My entry today is a testimony of a lovely lady, a dear friend, and kindred in spirit, Miss Cheree Miller.
“She is a single parent who left the fast-paced California lifestyle behind 6 years ago, and now lives on 15 beautiful acres in the Arkansas countryside.
By day, she works as a practice manager for a veterinary specialty surgeon. She is a prolific writer, contributing to on-line article directories as well as maintaining several blogs and websites of her own on a variety of subjects.
Cheree is an active member of her church, Russellville Christian Center, where she can often be found volunteering her services as a greeter, or running the projector, or singing on the Praise & Worship Team.”
She has asked me if she could use some of my paintings to create a meditation video. I’m very blessed and honored to have my paintings featured in this video.
GOD IS MY SOURCE BY CHEREE MILLER
“I was raised a Christian, and then sowed some wild oats from my late teens through my early 30’s. I walked my own path even questioning God’s existence.
I studied world religions and practiced Science of Mind even becoming a “reverend”. But God never gave up on me.
After my son was born, I tried to go back to church but found that I couldn’t deal with the reproach and judgment I received over the poor choices I had made when I turned my back on God.
But, He works in mysterious ways!
In December of 2003 I received a phone call from a veterinarian in Arkansas (I was born and raised and was still living in California at the time), asking my advice about a software program.
Over the next few months, we had several conversations.
In April I was asked if I would consider moving to Arkansas. In May I flew out to investigate. In June I accepted an offer and at the end of August I moved my 77 year old mother who was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, my 40 year old sister with Downs Syndrome and my 12 year old son to Arkansas.
Talk about God’s country! God’s spirit moved swiftly and strongly; guiding me, softening my heart and leading me back into a relationship with Him. In December of 2005 I found the church I call my home; and in 2006 I was baptized.
But that isn’t my testimony. That’s my past. That person died, and am a new creature. My testimony is that God is faithful, His mercy endures forever, and by His Love and Grace even though I once was lost, now I’m saved.”
Composed by John Newton
Arranged By Edwin O. Excell
Painting by Lyn Deutsch 2008
16″ x 16″ coffee, acrylics, mixed media
Original painting is sold.
God gives grace in the most emphatic sense. He is not compelled to be gracious by the force of our demands, but He often gives to those who have never asked of Him: “I am found of them that sought me not” (Isaiah 65:1)
We are not asked, in any sense to bring a price to God to purchase our pardon, justification, or eternal life. God freely gives His grace, expecting nothing in return, but we do as freely receive as He does freely bestow.
Do not reach into your bank account, for money is useless as to purchasing salvation. Give up on searching in your character or in your resolutions for some little recommendation.
Neither the coin of the rich nor the good works of the self-righteous is currency here. The free grace of God would be insulted by being put up to auction or set forth to sale. “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Yes, there are heavenly prizes to run for, and to be obtained through divine help. There is a recompense of reward to which we are to look and a crown for which we are to strive, but the grace that forgives sin and works of faith is no prize for exertion but a gift to those without strength.
“So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy” (Romans 9:16).
Salvation is not granted to men as the result of anything they are, or do, or resolve to be, but is the undeserved gift of heaven. If it were of works, it would not be of grace; but it is of faith, that it might be of grace alone.
When God has given salvation, the deed is done and can never be reversed. If your sin has been blotted out, it can never be written again! “their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 10:17).
If you have God, you have Him by an eternal holding. The blessings of pardon, justification, and eternal life are gifts without an “if” in the core of them.
“For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
(Excerpted from Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s preaching entitled “Grace for Grace”)