Our children's pastor has filled in several times for our senior pastor (vacation, etc.) and one sermon I remember pretty well is where he told "big church" how he explains the difference between mercy and grace to the children. It basically boiled down to mercy is NOT getting something that you DO deserve (punishment for doing something wrong) and grace is GETTING something that you DON'T deserve (forgiveness for our sins).
That definition has stuck with me for years because God gives us BOTH. His mercies are renewed every day. Can you imagine the control it takes to not look down on this earth and just wipe out humanity? How bad must people have been in Noah's time and how much further must we go before we reach that level? How mind-boggling is that we haven't reached the end of God's rope yet?
So - today, I write with Iris. I am just so thankful for God's grace and mercy. I am also grateful that Jesus accepts me as His Bride. He loves me so much that I am not left "just" a bridesmaid. It is humbling and startling so because the world tells you humility is a bad thing but that is a warped, wrong impression. It is so overwhelming that I can't even sit and type without tears in my eyes. It is beauty indescribable and I thank the God who created such beauty because I know no human could have come up with it.
Have a gloriously blessed Thursday!