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Harmony of Grace

Why did I decide to start this blog? Why call it Harmony of Grace? 
One definition for the word harmony is "living in peace and mutual understanding with others."
I have always been fascinated with music and in my opinion, the musical definition of the word harmony has a more accurate depiction of the word's true meaning.
In musical terms, a harmony is "a note or group of notes that compliment the notes in the melody (main tune of the song)."
There are many different possible harmonies, but if played/sung correctly, they all compliment the melody and emphasize the beauty of the musical arrangement as a whole.
When I had my first encounter with Jesus, the concept of harmony became much more real in my life.

A different kind of Love

The ancient Greeks had a number of different words to describe love.

Eros is erotic love. It is the type of love that many people will be experiencing today on Valentines Day...

Storge is a deep sense of affection between human beings that develops naturally, like the love that a parent has for their children.

Phylia describes the powerful emotional bond found in deep friendships.

I would argue that all three of these types of love are dependant on how worthy the person is to be loved. If we love someone with the Eros, Storge and Phylia type of love, our love for them could always change when we believe that they are not worthy of that love anymore.

But there is a fourth word used to describe love in the ancient Greek language: Agape.

Agape is the love that God has for all humankind. It is the love that Jesus commands from us when he tells us to "love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength" and "love your neighbour as you love yourselves." It is the type of u…

A fresh look at Grace

Today I listened to an episode of the Writing Excuses podcast. The topic of discussion was how to generate new ideas for stories.

The authors encouraged listeners to start with ideas that already exist. Listen to stories. Watch TV. Read widely. Look at things that are already in existence and then use your imagination to invent new ideas or expand on previous ideas in new exciting ways.

Many new aspiring authors believe that new stories need to be fresh ideas that have never been thought of before. But some of the best stories are just imaginative takes on already-existing stories.

For example, the reason that stories like Shrek have done so well is that it has taken well-known fairytales and created exciting, new stories using the original stories as their inspiration.

I believe that we have a similar ability to see God's grace in the ordinary and comfortable.

What we seek, we shall find.

If we go about our lives not expecting to encounter God's grace in the normality of our…

The Place of Fear

Human beings are fascinated with fear. This is why horror stories and shows like Fear Factor are so popular.

As Christians, we tend to think of being fearful as wrong or even sinful.

However, from personal experience, we know that fear is not necessarily a bad thing...

Fear of getting burnt prevents a child from touching the stove.
Fear of death prevents us from walking too close to a dangerous cliff face.
Fear of theft ensures that we lock our doors at night.

Fear in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing.

On the other hand, if we let ourselves be overwhelmed by our fear then we become too anxious to try new things; too scared to leave the house.

I recently heard an analogy that helps us understand the rightful place of fear in our lives...

If we think of our lives as a car, we need to be very aware of who we let take the wheel (Cue the lame Jesus take the wheel joke).

There is no problem with having fear in the car with us, but we should not let fear take the wheel lest our l…