7 Days of Grace

So – there are 7 days until a significant Grace event will occur.

Day 1 – Sunday (today) – 7 until – We found 7 generations of my birth mother’s family when we went searching for my birth parents. Even though I did not find this article until today – the article about the 10 Powerful Life Lessons from The Alchemist – is an excellent read to summarize this journey.


Day 2 – Monday – 6 until – My grandmother had 6 children. Knowing she had six children was the key to finding my birth mother. I knew about the six from my redacted adoption file. We found my Grandmother’s obituary – read the survivors – only found 5 and I was devastated. Only to re-read and realize that my Grandmother had lost a child before her death. It was at that very moment that I found my birth mother.

Day 3 – Tuesday – 5 until – There were 5 guests in my home the night that birth mother called me. My husband is an elder and we had five church members in our home that night. If you read the grace4greta.blogspot.com post on this day you can read the story of how I contacted my birth mother and then how she contacted me.

Day 4 – Wednesday – 4 until

Day 5 – Thursday – 3 until

Day 6 – Friday – 2 until

Day 7 – Saturday – 1 until

This will be updated as the events are recorded – this site will be dedicated to the generic (for lack of a better word) concerning the events. The site where things are tied together and perhaps a spot to consider the events and how they relate to Grace. (The detailed story will be on the “Original Grace” blog and social media outlets.)

It will be obvious for some – but hopefully the specifics will find their way into hearts that could use a fresh perspective on Grace.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you …. Ezekiel 26:36

Wasted grace

Do we waste grace?

Do we fail to accept God’s love for us?

Are we wasting our opportunity to love and serve?

Seems fairly simple but I believe that in our churches, bible classes, and small groups all around – we are spending time on traditions within our walls and missing the opportunity to be Jesus to others.

And we are wasting His grace because we are getting caught up in service order, who leads the service, how many songs we sing, what people can wear, who can pray – and the list goes on and on. We spend a great deal of time figuring out the logistics of church services and not even the same amount of time in service to others. Church has become a place to experience – a place to be a part of a production – a place to visit with others (my personal favorite) and while all of that has a place – it cannot be the end result of our love for Jesus and others.

I heard a preacher say that the worst statement someone can make to him is “I love you but I don’t love your ….. or I don’t love that you are ….” and the list can go on and on. We say those statement way too often. We tell others that we love them based on what we think is right and wrong – based on our moral compass. In reality loving someone is just loving someone.

We are wasting grace when we define our love in such a way that fails to just accept and honor the person – even in the tough times. And we all are guilty. But Jesus sets a different example for us. There is story after story recorded in the Bible that shows us that Jesus cared for the person – loved the person – sought to encourage the person to love.

Just love. And love without our own personal moral compass as the judge. Just love the other person. Find a way to not waste grace.

Graceful conversations

Grace can certainly show up in a conversation. It does help when one is especially good at the “art of conversation”. The art of questioning that allows for thoughts to be shared and lives to be changed.

Once a person asked me why I was reading the book I was reading. It was a great conversation and one that I wasn’t so sure I was ready to answer. The book in question is “Leather-bound Terrorism”. Just the word terrorism alone is a bit frightening and extreme. In reality the topic is just that – although I am not sure I have always been ready to admit that.

Leather-bound Terrorism is a book in a long line of other books that I have read that have opened up my world to the plight of the LGBTQ community. A community of people who have in so many ways been excluded from the church of today. Quite honestly until last summer I did not even consider this topic. I had my limited opinions on the gay topic.

I would have been in the category of:

love the person – wonder if their choices are okay with Jesus and suspect it wasn’t good

Then this category showed up:

love the person – question why I have more of God’s favor than him (her)

Then this category:

love the person – hope the person loves me – start a conversation

That conversation began and a long list of books, podcasts, sermons, emails, text messages, facebook messages and a gathering of friends has taken place. Some realizations:

1 – when you know a gay person – all the previous rules get thrown out really quick if you have even one ounce of Jesus in your life

2 – gay men or women could have grown up in a church just like me

3 – gay men and women and transgender people too love Jesus

4 – when you know a parent of a gay person – all those rules really get thrown out because now you are talking about someone’s baby

5 – the interpretations of scripture are fluid and there are other thoughts than how you might have grown up

6 – it is not about me

7 – Love is most important

What is the definition of love? We must answer that because honestly that is where much of this turns “south”.

In order to have graceful conversations start with using the Bible’s definition of love. Love is not self-seeking – it does not insist on its own way.

Why was I reading Leather-bound Terrorism?

My quest to learn was about me. I wanted to know why I believed what I believed so that I could put it all neatly in place in my head. Unfortunately spiritual things very seldom work out that way. It is almost the more you read, the more you search, the more gray it all becomes. However there is one aspect of the searching that never changes – and that is the call to Love.

In this quest to find out answers for myself I instead found Graceful Conversations with new friends – new people to my life. I found moms of gay children, I found gay men, I found gay women, I found gay teens, I found transgender friends, I found pastors who preach at progressive churches, I found authors, I found love.

After finding I have become:

An advocate for the LGBTQ community with Love as the only  skin in the game.


Resources and a list of my journey endeavors will be coming soon.  For now – feel free to reach out on Facebook & Instagram if you have questions and want a conversation on this Love thing.c

drcherylcannongroves (instagram)

ccgroves (cheryl cannon groves) (facebook)

Grace is Just …

Do you wonder about grace? Do you find that you have the most trouble extending or receiving? I suspect we all end up in both places.

In the book of Matthew, chapter 11 – we find this:

25 At that time Jesus said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth! I thank you because you have shown to the unlearned what you have hidden from the wise and learned. 26 Yes, Father, this was how you were pleased to have it happen.

27 “My Father has given me all things. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

28 “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. 30 For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.”

And I am thinking that if this is what we need to do to be near Jesus – this is also what we need to offer to others. For some getting to Jesus means seeing Jesus in us and then knowing the path. We are not Jesus – but if we strive to be like Jesus – then we show others the value of knowing Jesus.

This past weekend the definition of love came up in a group setting. It is so easy to define love in a certain way when we are giving love. We share “tough love” – we share “love them by telling them the truth” – we say “I can love them but I cannot accept what they are doing”. Many times it is so easy to talk about love from that direction.

How do you feel when someone tells you that they love you – but they cannot love who you are? They love you – but they really don’t agree with … For me that is simply not my definition of love and I am not going to go running to those people for them to tell me more.

The responses are obvious … If I am their friend/parent etc… of course I must tell them what is right and wrong. If I really love someone then I will have the hard conversation. If I …. If I ….

At some point stop looking at this from your side and start listening to their side. Even the teenager – even the “wayward” young adult – even if you completely disagree with every ounce of your being. STOP. Listen to them and find a way to ease their burden.

There is a good chance that your child – friend – person in your life will choose to do something that disappoints you. But the choice is not about you. Understanding why and how the person got to that point is the important part. Realizing that their life is not about you – is the first step.

You may continue to be on opposite sides of the situation but as long as you don’t slam the door – you have the opportunity to learn. Jesus doesn’t slam the door on us – even when we do all the things that keep us from him. We must learn to do the same for our neighbor.

Quotes that I am considering this week:

My thought … God is not a gamer.
Grace must be shared!
This. This should be how our churches are set up. This.
May we all have this goal.
May we be Jesus to each other.
Jesus to the laughter & hope.
Jesus to the ones who learn.
Jesus in all places.
May we be a safe place for each other.





Space for Grace

space for grace.jpgRobert Schnase (2018) stated Jesus welcomed the stranger, but he also became the stranger who accepted the welcome of others to offer them God’s grace.

That is where space for grace begins today but the story actually began quite some time ago –

We went every year to a Texas Rangers baseball game.  Either my dad took us or took a group of us with our church.  Some years it was the youth group – but nevertheless I grew up going to the baseball park.  I can vividly remember the year we went and my picture of a “good Christian” was compromised.

It must have been Christian group day at the ballpark because I did not hesitate to assume that the group of adults sitting near us were from a church – it could have even been Baptist day at the ballpark – who knows but these Christians were different.

They were drinking beer.

I can honestly remember asking them how in the world can they be Christians and drink beer.

In my “defense” it was probably 1979 or so and my small world of Perrin, Texas did not consist of people openly drinking beer and going to church.  I am quite sure there were some that did but we certainly never talked about it and I did not have any circle of friends or family who drank in front of us.  I don’t know that my parents thought it was “wrong” but they just did not see any purpose and they did recognize the potential danger involved in drinking too much.  So for them – they just brought us up in a home that did not drink alcohol.

And at church I often heard of the consequences of Sex, Drugs, and Alcohol.

I knew of grace at home – I am not so certain that I heard of grace in church.  I know we wanted grace to be there but we also wanted grace to be there in a way that we felt comfortable.  We did not for one moment acknowledge how grace could be extended to others – like the adults at the ballpark drinking beer – and we really just skipped right over that type of grace extension.  I suspect we were “wrong” but honestly we were never challenged.  It was a different time – way before social media and a time when we often hid our true selves for wanting to fit in with others.  Or for wanting to escape their judgment.

I am not sure when it changed.  But it certainly has.

Space is defined as continuous area or expanse that is free, available, or unoccupied.  Grace is favor or goodwill and God’s free & unmerited favor is the Christian definition.  Favor is approval, support, or liking for someone or something – an act of kindness beyond what is due or usual.  

Therefore a space for grace = 

an available area for an act of kindness, approval, support beyond what is due or usual.

I would have to say that back at the ballpark I was not that area.  My space for grace probably looked a bit like this.


All jumbled together – no space in sight for something different – just a big pile of debris.  Once beautiful trees and rocks – now something we would want to clean up and discard.  But with perspective (and a few years) that area can change.


More room now – more area but certainly the pile of debris is still in the center.  I met more people that went to church and drank beer.  I tried it myself and realized that I could still get up and go to church if I drank beer.  I married into a family of Germans where beer was a common beverage and certainly not frowned upon (and not abused either).

But beer is just one example and quite honestly the metaphor that permeates this journey.

Do I have a space for grace for others …

if they drink alcohol or if their skin is different than mine

if they go to a different church or don’t go at all

if they are Muslim, Atheist, Agnostic, Jewish, Catholic, Baptist …

if they are poor or wealthy

if they are divorced or same sex attracted

if they are a felon or have been incarcerated

if they have hurt others or if they have been hurt

if they vote for him, if they voted for her, if they did not vote

if they are just different than me

Many times we bring that cluttered mess back into focus and front and centered when we aren’t so sure about the choices of others.  And yes – we can quote book, chapter, and verse to support our beliefs.  I can recall the day as a young girl I picked up the phone – that was mounted on the wall – called my church of Christ friend and proceeded to tell her the scriptures that outlined why our church was right and her beliefs were wrong.

When our cares are placed on the specific acts or beliefs of others more than the commandment – we miss grace.  We fill the space with ourselves rather than having a space to extend His love.

The space for grace photo was taken at a time when I became the stranger that Schnase referred to.  I went to Alpine Texas to pick grapes for a winery owned by a friend of mine.  The tradition is an old one for many but a new one for me.  I was welcomed by people who did not know me – even the friend that I went to help really did not know me very well.

In the past I would have never gone anywhere with people that I pretty much did not have the whole history on.  I would not have wanted to end up at a “ballpark” and have my world rocked.  But for that weekend where I was given the space for grace – I am forever thankful.  I did not need to know the history – I just needed to know Love.  And I needed to be Love.


With a greater perspective the space opens up.  The debris is right there in the middle of this photo at the base of the tree.  So much beauty and detail all around.  So much to miss if one focuses on that pile at the base of the tree.

We are in a time when focusing on that pile only ensures that we will miss grace and miss having a space for grace.  I simply cannot even fathom standing beside someone, picking up the phone and calling someone, seeing someone at a ballpark, or finding someone in a pile and telling them that because of our differences I can receive His favor but they cannot.  Can I still find book, chapter, and verse to support my younger way of thinking?  Certainly.  Can I now decide to focus on the Greatest Command and can we figure out the rest when we get this Love and Grace part mastered?

Yes. Certainly.

Which law is most important?-2

That is the challenge today for people like me… the challenge to get out of the way and let Jesus be Jesus.  We have to find a way to welcome the stranger and be the stranger who is welcomed by others so that we can have

space for grace.


Photo credits: Dr. Cheryl Cannon Groves.
Locations: Cathedral Mountain Vineyard, Alpine, Texas with permission from Times Ten Cellars and Schmidt Family Ranch, McCullough County, Texas.

What is the Purpose of this Blog

What does it mean to “inhabit grace”?  That is what we will explore in this blog – and website – and journey.

For me it means 3 different areas….

First is a relationship with God and all the things that it means to be a friend of Jesus and to have Jesus as a friend.  This would be the first part of the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-38).

Secondly it is the relationships with others.  Which is as a direct result of the 1st thought and is from the second part of the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:39).

Finally it is how we treat the temple of the holy spirit.  How we gracefully live and treat our bodies as the gift that we were given (I Corinthians 6:19-20).