Tag Archives: grace

“Shouts of Grace! Grace to it!”

Happy Birthday, Husband o’ Mine

“Tomorrow I hit my life’s halfway mark.” – said by Dave on Saturday afternoon about turning 55 on Sunday. Yes, he plans to make it to 110. No kidding.

22 + 33 = 55 (You were 22 when you married me 33 years ago).

road sign 55 mph limit

Forget the speed limit sign.  You’re 55 and just hitting your stride!

I love that your big sister reminded you that in the Bible, the number 5 symbolizes grace.  And I love that she said since you’re 55, it must mean double-grace.  Immediately I thought of one of your all-time favorite passages from Zechariah.  It is such a word of courage, such a call to remember, “‘It’s not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord.”

And the confidence that passage inspires goes on to challenge the mountains that seemingly stand in our way, sometimes, “Who are you, mountain – you’ll become a molehill,” and the man of God will get to finish what he started by the power of the Holy Spirit and he will get to place the capstone on the whole thing with people all around rejoicing, shouting “Grace! Grace to it!”

“For who are you, O great mountain [of human obstacles]? Before Zerubbabel [who with Joshua had led the return of the exiles from Babylon and was undertaking the rebuilding of the temple, before him] you shall become a plain [a mere molehill]! And he shall bring forth the finishing gable stone [of the new temple] with loud shoutings of the people, crying, Grace, grace to it!”  Zechariah 4.7 Amp.

It’s the cherry on top promise. It’s the star on the Christmas tree. It’s the king of the hill scenario, that finishing gable stone story.

And it is your story. It is your revelation.

Remember years ago when we attended James Ryle’s Grace-Grace-Grace weekend in Boulder Valley?  We found out grace really had nothing to do with unmerited favor (that’s more like mercy), but that grace was

“The empowering presence of God enabling  us to be who He created us to be and to do what He created us to do.”*

Grace is God’s presence and His power and I love that you have always understood  the grace of God and so been able to receive it and walk in it and share it freely.

So, 55 years ago

dave rhoades baby pic

A teen-age girl gives up a baby. For 5 days you were in a Topeka, Kansas hospital, motherless, fatherless, it would seem to the staff. But I know that is when you first encountered Grace, His power, His comforting Presence and must be why you know Him so deeply that way.

Then they came for you – the Rhoades family. They signed papers and took you home, then moved you to Colorado and raised you for me.

the little moslander 1968 rhoades family circa 1970

I didn’t know, the summer of our big Colorado vacation in the early 70s that you were living here in Denver, all brown-skinned and dimpled, being prepared to be my husband.  You had no idea those same June days that some stringy-long-haired tourist from Iowa, in a station wagon with her family was being prepared for you, to be your wife.

Maybe we passed you, madly pedaling your bike through the neighborhood. Maybe I saw your super-short, good Baptist-boy haircut. Maybe you saw me flash the peace sign out the rolled-down window (something I wasn’t allowed to do) and thought me rather sinful?

All I know is, you have been the gift of grace* to me. You have spent all the years preaching the message of it, reminding me time and again that I can’t earn it and I don’t even have to try. You have graced me with your love and your presence and you have opened the door for me to live in the Grace of God, not churchy-ness, not religiousness (my fall back every time), but in His empowering Presence.

It happens, the bad with the good…

I once saw a bumper sticker that said, in other words (if you get my drift), “Dung happens.”  And I remember thinking, “No kidding.  This bumper sticker speaks the truth. Dung does happen!” And it was in a season to which I could fully attest to it.  Dung had happened.  Lots of dung.

But then, we saw another bumper sticker.  It spoke of what you have nurtured in our family through love and sweat and tears and sacrifice and more love and and tending to. I see this, now.  And this is truer than true, the truest of all things, this bumper sticker: “Grace happens.” And it does, freely, abundantly, time and again. Grace happens!

grace happens


Tara, Stephanie, Tredessa, Rocky & Stormie

Grace does happen. I am living proof. Our family – those wonderful 5 we got to raise together: aren’t they just so beautiful? Aren’t they darling human beings? Don’t they just make you want to burst with pride and thankfulness? They’re all so pretty and so talented and passionate about so many cool things.  I look at them and I am in awe. Thank-you, honey, for these children, for the ones you hinted to me about when you proposed marriage in 1981, for when you told me, “I want you to be the mother of my children.” I had no idea how amazing that was going to turn out to be, to get to be mommy to the children of grace, grace.

Tristan, Dave, Jovan, & Ryan

And hasn’t Grace, His holy Presence, so graced us yet again with the 4 who have joined us by marriage (so far…one to go)? Aren’t they the perfect additions? Aren’t they all just people we would have chosen for our babies, anyway? And didn’t Grace show up and bless these unions? He did! Aren’t we just unworthy of this, yet graced anyway?

Gavin, Hunter, Guinivere, Gemma, Averi, Amelie, Malakai, Bailey, & Evangeline

And now – we’re practically mush, aren’t we? To see these 9 and enjoy them so, so, so much. Gifts – just *boom* happiness pouring-sparkling-raining like a summer shower straight from heaven.

For all you were born to do and for all you were born to be (Psalm 112 and Psalm 128 man of mine), these 9 have been added to you. Added to you.

You are no longer a baby in a hospital nursery in cold Kansas of 1959. You are Dave, Jeanie’s husband, her lover and hero. You are dad, who checks in making sure everything is ok, who prays for and is prayed for and who leads his family beside peaceful waters; you are a spiritual father to the sweetest ones (others the ages of our own tribe) who respect you and honor you in the gates and who seek that supernatural fathering you possess; you are grandpa, poppa, grand-poppa – pouring mercy, love, peace and grace on the next generation – making an impact into the 22nd century from where you stand today.

christmas rhoades family 2013

That beautiful baby boy, once alone, has been increased and Graced beyond measure. And all the people who know you and love you now are cheering you as mountains become molehills, as barriers are blasted through as you finish everything you have started with strength: Cheers-rejoicing-yay!-Blessing-Grace and more Grace!

Happy Birthday, my best  friend and love, my husband, and the grace of my heart.

How Very Amazing

Hey, remember the 80s?

Larnelle sang a song.  I probably only heard a couple of times, but the beginning words…

His grace is greater than our failures

His peace runs deeper than our fears

I woke up hearing just those lines (in my sister’s voice, not Larnelle’s, because she sang it at the church Dave and I pastored way back when).

That is some amazingly great grace, some powerfully all-encompassing peace.  It is.

Song for a Sunday // Your Grace Finds Me

It is not only Sunday, but also the birthday of the only boy I ever had (until the reward of Tristan, Dave and Ryan), but his birthday blog will com later.

Meanwhile, this is a song I shared with the birthday boy, Rocky, and his wife Jovan the other day.  It has been a challenging couple of weeks for them, with three young daughters and flooded out of their house.  They are worn out from everything you have to do to make your house livable again.

This song has amazing words and is full of hope and promise.  It basically reminds us that no matter where we are, the GRACE of God (that empowering Presence of the Holy Spirit that enables us to be everything He called us to be and do everything He created us to do) will come and find us again and again.

…there in the sorrow and the dancing, Your great grace, Oh such grace…

How do we know this is true?  Well, for Rocky and Jovan and any of us in situations beyond our control and overwhelming to say the least: we recall His goodness through the years, His faithfulness.  In every good thing and bad, in the birth of our children, at  our weddings, when loved ones have died, when we are rich or when we have been poor – always, every. single. time – His GRACE has found us, has come to us, has filled our lives with His great hope and joy.  It all just proves the old hymn true, His grace is AMAZING!

From the creation to the cross, There from the cross into eternity Your grace finds me, yes, Your grace finds me

The fist video is Matt Redman leading the song live.  The second is his intro about how and why he wrote it.  Watch that and you’ll want to go back and worship along again with the live vid.  :)  Pretty simple song, you’ll be singing along after the first few lines.  Listen for the strains of “Amazing Grace,” too.

So I’m breathing in Your grace and breathing out Your praise…

You are not lost enough that His grace cannot find you.  I know this for a fact.

CLICK HERE to watch the video with the words and the guitar chords

Christmas is only 19 Days Away!

From my living room window as I write, I can look out across the broad front lawns of our farm like a lovely picture post card of wintry New England.  In my fireplace the good cedar logs are burning and crackling.  I just stopped to go into my gleaming kitchen to test the crumbly brown goodness of the toasted veal cutlets a la {?} in my oven.  Cook these slowly…”  Elizabeth Lane (as played by the versatile and provocative Barbara Stanwyck) sitting in her New York apartment (pretending to be on a farm in Connecticut) typing her column  for the American Housekeeping Magazine in the movie, “Christmas in Connecticut”


No toasted veal cutlets warming in my oven here (I just had a slice of cold pizza for breakfast), but along with a rich cup of steaming-hot coffee I am enjoying a delicious, slow Sunday morning in the Colorado air where a light, dusty snow is falling softly like grace, covering the winter-scarred landscape with a sparkling beauty in  a gentle silence.  In a pallette of white alone, God manages to cause the somewhat lifeless winter look to awaken in splendor and reveal His mercy-covering nature to a fallen world.

Snow falls like grace and suddenly all things are new again. 

“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding.  He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’  So that all men He has made may know His work, He stops every man from his labor.”  Job 37.5-7 NIV

image found on google: Rocky Mountain Reflections Photography, Inc.  by Andy Cook


Yet another slew of those crazy if-you-love-Jesus-forward-this-and-don’t-be-ashamed-to-stand-up-for-what’s-right forwards have arrived at my email inbox recently.  They are the kind that point out a hurricane or a tornado or wildfire and tie it to some sin or wickedness in the area and how it is proof of God’s judgement against a group of people or an area of the country.

2 O Lord, hear my voice.
       Let your ears be attentive
       to my cry for mercy.

 3 If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins,
       O Lord, who could stand?

 4 But with you there is forgiveness;
       therefore you are feared.

Psalm 130. 2-4 NIV

And with great humility I bow my face, knowing it is by the great grace of God that I have not been carried to justice for my own sin in a forceful, cleansing  judgement-tsunami, never to be revived.  Grace happens.