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Amazing Grace

My favorite year of school was the 5th grade. Mrs. Walls, my teacher, was in total control of her classroom. If a child misbehaved, she took him out into the hall, scolded him and applied the board of education to the seat of learning. Yes, corporal punishment was still legal in those days.

I made that trip to the hallway with her on at least one occasion. Most of the time, I didn't need her scolding or paddling, her love for teaching and for me kept me in line.

Her classroom was very structured. Every week, we would change seats. The person whose chair was in the front row would move it to the back, and everyone else would move forward one place. Though today, I have a preference for the back row, in those days, I liked the front row.

If you excelled on an assignment, or was exceptionally well-behaved, she would let you be the black board monitor or the leader for the march to the lunch room. We learned, in her structured classroom, that the "good children" received the rewards, while the misbehaved were passed over.

In the economy of God's grace, it doesn't work that way. I can't earn his favor.

Have you ever plunged into despair only to float in God's grace? Did you feel the touch of an unseen hand encouraging you?

After a year of vocal cord paralysis, God, by His grace, restored my voice on January 29, 1997. As the anniversary approaches, I am speechless. Not because I can't talk, but because I'm overwhelmed by the touch of His nail-scarred hand on my soul.

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365 Days includes Volumes 1-4
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Impact Preaching: A Case for the
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