that the music video is basically a cell phone showing that Tauren Wells is FaceTiming because Grace called his name, right? I love both of the singers’ enthusiasm and the tune is so catchy, I find myself humming it all around the house!

Have a listen…

Costly Grace
Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him. Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner.

DietricH Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
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Church Treasurer and long-time SPUMC member, Lynne Chaput, sent in this screenshot along with a note: Another Facebook Find. Grace is everywhere!

Love Right Where You Are
Grace is love right where you are. Acceptance. Love. But it doesn’t leave you there. Because of love your heart changes. You want to change, to be your best. You want to give away the love that has been given to you. You are humbled. You will never be the same.  And I never understand this until I received Grace from Jesus!
— Nancy Braks

Prevenient Grace: God’s Guiding
I heard this term (prevenient grace) some years ago when taking my Walk to Emmaus.  It made my heart so happy to realize how amazing God’s love was.  That even though I had faith in God but did not really understand what it meant to be in relationship with God, He still loved me and was still guiding my life to live out His will. Since my late teenage years I always believed in God and that He was guiding  me through life.  I wasn’t able to understand what it meant to be loved by God and to be in relationship with Him until He guided us to a church where Ashley was able to take confirmation classes and I learned along side of her.  PREVENIENT GRACE!  What a beautiful gift from our Heavenly Father.
– Sandy Cuzzart

In thinking about God’s “Amazing Grace”, I think maybe that we that know of it, and/or have experienced it, think it’s truly amazing, but God doesn’t really think it’s amazing. He just thinks of it as S.O.P. I personally choose to be amazed each time.

Paul Deafenbaugh

I don’t have an original song or poem about grace, but I have loved this song (“Grace Got You”) since the day I first heard Mercy Me sing it on the radio. It really clarifies the exuberance one gets to feel when we realize that the Holy Spirit is with us, in us and granting us grace every day through Jesus Christ. Grace is so amazing because it lets us live out loud, with confidence, “cause there ain’t no storm that can change how this ends!” It’s not that grace gives us permission to do the wrong things, but we it gives us the joy to strive to do the right things, boldly and unafraid. Here are the lyrics below and a link to a really creative version of this song. I know all the words (except for maybe the little rap part) and I sing along with Mercy Me, loudly and joyously, when I’m in my car alone, where no one else can hear…well, maybe God hears me (smile).
Vera Summers

Grace Got You
(by Mercy Me)

Have you ever met those who
Keep hummin’ when the song’s through?
It’s like they’re living life to a whole different tune
And have you ever met those that
Keep hoping when it’s hopeless?
It’s like they figured out what the rest haven’t yet

The second you realize what you have inside
It’s only just a matter of time…til you

Sing, so the back row hears you
Glide ’cause walkin’ just won’t do
Dance, you don’t have to know how to
Ever since, ever since Grace got you
Laugh, ’til your whole side’s hurtin’
Smile like you just got away with somethin’, why?
‘Cause you just got away with somethin’
Ever since, ever since Grace got you

So when you’re standin’ in the rain again
You might as well be dancin’, why? ‘Cause there ain’t no storm that can change how this ends
So next time when you feel blue
Don’t let that smile leave you, why?
‘Cause you have every reason just to


Got away with somethin’, bubblin’ inside of you
Spillin’ over ’cause your life is full, how incredible
Undeniable, monumental like the Eiffel
Uncontrollable, let the joy flow through – haha
Giddy, over pretty, pretty please
Let me see your hands in the air with you out your seats
Warm it up, let go, shout it out, celebrate
When you can’t articulate just say, “Amazing grace”

The second you realize what you have inside
It’s only just a matter of (only just a matter of)
It’s only just a matter of time (just a matter of time) til you


Both Linda Herzig & Rev. Jim Stutler sent in a book recommendation — Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy — that poignantly tells the story of grace in the midst of senseless violence and unimaginable loss. On Monday morning, October 2, 2006, gunman thirty-two-year-old Charles Roberts entered a one-room Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. In front of twenty-five horrified pupils, he ordered the boys and the teacher to leave. After tying the legs of the ten remaining girls, Roberts prepared to shoot them execution style with an automatic rifle and four hundred rounds of ammunition that he brought for the task. The oldest hostage, a thirteen-year-old, begged Roberts to “shoot me first and let the little ones go.” Refusing her offer, he opened fire on all of them, killing five and leaving the others critically wounded. He then shot himself as police stormed the building. His motivation? “I’m angry at God for taking my little daughter,” he told the children before the massacre.

The story captured the attention of broadcast and print media in the United States and around the world. By Tuesday morning some fifty television crews had clogged the small village of Nickel Mines, staying for five days until the killer and the killed were buried. The blood was barely dry on the schoolhouse floor when Amish parents brought words of forgiveness to the family of the one who had slain their children. Fresh from the funerals where they had buried their own children, grieving Amish families accounted for half of the seventy-five people who attended the killer’s burial. Roberts’ widow was deeply moved by their presence as Amish families greeted her and her three children. The forgiveness went beyond talk and graveside presence: the Amish also supported a fund for the shooter’s family. AMISH GRACE explores the many questions this story raises about the religious beliefs and habits that led the Amish to forgive so quickly. (description from Cokesbury.com website).

I don’t know if any sin is original
There was a word for everything I’ve done
But my trespasses weighed on me like a storm-filled sky
Thunderclouds that blocked me from the sun
You called my name
Your love extinguished my shame
You showed me grace was nothing I could earn 

“unoriginal sin” by april doss

I’m passing along the lyrics to one of the songs I wrote, called “Unoriginal Sin.”  I’m also including the link to a recording of it so you can hear how it sounds set to music.

Unoriginal Sin

April Falcon Doss  

I woke up this morning drownin’ in shame
Couldn’t lift my head, couldn’t show my face
Mama raised me better than I am 
Lord, I come to you a broken man

I don’t know if any sin is original
There’s a word for everything I did
But the pain of it was ever present in my mind
Sure I was too wicked to forgive

(but) You called me
(and) You showed me
You loved me so much more than I could know

Laid my head on the pillow, prayin’ for sleep
The scars in my soul are jagged and deep
How I made such bad mistakes, I don’t understand
Lord you know what it is to be a broken man

I don’t know if any sin is original
There was a word for everything I’ve done
But my trespasses weighed on me like a storm-filled sky 
Thunderclouds that blocked me from the sun

You called my name
Your love extinguished my shame
You showed me grace was nothing I could earn

I don’t know if any sin is original
There’s a word for everything I did
Your savin’ grace is ever present on my mind
You gave yourself for me so I could live

You showed me there’s no such thing, 
No such thing as being
Can’t be too wicked to forgive