The Gift of Grace guest post By Lynn Moratis

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Who doesn’t love gifts? There’s always excitement when you find a present with pretty paper and a bow waiting for you. Gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Most of the time when receiving a gift, you don’t know what’s inside – it’s a surprise. So all the more anticipation, until it’s opened. Sometimes it’s not what we expected, sometimes it’s more than we expected and sometimes it may not fit correctly. I hope you’ll join me in reading about a gift that will always fit and won’t disappoint. We just need to accept the gift and believe in it with our hearts and profess it with our mouths.

Romans 10:9 – “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved”.

The Sweet Sister’s were recently together for a Monday night study and the topic I shared was the Gift of Grace.

You may ask what is Grace really? Grace is a free gift, providing us with something we didn’t deserve, it’s favor bestowed upon us as a gift. A life changing gift, a guarantee of eternity, and a friend to walk through life with you that knows your every need. To me grace is forgiveness and love all wrapped up in one, and it cost Jesus his life, for me it was free. Wow – what a gift the Father gave us. The least we can do is share it with others.

In Ephesians 2:8 the Bible tells us that “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”.

The best news is you don’t have to wait for your birthday or a special occasion to receive this gift. It’s available right now today. Imagine if you found it through a real life encounter with Jesus – in person. In John 4 Jesus meets a woman at the well, drawing water. They have a conversation, he even shares her cup of water, which was not common in this time. As he talks, he offers her living water so that she may never thirst again:

John 4: 13 – 14 “Jesus answered, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whosoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life”.

We know from context that this woman had some sin in her life, but Jesus shared the gift of time with her. What an interesting conversation they had. Once she realizes the gift he’s bestowing and who he is – she runs to share it with others. She is bubbling the good news, like a spring of living water.

John 4:39 tells us that “Many of the Samaritans from the town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, he told me everything I ever did.”

She needed the gift of grace. Jesus was seeking her that day, just like he seeks us. He wants us to take the gift of Grace and he wants us to share Grace with others. Our opportunity is two fold, to take the grace so freely given and accept Jesus and then to bestow grace to others. Who do you know today who could benefit from some grace?

I’m so glad I found Grace when I was young. However, it’s taken me years of living this life to really come to fully understand the full impact of the Gift of Grace. It’s the only gift I ever received that will last forever and at the same time a dependable gift for any circumstance. I have countless examples of when I’ve needed Grace, challenges in school as a young adult, insecurities with my self image and fears, marital difficulties, a divorce, immaturity, selfishness, and most of all trying to live my life my way versus his way – Grace always brought me back. My life would have been more peaceful if I had embraced Grace and understand it fully, but that was my path. What path are you on today?

I challenge you to think about your opportunities to share Grace with others and to lean in on this awesome “Gift” in your own world. Continue to drink from the well of living water so that the Spirit bubbles up for all to see and guides your path. The book of Galatians tells us how –


Galatians 5: 22 – 25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

Remember the commercials back in 2007 – “Got Milk”? We’ve got something better we “Got Grace”.

XoXo – Lynn

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Unauthorized interception of this communication could be a violation of Federal and State Law. This communication and any files transmitted with it are confidential and may contain protected health information. This communication is solely for the use of the person or entity to whom it was addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, any use, distribution, printing or acting in reliance on the contents of this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and destroy any and all copies. Thank you. ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 855-258-6518 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電 855-258-6518 CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, CareFirst BlueChoice, Inc. and all of their corporate affiliates comply with applicable federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.

Who doesn’t love gifts? There’s always excitement when you find a present with pretty paper and a bow waiting for you. Gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Most of the time when receiving a gift, you don’t know what’s inside – it’s a surprise. So all the more anticipation, until it’s opened. Sometimes it’s not what we expected, sometimes it’s more than we expected and sometimes it may not fit correctly. I hope you’ll join me in reading about a gift that will always fit and won’t disappoint. We just need to accept the gift and believe in it with our hearts and profess it with our mouths.

Romans 10:9 – “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved”.

The Sweet Sister’s were recently together for a Monday night study and the topic I shared was “the Gift of Grace.”

You may ask what is Grace really? Grace is a free gift, providing us with something we didn’t deserve; it’s favor bestowed upon us as a gift. A life changing gift, a guarantee of eternity, and a friend to walk through life with you that knows your every need. To me grace is forgiveness and love all wrapped up in one, and it cost Jesus his life, for me it was free. Wow – what a gift the Father gave us. The least we can do is share it with others.

In Ephesians 2:8 the Bible tells us that “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”.

The best news is you don’t have to wait for your birthday or a special occasion to receive this gift. It’s available right now- today. Imagine if you found it through a real life encounter with Jesus – in person. In John 4 Jesus meets a woman at the well, drawing water. They have a conversation, he even shares her cup of water, which was not common in this time. As he talks, he offers her living water so that she may never thirst again:

John 4: 13 – 14 “Jesus answered, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whosoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life”.

We know from context that this woman had some sin in her life, but Jesus shared the gift of time with her. What an interesting conversation they had. Once she realizes the gift he’s bestowing and who he is – she runs to share it with others. She is bubbling the good news, like a spring of living water.

John 4:39 tells us that “Many of the Samaritans from the town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, he told me everything I ever did.”

She needed the gift of grace. Jesus was seeking her that day, just like he seeks us. He wants us to take the gift of Grace and he wants us to share Grace with others. Our opportunity is two fold, to take the grace so freely given and accept Jesus and then to bestow grace to others. Who do you know today who could benefit from some grace?

I’m so glad I found Grace when I was young. However, it’s taken me years of living this life to really come to fully understand the full impact of the Gift of Grace. It’s the only gift I ever received that will last forever and at the same time a dependable gift for any circumstance. I have countless examples of when I’ve needed Grace, challenges in school as a young adult, insecurities with my self image and fears, marital difficulties, a divorce, immaturity, selfishness, and most of all trying to live my life my way versus his way – Grace always brought me back. My life would have been more peaceful if I had embraced Grace and understand it fully, but that was my path. What path are you on today?

I challenge you to think about your opportunities to share Grace with others and to lean in on this awesome “Gift” in your own world. Continue to drink from the well of living water so that the Spirit bubbles up for all to see and guides your path. The book of Galatians tells us how –

Galatians 5: 22 – 25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

Remember the commercials back in 2007 – “Got Milk”? We’ve got something better we “Got Grace”.

XoXo – Lynn

*******************************************************************************
Unauthorized interception of this communication could be a violation of Federal and State Law. This communication and any files transmitted with it are confidential and may contain protected health information. This communication is solely for the use of the person or entity to whom it was addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, any use, distribution, printing or acting in reliance on the contents of this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and destroy any and all copies. Thank you. ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 855-258-6518 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電 855-258-6518 CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, CareFirst BlueChoice, Inc. and all of their corporate affiliates comply with applicable federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.

You could….write a Book or you could…..Live the Book by guest post writer Lynn Moratis

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You Could…Write a Book or You Could…Live the Book 

guest post by Lynn Moratis

Have you heard the saying “I could write a book”? I’ve heard it countless times and I’ve said it myself many times in my fifty-three years. I’ve often considered writing a book. Sometimes, I think we say it in jest because we think wow some of the things I’ve done, some of things I’ve seen, this stuff just could not be made up, this is book worthy. So the quest of writing begins…

Recently our Sweet Sister Bible Study group met and discussed what Jesus meant in John 8:12 when he declared,

I am the Light of the World.”

Now this is a man that was book worthy to say the least.

“When Jesus spoke again to his people he said, I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”.

We had such a great night of sharing all the references that the Bible has related to light and how to live a life worthy of the light of Jesus. It was eye opening for us and it was like a ray of sunshine was in the room.

Did you know that there are over 200 references to light in the Bible? It started in the very beginning, Genesis 1:3, when God made light and he saw it was good and he separated it from night.

The Sweet Sisters and I talked about how can we live like the light and how can we share the light with others. We talked about helping others, honesty, kindness, hospitality, volunteering, serving others and smiling at strangers. We talked about treating others like Jesus did throughout his entire walk on earth.

In Philippians 2:14-16 we are encouraged to “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without a fault in a warped and crooked generation, then you will SHINE among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. As earthy beings, we know perfection is hard to come by, virtually unobtainable, but it is something for which we can strive.

We also know that “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” (Matthew 5:14). Our talents are meant to be shared with others. We all have something to offer that shares the light and will have a lasting impact. We are called to develop it from a flicker into a flame.

We read verse after verse about light and how to walk in the light. One thing became clear to us to be a light to others to live like Jesus – we just have to do one thing besides believe and that is LIVE the book. (Psalm 119:105, Psalm 119:129-130, Proverbs 4:18-19; Luke 8:16-18, Ephesians 5:8-10; I Thessalonians 5:5-8)

How many times have we turned on lights outside for guests to leave our home at night or used a flashlight when walking after dark to guide our path? Sure we need the mechanics of the light to navigate as we travel the path. The same can be said for navigating the path of life, we need the light that only one person and one source can truly provide for our eternity – JESUS.

You may wonder how do I overcome the darkness with the light, so let’s look at 1 John 1: 5-9 –

“Then this is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”

So tonight as I walked my dogs and thought how do we share the light with others in a meaningful way, I started to reflect on writing a book about my life and what I would say.

It would certainly include many favorite memories, which happen to be associated with warmth and light from the sun, shining through the sky – my favorite type of day.
Of course it would reference those dark days when I was feeling sad and alone, maybe even hopeless. Through it all would be a journey of a life filled with ups and downs, but one constant would be the hope, the love and the light of Jesus.

As I walked I decided, I think I would prefer to live the book and be the light when opportunity allows in the paths of those I cross. I’ll press pause on writing the book. I know I won’t be perfect, but I’ll keep trying. There’s lots to be done out there in this world.

I’ll end with another great verse my friends which is found in Ephesians 5:1

“Follow God’s example therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God”

Xoxo Lynn

When Your Life Feels Like a Confusing Box of Chocolates by Lynn Moratis

AmberOBrien"
Hello Sweet Sisters:)
Please help me to welcome our sweet and salty sister Lynn Moratis. Lynn is a true Proverbs 31 woman who with great style wears the many hats of:  wife, mother of two young men, nurse and vice president of a regional care coordination program. Sit back and enjoy a bonbon as she writes Part 2 on her teaching on Jesus being “the bread of Life.”
Do you ever feel like you are  in the movie “Forest Gump”, when Forest so honestly relays the line ” Life is Like a Box of Chocolates, You Never Know What Your Going to Get”? I think we all feel that way some days, don’t we? Thankfully, though there is an answer and that answer is Jesus.
I’ve never doubted my belief in Jesus and the one that God has sent to us. However, at times I did not pursue a close relationship with him and this left me empty. It also reminds me that even though you don’t always know what to expect, he does. He will meet your needs, he will fill you up. It’s not always what we wanted, expected or hoped for, but recognizing and leaning on the power of Jesus gives us the reassurance to keep going on.
Have you ever thought that having a closer relationship with him would be hard, that it’s not obtainable? That you have to make major changes to do this? It’s really simple, so read below to see what he tells us about believing in him.
Remember now that Jesus has been busy throughout the book of John teaching, preaching and working miracles – all leading to his crucifixion. The people are well aware of the miracles he is working. That being said though; they are still looking for more, but he plainly tells them to seek spiritual fulfillment:
“John 6:27, Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed”.
They are looking for a sign from Jesus as they ask him about what they need to do to follow God, but like many things in life the answer is more simple that we would think as Jesus tells them in John 6: 29:
“This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent”.
Jesus is making it very clear that he is the bread of life. They are seeking a physical sign and he’s sharing a spiritual fulfillment. He tells them in verse 33 “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven; and giveth life unto the world”.
In verses 35 -40 we learn that Jesus is the source, but the true provider/giver of the source is God the Father. We are learning throughout these verses, Jesus is the real bread, while the people are looking for more, the real source, the real bread is right in front of them. It’s obvious, but they aren’t getting the obvious.
Again, much like our lives, we sometimes don’t see what is right in front of us. Jesus was obedient to his Father’s will. What is our role? What is expected of us from these verses, what was Jesus asking the people to do? Again, I must say it is simple – we just need to believe and pursue him and in return we have the gift of eternity. Of course in our belief, our lives should demonstrate him: love, service to others, pursuit of holiness, pursuit of wisdom.
Believe and pursue him – I can’t think of a better way to prepare for the unexpected chocolate’s we are all sure to face.
In my journey I have found that he loves us unconditionally, he is a true friend, he is the true source when other’s fail. A relationship with him is like your favorite food, dress, or gym routine- it’s meant to be shared, so other’s see him in you. Sharing him is easily seen in how we live our lives, how we speak and how we forgive.
Please, don’t keep the true bread of life a secret and don’t be afraid to pursue him, the more you pursue him, the more he will reveal himself to you and you become like him. I can’t think of a anybody else I’d rather be like – can you?

Running on Empty- Go to the Source Part 1 by Lynn Moratis

AmberOBrien"
Hello Sweet Sisters:)
Please help me to welcome our sweet and salty sister Lynn Moratis. Lynn is a true Proverbs 31 woman who with great style wears the many hats of:  wife, mother of two young men, nurse and vice president of a regional care coordination program. She taught last Monday at the Sweet Sister small group on the Name of Jesus being the “bread of Life”.
Running on Empty – Go to the Source
John 6: 1-13
In the above referenced scripture, we learn all about the miracle of the Feeding of 5,000. Set upon a grassy mountainside, with crowds following Jesus and his disciples to learn from him and watch the miracles he has been performing. This day is no different, 5,000 have gathered, many traveling miles by foot, some by boat. Jesus is famous, they were giving him all the attention at this point. He recognizes their physical hunger and wants to feed them, he ask his disciples for their recommendation, Philip is skeptical and Andrew is aware of the cost it would take to feed them, but also that Jesus has the Power to feed them. He uses a little boy and his meager food offering and feeds the 5,000 from 5 small barley loaves and 2 small fish. We know that this meal was not a luxury offering, it was meager, it was the food of the poor, but Jesus took something meager, and made it sufficient for all to eat.
Truly a miracle, truly an example of his generosity, his humbleness, his charity and his compassion. He fed them all. 
In today’s fast pace, I often realize I can let myself run on empty, going and going. In the past few years, I’ve found myself looking for satisfaction that may not be reasonable because my attention has been on the wrong types of satisfaction. Thinking about what I want or need versus realizing what I already have. Focusing on achieving more and realizing that true happiness is not in what I have or what I earn, but comes from going to the true source, the one with the power to perform miracles and the only one who promises me eternity. The one who shows us how to live and the one who lived a meager life on earth and gave it all up for me and you.
There is so much that happens on this one day of many miracles, but it also a great example for me to realize, yes Jesus provides for us physically and he did so for the 5,000 in John 6: 1-13. However, many times our hunger isn’t physical. When we find ourselves running on empty, he’s there for us, he is the Source. All we need to do is reach out and and believe in the true source – Jesus.