Tag Archives: mercy

Book Review: “Glimpses of Grace” by Gloria Furman

I love to read. Always have. Over the years, I’ve had a handful of books that have risen to the top of my list to “Must Read” status. Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home by Gloria Furman is definitely one of those books! It is probably one of the best books I’ve read in the last 10 years!

Gloria has a personal style that lets you know she’s been there–in the trenches with kids and cross-cultural ministry, serving her husband who pastors while struggling with a debilitating condition, keeping a home and keeping up with writing books and blogging.

Glimpses is full of encouragement from real-life illustrations and Gospel-centered, soul-refreshing, rich, theological concepts. Glimpses is full of Scripture and quotes that reflect Truth and Hope. Gloria doesn’t see herself as a super-mom, but rather a woman with a powerful Savior! She talks about glorifying God in the mundane–where, if we’re honest, the majority of our lives fall. God uses these simple, everyday things to communicate Truth to our hearts. From doing dishes to sweeping up sand again and again, God showed her to see her own dirt and sin that needs repeated repentance and to rejoice in His faithful forgiveness and unrelenting grace.

Here’s a glimpse into Glimpses from the author herself:

And some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Because God raised Jesus from the dead and gave him glory, our faith and hope are in God (1 Pet. 1:21), not in our ever-changing circumstances or in the comforts of our homes and meticulously planned routines” (21).

“Even in my darkest doubts, when I do the same thing again the next day, my hope is still built on the righteousness of Christ. The gospel keeps me relating to God on the basis of Jesus’s perfections, not on the illusions of my religious achievements. God strengthens me and protects me according to his faithfulness, not mine (2 Thess. 3:3). So I can scrub dried blueberry bits as unto the Lord as my heart is satisfied in God because his kindness to me in Christ leads me to repentance again and again” (33).

“Christianity is not a how-to manual for having a nice life. … Jesus’s work on the cross means more for you than an example for good living. The Bible is God’s story of how he redeems a people he has chosen to worship him for all eternity. …In the end, the good-life formula will not bring you to God and save you from your sins. Only Jesus does this through the gospel. In its worst work, the good-life formula can help create a delusion that because you are living in a Christian-like manner, you must be pleasing to God. In reality, your righteousness may be like that of the Pharisees, whom Jesus described as whitewashed tombs with dead men’s bones inside. In this way, the good-life formula is an offspring of self-justification” (45).

“The source of our faith, hope, love, joy, and gospel-grounded optimism is God himself and not our stuff or our circumstances” (59).

“…the point in forgiving one another is not just about the act of forgiving–it is the aim or goal that forgiveness seeks, which is reconciliation with God. … The forgiveness of our sins is a gift of grace, but it’s not ‘the’ gift. ‘The’ gift God offers us through Jesus’s work on the cross is everlasting fellowship with a holy God” (60).

“Whatever the ‘this’ that you desperately feel you can’t do anymore, it’s ultimately not about your circumstances. It’s about peace with God. And God has provided a way for you to have that peace that dominates any and all circumstances, regardless of how difficult they are” (78).

“Self-righteousness comes from within us and leads us to worship ourselves. Grace comes from God and leads us to worship him” (80).

“The gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His gospel purposes in me. When I view my circumstances in this light, I realize that the gospel is not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad. I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of my life, including my severest trials. The good news about my trials is that God is forcing them to bow to His gospel purposes and do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ.” -Milton Vincent (qtd., 84).

“When we minimize the offensiveness of our sin, we are attempting to diminish the holiness of God” (101).

“Our hearts cannot be the end-all authorities on truth. Only God can claim that right. Sometimes we really need to wrestle our hearts into submission to God’s truth” (124).

“We see glimpses of God’s grace in our homes when we cherish God through the gospel of Jesus Christ. The solution to our problems in the home and the impetus for our enjoyment of life in the home is fellowship with God through Christ Jesus’s atoning sacrifice on the cross” (180).

Journey Journal: Days 47-51

Days 47-48: Saturday-Sunday, February 16-17, 2013

This weekend was fairly uneventful. We spent Saturday morning helping Bryan’s sister and brother-in-law pack and move into their brand new home! Excited for them as they enter the world of home ownership! Then Bryan had to study, so I ran some errands and then had a couple girlfriends over to listen to records and hang out. It was a relaxing time, full of laughter and fellowship.

Sunday started our church’s annual Pastor’s Fellowship special meetings. This year’s topic is “The Church: A Work in Progress.” Our pastor, Danny Brooks, kicked off the series on Sunday with “The Church that Will Be” and “The Church that Is.”

Days 49-51: Monday-Wednesday, February 18-20, 2013

This week has been pretty busy between special services at church, busy days at work, and trying to keep the household machine running as normally as possible. I have not been recording my food this week, but have been good about what we’ve been eating. And my weight is the same (at least I’m not going backwards), plus Bryan’s lost two more pounds! After losing ten pounds in six weeks, I figured I was due for one week of plateau. With special services, I haven’t been able to get to the gym as much, but I should be able to jump back in this weekend or next week at the latest. Bryan had several tests for school this week too, and it’s been especially challenging with two upper level science classes this semester, but God is proving Himself faithful, so we will keep plugging ahead.

Every year for the past several years, our church has hosted a Pastors’ Fellowship in February. Pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and church leaders come from all over for this mini-conference. They meet during the day to share the blessings and challenges of full-time ministry during the day; and then the whole church joins in the evenings for supper and service. The music is exceptional and the preaching is refreshing and challenging! Eric Sipe (from Columbus, OH) spoke on Monday night on “Making Sense of Failure”; Tim Keesee (my boss at Frontline) spoke on Tuesday night on “Lambs among Wolves: Making Sense of Persecution”; and Matthew Hoskinson (from NYC) spoke on Wednesday on “Wicked Cities, Half-Hearted Messengers, and Sovereign Mercy.” The sermons should all be available soon on SermonAudio.com soon, if they aren’t already.

Thy Mercy, My God, is the Theme of My Song

We sang this with our fourth graders yesterday after a great message on the Mercy of God, taking away His cup of wrath from us, even though we deserve it, and drinking it Himself.

Thy mercy, My God, is the theme of my song
The joy of my heart, and boast of my tongue
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,
Hath won my affections and bound my soul fast.

“Without thy sweet mercy I could not live here,
Sin soon would reduce me to utter despair;
But, through thy free goodness, my spirits revive
And he that first made me, still keeps me alive.

“Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart;
Dissolved by thy goodness, I fall to the ground,
And weep to the praise of the mercy I found.

“Great Father of mercies, thy goodness I own,
And the cov’nant love of thy crucified Son;
All praise to the Spirit whose whisper divine,
Seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine!”