File

File

Minister’s Message: Trophies of grace on display

The greatest “trophy” my life can live out, is to be a testimony of God’s grace working to bless Him and other

By Frank Alioto

Trophies — You can find them anywhere.

Many are on display to remember the “good ‘ol days” of being on top of your game and at your best. As a young child I wanted a trophy. The problem was I needed to participate in a competition or team sport to even have the chance to earn a trophy.

Up to this time in my life I did not have any opportunities with these two options. Then in second grade I had my chance! At my school we were having an event to either earn a prize or trophy. As things turned out it was a fundraiser jog-a-thon and we all would get a trophy if we participated and turned in the donations.

I did get that “participation trophy” even though I didn’t win anything. Not the triumph I was seeking, but it was a trophy and it was mine. I remember bringing it home, showing the family and putting it out on center display in my room.

In the Bible we read of God’s love for His creation as he purposed humanity to be in relationship with Him and to have the choice to enter into that relationship and follow Him. Paul, inspired by God, wrote a letter to the churches in Ephesus encouraging them to not live in their old ways of serving themselves, but instead to see themselves the way God sees them.

He writes, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2:4-6).

Paul also reminds those in Christ to remember they are saved not because of the good things or works they do, but because of God’s grace through faith in Him. (Ephesians 2:7-9). God’s gift of grace for humanity is available because Jesus died, was buried and resurrected.

So for those who believe and follow Jesus, they are now on display as God’s trophies of grace. We do not deserve it nor can earn it, but God gives it freely and chooses to present his followers to the whole world as instruments of this grace.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

The word “handiwork” can be translated as masterpiece, work of art, workmanship, creation or product of His hand. As followers it is “who we are” or our identity. God fashioned each of us to be a specific, unique trophy of His grace, thought up before time started to do good things for His glory.

Growing up I did have more opportunities to compete and earn a trophy, but the greatest “trophy” my life can live out, is to be a testimony of God’s grace working to bless Him and other. No two trophies are the same, but all those in Christ were made for this. The question then becomes, “As you are a “trophy” who will you be on display for?”

Pastor Frank Alioto serves as a chaplain in our community and pastors Roots Family Church in Soldotna.

More in Life

A still from “Casting Maya,” a film about Ascension Bay on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico is seen in this screenshot. From Pure Films, the short will be one of nine shown at the International Fly Fishing Film Festival on Aug. 10 in Kenai, Alaska. (IF4/flyfilmfest.com)
Anglers’ night out

Annual International Fly Fishing Film Festival returns to Kenai

Candy pecans make a sweet snack to enjoy on excursions. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Road trip reimagined

Candied pecans accompany more subdued wandering

Robert C. Lewis photo courtesy of the Alaska Digital Archives 
Ready to go fishing, a pair of guests pose in front of the Russian River Rendezvous in the early 1940s.
The Disappearing Lodge, Part 1

By the spring of 1931, a new two-story log building — the lodge’s third iteration — stood on the old site, ready for business

Viola Davis stars in “The Woman King.” (Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.)
On the screen: Women reign in latest action flick

‘The Woman King’ is a standout that breaks new ground

Artwork donated for the Harvest Auction hangs at the Kenai Art Center on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Auction, juried show to showcase local talent

Kenai Art Center will host its annual Harvest Auction this weekend, juried art show next month

Sweet and tart cranberry pecan oat bars are photographed. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Cranberries to match the bright colors of fall

Delicious cranberry pecan oat bars are sweet and tart

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Take a chance

The fact of the matter is, you can find a way to hurt yourself in just about any athletic endeavor.

Alaska Digital Archives
George W. Palmer (left), the namesake for the city in the Matanuska Valley and the creek near Hope, poses here with his family in 1898 in the Knik area. Palmer became a business partner of Bill Dawson in Kenai in the last years of Dawson’s life.
Bill Dawson: The Price of Success, Part 5

Thus ended the sometimes tumultuous Alaska tenure of William N. Dawson.

File
Minister’s Message: Plenty

The Bible story of Joseph in Egypt preparing the harvest in the seven years of plenty teaches us some vital lessons

A still from “Jazzfest.” (Photo provided)
DocFest could be the golden year of documentaries — again

Homer Documentary Film Festival returns for 18th year with solid mix

From left: Lacey Jane Brewster, Terri Zopf-Schoessler, Donna Shirnberg, Tracie Sanborn and Bill Taylor (center) rehearse “Menopause Made Me Do It” on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Applause for menopause

Kenai Performers’ new play takes aim at ‘not the most glorious part of womanhood’

Bulkogi Stew, a mixture of beef steak, potato starch noodles, green onions and broth, is enjoyed as part of the Korean harvest festival, Chuseok. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
A hearty stew to celebrate harvest and loved ones

Bulkogi Stew makes for a perfect drizzly Chuseok in Alaska