Posts Tagged ‘faith’

What's the Difference Between Grace and Karma?

I sat at a table of friends as one relayed her experience with road rage. She told how she absent-mindedly merged into traffic and almost hit an oncoming car. The driver of said car then lashed out with a tirade of abuse and obscenity. Once the traffic cleared the car sped past her, still yelling abuse.

Funnily enough, a few minutes later my friend noticed the abusive driver pulled over by highway patrol.

Someone at the table piped up and said a word I hate to hear, “Karma,” – the insidious, normalised, celebrity-endorsed worldview that what you put out comes back to you.

You don’t have to go far to hear people refer to karma – on reality television, the radio, in conversation. Regardless of its Buddhist and Hindu origins, karma has seeped into our Judaeo-Christian society. Like its cool. A new standard.

In reality is is neither.

Karma is not Biblical nor is it life according to the New Testament. God’s kingdom operates by grace.

And grace is very different to karma.

What’s so amazing about karma? 

Karma refers to intentional actions that impact one’s future. It is a key concept in many world religions, including Sikhism and Taoism. Our western understanding of karma is the doctrine of inevitable consequence, where whatever you do is returned to you.

And there is nothing amazing about it.

Karma teaches you get what you deserve. Worse still, it teaches you get what your past deserves, even if it isn’t your past.

In modern society people rejoice when the wicked get what they deserve in the form of financial hardship, health issues or relationship struggles.

While many people – including those who have no other association with Eastern religion – live by karma, there is a higher way.

Looking for Grace

The Bible does not teach karma. It teaches grace. Grace is where you get what you don’t deserve.

Grace is unmerited favour. It is love and mercy bestowed upon us by God because He desires us to have it. As you can see, very different to karma. More like polar opposites.

It was grace, not karma, that rescued the Baby Moses from death. It was grace that allowed Queen Esther to plead for the survival of her people. Grace helped Nehemiah rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Grace appeared face to face with Saul on the Damascus road.

Grace reached out to you and me while we were sinners deserving death and took our place.

Grace. Amazing grace.

And it disappoints me that we have forgotten. It disappoints me we are more inclined to look for karma than we are to look for grace.

In the book, Bono: iIn Conversation with Mishka Assayas, Bono commented, “I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge… I’m holding out for grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross…”

If the world knew the magnificence of God’s grace they would be holding out for it as well. Because I’ve got a feeling society doesn’t need more karma but a whole lot more grace.

If there was more grace there would be less road rage.

If there was more grace there would be less divorce.

If there was more grace families would talk to each other.

If there were more grace there would be less racism.

If there were more grace there would be less violence.

If there were more grace there would be more kindness.

More love.

Getting what you deserve is horrible because if we’re honest, we all deserve a rotten life. Getting what you don’t deserve is some kind of wonderful. And it is all around us. If we opened our eyes we would see grace working on the planet each and every day.

It was grace that got my sister-in-law an upgrade to business class on her trip from London to Australia. It was grace that caused a stranger to give my children free tickets to the zoo. It was grace that delivered groceries to single moms on Christmas Eve. Grace was the parking space at the Mall. Grace was the out of the blue phone call from a friend. Grace was the smile of a child. Grace was the not so random act of kindness you received.

Grace. Pure grace.

Getting what you don’t deserve. A gift from God.

Let’s look for the incorruptible, glorious gifts of God’s grace working through and around us in everyday life. No one deserves the consequences of karma. We all need amazing grace.

Sarah Coleman

Author

http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/what-s-the-difference-between-grace-and-karma.html

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29418632

Paperback, 262 pages, published March 24, 2016

The Bible needs no introduction. Or does it? The best-selling book of all time has had a remarkable influence on humanity, and yet, people throughout the centuries have struggled to grasp the essence of its meaning.

The Bible, first and foremost, is a book of relationship. This ancient text–relevant to every era–provides a powerful connecting point for a dynamic relationship with the God who created us.

But there’s more to the story than first meets the eye. Grasping the heart of the Bible requires at least a basic understanding of its origins and inspirational nature.

Through its easy-flowing style, The TouchPoint not only introduces the Christian Scriptures but also draws more seasoned believers into a deeper understanding of God and His ways.

Use the link below to visit the website

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I’m currently reading this book.

I appreciate Bob’s Christian insights and hope you will consider The Touchpoint for your summer reading list. Do you know someone graduating from high school and heading to college? The TouchPoint would make a great graduation gift!

Check out my review of Bob’s book, Champions in the Wilderness. Use the search box- enter Champions in the Wilderness.

I’d like to thank Bob Santos for sending me a copy of The Touchpoint. This book was received in exchange for an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

 

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Flash

Flash: The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me about Life, Faith, and Second Chances

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers

Publication date: 5/1/2015

Hardcover: 256 pages

Overview

The heartwarming tale of an irrepressible donkey who needed a home—and forever changed a family.Rachel Anne Ridge was at the end of her rope. The economy had crashed, taking her formerly thriving business along with it. She had been a successful artist, doing work she loved, but now she felt like a failure. How would her family pay their bills? What would the future hold? If only God would somehow let them know that everything was going to be all right . . . and then Flash the donkey showed up.

If there is ever a good time to discover a wounded, frightened, bedraggled donkey standing in your driveway, this wasn’t it. The local sheriff dismissed Flash as “worthless.” But Rachel didn’t believe that, and she couldn’t turn him away. She brought Flash into her struggling family during their darkest hour—and he turned out to be the very thing they needed most. Flash is the true story of their adventures together in learning to love and trust; breaking down whatever fences stood in their way; and finding the strength, confidence, and faith to carry on. Prepare to fall in love with Flash: a quirky, unlikely hero with gigantic ears, a deafening bray, a personality as big as Texas, and a story you’ll never forget. Tyndale House Publishers

Super cute cover. A great book. I enjoyed reading all thirteen chapters and the Lessons from Flash at the end of the book. Love the insight on how we can learn from ordinary lessons. Each chapter’s title page is a black and white photo. I recommend this Christian book but for just about anyone. This is the author’s first book, to be released May 1st. 

Flash the donkey

Tyndale House Publishers provided this complimentary copy for review purposes. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

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Oil of Joy - Isaiah 61:3

Like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz, the storms of life can leave us broken, and it can be tough to continue. But God provides us the oil of His joy, to heal our hurts, and allow us to move on in Him.

What are Joyful ‘toons? 

Joyful ‘toons are cartoons that are based on verses from the Bible. Each cartoon consists of a verse  and a cartoon illustration. It is my prayer that they be used to exhort and encourage Christians in their walk with the Lord, and also that they be used to reach out to those who don’t know Jesus as Lord and savior. joyfultoons.com/faq/

About Mike Waters, cartoonist

I began drawing cartoons based on Bible verses in the 1990′s. I have always loved drawing cartoons, and one day the idea came to me for a cartoon that would illustrate the relationship between faith and grace. Not long after, an idea for a second cartoon came to me. I noticed that the back page of the weekly bulletin at my church was often blank, so I approached the pastor with the idea of using my cartoons to fill that space, and he agreed to my proposal. After that, ideas for other cartoons started coming to me, and they became a regular feature of the church bulletin. I then thought of sharing the cartoons, which by this time were called Joyful ‘toons. joyfultoons.com/about/

Joyful ‘toons are posted on Notes From Dawn with permission from Mike Waters. 

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Bible Favorites

Written by Nancy l. Snaders

Illustrated by Hannah Wood

A Focus on the Family Resource Published by Tyndale House Publishers 02/06/15

Age range: 3 – 5 Years. 

Product dimensions: 4.70 x 5.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Book Description:

This set of 10 delightful minibooks will help beginning readers recognize basic vocabulary words while learning about 10 beloved Bible stories. These creative books teach reading in the strongest way possible using repetition in a way that draws children in and brings them joy. The last word of each sentence part in the story is featured vocabulary word on that page for a total of four featured vocabulary words for each minibook. Each page builds on the previous one both in art and text. The final illustration is always the whole scene of the story, giving an understanding of the sentence as a whole!

My review:

There are 10 numbered mini paperback books in a cardboard storage box. The mini book titles are: The Sun and the Moon, Two Mice and the Ark, Moses and the Bush, David and the Giant, The City Wall, The Star and the King, Jesus on the Water, The Good Shepherd, The Sad Son, and The Angel and the Cave. 

The illustrations on each page are very simple. And the simple pictures are added along with the words to make 1 complete sentence by  page 8. The end of the book (page 10) is a summary of a truth learned, a verse to memorize, and a prayer to pray. There is also (on page 12) an activity (called “look back in the book”) for the reader to find some things in what they just read.

I liked the concept of vocabulary and word repetition in the stories. I didn’t like the stapled construction; more effort needed in quality.  

Tyndale House Publishers provided this complimentary copy for review purposes. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

 

 

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Smoke Signals - James 5:13

When we are faced with trouble, we should not wait until we have come to the end of our own resources before we seek God’s help and direction in prayer.

What are Joyful ‘toons? 

Joyful ‘toons are cartoons that are based on verses from the Bible. Each cartoon consists of a verse  and a cartoon illustration. It is my prayer that they be used to exhort and encourage Christians in their walk with the Lord, and also that they be used to reach out to those who don’t know Jesus as Lord and savior. joyfultoons.com/faq/

About Mike Waters, cartoonist

I began drawing cartoons based on Bible verses in the 1990′s. I have always loved drawing cartoons, and one day the idea came to me for a cartoon that would illustrate the relationship between faith and grace. Not long after, an idea for a second cartoon came to me. I noticed that the back page of the weekly bulletin at my church was often blank, so I approached the pastor with the idea of using my cartoons to fill that space, and he agreed to my proposal. After that, ideas for other cartoons started coming to me, and they became a regular feature of the church bulletin. I then thought of sharing the cartoons, which by this time were called Joyful ‘toons. joyfultoons.com/about/

Joyful ‘toons are posted on Notes From Dawn with permission from Mike Waters. 

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Be Thankful - Colossians 3:15

One way to let the peace of Christ rule in your heart is to be thankful for all the good things He has provided.

What are Joyful ‘toons? 

Joyful ‘toons are cartoons that are based on verses from the Bible. Each cartoon consists of a verse  and a cartoon illustration. It is my prayer that they be used to exhort and encourage Christians in their walk with the Lord, and also that they be used to reach out to those who don’t know Jesus as Lord and savior. joyfultoons.com/faq/

About Mike Waters, cartoonist

I began drawing cartoons based on Bible verses in the 1990′s. I have always loved drawing cartoons, and one day the idea came to me for a cartoon that would illustrate the relationship between faith and grace. Not long after, an idea for a second cartoon came to me. I noticed that the back page of the weekly bulletin at my church was often blank, so I approached the pastor with the idea of using my cartoons to fill that space, and he agreed to my proposal. After that, ideas for other cartoons started coming to me, and they became a regular feature of the church bulletin. I then thought of sharing the cartoons, which by this time were called Joyful ‘toons. joyfultoons.com/about/

Joyful ‘toons are posted on Notes From Dawn with permission from Mike Waters. 

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