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Reproducing the Life of Jesus

How do we reproduce the life of Jesus? Hint: It’s not by trying harder!

This teaching by Pastor Greg Riether, the pastor of Healing Grace Church in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, is powerful and this isn’t the only one that is. I’ve been devouring Pastor Greg’s messages on YouTube this past month or so and they are pure grace; therefore, I’m seeing positive changes in my heart and as a result, positive changes in my life.

I can’t even begin to express how important it is that the teaching you are hearing be Jesus-centered, grace-based teaching.

If you’ve ever been in a church service or listened to an audio teaching that is being taught from an old covenant perspective you’ve probably noticed that you feel pushed down and oppressed, as if you’ll never be able to do enough to measure up to God’s standard. It’s terrible. You can literally feel the heaviness in the room.

To be clear, I’m not saying the whole Bible, both old and new testament shouldn’t be preached because it should, but when Jesus died on the cross and rose again, it changed everything and I mean everything. Jesus ushered in the new covenant of God’s grace; therefore, all scripture should be taught through a new covenant perspective.

When you are in church or when you’re listening to a teaching you should be being reminded of what Jesus has done for you through His finished work on the cross. This should always be the central focus and when it is, you’ll find you feel lifted up and filled with hope.

Thankfully, there are more and more Jesus-centered, grace-based churches being started around the world; but regretfully there are many others who put a heavy load on people every week simply because they don’t teach the gospel – they don’t teach the good news. I believe this is why there are so many people who either don’t go to church or they don’t enjoy going to church. They are getting a steady diet of a mixed gospel which is not the true gospel.

On one hand, they are being told that God loves them unconditionally, but in the same sermon they are being told what they better do to earn God’s love.

Truth be told, if a person gets a revelation of God’s love for them, believe me, they are going to live a life full of good works and a life that blesses the Father’s heart. It’s the natural outgrowth of hearing the good news!

This is one reason why I share different teachings on my website with you, because my husband Steve and I know the value of continuing to hear the good news – the gospel of grace – day in and day out.

Steve and I are so hungry to know Jesus more and I know you are too! This is why we often have Jesus-centered, grace-filled teachings playing in our car, while we’re cooking a meal, cleaning up the kitchen or getting ready for the day.

I believe Pastor Greg Riether is one of those people you will want to add to your list of grace-based ministers whose messages you listen to on a regular basis because, as I said before, he is preaching messages that will point you to Jesus and leave you filled with hope!

I pray you enjoy this teaching as much as I did. You are going to hear a lot of amazing stories in conjunction with this message. Near the end, when Pastor Greg says they are going to receive communion, don’t turn the teaching off because he tells the best story.

Enjoy. You will be encouraged!

Greg Riether has been a pastor and teacher for 30 years. He is the author of The Real Grace Series (The Parables of Jesus, The Teachings of Jesus, The Miracles of Jesus), The Grace Minute Devotional (being released in December 2017) and The Aleph-Tav Old Testament. He is the Lead Pastor at Healing Grace Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Visit him on the web at: www.healinggracetulsa.com.

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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Happy Thanksgiving – I’m Thankful I’m Alive!

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I’m sitting in an airport, thankful I’m alive!

Well, at least I was sitting in an airport when I started writing this post much earlier today.

My flight was suppose to take off at 7:15am this morning and land me back in St. Louis to see my awesome family in time for Thanksgiving after a much needed three day getaway in Florida.

I’m so thankful for my family!

Right before takeoff the pilot said a maintenance light came on and they would need to address it before launch.

Fine by me. My first thought:

Thank You Jesus! It’s so much better for a maintenance light to come on while on the runway as opposed to mid-air.” 

Took a while to get it fixed, but I had a 3.5 hour layover at my connecting airport – Dallas – so I would be fine…I thought.

A second time we prepared for takeoff and again, another maintenance light came on.

After a long while we deboarded the plane and by the time I got off, there were about 100 people standing in front of me at the airline counter.

Thank God for mobile phones!

Between my husband working from home and me from the airport, we were able to get everything sorted out without me needing to stand in line for hours

I’m thankful for my loving husband!

About an hour later though, after going to an airport restaurant, eating a personal pan pizza, walking around for a while and coming back to my gate, I thought, “maybe I should just go up to the counter and double-check everything.” 

After showing the airline attendant what the airline had planned for me over the phone, she said, “I suggest you let me change your flight because I’m concerned you won’t get to Dallas in time to make your connection to St. Louis. Even a minor delay could cut it too close for you.”

I’m so thankful to the Holy Spirit for prompting me to go up to the counter because my flight from Florida to Charlotte left at 3:34pm which got me to St. Louis at 7:30pm; whereas, the original airplane that I deboarded that was suppose to fly us to Dallas at 2pm was still sitting at the gate when my flight left. I would have missed my connection, had to spend the night in Dallas and may not have gotten home until after Thanksgiving.

Interestingly enough, this morning I was feeling unsettled about my flight so I prayed about it and waited, but still felt ok about boarding.

After the two maintenance problems occurred, I was just sitting on the plane quietly thanking God for watching over me and thinking about how much He loves me. It was right about then when I felt Him speak something to my heart. Here’s the text I sent my husband:

“I already know I’m going to live a long, healthy life according to Psalm 91:16, but I felt God just speak to my heart a few moments ago and felt He told me He will never let a plane that I’m on take off if there’s going to be trouble. I had a weird feeling about this flight earlier this morning, but still felt I was ok to get on it. God knew there was going to be trouble and stopped it. God loves His children so much. If we will just believe that what He says, He means! I’ll think about what He spoke to my heart every time I get on a plane for the rest of my life. And it wasn’t that I was scared. I think He just spoke that to me in my heart because He’s my heavenly Daddy and He just wanted to assure me! My goodness, He loves us so much. I gotta get people to see His love for them.”

What could have ended up being a frustrating day for me, full of impatience and complaints, ended up being a peaceful day, despite my circumstances – a day where I honestly feel I have grown deeper in the Father’s love for me.

When you encounter situations such as I have today and find yourself impatiently taking over in your own human effort, which always results in frustration, instead of trusting God and letting the Spirit lead you, which always results in peace, remind yourself that you’re not living in the freedom Jesus died to give you. But also remind yourself that you can live in that freedom!

What made the difference for me this morning? – my relationship with Jesus. When that happened and I knew my schedule for the day was going to be totally blown, it didn’t worry me because I’ve learned the secret to life. Have you?

The secret to life is that Jesus is Life!

I’m back in St. Louis now and happy about it, but I know for a fact, if I would have been stuck in Dallas and even if I would have missed Thanksgiving with my family I would have been able to remain in peace because the Prince of Peace lives in me!

As long as we have Jesus, we have everything we truly need. And the most fabulous news ever is that once a person receives Jesus into their heart to be their Lord and Savior, He never leaves! Now that’s security, my friend.

Can I tell you something very sad though? For the first 34 years of my life, as a Christian, I hardly ever thought about Jesus or what Jesus did for me through His finished work on the cross. That’s crazy, but it’s true.

I was too busy working, trying desperately to be a good Christian so God would be pleased with me and was totally missing the point of Christianity, which is relationship!

My husband Steve said something interesting recently. He said he’s been noticing that there are so many long-time Christians – people who have been Christians for decades – who frequently struggle with insecurity, jealousy, frustration, anger, worry, envy, strife, etc.

We believe these Christians are doing the same thing I did those 34 years – trying to live out their Christianity the Old Covenant way, by their own human effort.

Steve said he’s also been noticing that those who are living out their Christianity the New Covenant way, by throwing themselves on God’s grace day in and day out, are enjoying the life of freedom and peace that Jesus died to give them.”

We, The McCollom Family, are one of those families living free. I’m in no way saying we are perfect in our actions, but we are enjoying a life of freedom. In other words, because of the grace of God working in our lives, we no longer live as if we believe sin has power over us. We know it doesn’t and we live like it doesn’t!

Last week one of my teen girls said something to me in a disrespectful tone and it made me so mad at first. Then I said several things back to her (in an effort to win the power struggle) that I shouldn’t have said.

She hurt my feelings and frankly, I didn’t want to talk to her, but then the Holy Spirit opened my eyes and I went upstairs and apologized to her for saying what I did. She then apologized to me (on her own) for what she had done to me. Neither of us carried that any longer. We were able to go on just as if it never happened. That’s the power of grace working in our lives!

But guess what? If I had been laying in bed mad at myself for reacting to her like I did and allowing the devil to bury me under guilt and condemnation, I wouldn’t have been tuned into the Holy Spirit. Instead, I went directly to the throne of grace and was having a conversation with my heavenly Father about what had happened, all the while continuing to receive His love for me.

So many Christians would sweep something like what happened between my daughter and I under the rug, never address the situation and just go on like nothing happened. When people live like that, the junk under the rug doesn’t just go away, but in the last number of years on my grace journey I’ve learned the reason people have a difficult time forgiving others. They don’t have a revelation yet of how much they have been forgiven of by God. Once they do, it changes everything!

Grace produces heart change in us so when I was laying in bed last week, hurt by what my daughter said and feeling like I didn’t want to have anything to do with her at the moment, the Holy Spirit very lovingly reminded me that I was free to live in freedom which led me to go straight to my daughter and walk in love!

Steve said, “We have to be onto something in living this grace-life because the heart change is there and as a result the fruit is there.”

Sure, I could have gone and apologized to my daughter just to check it off my spiritual to-do list, but could have, at the same time, still been holding bitterness in my heart toward her.

Would that be freedom though? No. And this is not the fruit we experience when living the grace-life because living the grace-life – receiving God‘s grace for ourselves all day long whether we are having a good day or a bad day – produces heart change in us. When a person’s heart is changed they don’t have the same wants and desires. It’s all about the heart.

It’s hard to understand why a person goes on living in bondage and doesn’t stop to ask themselves if they are really free, but then again it’s not hard to understand because I did it for years before I got a grace revelation. I was so blinded until God opened up my eyes so that is what we are praying for others who we know are still living in bondage – that the blinders will fall off.

I hope you are one of those who is enjoying the freedom that Jesus died to give you, including His very own peace that He left you. (see John 14:27). But if you’re not, don’t feel condemned. I am never about putting condemnation on people. The truth is, guilt & condemnation must go before a person can truly be free.

I myself feel like I just recently went deeper in my relationship with God, but before this I was in a season of experiencing more anxiety and frustration.

After being kind of angry for a while and even spouting off things like, “my life never works” or “if it’s not one thing, it’s something else,” I had to say to myself, “Sandra, you’re not living in the freedom Jesus died to give you and it’s not because of your circumstances. It’s the fact that you have gotten your eyes off of Jesus and you’re focusing on the wind and the waves in life. Go back to that sweet communion with Jesus.”

Once I did, of course peace returned because relationship with Jesus is what it’s all about. People everywhere are trying to achieve happiness, satisfaction and contentment from anything and everything imaginable but nothing will ever fill a person utterly and completely except relationship with God!

When I made this shift once again from self-effort living back to relationship-with-God living, my whole perspective changed.

I’ve made it through lots of different struggles over the past month and I’ve been able to stay in peace because my best friend, Jesus, was with me and we’ve kept this ongoing communication with each other!

Here’s a great example to go along with this post:

Today, I watched as several kids, who had also been at the airport since 5:30am this morning like me,  just went on playing, giggling and having a great time. They did this even though things weren’t going the way they planned. I believe the reason they were able to do this is because they trusted that their parents were going to make sure they got safely to their final destination.

This is exactly what helps us not to be overwhelmed in times when we could be – simply trusting that our heavenly Father is going to take care of us and make sure we get to each destination He has planned for us! And by the way, His plans for us are all good plans. Nothing but good!

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

Let’s enjoy God and let our reactions to life come out of our union with Him. I just know we’re going to love the results!

We can come to Him just like a little child and trust Him.

It’s a one step program, my friend, and His name is Jesus!

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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20 Reasons You Should Come to a Women of Grace Conference

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Because…

  1. We’re going to remind you that you are loved by God
  2. We’re going to remind you that you are righteous in Christ
  3. We’re going to remind you that you are completely forgiven
  4. We’re not going to give you a list of things you have to do to qualify for God’s blessings
  5. We’re going to remind you that you are complete in Christ
  6. We’re going to remind you of who you are and what you have in Christ
  7. We’re not going to tell you to try harder
  8. We’re not going to send you home with 10 new rules to follow
  9. We’re going to lift you up, not beat you up
  10. We’re going to point you to Jesus… all day long
  11. We’re going to teach you how to be free from guilt & condemnation
  12. We’re going to show you how genuine change comes about in your life
  13. We’re going to teach you how you can enter into a life of rest
  14. We’re going to tell you what having faith really means
  15. We’re going to help you believe that a life of victory is absolutely possible
  16. We’re going to do this only by God’s grace working in us and through us to help you!
  17. You’re going to leave a different person because your mind will be renewed by the power of God’s Word!!
  18. You may even be in shock when you hear this too-good-to-be-true news!!!
  19. It’s radical. It’s life-changing.
  20. It’s the gospel that Paul preached

To check out all the places Women of Grace Conferences will be in 2018, go to the website here.

To watch a video where four of the Women of Grace speakers (from 2016) give you a synopsis of their own personal journey from bondage to freedom and learn straight from them what you will be hearing when you come to a Women of Grace Conference, watch this video below.

I’ve personally watched this four times and each time I’ve thought, “My goodness, this is so powerful. This is the kind of stuff people need to be hearing!”

Registration for the Branson Women of Grace Conference next March is now open. It is already partially filled up so here’s that link if you’re interested!

I’m thrilled that I’ve been Divinely connected to this great group of ministers as they are some of the most gracious, Jesus-loving ladies I know. There’s no competition between us because we know it’s not about us. It’s about pointing all those who come to these conferences to Jesus and helping them enter their promised land of rest by setting their eyes on Him. We just want people to hear the good news of the gospel of grace so they can live in the freedom that Jesus died to give them!

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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The Salvation Army’s Motto – Others!

William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army, once sent a letter to all of his officers. When they opened it, it simply said others.

Below is a short video clip from this past weekend when I spoke at the Secrets of the Heart event held at The Salvation Army’s beautiful 800 acre property in Bourbon, Missouri called Camp Mihaska.

I’m definitely going back there for either a personal getaway or a marriage getaway or both! If you live close by and want to take a group for a retreat I encourage you to check it out. It’s so quiet and peaceful. They also have various camps from the end of May through the end of July each year.

If you don’t live close, there is probably a Salvation Army Retreat somewhere near you. How do I know? Because I asked the awesome camp directors, Terry and Joanie Mahurin, to give our family both the historical and physical tour of this particular camp and The Salvation Army in general. We loved every minute of it! And Terry and Joanie, who live on site, are two of the most compassionate people I know.

We found out The Salvation Army has 128 locations worldwide and guess where most of their donations come from? The Tree of Lights campaign – you know, the bell ringers that stand outside the stores during the holidays and give us an opportunity to help others.

After hearing the stories we heard this past weekend and witnessing for ourselves that The Salvation Army is not about money, but they are all about helping people, my family and I will probably scream “It’s a bell ringer!” this holiday season every time we see one, thrilled to have another opportunity to give.

And just to be clear, The Salvation Army did not ask me to mention any of this. They didn’t even hint at it. I just wanted to honor them for their devotion to God and humanity!

Now, I hope you enjoy this clip from my message:

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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Blessed Because of Jesus

What do you believe you have to do to qualify for God’s blessing?

There was plenty they had to do under the old covenant of law to receive God’s blessing and plenty they had to keep from doing to avoid coming under the curse, but you and I are no longer living under the old covenant of law.

I just watched this grace video nugget by my friend, Tricia Gunn, and was so moved as I was reminded once again of what my wonderful Savior did for me through His finished work! Tricia did an excellent job answering the question above.

I pray this powerful message encourages you to believe in God’s great grace and receive every single thing that Jesus died to give you!

Blessed Because of Jesus from Parresia on Vimeo.

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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Seeing Past Your Circumstances, To God’s Promises

One month ago was when all the fun started – NOT!

I’ve actually been in the hospital twice in one month for two different things, but in this post I’m going to focus on the most recent event.

Someone recently blessed me with $200 and encouraged me to go on a special outing with Jesus. Well, she didn’t have to tell me that twice. I couldn’t think of anything better to do than that and I knew right away where I wanted to go. I decided to drive to Oklahoma to attend the final Women of Grace Conference for 2017.

This is the group of ladies I will be speaking with three times next year and I wanted to go and support them, get to know them even better and have some serious fun!

I kid you not, the second I arrived at the home where I was staying I developed a bladder infection that quickly turned into something worse. I was able to attend the conference and hear the first two awesome speakers Friday night, but by the time I went to bed I felt like I was getting chills. Next morning, more chills, and I did not have an appetite. Now, when Sandra McCollom does not have an appetite, something serious is wrong – ha.

I told the ladies that I wasn’t feeling great and I would drive my own car to the conference, but wanted to stop by Walgreens first to get some medicine. I picked up a thermometer too and found I had a fever of over 101 degrees. This didn’t surprise me because I was starting to feel pretty out of it.

I ended up having to go back to the house to lay down, but called my Urologist on their after hours number. Because of my history, which you can read about here, the doctor on call said I needed to get on antibiotics right away.

Just about 1 hour after hanging up the phone, while trying to take a nap, my heart started beating very rapidly and it kept going higher and higher and higher. My head also started hurting so bad that it felt like it was gonna blow off and I started sobbing as a result of the pain. I truly wasn’t scared, which is the miraculous part of this story, but I was in a great deal of discomfort.

After taking my pulse a number of times and it getting as high as a resting heart-rate of 120 and because of the pain in my head (I very rarely even have a headache), I felt like I should call 911. Three firetrucks and 6 first responders pulled up in front of the house. Right before they opened the front door I was on the phone with one of the conference speakers, Tricia Gunn, and I remember saying to her in the middle of experiencing all these crazy symptoms, “Tricia, Jesus is helping me. He’s right here, right now.”

The first responders were awesome! At some point on my ride to the hospital between being stuck with a needle numerous times for them to try to get their IV installed, me beginning to shake violently and then vomiting (which actually helped), I said out loud, “First Responders Rock!” Ha! Well, they do and I know we all agree on this.

My blood pressure which is always, always, always low or normal had shot up to 160/180. No wonder my head hurt.

After some routine tests the ER doctor told me I had Pyelonephritis – a kidney infection – and would need to be on antibiotics for the next 7 days. The tachycardia, high blood pressure, fever, nausea…every symptom was being caused by the infection.

In fact, they did an EKG in the ambulance on the way to the hospital and another one at the hospital and there were no problems with my heart – Thank God! I told them there wouldn’t be. In fact, right there in the ambulance I told the first responders “I’ll be fine. Psalm 91:16 promises me a long, healthy life and that is exactly what is going to happen.”

One of them replied, “Well, there ya go.”

The entire time this drama was taking place, from the time my heart started pounding until I finally began to feel better, which was 4-5 days later, I had to make a choice to see past my circumstances (what was happening to me) to God’s promises.

I’m telling you right now, it was miraculous that I did not feel a moment of fear during any of this. I thank God for that. I give Him the glory for helping me. And by the way, I must’ve called on my Heavenly Daddy for help between 200-300 times the day this happened and the days following.

I was so sick, but…

I just kept saying,

“God, please help me.”

Here’s the promise I based this on:

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
– Psalm 46:1 (NASB)

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“I receive your help, Jesus.”

Here’s the promise I based this on:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
 – Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB)

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“You love me so much, God. Nothing can separate me from Your love.”

Here’s the promise I based this on:

38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39 (NASB)

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“I know You’re taking care of me, Father”

Here’s the promise I based this on:

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

-1 Peter 5:6-7 (NASB)

Do you know what humbling yourself under the mighty hand of God looks like?

It’s choosing to trust Jesus in the midst of crazy circumstances that make your mind want to jump into let-me-save-myself mode.

Do you know what casting all your anxiety on Him looks like?

Picture yourself standing in an open space and someone handing you a trash bag filled with some kind of problem – physical, financial, mental, social…

Now picture God standing right next to you on the other side and every single time that other person or your circumstance hands you a problem, you don’t open the bag, you don’t inspect the contents, you don’t meditate on it, you don’t concoct a plan to fix it; but instead you simply take the bag, turn to God and say, “here ya go, Father,” and you let it go!

Just think, you can do this over and over and over and over again, every time life hands you a problem.

Now, am I saying you should deny you have a problem at all? For instance, should I go around after being told I have a kidney infection and totally refuse to discus it with anyone. If someone sees me and I look super sick (which I did for days), should I say, “Nope, nothing is wrong with me. What kidney infection? I feel fine.”

No, I don’t recommend that. Being genuine is the best way to go. Just imagine what those First Responders would have thought of me if they would have arrived at the house and asked me how I was feeling and I said, “Oh, just fine.”

First Responders: “Wait, I thought you had an excessively fast heart rate?”

Me: “Nope, my heart beats in perfect rhythm.”

First Responders: “But our heart monitor is reading a resting heart rate of 145?”

Me: “I deny that in Jesus’ name.”

Seriously…the world thinks Christians are crazy enough as it is!

Do you know why I had a couple of different moments in the ambulance to speak into the lives of those First Responders? Because I was acting like a normal person. And even when I told them I believed I would live a long healthy life I didn’t do it in Elizabethan English. It was very natural.

In fact, you wouldn’t believe the success I have in sharing the good news with people out in public in my everyday life and believe me, I know it is only by God’s grace, but His grace has changed me into who I am today.

Ministry is very natural when done through God’s grace because His grace changes our heart so much that ministry simply flows out naturally! I know many of you have experienced this as well!

Those promises I mentioned above were just a drop in the ocean of the promises that can be found in God’s Word and believe me, my friend, whatever it is that you may be going through today, there is most definitely a promise for you.

If it’s healing you need, google scriptures on healing.

If it’s peace you need, google scriptures on peace.

If it’s joy you need, google scriptures on joy.

And on and on you could go for days and days.

Remember too, that Jesus, your very best friend in the whole world, is everything you need. He is your healing. He is your peace. He is your joy….

Five days after I got sick I was well enough to drive my girls to school and was so happy to be feeling better that I was dancing to worship music in front of the bathroom mirror while getting ready. I was celebrating!

I called on my Heavenly Daddy in the middle of my pain and He helped me. He will do the same for you!

I’m thrilled to say I did not have one moment during those 4 days when I was feeling terrible where I even began to ask myself, “I wonder if I’m being punished my God for some sin?” “Maybe God is allowing this sickness so I will draw closer to Him.” Oh wow, I wonder if He caused me to have an infection so I could speak into peoples’ lives in a more profound way?”

No, No, No – to all 3 of these.

I was in perfect peace the entire time, knowing that my Father neither caused this, nor allowed it, but was right there beside me, helping me overcome it.

And here’s the deal, if I would have had fear during this trial, that would not have made me a terrible person. We all have fears sometimes, but one thing I’ve noticed on my grace journey (and I have a chapter on this in my book), is the more of God’s love I receive (this is a daily habit for me), the more fears I lose!

This is freedom living, my friend, and this is why my husband and I named our ministry Freedom Living Ministries – because it was for freedom that Christ set us free!

1 John 4:16-19 

16 And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.

17 In this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world.

18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].

19 We love Him, because He first loved us.

(AMPC)

By the way, if I needed confirmation that my new Women of Grace friends were the real deal (which I didn’t), I definitely got it through the care and concern they showed me while I was sick on this trip. One of them even offered to drive me home Sunday which was really amazing because I would not have been well enough to drive. Yep, thanks God, for my new sweet friends!

If you’re interested, registration for the Women of Grace Conference in Branson, Mo opened today. This one fills up fast and is one that I will be speaking at along with many other speakers. You can check this conference out here! 

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

,

My Two Year Health Nightmare

It was November of 2009 and I was out with a group of Moms. We tried to get away once a month to talk, share stories, give and receive encouragement about parenting and eat together.

I had battled health problems on and off since I had my twin girls in 2003, but I remember thinking just days before this November evening Mom’s night out that I was feeling really good and it was a relief to be able to say that.

We went to Uncle Bill’s restaurant that night when, to my surprise, I started having sharp pains in my abdomen. I didn’t let on in front of my friends as I thought the pain would just pass. It didn’t pass though so I finally headed to the bathroom and before I knew it I was on the bathroom floor calling my friend Nancy on her cell.

She was only a short distance away in the restaurant but believe me, I couldn’t move. Anyone who knows me, knows that me sitting on the bathroom floor means I am in serious condition. Gross. I don’t even like to look at the bathroom floor, let alone sit on it, but at this point it was either sit or faint.

Nancy answered and immediately came into the restroom and thankfully she has the kind of decisive personality that handles emergencies well. By the time we got me to my vehicle I was rolling around the passengers seat in pain.

Nancy rushed me to a nearby hospital. I continued to roll around in pain in the emergency room bed and after the nurse put an IV in my arm, she offered me morphine.

The other moms had followed us to the hospital and however many they let back in the room with me were there. The rest waited in the waiting room and I remember thinking how blessed I was to have these friends.

My husband had to wake up our twin girls in the middle of the night and take them to Aunt Laura’s house so he could come to the hospital and join the party. The CT scan revealed a cyst and let me tell you, I never would have guessed a cyst could hurt like that.

Little did I know at the time that this was the start of a two-year health nightmare.

That cyst grew to be 16 centimeters, or the size of a cantaloupe, in 8 months, according to the doctor’s own words and what he wrote on his report. It was suggested that I get surgery in April of 2010, but I decided to continue trying natural methods to shrink the cyst and I was believing God…or I thought I was?

Actually, once the trial was over I realized that during the whole 2 years I had allowed the devil to bury me under guilt and condemnation for several wrong choices I made during that time frame. They were choices I wished I could go back and undo for a long time.

I told my husband Steve after I came through the difficult 2 years that I believed I went through all of that as a punishment to pay the price for my wrong decisions. Steve never knew I was having these misconceptions about God and when I finally told him, he said he didn’t ever believe God was punishing me. He knew God wasn’t that way.

I didn’t have the revelation on the finished work of the cross that I do now. Thankfully, now I know that all the punishment for our sin was placed upon Jesus at the cross and because of what He did for us, we will never be punished again.

There is a difference in a person living out natural consequences from their unwise decisions and a person believing they are being punished by God for their sin.

The unwise choices I had made during this time period and even before this time did come with some natural consequences that weren’t enjoyable but served as a reminder to me of how important it is for me to depend on Jesus as my wisdom.

Look at this:

1 Corinthians 1:30-31 (NASB)

30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

With this new covenant scripture in mind, now check out this old covenant scripture (below) and remember that because Jesus ushered us into a brand new covenant through His finished work, you and I are not “trying to get” anything anymore. If you’ve got Jesus, you’ve got it all, including wisdom.

With this in mind, here’s how I now read these verses below, no longer as a law, but through a new covenant lens!

Proverbs 4:5-9:

Where it reads like this under the old covenant of law: 

Get wisdom; develop good judgment. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.

I interpret it like this now, with my grace glasses on: I’ve got wisdom because I’ve got Jesus! Jesus helps me develop good judgement. My heart has been changed by grace so I don’t forget Jesus’ words or turn away from them.

Where it reads like this under the old covenant of law:

Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you.

I interpret it like this now, with my grace glasses on: I don’t plan on turning my back on Jesus because grace has changed my heart; therefore, I now know, without Jesus I got nothing. I’m confident that Jesus will protect me. I love Jesus because He first loved me and I know He is guarding me.

Where it reads like this under the old covenant of law:

Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.

I interpret it like this now, with my grace glasses on: I am so thrilled that because I have Jesus, I have wisdom because 1 Corinthians 1:30 says Jesus is my wisdom! I have done the wisest thing I could ever do by believing in and receiving Jesus as my Savior; therefore, I continually develop good judgement by the power of The Holy Spirit.

Where it reads like this under the old covenant of law:

If you prize wisdom, she will make you great.
    Embrace her, and she will honor you.

I interpret it like this now, with my grace glasses on: By believing on Jesus and receiving Him as my Savior I have shown that I prize Him; therefore He will cause me to do great things for His glory. As I continue to embrace Jesus, my wisdom, He will honor me.

Where it reads like this under the old covenant of law:

She will place a lovely wreath on your head;
    she will present you with a beautiful crown.”
(NLT)

I interpret it like this now, with my grace glasses on: Jesus, my wisdom, will place a lovely wreath on my head. He will present me with a beautiful crown!

See what happens when you read an old covenant scripture through a new covenant lens! Instead of it being something you have to try to do or earn or qualify for, under grace it’s now something that is your reality all because of Jesus!

This is the grace life, my friend, and when you live the grace life, any part that you need to play you will play, effortlessly, by the power of The Holy Spirit working in you and leading you, as you stay in faith by keeping your eyes on Jesus!

Had I understood and believed this wonderful Biblical truth all those years ago when I was being tempted to make those bad decisions, I bet I would have walked in wisdom instead. 

Some people worry that if you teach others to live under grace it will give them a license to sin. As you can see here, that is incorrect.

If I had understood grace during this time in my life it would have changed everything for me because I would have been believing correctly about who I truly was in Christ (a person full of wisdom) and I would have acted out of that right belief system, but instead I just kept striving to be something I already was. (see Romans 6:14)

Striving is stressful. Stress causes sickness and disease.

Here’s more new covenant truth. Are you ready? You better sit down or you might faint from this good news:

Jesus paid the price for our sin – past, present and future sin – when He died for us on the cross, so I was forgiven (for those bad choices) and God was not punishing me. (see Hebrews 10:10-12 & Hebrews 10:14.)

Same goes for you. You’re forgiven. And if you’ve received Jesus as your Savior, then you’ve decided to accept Jesus’ free gift of complete forgiveness. Making this choice naturally leads you right into living the life of freedom He died to give you.

Again, this goes to show you how powerful our believing is. Because I didn’t know this life-transforming Biblical truth at the time and was not sharing my apprehensions with anyone who could help me, this kept me in a perpetual state of anxiety and stress over many years that could very possibly be the reason I became sick in the first place. It’s been proven that stress causes sickness and disease in at least a decent number of medical cases and one thing is for sure, guilt and condemnation absolutely cause stress.

As a result of me waiting 3 months past when the doctor initially recommended I have surgery, it was even more difficult for the doctor to remove the very large cyst. As he was taking it out through robotic surgery, my right Ureter was damaged.

The Ureter Tube is the tube that runs between the Kidney and the Bladder and now that it was damaged it was partially blocked, causing Hydronephrosis: obstruction of the urinary tract.

Well, wasn’t this just peachy.

I was unaware of this for about 6 weeks until I mentioned my severe nausea to the surgeon during my follow-up appointment, at which time he sent me to a Urologist who confirmed his suspicions.

Enter procedure number one, to place a stent that would hopefully stretch open my Ureter constriction and heal it in an opened position. Well, to my dismay, once the Urologist removed the stent after being in for 2 weeks he sent me for yet another CT scan and found it was closed right back up.

His second try to place a stent in the Ureter failed and when I woke from the anesthesia, I was given some of the worst news I had ever been given. I was told that I would need a Nephrostomy. What is a Nephrostomy, I thought?

The doctor said, we will need to place a tube through your back and into your Kidney with a drainage bag outside your body. Wow, seriously – this is not happening to me, right? Wrong, it was happening and it was terribly painful. Enduring that nephrostomy tube for 2 months was the worst pain I have ever been through.

The first tube was too large and pressing on a nerve so I would get so worn out from the pain that I would just sit and sob. I actually had to tell the doctor I couldn’t stand it and thankfully they replaced it with another, thinner, more bearable tube. Much better!

Another doctor was then able to place a stent in through the Nephrostomy tube, through my Kidney and into my Ureter. He ballooned the constricted area in my Ureter out which he was hoping and I was praying would then heal the Ureter in the opened position.

He left it in for 2 months and in early January of 2011 I woke up to another round of devastating news. It didn’t work. I was shocked because I felt I was believing so hard and was sure everything was going to be O.K.

Remember though, I was still deceived at the time and in the back of my mind was always the thought, I am serving my punishment.

To top off the bad news I must have gotten some kind of horrible infection from the procedure because just a short time after entering the recovery room I started vomiting and shaking violently. I had to stay in the hospital and man, was I sick. I really wondered if I was going to make it out alive.

I didn’t have any strength to pray and felt like I was living in some kind of oblivion for days. Thank God there were many, many family members and friends praying for me. I am so thankful for them!

I had to keep a stent in from January-June of that year. I had so many CT scans throughout this time period that I just lost count. In addition, having a stent in makes some people more prone to infections and unfortunately that was the case with me. I was prescribed antibiotics galore.

I spent the next 6 months going to doctors and getting opinions of what to do about my Ureter. Do I keep a stent in for the rest of my life which would have to be replaced every 3 to 6 months or do I get surgery which was not a guaranteed fix? What a fun multiple choice question.

At this point if I had counted up all the doctor’s appointments, tests and procedures I was probably at about number 50, yet I purposely kept in the front of my mind that what I was going through was still nothing compared to what many people go through.

In April of 2011, although I needed to keep a stent in, I was delighted that they could take out the tube and close up the Nephrostomy and that was one of the happiest days of my life.

As I was seeking an answer for the ureter/stent situation, the cantaloupe size cyst that had been surgically removed the previous July started to grow back at a fairly rapid pace. Now I needed to see a new OBGYN and was facing having to get a complete hysterectomy as well as a ureter repair.

Thankfully, God led me to a wonderful doctor from Washington University, one of the top universities in the nation. God takes care of His kids. This doctor was able to perform one successful, combined surgery in June of 2011.

I know this sounds horrible and it was, but God held my hand throughout the entire trial.

Although, at the time this trial was taking place, I wrongly believed that God was either causing this trouble in my life for some higher purpose or at least allowing it, I’m happy to say I no longer believe this way.

Jesus himself said,

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. – John 10:10 (NASB)

So my belief now is very simple:

God only does good. The devil only does bad.

I’m convinced that when we choose to trust in God, He takes the bad things that happen in our lives – whether they are purely an attack from satan or a result of this fallen world we live in – and He works good out of them.

I even believe if we are experiencing negative consequences from years of living under stress or from other bad choices we’ve made, if we will choose to freely receive God’s gift of complete forgiveness through Jesus’ blood by remembering and honoring what Jesus did for us through His finished work on the cross right in the middle of our bad choices, God will also redeem those! I have seen Him do this for me time and time again and guess what this focus on God’s kindness and God’s goodness produces in us? A life of repentance! (see Romans 2:4)

We begin to see trials in a whole new way when we understand God’s true nature. You should hear me when I am encountering a trial now. Instead of wondering why it’s happening or questioning God as I used to, I look to God’s awesomeness and greatness and get excited to see what He’s gonna do for me to bring me out! Instead of focusing on what’s happening to me, I focus on the God of the impossible, because He’s my God!

I’m not saying I don’t get tired or even become exhausted at times, especially if I’m dealing with pain. But when I do, I run right back to my good Father and receive His strength.

And if I get tempted to believe a lie that the devil is feeding me, thankfully, because of all these years on my grace journey that I have spent understanding the true heart of God and renewing my mind with the promises in His Word, the devil usually only get’s about a half a sentence out before I cut him off with the truth.

My friend, when you keep your eyes locked on Jesus, there is no way you can lose. No matter what the devil tries to pull, you will come out on top!

This is cool too. Even though God doesn’t cause or allow your trials, He’s so brilliant that He does bring lots of good out of them. Here’s a list of the good things that came out of My Two Year Health Nightmare.

1.) I got to minister to a lot of people in hospitals including doctors, nurses and patients.

2.) I have no fear of pain, shots, IVs, surgery or procedures any longer.

In fact, during my last test that I had to get after the double surgery, they were about to give me an IV and there was a new guy there who was in training, learning how to do IV’s. They asked me how I felt about him practicing on me. I said, Oh sure, why not! I had no fear, but that was not the case when this nightmare started.

3.) I learned something through all the pain. I learned that God was going to be with me no matter what. I was never alone.

4.) During the trial I learned to rely on God more than ever before.

5.) My confidence in God’s ability grew.

Just as David fought the lion and the bear and won, it gave him confidence that God was with Him to fight the giant and win.

Nobody can ever take away from me the closeness I gained in my relationship with God through that time of sickness and pain and now I have that victory to recall in the future when God has another giant for me to slay.

6.) My compassion for others, particularly those who go through health struggles, increased.

7.) My ability to relate to others and be able to speak encouragement into their lives in a genuine way increased.

You don’t know exactly what God has for you down the road, but whatever that is, He is preparing you for it now. He is literally preparing you for tomorrow, today; for next year, this year; for the next decade, in this decade. Nothing is wasted, including those hard days when nothing seems to go right.

Receive God’s grace for your journey, each and every moment if need be. You will find that when you turn to Him for grace and strength, He will not fail you. He cannot fail. It is impossible!

Jesus said this:

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]  – John 16:33 (AMP)

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

,

Does God Cause or Permit Bad Things In Our Lives?

Such a sad week for us here in The United States of America as we mourn the devastating tragedy in Las Vegas.

When tragedy strikes, people have questions and understandably so.

Does God cause bad things to happen to us? Does God permit bad things to happen to us?

I heard the most clearly laid out message on this subject that I have personally ever heard by my Pastor, Jeff Perry, and felt I wanted to share it today… to bring comfort.

Jesus said:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 NASB)

Here’s a quote from Pastor Jeff’s message and then a link to the full 34 minute teaching under the quote. I hope and pray this brings you encouragement in the midst of a week filled with grief and tears.

“There was a minister years ago that said, God’s a good God and the devil’s a bad devil, and it made a lot of theologians frustrated, but I felt like it was hugely clarifying to help me, as a follower, to understand – I could trust God. And as sovereign and as mighty as He is, we need to understand the results of the fall of man and what the devil’s temporary position is and what our position is currently in our authority that we have over him and what our effectiveness is in terms of that so that we’re not just thinking everything is from God. Because if everything was from God then where do we resist the devil and what do we embrace and if sickness was a gift from God to teach us something then every hospital and every doctor and every nurse is in violation of God’s plan for the people.”  – Pastor Jeff Perry

image

Here’s the link to this teaching:  Stand Firm In The Power Of God

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

,

The Fear Of God – Excellent Message by Patsy Cameneti

TONY + PATSY, AUG 2013 colour-41

This is the way The Fear Of God should be taught! I loved this message and listened to it myself, probably 5 times!

When we truly understand what The Fear of God means it actually delivers us from a whole bunch of other fears, including the fear of man.

Tony Cameneti spoke at our church back in July and his messages resonated with me so much that I added Rhema Family Church to my Casts app and have been listening to, enjoying and learning a lot from both Pastors Tony and Patsy Cameneti. When I heard this teaching on The Fear Of God I immediately contacted the ministry to seek permission to share it on my website with my friends – YOU!

In addition to my website being a place where you can come and read Jesus-centered blog posts, I also have a desire for it to be a place where you can come and find messages that are taught through the lens of Jesus’ Finished Work – messages that will set your eyes on Jesus!

It’s like my friend Rose says, “Jesus has to be center stage.” I couldn’t agree more.

Enjoy this message as Patsy puts you in touch with the absolute greatness of God!

TONY AND PATSY

Tony and Patsy’s life and ministry are marked by two significant truths – The finished work of Jesus Christ and His imminent return. These two eternal truths propel and steer everything they do, and are a significant element of what they teach and preach. Their ministry demonstrates powerfully, how the redeeming work of Jesus Christ can impact each believer on a personal level, and how the Holy Spirit wants to impart and equip each believer for a victorious and fruitful Christian walk.

Tony and Patsy live in Brisbane, Australia. They serve as Senior Pastors and Directors of Rhema Family Church, and Directors of Rhema Bible Training Centre Australia.

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

,

The Simplicity of Grace

I had made life so complicated for so long. I still remember the main thing that drew me to a life of grace, like a magnet, was the simplicity of it.

Eluny, who is from South Africa and currently lives in China (where she works with kids) has now arrived in St. Louis, MO for this year’s Love Life Women’s Conference!

I’ve never met Eluny face to face, but I feel like I know her already. She bought my book shortly after it came out several years ago and every so often she sends me a new testimony about how much God has used it to change her life.

I enjoyed this one she recently sent as it reminded me of the beautiful simplicity of grace.

I added my comments into Eluny’s email in red and then I left more encouragement for you at the end of this post regarding God’s purpose for your life.

Hi Sandra 

Guess who’s in St. Louis!? Today I again realized what an awesome impact your book had on my life. In the midst of crazy circumstances I decided to trust God and receive His grace and that opened the door for God’s favor! 

After living the grace life for 5.5 years now, I’m not surprised one bit!

The revolution of Grace is such an amazing gift and I’m so incredibly grateful for it. I’m grateful you shared your story and I’m grateful God used you to help me get this revelation. I love how, with the help from your book and by the grace of God, it gets easier to realize when guilt and condemnation pop up and it opens the door to choose God’s Grace faster. That is why I want to tell you in short about the few days I’ve been having. 

Saturday, while packing my final things, I realized I couldn’t find my bank card anywhere. I have a debit card. I don’t own a credit card so it’s the only one I have. It was gone. I was like “shoot, I am leaving for Shanghai Sunday night after work. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?” I searched everywhere – no card, I searched again, still no card! How do you travel to a foreign country without a bank card?

The first thing I thought to myself when I realized I lost my card was “Eluny you weren’t focused, you’ve been stressed and that made you lose your card because your mind is running 10 steps ahead. You were being negligent.” Trust me when I say I never lose things – EVER! I was about to go on a guilt and condemnation trip but in the midst of all this I decided that I was going to focus on God’s love for me despite all of the thoughts rushing through my mind. I asked God to help me focus on His peace despite my circumstances and He did give me peace. I decided to completely put my trust in God

I love how The Spirit prompted Eluny to turn away from the negative beliefs the devil was tempting her to focus on – “Eluny, you weren’t focused, Eluny, you were being negligent” – and had her turn toward and receive God’s love.

I’m telling you the truth, one of the reasons some people don’t get grace is because they are looking for something more complicated. They think, “yeah, yeah, this isn’t gonna do me any good, just sitting and receiving God’s love. I gotta do something AND I GOTTA DO SOMETHING NOW. I gotta solve my problem.” 

The only problem with that is, the road of self effort will drop you off in a town called frustration every single time. Believe me, I know. I lived half my life there.

In the end, I thought it was pretty amazing how God showed me my card was missing before I left China without any money! With the help from a Chinese friend I managed to convert all my money into dollars. 

God’s love for us is extravagant.

I love how God takes our circumstances and changes them for the better. I love how God blessed me with friends who are willing to help, friends I can trust. Now that I have chosen to live in God’s grace and receive His love for me I am overwhelmed at His goodness and kindness. When we choose grace we open a door for God to move and I absolutely love that He never disappoints

Listen to all that gratitude that turning to and trusting in Jesus provoked in Eluny’s heart!

It’s like Romans 8:28 says “God works all things together for the good of those who love Him.” No matter what happens if you live the Grace life and if you choose God’s peace and trust in Him, He moves mountains!

Oh yes He does!

I was reading a few chapters of your book on my long flight over and I thought back over the few days I had and being tired on such a long flight makes everything worse but then a big smile broke out on my face and my heart skipped a beat. I was deeply touched at how much your book has helped me get to the truth sooner.

I know for a fact that Eluny has already read my book 4 times, yet she picked it up again on that flight to remind her about the truth of God’s grace.

The apostle Paul often reminds us of the importance of continuing in the life of grace we’ve been given (through salvation). When we don’t, we can easily fall back into self effort mode which leads to bad things. This is exactly why my husband Steve and I are always reading the Bible and making sure we read it through the lens of the finished work of the cross, listening to teachings that set our eyes on Jesus, reading or listening to books/articles/blog posts that are all about Jesus or playing worship music and enjoying the presence of Jesus. This is our life, day in and day out.

Of course, even though we do make it a priority to grow in grace, this doesn’t mean we’re perfect. In fact, I’m about to tell you a story below about how I recently fell back into self effort in one particular area of my life and what the result was.

Steve and I do make it our goal to eat, sleep and breathe Jesus though, which is so very different from how I used to make checking off my task list my daily goal or how Steve would strive to spend his days making sure he was performing for God so God would be pleased with him.

We now know it’s all about relationship with Him and us remembering that He is already pleased with us! 

I don’t even know if saying “we make it our goal to eat, sleep and breathe Jesus” is the best way to say it because desiring to know Jesus more is really a very natural response to living the grace life rather than a “goal.”

When doing the one thing that is needful – sitting at the feet of Jesus – becomes your daily passion, everything else – both your task list and your spiritual growth – falls into place.

The bottom line is: Under grace, life becomes simpler – effortless, really – yet at the same time, so much more effective!

In the past I use to struggle trying to figure things out and I would have felt guilty for not focusing on my whereabouts with my bank card. Now I focus on Jesus and His love for me and things just work out. You can’t explain it but at the same time you can because it’s Grace! God’s favor!

This really is true. When we choose to live under the waterfall of grace, things work out.

Here’s that story I promised you: 

Recently I was feeling frustrated about something and talking to one of my accountability partners about it and we came to the conclusion that I had returned back to living in self effort in that particular area of my life. I was frustrated and I was mad about how things weren’t working out.

As we talked about how Jesus didn’t want that kind of life for me in any area, I repented (changed my mind) about continuing down the road of self effort, received God’s grace and guess what happened? Not long after that I realized the anger left and peace and wisdom about how to handle my situation arrived.

Please believe me when I say a life of grace leads to a life of simplicity and rest!

How amazing is Jesus! I appreciate your book so much because it broke open God’s love for me. I have more confidence because I know Jesus loves me. 

Have a wonderful day tomorrow.

Eluny 

And check this out: The coolest thing happened. Eluny and I ended up at the same hotel for the conference (thanks God) and plan on eating breakfast together on Friday morning! (I added a photo below)

If you would like to check out my book and learn how to live in the simplicity of grace, go here.

I can honestly say that writing my book and now watching God get it into the hands of people all over the world in various ways (through this website, speaking engagements, etc.) is probably one of my main assignments in life. I have not been released to write another book yet and may or may not ever be.

We don’t have to feel like we need to do a million things at once for our lives to be fruitful. Doing a few things that God’s hand is on will far surpass 20 things that God is not asking us to do.

I even went off social media back in May at the leading of the Holy Spirit and do you know what happened? God divinely worked it out for me to meet this group of Jesus-loving ladies who do Women of Grace conferences and the leader, Connie Witter, asked me if I would would speak with them at some of their conferences next year (2018)! See, God knew I needed to be off social media to focus and prepare for what was coming.

I certainly don’t have anything against social media, but I thought it was neat how God didn’t need me to be on social media for these ladies to “discover me.” Instead, He divinely worked it out all by Himself.

My friend, there is no devil in hell or person on earth who can keep you from what God has called you to do! If you trust God, He will open up any doors you need to walk through. You won’t have to kick the doors down. And when God opens up a door, no man can shut it.

That’s why…

Being Spirit-led in life is the most important thing.

Help us live Spirit-led lives, God, in Jesus’ name we pray.

I believe God gave me this motto for my life and ministry the other day when He was teaching me something. Here’s what I want to do with my life.

PREACH JESUS   &   LOVE PEOPLE

So I encourage you to receive, receive, receive God’s grace for your own life (which means you will be resting in Him) and watch Him bring everything together and cause you to fulfill all that He has called you to do. It’s gonna be awesome!

You’re going to be used by God to help others and you’re not even going to want to take the credit for it because when you live under grace you instinctively know what the Apostle Paul knew, “yet it was not I but God who was working through me by His grace.”  (1 Corinthians 15:10b)

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If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom