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GraceNotes Podcast

Religion & Spirituality Podcasts

GraceNotes is a weekly publication of Bill Knott, Editor/Executive Publisher of Adventist Review/Adventist World magazines.. Take the opportunity to share a favorite GraceNote from this page with someone you're praying for, or someone who simply needs to hear the good news of God's unfailing love.

GraceNotes is a weekly publication of Bill Knott, Editor/Executive Publisher of Adventist Review/Adventist World magazines.. Take the opportunity to share a favorite GraceNote from this page with someone you're praying for, or someone who simply needs to hear the good news of God's unfailing love.

Location:

United States

Description:

GraceNotes is a weekly publication of Bill Knott, Editor/Executive Publisher of Adventist Review/Adventist World magazines.. Take the opportunity to share a favorite GraceNote from this page with someone you're praying for, or someone who simply needs to hear the good news of God's unfailing love.

Language:

English

Contact:

3016604490


Episodes

GETTING WHAT WE DON’T DESERVE (February 19, 2021)

2/18/2021
We want the verdict we can’t have—to be both right and righteous; to win each argument on points, and yet be counted blameless. But something in our quest to win undoes our fleeting grip on grace. “Love is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs,” (1 Cor 13: 5) the Bible says—and still we keep a tally sheet of wounds we’re waiting to avenge. We chase a kite tail in the wind to fix what gossip has besmirched, convinced that what we call the “truth” is ultimately more prized than...

Duration:00:02:25

MANNA IN OUR WILDERNESS (February12, 2021)

2/12/2021
We breakfast on the crusts of aging self-help theories. “Believe, believe in who you are,” we mutter as we face another thin and hungry dawn. By lunch, we are negotiating losses, trying hard to still believe that “We are wise, and we are warm, and we are kind.” But conflicts with our colleagues and chasing three-year-olds around a house belie the bromides and bravura. At supper, we go searching for our comfort food, the self-indulgent set-aside of all that didn’t work that day. “No one could...

Duration:00:02:17

ASSUMED IDENTITY (February 05, 2021)

2/4/2021
The storyline is so familiar now. A kindly grandfather in some quiet town is found to be a gangster living under an assumed identity. A civic leader loses her elected role when her history is revealed behind a different name. We shake the dust off polished shoes in not-so-righteous indignation, for we prize honesty, we say. And yet, we know this story well. Before we learned to count or read, the orbit of our life was willful, proud, and self-involved. To these we added faults we chose—the...

Duration:00:02:51

WHY GRACE MAKES US UNCOMFORTABLE (January 29, 2021)

1/28/2021
We’re no good at accepting gifts when we can offer nothing in return. And so we wrestle for the restaurant bill, determined not to be obliged for what someone who loves us wants to pay. We writhe in proud embarrassment when gifted with a sum so large we fear we’ll lose our freedom to decide, to regulate, to choose. We’re willing to be thankful so long as there’s no lingering commitment: we’ve traded Christmas cards and dinners. Our scores must all be evened, and all accounts be balanced. And...

Duration:00:02:19

REASSURING RHYTHMS (January 22. 2021)

1/21/2021
REASSURING RHYTHMS When do we offer reassuring words? Whenever there is fear, perplexity or pain. Our words rebuild the vital bridge connecting pain to hope, to peace, to continuity. “Don’t worry, little one,” we soothe. “Daddy’s going to be right here until you go to sleep.” “You’ll be just fine,” we tell the anxious student on the night before the test. “You’ve studied hard: you know this stuff.” “You’re not alone,” we whisper to a saddened soul who cannot see beyond the terrible calamity...

Duration:00:02:43

RECLAIMING OUR IDENTITY (January 15, 2021)

1/14/2021
RECLAIMING OUR IDENTITY “Who do you think you are?” the bully thundered, and we shrank back into some smaller self that could more easily escape or hide. “Who do you think you are?” the college entrance essay asked, and we explained we were the product of suburban schools, or immigrants, or persons trying on new cultures. “I am a daughter; an orphan; a member of a racially exploited group.” “Who do you think you are?” the counselor gently queried us, and we described our brokenness, our loss...

Duration:00:02:19

LOVE THAT WON’T LET GO (January 08, 2021)

1/8/2021
LOVE THAT WON’T LET GO When dreams of bright success have stumbled on the hard edge of reality . . . When every scheme for fame or followers has left the needle where it was . . . When all the crowd who live for now have gone on dancing down the boulevard—just then we learn the value of the love that won’t let go. It’s father in the driveway saying softly as we pack, “You can come home again.” A colleague asks us on the elevator ride, “Are you OK? When would you like to talk?” A high school...

Duration:00:02:12

RENEWAL IN THE RUINS (January 01, 2021)

12/29/2020
At every rounding of the year, we realize how much we need renewal. On New Year’s Eve, we want to slam the door on the departing year, or banish memories of 2020’s pain and grief. But there are—and must be—great ties between the old year and the new. We live in the same bodies: we inhabit the same homes. We remain related to the same family: we work at the same jobs. We worship with the same believers: we study the same Word. It’s renewal, then, and not a clean break from the past, that...

Duration:00:02:25

LOVE CAME DOWN (December 24, 2020)

12/25/2020
This painful year has made us clear on what we want for Christmas. Though Lexus and Mercedes-Benz are sure we want a gleaming ride with giant ribbons on the roof, we have no miles we want to drive. The ads all tease us with dark fantasies on Amazon or Netflix, but we still have our darkness to get through. The tech toys that we bought for sport have only one compelling use this year. We want each other more than gifts. We want the long and lingering embrace of two-year olds who won’t let...

Duration:00:02:38

KEEP ON SINGING (December 18, 2020)

12/17/2020
Electric icicles are draped from eaves that never have seen snow. Inflatables, some 10 feet tall, loom high above synthetic reindeer, grazing on front lawns. Mythical figures never known in Bethlehem crowd close to dash away whatever pain may linger in the story. Back-lit Nativity scenes help us believe that everything that night was just as festive, clean, and comfortable as all the stuff by which we annually remember it. But it was painful to be Joseph—much harder still to be Mary—when...

Duration:00:02:26

SAVING OUR STORIES (December 11, 2020)

12/10/2020
The story brims with contrasts and disparities, and yet we tell it year by year. We meet an emperor, and then, at last, a baby. We hear of wealth, taxation, and deep poverty. We marvel at the gap between an iron power and abject, fragile weakness. The One who roamed the far-flung galaxies created by His word lies helpless in a trough from which farm animals are fed. Brilliant, iridescent angels terrify poor shepherds, who abandon pregnant ewes to gather ‘round the only Lamb who could deliver...

Duration:00:02:25

Bill Knott's GraceNotes: Grace On The Ground (December 4, 2020)

12/3/2020
The soloist soars high above the massive, harmonizing choir: “O holy night, the stars are brightly shining.” But on that night, no soul on earth expected anything but normal. We drape the story of His birth with yards of gauze and billowy bright angels. We estimate a gentleness His weary parents never knew. We decorate the landscape of our Christmas with smiling sheep and camels trudging from the East. And we forget how hard it is to live beside—among—farm animals in fields or in stables. We...

Duration:00:02:30

GRACE ON THE GROUND (December 4, 2020)

12/3/2020
The soloist soars high above the massive, harmonizing choir: “O holy night, the stars are brightly shining.” But on that night, no soul on earth expected anything but normal. We drape the story of His birth with yards of gauze and billowy bright angels. We estimate a gentleness His weary parents never knew. We decorate the landscape of our Christmas with smiling sheep and camels trudging from the East. And we forget how hard it is to live beside—among—farm animals in fields or in stables. We...

Duration:00:02:30

FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH (November 27, 2020)

11/25/2020
“If you would tell me, tell me true,” a wise old man once said. “There isn’t time enough for lies.” And when we’ve polished all our trophies, and sung again our victory songs, we come at last to stories too painful to be false. Each honest story unwraps our wounds, our hurts—as well as those we’ve given. We grieve the loved ones whom we’ve lost—a spouse; a friend; a much-loved child—though some of them still live and breathe. We mourn the loss of innocence; we’ve soaked up toxic sums of...

Duration:00:02:45

THE CHOICE TO LOVE (November 20, 2020)

11/19/2020
“She was very gracious in accepting my apology,” we say with heartfelt admiration. “He gave a very gracious speech in light of the circumstances,” we add, aware he could have done differently. Our common references to grace reveal we most always link it to “something that didn’t have to be done that way,” or someone who made a noble choice to rise above the normal human lust for power, wealth, or influence. Grace is always a choice, even in difficult, vexing moments. And there we find a...

Duration:00:02:22

THE GREAT UNLEARNING (November 13, 2020)

11/12/2020
We crouch behind our walls and fences, readying ourselves for what we’ve learned to fear. We lock all doors, secure the bars. We mentally rehearse our steps, our routes. We twitch at unfamiliar sounds, lie wide awake when branches scrape the roof, and wait for light and morning. Whoever is not us is “other”—a nameless, faceless “stranger” we assume means only harm. “They” are the people unlike us—of different race, perhaps; or language, habits, customs, faiths. We crave the time machine that...

Duration:00:02:45

BEYOND THE GALAXY (November 6, 2020)

11/5/2020
If there’s a mountain anywhere to climb, we scale it. If there’s a chasm some say can’t be spanned, we find a way to bridge it. When we demand a new frontier, we harness all the ingenuity we have to launch deep probes of planets, moons and suns. But there’s one goal we’ll never rise to conquer—how to reconcile a sinner to the Father. Nothing in our repertoire responds to this persistent challenge. Effort will not make it happen; wisdom won’t achieve the goal. Diligence and ritual won’t bring...

Duration:00:02:18

THE BEST KIND OF GRAFFITI (October 30, 2020)

10/29/2020
“John 3:16,” the hand-lettered poster reads, and we imagine some sharp zealot who bought a stadium endzone seat to get his message out to millions on TV. “John 3:16,” the spattered license plate declares, as we idle in traffic and ponder why some driver would request those letters and those numbers for his car. “John 3:16,” the understated business card asserts, as we turn over all the notes and papers of our day. These characters—four letters and two numbers—spell out the code of grace....

Duration:00:02:20

THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING (October 23, 2020)

10/22/2020
There’s nothing quite as satisfying—or as dangerous—as the certainty that we are right and someone else is wrong. We relish those rare moments of rightness because they wrap us in an unaccustomed virtue, as though we suddenly were several inches taller. Should we be sharp in underlining their mistake, or should we play it cool—and let embarrassment be the bitter aftertaste for those who got it wrong? We toy with power as cats abuse their mice. But there’s another, better way to be both right...

Duration:00:02:14

WINNING TOGETHER (October 16, 2020)

10/15/2020
When we were kids, each walk became a race; each math assignment launched a competition; every recital was a place to prove our mastery. Half of us, on any day, were losers of some kind—in the race to the mailbox; in the quest to get the better grade; in the hope to have one shining moment when we were proclaimed the best. And so we arrive at mid-life with a shelf half-full of trophies and an aching sense that we have lost more than some rounds of golf and afternoons of tennis. We spend the...

Duration:00:02:22