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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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35 Responses to 445

  1. FSWood says:

    That it is free is what makes it all at once so captivating, so welcome, so secure, so relieving, so awesome, so different, so humbling, and, yes, even a bit scary in its being wholly and totally un-earned – human beings aren’t accustomed to such.

    Which is a point of interest as it’s what humanity most needs, what you most need, what I most need, and humanity’s Creator, your Creator, my Creator, is most desiring to have received by them, by you, by me.

    Now, are we going to take Him up on the offer – and then “pay it forward”?

    I mean, if we were created “in the image of God” who freely gives grace, then is not freely giving grace to each other a thing which we were created to do?

    Which somehow brings to mind the four previous llustrations.

  2. john Q says:

    not to mention the fact that being the mistrusting “nothing is free” society that we are, Grace being free makes it that much harder to accept most times. Leaving a lot of people with the mentality they still have to try to earn it.

  3. Happy says:

    my heart took one look at that and simply breathed, “Thank You, Jesus.”

    thanks for the reminder, Jon.

  4. Elyong says:

    Don’t forget to read the small prints. :D

  5. Jessica Denise says:

    I have learned so much about grace lately. God has opened up a door that should have been closed because of a mistake that I made, a silly little mistake. I want to learn how to give it to others the way that God has given it to me. I know I’ll mess up, but it’s definitely worth the try. Thanks. :-)

  6. ben says:

    the price it cost God for us to have grace is pretty intense. which is why God’s grace is so absolutely amazing

  7. Tamara says:

    This made me smile.

  8. Richard says:


    Free to me, of course. Not free for Jesus.

  9. soniamain says:

    great posting, particularly after the last 2. To learn the “unforced rhythms of grace” is my hope.

  10. YOU know when you have one of those moments and your like WOW! I don’t think I have ever thought of GRACE as being something I give before!? So thanks to number 1 FSwood.

    I understand I have probably done it but ITS just dawned on me, now I have a focus for the day, YES.

    Go forth & Grace.

  11. slowburn says:

    Thank god!

  12. Robb says:

    …she served 1972 years for corruption but has been released on parole with a community service order.

  13. Maggi says:

    “Grace, she carries a world on her hips
    No champagne flute for her lips
    No twirls or skips between her fingertips
    She carries a pearl in perfect condition”

    Good one, shows some hope, especially after the very satirical cartoons in the last days.

  14. Joe says:

    I love the word Grace. The arrangement of the letters, the vowel sound, an image of perfect motion (dancer, acrobat, gymnast), a girl’s name (I’ve yet to meet a girl with this name who hasn’t somehow lived up to it). It’s right up there with sublime, transcendent. Almost defying explanation.

    I believe in God’s grace (boy have I needed some recently) but I do wonder how many people in the world don’t feel particularly favoured by God right now :/

  15. jonbirch says:

    fswood… ‘pay it forward’… i like it. :-)

    i just thought we could all do with a bit of unadulterated hope about the place. :-)

  16. ben says:

    yeah agreed richard. theres always the other side of grace, the sacrifice in order for someone to receive it.

  17. ben says:

    so from what richard said, is grace really free?

  18. Jonathan S says:

    You’d think, seeing as how it’s free, there’d be so much more sloshing around, no?

    How can it be that those who follow this Gracious and grace giving One have managed to get such a grace-less reputation?

    Grace and peace, as ever

  19. jonbirch says:

    jonathan… that’s a good question.

    ben… interesting point. to be gracious can be very costly, i wonder if that is why it can be a rarer commodity than it should be. being given grace is the free bit.

  20. tom says:

    Don’t forget Bonhoeffer’s famous ‘cheap vs. costly grace’ idea. It’s in the beginning of his Discipleship.

    Grace is free but is also costly, not only to Jesus, as someone’s already said, but to us if it resources our Christian life and calls us on to sacrificial living – something Dietrich Bonhoeffer knew a thing or two about going against the stream of Nazism in Germany!

  21. Carole says:

    Jon, you’ve been laying some pretty heavy stuff on us the past few days – I’m not saying that is bad, on the contrary, it’s stuff that needs airing now and again. But it is also pretty draining. When I looked at today’s it was like immersing myself in a soothing, hot, fragrant bath. God is soooo good! I think I’ll just rest in this tranquil blue colour a little while and wash away the cares of the last week…well go on, hop it, close the door, can’t a woman get some privacy round here?… :)

  22. dadube says:

    Ahhhh – my current favourite word. Beautiful. And now I shall go search out the U2 album……xx

  23. jonbirch says:

    i presume you’re out of the bath now carole… what with it being 4pm!
    you’re right, i thought some air in the sails might be welcome. :-)

    enjoy the album dadube. :-)

  24. dadube says:

    Thanks babe – what with feeling sick so much at the moment its bliss to have the wireless connection in the house and my new mac – music and asbojesus in bed – what more could a girl ask for?? :)

  25. Dave says:

    Grace – don’t you love it!! A new moral landscape…. “Why would God choose Jacob the conniver over dutiful Esau? Why confer supernatural powers of strength on a Mozartian delinquent named Samson? Why groom a runty shepherd boy, David, to be Israel’s king? And why bestow a sublime gift of wisdom on Solomon, the fruit of that king’s adulterous liaison? Indeed, in each of these Old Testament stories the scandal of grace rumbles under the surface until finally, in Jesus’ parables, it bursts forth in a dramatic upheaval to reshape the moral landscape” Philip Yancey ‘What’s so amazing about grace?’

  26. Rick says:

    Thanks for that great reminder! Eph 2:8-9! AMAN!

  27. What a perfrect refreshing after self-harm! Thanks Jon, this very timely reminder has given me the guts to do something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

  28. Carole says:

    Dave, thanks. I first got a handle on the notion of grace through Philip Yancey’s book. It’s the only Christian book (apart from the Bible) that I have given as a gift to people – several. I love this book. Your comment also provides an opportunity to plug Greenbelt – Yancey is a speaker there this year. I can’t wait. I’d like to go and give the guy a kiss, but I wouldn’t want to embarrass him (to tell the truth, it would embarrass me too, unless of course I’d been to the Organic Beer Tent first!) :lol:

  29. Dave says:

    I may be speaking at GB too Carole – will meet you in the organic beer tent!! However – will bring my wife too!! Have you looked at Velvet Elvis and other Rob Bell books – these are only other Christian books I pass on! dave :)

  30. Carole says:

    Look forward to it Dave – don’t fret, I will be bringing my husband too so I’ll be on my best behaviour! :lol:

    I haven’t read Velvet Elvis, but it gets lots of mentions here and there so I will, no doubt, have to act upon your recommendation. I really like the Nooma DVDs. I folleowed a link from someone’s blog (forget who) to the ‘Bullhorn guy’ video that had been posted on youtube (bit naughty, copyright and all that). They’d also linked to a video that gave an opposing view to Bell. It parodied the style of ‘bullhorn guy’. I gather Bell has a fair few opponents but he seems pretty sound to me, from what I know.

  31. Dave says:

    phew Carole! hope you enjoy Bell – dave

  32. Happy says:

    @ jon (#16) – “unadulterated hope…”
    nice expression – and even nicer sentiment. :)

  33. jonbirch says:

    thanks happy! :-)

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