Your kingdom is built in what is right and fair. Love and truth are in all you do.
100% grace, 100% truth, no compromise. I learned this motto of Where Grace Abounds very early when we came to the ministry. It is the motto and the ideal that this ministry was built on some 32 years ago. I love the intention of the motto and the people here who really strive to live it with their lives. But, it is extremely hard – no, IMPOSSIBLE – to achieve such a lofty goal! We all tend to lean to one side or the other. Balancing on the thin wire perfectly isn’t something we can humanly achieve!
Some days, I find myself leaning way too heavily on the truth side – pointing my finger and judging others (many times feeling quite justified in my “truth” jacket). Other days, I find myself bending over backwards to extend grace – sometimes turning a blind eye to the blatant sin nature that we all struggle with. When the liberals say we are too conservative and the conservatives demand that we are too liberal, we are probably closest to balancing on that wire! Jesus was the only one to achieve the perfect balance – and He angered both sides in the process! He extended grace yet spoke the truth into the lives of those He came into contact with on a daily basis.
I recently read a book, Messy Grace written by Caleb Kaltenbach. The author is a pastor with gay parents who “learned to love others without sacrificing conviction.” This book is a testimony of how early in life he was exposed to the cruelty of people being overly judgmental rather than valuing others as people created in the image of God just like themselves. He experienced the heavy handedness of truth without the balance of love and grace. However, later in his life, he met a group of young people who befriended him and showed him and his family love and complete acceptance. Through his affiliation with this group of people, he was introduced to Jesus Christ and his life was changed, much to the chagrin of his parents. The book does a good job of leveling the playing field, putting us all in the same boat and helping us to see the value of balancing the issues of truth and grace. It is not something we can ever completely achieve, but it is a goal worthy of pursuing.
My devotion the other day was titled “Truth in Love”. It was written by Max Lucado in his book Grace for the Moment. It seems to perfectly sum up what I am attempting to say.
“The single most difficult pursuit is truth and love…Love is a difficult pursuit. Truth is a tough one too. But put them together, pursue truth and love at the same time and hang on baby, you’re in for the ride of your life. Love in truth. Truth in love. Never one at the expense of the other. Never the embrace of love without the torch of truth. Never the heat of truth without the warmth of love. . . To pursue both is our singular task.”
Lofty words and goals…not easily achieved and only closely possible with the help of God, but definitely worth pursuing!
Family & Friends Coordinator
In 2005, Jill and her husband Steve began attending WGA’s support group when one of their adult children disclosed their same-sex relationship. They began participating in the Friends and Family group and over time joined the leadership team. Steve and Jill have been married for 40 years; have 4 adult children, and 9 grandchildren.
Jill joined the leadership team in 2007 and started serving as a volunteer staff for the Friends and Family group in 2010. In 2010, she started organizing the semi-annual gathering of Friends and Family activities and other activities such as the 25-year WGA anniversary celebration.
Jill has a BS in Home Economics Education from CSU. She was a licensed teacher for many years. Jill enjoys planning and organizing events, meeting with individuals, and providing hospitality. In 2013, she joined the staff to coordinate the Friends and Family ministry. She is active in leading small groups, discipleship counseling and coordinating the monthly newcomer breakfast.
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