Blinded by the Light

For most of my life, I read the Bible through the lens that God was angry and ready to smite me. But as I now read the Bible through the lens of His grace, I see things totally different. For instance, I have always thought God struck Paul with blindness during his Damascus Road experience. But in rereading that story this morning in the light of Grace, I come to...

At Odds with God

“Lord, you have to change my situation or change my heart. But please, change my situation,” was my prayer as I struggled with feelings of anger and abandonment. I want growth without growing pains. I want fruit without the darkness of being planted. I want revelation without intimacy. I want wine without crushing. I want my situation to change. God wants my heart to change. I want a quick fix....

Know Your Audience

My book, Redefined, is being published October 1. Yesterday, I was tasked with finding an intriguing catch phrase to put on the back cover. As I was skimming the book to find the right phrase, God began to show me why the book was written. To invite women who struggle with guilt and shame into freedom. To heal women of the pain of rejection. To encourage women there is life...

Are You Willing to Stand?

One year, Wake County Schools decided to have a weather makeup day on Good Friday. One of my students was indignant about the situation and said, “I’m not coming because I have to go to church!” “Are you Catholic?” I asked. “Because most Protestant churches have Friday night services.” “No, I just don’t think it’s right for them to have school on Good Friday,” he replied. “Then don’t lie about...

Unbalanced Grace

Can I tell you a secret? Grace is NOT balanced. It is radical. Unbelievable. Incredible. It offends our sense of justice. This is grace: I did something wrong. I sinned. But then a Holy God said, “Wait a minute, Melissa. I will take your punishment. And you can walk away free as if you never sinned.” That’s absolutely crazy. And I don’t get just one free pass, I have an...

Obligation or Intimacy?

When I drive to work, I jam to songs on my phone. I have my playlist on shuffle and there is no telling what song is going to pop up. From Bethel Music to Andrae Couch’s album from the 80’s. From Ed Sheeran to Marvin Gaye. It’s an eclectic mix of songs. Often, I find, God will speak to me through the songs that play in my playlist. Friday, God...

How Will You Respond?

I’m thinking this morning about Judas and Jesus. Why did Jesus allow Judas to be in charge of the money if he were a thief? When it was discovered he was stealing, why not remove him from his duties? These questions are not meant to question Jesus’ competence but to understand His grace and mercy. Jesus knew Judas was thinking about betraying him, yet Jesus washed Judas’ feet signifying Judas...

100 Proofed Grace

Sunday, I missed church. Instead of church, I spent the morning in a friend’s garage trying to get my files off a hard drive. But since I’m a walking church, our conversation landed on the topic of grace. Is the church teaching grace in such a way that we are simply giving people a license to sin? What is the role of discipleship in this new grace movement. My friend...

Kissed by Mercy

Do you have any “grace suckers” in your life? You know that person who has that way of exhausting your grace. You may love them but you can only take them in small increments? Yesterday, it seemed all hell was breaking loose. I try to write two hours a day after work. But yesterday was filled with interruptions. Business that needed tending. Correcting mistakes I made. And yes, it required...

Amazing Grace

What must I do to be saved? Be baptized? Change my behavior? Join a certain political group? Join a church? This week, someone said I was not born again because I disagreed with their interpretation of the scripture. Many people questioned my salvation because of the way I voted in the last election. This saddens me. It saddens me because it negates the power and beauty of grace. When we...