Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Golden Rule - Sowing and Reaping


Artwork used by permission from Abby of LittleBirdyBlessings
You've heard of the Golden Rule, right?

"Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you."

This directive came from Jesus as he summed up the whole of the Old Testament in one verse...

"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12

Do you want to be shown kindness? Be Kind.
Do you want people to forgive you? Forgive Others.
Do you want to be loved? Love.
Do you want to be helped? Lend a helping hand to those in need.

God has promised that what we sow, we will reap. A farmer does not sow corn and get wheat. No, he reaps a harvest of the very thing he planted. Likewise, you will reap a harvest of the things you plant in life.

So, as you go through this day, carefully plant those things which you hope to see enjoyed in your own life, for God always keeps his promises, but be patient. Even the farmer has to wait for the seeds to grow and mature before he can reap the harvest.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hush - be still!


Artwork used by permission from Erin of ArtbyErinLeigh
Usually, my morning devotions consist of some scripture reading, some journaling and end with prayer, but when I'm really in a dither, when what I really want to do is rant and insist that God give me some answers, I've learned that best thing to do is to just get quiet.

I turn on some soothing music, grab a cup of something warm and comforting and sink down into the cushy chair in my bedroom and just sit and soak up the peace of God. There is a peace that comes no other way than to spend time in His presence, asking nothing, saying nothing.

In this, I find a clarity and confidence in knowing that He is God, that He is with me and that He is in control.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Joyful - Patient - Faithful

Artwork used by permission from Jen at BettyandMaude

Joyful - Patient - Faithful...

three wonderful words. Words that we want to describe us, but when I look at what's between those words-at WHEN we are supposed to be joyful, patient and faithful, my face gets a little red.

I'm supposed to be joyful in hope. When I think about what it means to be "in hope," I realize that the only time we are in hope is when we don't have something we long for...when we're hoping that we get it or that our circumstances will change.  It's hard to be joyful when we are longing for things to be made right.

Likewise, being patient in affliction (pain & suffering).  What? I'm supposed to be patient when I'm in pain? When I'm suffering? Patient?  I just want it over as soon as possible!

And finally, faithful in prayer.  I pray. A lot. But my prayers do tend to slack off when everything is going well or when I've prayed about something several times and not received an answer yet.

Looks like the Lord and I have some more work to do on me!

It's a really good thing that HE is 
Joyful, Patient & Faithful!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Trusting God in the Midst of the Pain

Artwork used by permission from Karla Dornacher
"She blossomed, not despite her pain, but because she chose to trust God in the midst of it." So often all we want is for God to deliver us out of our struggle and make the pain go away but, more often than not, God wants us to trust Him enough to let Him raise us up and cause us to grow... and even blossom... in the midst of our most painful circumstances.
by Karla Dornacher

You can visit Karla on her website or connect with her on her blog.

*Note from Jan - I love Karla's work. It's bright and beautiful and glorifies the Lord. I saw this piece and knew I wanted to feature it on my blog. Karla has given me permission to do so. I usually write a devotional based on the artwork I feature, but what Karla wrote about this piece was so perfect, I just had to use it instead.

Finally, Daddy's Little Girl


photo used by permission from Abby at LittleBirdieBlessings


What little girl hasn't dreamed of being her Daddy's little princess? I know I did. Unfortunately, that didn't work out so well.  I'm the only girl in a family with 5 boys.  You would have thought I would have been spoiled rotten, but that wasn't the case.

My Dad and I didn't really have a close relationship as I grew up. I don't think that was on purpose. I just think that he really didn't know how to relate to a girl child, so I wasn't Daddy's little girl, but when he was nearing the end of his life, I had the privilege of caring for him through his year long battle with cancer.  We had fun. We got close.

The best memory I have of my Dad came toward the end of that year. The living room was full friends and family. Dad sat in his favorite chair. Everyone else had a seat on the sofa or loveseat. There were no seats left, so I took a seat on the floor next to Dad's chair. One friend played the guitar while we all sang hymns together. At one point my Dad reached out and twirled a lock of my hair round and round in his fingers. Something most fathers do at some point in their little girl's life, but mine never had...until then. It was at that moment that I finally became Daddy's little girl - at 51 years of age.

For those of you who don't have a close relationship with your natural father, take heart. During those years when I longed for a close relationship with my Dad, God was my perfect Father. He filled my heart with love and acceptance. He wrapped his arms around me when I was hurting, picked me up when I fell and protected me from those who tried to harm me. He provided all I needed and lavished me with blessings untold.

My Dad is gone, now, but I'm still Daddy's little girl, because my Heavenly Father is with me always and He has made me his child - his precious daughter.

Thank you, Father!

 And, "I will be a Father to you, 
and you will be my sons and daughters, 
says the Lord Almighty." 
2 Corinthians 6:18

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Why would I wait till I die?




I've recently started listening to Air1 radio and though most of the songs are more hard rock than I like, some of them have awesome lyrics. Like the one I heard tonight by Switchfoot. Here is the verse that grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and jerked me to attention...


Why would I wait till I die
to come alive.
I'm ready now.
I'm not waiting for the afterlife.
(Afterlife-Switchfoot)

Seriously - why would we wait to come alive? To live a vibrant, dynamic, life here and now?  We have the blood of Jesus Christ flowing through our veins. We have the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling inside us. We serve the Almighty Creator of the Universe...here...now.  Why are we just counting the minutes until we step into Heaven to really start living?

Another line in that Switchfoot song says:

I've tasted fire I'm ready to come alive.

You know it's burning. The flame may be but a flicker deep within, an ember, barely glowing, but it's there. If you've let it grow dim or if the world has thrown enough water on you to nearly put it out, it's time to fan that flame into a roaring inferno and let it burn brightly for Him. Light up the darkness. Rescue people from the clutches of Satan. Refuse to allow him to drag your friends and family toward the gates of Hell.

Don't wait till Heaven. Make your mark, now!

And when you finally do cross over into the afterlife, be the reason many of your friends will be there.

Another good song - this one by Unspoken says...

Start a fire in my soul
Fan the flame and make it grow
So there’s no doubt or denying
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see
That it’s You, that it’s You that we need
Start a fire in me

If you feel cold, like your fire's gone out, pray the words to that song. Ask God to start or restart that fire in your. To fan the flames until it's burning so brightly that there is no doubt left, that there's no denying that it's God burning inside you.


-----------------------------------------
photo credit: part of this photo was courtesy of Chaiwat/FreeDigitalPhotos.net and part from stephenbayer/Pixabay.com


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Do You Aim to Please?

Scripture Art used by permission from RandysDesign
We all want approval. For some of us, striving for approval takes a wrong turn.

My Dad was hard to please. He had strict rules that carried dire consequences if not followed, however, he didn't always let you know what those rules were before you broke them. At any given moment, you might find yourself on the hurtin' side of a backhand or belt, wondering what you'd done. Sometimes he'd tell you and sometimes you were left to figure it out for yourself. A lot of that depended on how long he'd stayed at the bar after work.

Don't get me wrong. I love my Dad. He's passed on, now, but before he died, he had changed. He pretty much stopped drinking and stopped being mean, but the residual effects of growing up that way left me with a strong desire to anticipate the moods and needs of others so that I could adjust my behavior and choose my words carefully in order to please them. This was especially true of male employers. I'd totally stress myself out trying to make sure they were happy with my work and at the same time worry myself sick that they weren't. This "aim to please" spilled over into my personal relationships with men, too, but I'm not going to go into details about that.

Unfortunately, this also affected my relationship with God. I've spent the better part of 35+ years trying to please God and at the same time, telling myself that I don't have to earn God's approval. He loves me just the way I am.  I am just now, at 62 years old, beginning to understand that God is pleased with me, not because of what I do or don't do, but because I have given Him my whole heart. He's pleased that I love His Son, Jesus Christ and that I have surrendered my heart and life to Him. He's pleased that I love His people - all His people, not just Believers, not just good people, but those people that are hard to love, because it's not my love that flows through me to them, it's His love. I am just a conduit.

What a joy it is to know that one day I will stand before the Lord and hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."  Not because I've earned His approval, but because His incredible love made a way for me to be His beloved daughter.

Parents, let's make sure that our behavior doesn't set our children up for unhealthy relationships in their future. Most especially, their relationship with God.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

He Orders Our Steps

Artwork used by permission from Erin of ArtByErinLeigh

A couple of weeks ago, I met Cathy. She was new to our church. We struck up a conversation on the patio and talked for about 30 minutes. The very next Sunday I was chatting with someone in the lobby, when I saw Cathy slide down the wall onto the floor. I rushed to her side to see what was wrong. She was pale and shaking and sweating. I prayed with her immediately and asked what I could do to help. She said she just needed to get home. After a few minutes we decided that I would drive her home in her car while my husband followed in our car to help me get her into her house. (She also had a badly swollen ankle and could barely walk on it.) Turns out her blood sugar was very low.

As we drove home later, I marveled at how God had orchestrated the whole thing. Had I not met her the week before that and spent a little time getting to know her, I doubt that she would have felt comfortable allowing a stranger drive her car, practically carry her into her home and help her get settled on the sofa.  But God knew. He knew that Cathy was going to need help, so he orchestrated our introduction ahead of time so that I immediately recognized her and she felt comfortable with me.

Has anything like that ever happened to you? Have your found yourself in exactly the right place at the right time in order to help someone?

That's what happened to Queen Esther. God placed her in the right place at the right time to prevent an evil man with an evil plan from succeeding.

This is nothing new. God does it all the time. What we see as a coincidence or providence is really Psalm 37:23 in action.

 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord...
As you go through your day, keep your eyes open for divine appointments. God will bring people in and out of your day for a purpose. You may be there to help them, share the love of Christ with them...or they may be there to help YOU!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Throw Open the Doors

Photo from Pixabay

After long winters in Ohio, we loved it when spring finally came around. Mama would throw open every window and door and exclaim, "Let's get some of this stink blown off." Fresh breezes would blow through the house as we gave the house a thorough cleanin' with Lysol and elbow grease.

Sometimes we have to do the same thing with our minds. We keep negative toughts shut up inside us for so long that our outlook begins to stink to high heaven! Old patterns of thinking, ancient hurts that still sting, and unconfessed sins make for a really murky spirit.

Let's do what Mama did - let's throw open the heavy, old creaky door of our minds & hearts and invite the King of glory may come in and sweep clean the cobwebs of the past and fill us with light and life and love.

How about it? Are you ready to throw open the doors and get some of the stink blown off?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Heart of God Beats On

Artwork used by permission from Cheri of AlteredIris

I was listening to a song by Chuck Girard this morning on my way to my weekly blogging group. A particular phrase jumped out and lodged itself deep in my spirit...

"Inside my breast
Your heart beats on...and on
And I realize that it's Your very Life
Within me"

(from He is the Lord Your God-Voice of the Wind CD)
It's true...
The heart of Jesus beats on in the breast of every Believer!
When we hug a friend, encourage the downcast, feed the hungry, pray for those who are struggling. When we love the unlovely and forgive those who hurt us.
When we share the story of forgiveness and salvation with the lost.

We are allowing the Spirit of Christ live through us.

What an amazing thought - REALITY!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Unleash Your Joy

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music…
Psalm 98:4

 
Did you ever have one of those days when you wondered where your joy went? It usually happens when you’re tired, overloaded and stressed. All it takes is for one more appliance to break down, one more child to wake up with a fever, one more overdrawn check or one more report of a friend who just got a bad report from the doctor.

Joy seeps out a little at a time, while we’re busy looking at the circumstances around us instead of keeping our eyes focused on the One who holds us in the palm of His hand.

The good news is that if you’re a Child of God, joy is never really gone, it’s just being suppressed. What we need to do is stir it up! How? Put on some music. Lively music. Start singing. Start dancing. Start shouting the praises of our God.

Yes, people will think you’re strange, so you might want to do this at home. Your family still might think you’ve lost your mind, but that’s okay. They might just join you in that dance and you can stir up JOY for your whole family.

So, Unleash Your Joy
Break forth in joyous song
and have fun!

I Want to Be Like Her

Artwork used by permission from Jen at BettyandMaude

True confession time – I used to hate that Proverbs 31 chick.  I mean, honestly – who can measure up to her?

A friend and I were discussing this lady of perfection one day. As I expressed my dislike for this unattainable ideal, my friend said that she had once had a conversation with her father, who is a Pastor about the Proverbs 31 lady. She pointed out to her father that the only way that woman was able to accomplish all that she did was because she had MAIDS!

Her Dad laughed and explained that this passage of scripture is a list of all the things that a virtuous woman might do, not a check list of all the things we must to do in order to be a good woman.

I love the focus verse of the artwork above…

She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
Proverbs 31:25

This doesn’t sound like a woman stressed out with all she has to do. It sounds like someone who has learned to walk with lightness in her steps, knowing that they are ordered by the Lord. Someone who doesn’t fret about what’s coming tomorrow, because she has learned to trust that whatever may come, God is with her and will strengthen her for the journey. She sounds like a gal that is comfortable in her own skin and in her relationship with God.

She sounds like someone I want to be!

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Be a Difference Maker

Artwork used by permission from Melissa Fleming of
MelissaFlemingDesigns


Every Wednesday I meet with three of my friends at our local coffee shop/bookstore. Two of us are writers/bloggers, one creates amazing scripture prints, greeting cards and quilt patterns and one is an avid reader and the sweetheart of the group. We bring our laptops and Kindles and have a great time together under the guise of getting some work done. ;-)

I was listening to Air1 radio and caught a snippet of a song that grabbed my attention “He looks down at his hands and he says, “I am a difference maker.”

When I got to the coffee shop, I noticed a display in the store. They were raising money to buy sewing machines for Gospel for Asia to distribute, enabling women to own their own business and support themselves. (Read more about this program. or watch a video about a woman who received a sewing machine and is now able to support herself and her daughter.) Our little group pitched in and donated to this worthy cause. Did we obliterate poverty in Asia? No, but we did make a difference to one person or perhaps one family in Asia, who can now start their own tailoring business.

Are you a Difference Maker?

God says we are overcomers (1 John 5:4-5) and more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). When we see an injustice, a need, an atrocity, we have the power to step out and do something – to make a difference. Perhaps the issue is so overwhelming that we feel helpless to change it – human trafficking, extreme poverty, world hunger, devastating disease…and the list goes on and on. We may not be able to obliterate these horrors, but we can make a difference. We can reach out to just one person who is suffering – one human being who is caught up in the devastation – one soul who longs for someone to come along side them and show them the way out.

You can be that one person. You can be a Difference Maker.

You have nothing to fear.
God is FOR you.
You are a child of the One True King.
He loves you with an Everlasting Love.
You can PRESS ON & have HOPE because
GOD IS FAITHFUL

Is there someone that God has been speaking to you about? Someone you can help?

Is there an issue that is a burden on your heart? Ask God how you can help to change it.

You can be sure that when God he calls you to do something, he will also equip you for the job.

Now, look down at your own two hands and say, “I am a Difference Maker.”

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The Secret to Great Friendships

Artwork by Jan Christiansen
 
Our pastor began a new sermon series this morning, titled FRIENDS. During the course of the message, he had us pause and fill in 5 spaces on our sermon notes with the names of our 5 closest friends. I  filled in all the lines, but more names came to mind, so I quickly jotted 6 more names in the margin…and I could have written more! In that moment I realized just how very blessed I am to have good friends who love, support and encourage me.

A few years ago, that was not the case. In fact, I remember sitting in my pastor’s office in tears because I had no close friends. What has changed?  Me – that’s what has changed. In the past couple of years I’ve been up to my elbows in ministry. God has shown me what it really means to reach out to others and serve them, to help them succeed, to cheer them on in the good times and pray them through the hard times. I’ve learned that while laying aside my own concerns to encourage others, God has helped me build relationships that fulfill my own need for love and support.  It really is true – if you want to have a friend, you must be a friend.

I’ve also learned that the kind of friends you choose determines the kind of person you become. Birds of a feather DO flock together. We do become like those we hang around with the most, so be wise in choosing your closest friends.

I love this verse in Romans…

When we get together, I want to encourage you
in your faith, but I also want to be
encouraged by yours.
Romans 1:12 (NLT)

This is what I want FROM my friends, so this is what I try to do FOR my friends.

Do you find yourself in a lonely season of life? Wish you had a few really good friends? Remember the law of sowing and reaping. You get what you give, so start now to reach out to others and be the kind of friend to them that you’d like to have for yourself. Before too long, you’ll find that you are reaping a bountiful harvest of friendship!

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Created to be Creative

Artwork by Jan Christiansen

I’ve been enjoying the work of our Mixed-Media Artists so much that I thought I’d give it a try…except I did mine on the computer. I had so much fun splashing on colors and patterns that I think I’ll enjoying doing more pieces in the near future.  It’s always fun to create something with your own hands – to let your mind and spirit free to play, to design, to imagine.

I’m am continually amazed at the world God created – the variety of flowers, their colors, shapes, fragrances. The many different kinds of trees and landscapes. I love the beach and the mountains, the forests, the desert and meadows. I’m intrigued by the weird creepy-crawly insects and different kinds of fish. The animal world is fun and wild and mind-blowing…and then there’s mankind.

What a wonderfully creative God we have!  And just think – we have been created in His image, which means we have this same gift of creativity at work in us. That’s evident by the arts – music, writing, drawing, painting, dance, invention, etc.

I think one of the greatest things we can do is to encourage our children to exercise their creativity and to display their work proudly.

Wouldn’t it be fun if God had a big refrigerator in heaven and lots of magnets to put the artwork of his children on display?

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness,
so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky,
over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures
that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;… 
Genesis 1:26-27

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Jesus and Coffee

Scripture Art used by permission from Erin of ArtByErinLeigh

 I confess. I am not a morning person. When I wake up, I want silence and coffee. I want to ease into the day and when I’m ready, I’ll be civil. Of course, life and the people in my life do not play nice. They want me to pop out of bed, bright eyed and…well, you know.  On weekdays my husband goes to work before I wake up, so my mornings are sweet. A quiet house, a hot cup of coffee, my favorite chair and Jesus. There is no better way to start the day!

Those precious moments when I’m curled up in my quiet spot, reading my Bible, praying, listening to soft worship music playing in the background…those are the moments that strengthen me to face whatever the day might throw at me. It’s in those quiet times that I hear Jesus speak to my heart, sense the Holy Spirit leading me, feel the Father’s love wash over me.

If you don’t have a quiet time in the morning, let me encourage you to begin.  Your days will be brighter for having started it with Jesus…and coffee.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Psalm 90:14

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Think Before You Speak

Scripture art used by permission from Abby of LittleBirdieBlessings

Don’t you wish that sometimes God would just clamp his hand over your mouth?  Or at least put a 10 second delay on the time a thought enters your head until it comes out your mouth?

The other day at work I entered the break room several times. Each time our hardworking maintenance man was there, drinking a large glass of iced tea. His face was red and you could tell he was hot from working outside. He was taking a much needed break. The last time I walked in and he was there I said, “Every time I come in here, you’re sitting here drinking iced tea.’

In my head, that translated to , “I seldom see you in the break room, so it’s unusual to see you every time I’ve walked in today.” Sort of like saying , “We gotta stop meeting like this.”  Unfortunately the look in his eye and expression on his face let me know very quickly that how I meant it and how he took it were two entirely different things!

I tried in vain to explain what I meant, but I’m afraid I just kept making it worse.  If I had just taken an instant to think about how to say what I wanted to say I’m sure he would be giving me more than a cursory nod each time our paths cross, now.

I’m hoping this is a lesson well learned and that I’ll think before I speak in the future, but I still wish God would clamp his hand over my mouth when He sees I’m about to blurt out something that might be taken the wrong way.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,
but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs,
that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

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Looking for Direction?

Scripture art used by permission from Cheri Johnson of AlteredIris

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
 
My husband has undergone two major surgeries in the past 2 years. I don’t have to tell you, with the state of insurance policies these days, we were facing some pretty hefty co-pays.  I’ve been retired from the outside work force for several years, but the mounting medical bills were forcing me to wonder whether I should go back to work to help pay them off. Job hunting was not something I was looking forward to. If I was going to go back to work, I preferred a job I would love doing, one with hours that work with my part-time work-from-home job. One that would pay well and still give me the freedom to meet with my blogging group once a week and time to write. Not asking much, right?

The prospects of finding that kind of job seemed dim, so I did what any self-respecting Christian would do – I prayed.  Although I know God can do anything, I have to confess, I had doubts about Him providing that perfect job. Good thing that God knows I really do trust Him in spite of my doubts!

A few weeks after I began praying about a new job, a friend (who didn’t know I was looking for a job) emailed me and asked if I would be interested in working as an administrative assistant to the Arizona Director of Women’s Ministry in our district office.  That sounded like a job that would be perfect for me, but I held off on the excitement until I could interview with the Director – someone I had not met.

Too make a long story short…(is it too late for that?)…I got the job! It was just the amount of hours I was looking for, my work days were flexible, it paid well and my new “boss” is a wonderfully sweet woman.

Does God direct our paths when we acknowledge Him and seek His will? You bet He does – in the best way possible!
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For the Beloved Worrier

Scripture Art used by permission RandysDesign

 Worry – I come from a long line of worriers and my Mom is the Queen Worrier of them all. She recently called me from Ohio because she saw on the news that there was a bad wild fire burning about an hour north of where we live. She was distressed, to say the very least. She wondered if we were in danger, expressed deep concern for those in the fire’s path, for the landscape in the area and finally, she wondered if this fire and the other wild fires she’d been hearing about on the news, signaled the end of the world because the Bible says that the earth will be destroyed by fire (2 Peter 3:10).

I tried to calm her fears and ease her distress, but worry is an on-going problem for her and so many others. I don’t think I inherited that worry gene – thank God!  I don’t understand the Worrier or the worry. All it does is upset you, stress you out and steal the contentment and joy that Jesus came to give us. Often the worry is mere speculation about future events that may never take place. It’s imagined catastrophe. Even if the source of worry is very real, what’s the point of worrying? Worry doesn’t change anything.

Dear Worrier, if you really want to change bad circumstances…if you want to see God do amazing things for those caught up in those circumstances…if you want to prevent your imagined fears from coming true, go to the One who can change things – the Almighty God, who created all things and holds them together will hear your prayer and reassure your heart that He’s in control.

“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.”   Psalm 56:3 (NASB)
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Why Mess with Perfection?

Scripture Art used by permission – BettyandMaude
 
I seldom wear makeup because I’m allergic to most cosmetics.
One time my employer asked why I don’t wear makeup and I popped off with, “I figure, why mess with perfection!”
I was joking, of course, but as I was driving home today I heard a song on the radio assuring girls and women that they are beautiful just as they are – to which I say a hardy Amen!

God says we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
(Psalm 139:14)
He says we were made in his image.

(Genesis 1:27)

While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with enhancing our appearance, no one should ever be made to feel that they are unattractive just as they are. Perhaps if we valued ourselves exactly as God created us there would be less depression, starvation diets and low self-esteem.  We could start by thanking the Father for the incredibly intricate body he’s given us. A body that’s able to heal itself when wounded, for skin that’s able to stretch and cover us whether we’re 2 foot tall or 6 foot tall, for lungs that take in oxygen and deliver it through an intricate web of arteries and veins to wherever it’s needed. For a digestive system that’s able to take in food and convert it into energy.

We could thank him for giving us emotions so that we could experience joy and excitement, pleasure and peace. Yes, we also experience sorrow and disappointment, anger and jealousy, but then, so did Jesus.

We could thank him for our minds, which store unbelievable amounts of information throughout the entire span of our lives. Minds that are capable of solving life’s most intricate problems, inventing life-enhancing, life-saving devices and cures for devastating diseases.

We could thank him for a spirit, like his spirit, that reaches out for him even before we are aware of our need for him – an innate longing for a relationship with our Creator. Oh, there are so many wonderful things about the way each of us were created, that we could thank him forever. Instead, we spend way too much time whining about trivial things like our hair, our height, our too thin lips or too full backside.

So, tomorrow morning when you look yourself in the mirror, before you put on your makeup and do your hair, take just a moment to say, “Lord, I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I have been created in your image.”

UPDATE 7/12/14 - I just saw this video on that totally underscores the idea of being happy with the way God made you rather than chasing after some cultural "norm" which in reality is not normal at all. Girl, you are beautiful just the way God made you!


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Turn on the Light

Scripture Art used by permission – MelissaFlemingDesign

I turned off the television and the lamp, then made my way through the dark house, confident that I could make it to the bedroom without turning on the lights. Why not? I’ve made that trip every night for nearly 15 years. It was a straight shot through the living room, then the family room and down the hall to my bedroom. No furniture in the way, easy peasy – except that I hadn’t counted on someone leaving the closet door in the open.  I’m happy to tell you that I didn’t stub my toe, but I did stub my head! Go ahead, laugh, but that goose-egg on my forehead was a powerful lesson…

No matter how much confidence I have
in my ability to navigate a dark house,
wisdom dictates that I turn on a light!

It’s the same as trying to make my way through this sin-darkened world without having the good sense to illuminate my path with the light-giving Word of God. Reading the Bible helps us to develop wisdom, discernment and insight. Without it we are just wandering in the dark, making wrong turns, running into obstacles. Please, have the good sense to take a few minutes every day to shed some light onto your path. Read your Bible and save yourself a headache!
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