Amazing Grace


Sherry Zeise

Chicks and bunnies began showing up on Ravenswood on Saturday, April 14 at the beautifully decorated home of Guy and Nancy Myers. At last count, there were 25 of them…Oh! You thought of that kind of baby animals? No, no, no! The ladies of New Life Church Lunch Bunch!

Hostess Nancy Myer and Dianne Edmondson teamed up to give the home a lovely spring and Easter theme. Nancy also allowed us to share her antique table cloths and her great collection of brightly designed quilts.

Lots of varied casseroles warmed us, accompanied by salads and vegetables. Of course, pie, cookies, brownies and sweets made the comfort food complete.

Then the chicks and bunnies migrated to the living room, as Jois Ross and her adept team of Peggy Zilinsky and Ruth Klein were ready to present our program on “God’s amazing grace—what it really means, and the impact it has or can have on each of our lives”. Jois, Ruth and Peggy led us through the life story of John Newton, the man through whom God gave us the most popular hymn of all time, Amazing Grace.

The team took the hymn verse by verse, presenting parts of John Newton’s story, teaching us aspects of God’s grace exemplified by each verse of the hymn after which we sang it together.

Sherry Zeise helped to illustrate God’s great love and grace as she sang, He Knew Me Then, Via Dolorosa, and Saved by Grace.

We heard how John Newton lived his life as a sailor and captain transporting slaves from Africa to America. He had acquired a “reputation for profanity, coarseness and debauchery, which even shocked many a sailor.”

During a voyage on The Greyhound, bound to deliver slaves, a powerful storm in the North Atlantic engulfed the ship. During that grueling experience, John faced the truth that his life could be ending soon. As he began reliving his days and ways, he was convicted of his wickedness and reminded of his childhood. John’s dear mother had prayed for her son to become a minister. At her knees, John had memorized Bible passages and learned many hymns.

John found a copy of the New Testament and began searching for hope that God would forgive and change his life. God certainly heard and transformed “The Great Blasphemer,” as Newton was called, into “one of the most powerful evangelical preachers in British History,” a formidable foe of slavery and author of hundreds of hymns.

Should you be a distraught parent or grandparent, much like Newton’s mother, take heart! “The things that seem impossible with men are possible with God.” Luke 18:27

“Grace is the undeserved favor of God toward all sinners, the evidence of God’s love in action toward sinners, and God’s divine influence in the life” of believers in Christ.

Grace is the entire package! Not only are believers converted by grace, grace also keeps, teaches, protects and delivers us.

God’s amazing grace!