Thursday, December 31, 2009

Standing in the space between...

Standing in the space between the last grain that drops and the first one that falls....

I suppose that there's something about standing on the threshold in between two years that ignites the flash-backed memories of where you've recently been and what might yet lie ahead waiting for you. When the tolls sound to ring out the old and ring in the new, there's either some sort of automatic nostalgic want to hold onto things (memories that's past) that the old year held that it no longer holds... Or, an anticipated anxiety that anxiously awaits for some specific things (dreams and desires) hoped for in the new one that the old year never did bring about though you desperately wanted it to.

Many times there's a sigh of relief for the one that is closing, because the year held nothing more than bad memories.... And there's a refreshing relief for start-overs in a new year that hasn't yet had time to be marred by anything you've done or that's happened to you... Instead it offers a new chapter, a blank page, an erased picture, a new beginning, a fresh start, a clean slate, a magnified Do-Over... hope! And so you start it with a held breath and a wide-eyed hopeful wonder that has a trust that this year will surely be better than all of the others that's passed you.

As I stand between this door of time, I find myself both looking back at the old like we all do, and looking forward to the new one too.

Looking back over the year that's just ending, I find that I ran the full gamet of emotions for one reason or another. Some things I'd like to hold on to. Some things I'd like to let go of. Some things I'd like to improve on. Some things I'd like to begin. Some things I'd like to end. Some things I long for in my past. Some things I long for in my future. Some things I'm thankful for. Some things I regret. Some things I'm thrilled that I've weathered through. Some things I have hope for yet.......

I find that I like both the old years... and the new. And that I wouldn't want one over the other. Without one ~ I wouldn't be who I am. Without the other ~ I couldn''t become what I can.

I had originally elaborated on all sorts of things as I mulled over my 365 days that's recently passed... but then I felt myself too vulnerable, too naked, way too exposed. I suppose some things are meant to be shared, but some things are meant only for one's own memory.

It wasn't all perfect and I definitely didn't make all the right decisions... but I made more right ones this year than I did in some of the years before. I like surprises along the way, and we're all quaranteed some! Some we want. Some we don't. Some we wish we had, but didn't. Some we wish that didn't, but did. I got my share of those. Some were totally unexpected and fantastically fun. But even with the ones that weren't, we have a promise that I can't forget and it's that God "works EVERY-THING out for GOOD for those that love Him." Who can hang their heads for long with a promise promised to us like that?

Then, here's another interesting thought of a whole different matter. A friend of mine is out of town tonight as the countdown begins, she called me a few minutes ago. She was telling me where she was and what was going on and what they were doing. After she hung up I called her right back just to remind her that she was in her new year already, while I was still in my old one. I don't know why, I guess I get a thrill out of the weirdest of things. That seems awfully neat to me. And it served as a reminder to me too that we're all at different places in our times... even when still in the same one. I'm at a sweet place tonight at home while pondering back over the old years that have long gone and the new ones to come. I wonder where you are in yours?

I can say with no qualms at all about it, I had a very good year. And I am looking forward to all that awaits me in the year of 2010.

My hope for you is that you have a very good new year too!

God KNOWS the plans He has for us (Jer 29:11)... My prayer for you is "that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may KNOW HIM better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you MAY KNOW THE HOPE TO WHICH HE HAS CALLED YOU, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe." (Eph 1:17-19a) For we dare don't want to waste our days nor miss our calling, our purpose, His plan in the time we've been given!

Go out and live as He's purposed for you in this new 2010! May it be one of our most effective years for Him ever!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Can you see me past my paint?

I was sent somewhere I'd never been and assigned to assist a girl I'd never met before on a new adventure that was like nothing I could relate to from any experiences I'd had in my past. I had been anxiously anticipating it for months. But as the day approached I worried that I might not be accepted. I was afraid that I might not be liked. I didn't know how the people I was going to would receive me. I was scared that they wouldn't. I wondered on the way. Truthfully I didn't just wonder, worry would be more like it.

Before meeting those I was being sent to, I met the girl for the very first time that I was being sent with. It never dawned on me that it would be her that might not accept me when we met. Yet I could tell, she wasn't impressed! She closed herself off before we'd barely gotten started. Nothing I said amused her. No joke was funny. No serious talk reeled her in. No light-heartedness could thaw the heart she had frozen. I was tolerated.... but obviously (VERY obviously) not very well liked!

Surprisingly those that I was on a mission to meet instantly liked me. We instantly bonded! I loved them all. And felt very loved in return. It was a grace of God that was tremendously appreciated! I thanked Him for it! Marveled with Him over it! Praised Him profusely! I couldn't thank Him enough.


Now I had concern for the one I was paired with, the one I'd be working with, the one that surely felt no choice in our coupling, the one that surely felt she was stuck with some alienating odd kind of artwork.

I came home and this is what I told Tim:

"She's a non-painter. And not all non-painters can stomach painters very well." For you see, I've been painted from head to toe. From the color of my hair to the tips of my toe nails... and everything and all that lies in-between! I bleach my hair, fake tan my skin, powder my face, blush my cheeks, tint my lips, color my lids, and every nail has been polished! Not that I had thought about it before then, but there's not a part of my body that seems to have escaped some kind of painting or coloring of some kind.

I must say that over the years I've had many odd and strange wonders. As you can tell I have recently inherited a new one, "Can she see me past my paint?" I wondered? Or would I have to strip myself down? Go naked? Unbleached? Un-makeup-ed up? Nailed down? Send everything back to its original color? And honestly, could I do that?????? Or was I too stuck to my paint to unpaint it?

It might never be your wonder. But like I said, it became a new wonder of mine. :)

Thankfully, I didn't have to. Before the second week was done, something had happened. She'd changed her attitude, changed her mind, and I could see the possibility of close friendship on its way to happening.

Seriously though, would I have given up all my colors if I'd needed to. After worrying about it and the division it might cause I thought that maybe I could. If only strictly for the hours it was needed. But being that I didn't have to, it didn't come down to that, I'll never know for sure until I'm presented again with the real actuality of truly having to do it.

Regardless. It's made me curious again at why we're so judgmental? So quick to erect walls? Why the painters don't understand the non-painters? Or the whites don't understand the blacks? Or the rich don't understand the poor? Or vice-versa? There's an unlimited list of prejudices. But we're all the same people inside. We all need the same things. We're all a bit insecure. We all want to be liked. All want to be loved. We've all been hurt. All been harmed. We all need a Savior. And we all have need of healing of some kind.

Perhaps I ought to wonder about myself and wonder why I feel such need to paint? What am I trying to cover? What do I feel I need to hide? Why don't I feel okay in the naturalist of how God made me, and in all the colors He chose for me?

Ridiculous people we are! It doesn't matter the size or the height or the width or the color or the accent we speak. It's simple. We all need Jesus! He's all that we're looking for! And the greatest part about it is that He'll take us as is! No matter the color. No matter the artwork. No matter where we've been or we hadn't! He plain out loves us anyway! And truly, HE sees us past our paint, our masks, our camoflauges... into our hearts, deep into our souls, and knows what we need even before we ask Him!

"Oh LORD, You have searched me
and You know me!
You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
You are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
You know it completely, O LORD.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain....
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to You;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness" [or possibly paint!] "is light to You.
For You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;...
My frame is not hidden from You
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in Your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of the sand..."
Ps 139

Basically, this is what I know... it's what I'm sure of,... it's this: "Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so...." Wow! I love that! Profound! But simple and total truth. He loves me in my paint. And He loves me without it! He'd love me stripped and all crazily poka-dotted! I'm totally blown away! And totally in love with the One that died and was risen because He first loved me!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Times keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking... into the future!

It's that time of year again that every year comes. One year on its verge of setting its sun. Another year just over the horizon begging to dawn. A familiar year rests its weary head. And one not known yet raises his. One races to sleep. The other anxious to wake. What will the new introduce us to? What joy will it sing? What sorrow will it bring? When it's done what will it be remembered for? What will be accomplished? What will stand out? What significant thing will happen to stay permanently fixed and embedded as its memorial? What will we do with the new time that's present-ed and given to us?

Okay. So back to the title: Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking... into the future. The words to the song is really, "Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping... into the future." Not those that I started with. Most of all of us know the words to the song, "Fly like an eagle, Let my spirit carry me. I want to fly like an eagle, Till I'm free. Oh, Lord, through the revolution." 

But, sadly, it's these words of the song that I didn't know:

"Feed the babies
Who don't have enough to eat.
Shoe the children
With no shoes on their feet.
House the people
Living in the street.
Oh, Oh, there's a solution."

Wow! It's those words that I like! And as time continues (its quick slipping by) it's the vision of those words that I want... that I more long to live by! Feeding those that are hungry. Shoeing those don't have any. Housing the homeless. Pouring love out and on those that don't know what and Who Love really is, because they haven't met Him, don't know Him, have never actually seen nor been touched by Him.

In other words, I don't want to waste this year. I don't want it lived in vain. I don't want to throw it away. I don't want it to end having nothing to show for it. I don't want to live it living only for self!

Tim and I went to a movie the other day. We went to see The Blind Side. It was incredible!!! I'd heard it was good. Could tell it was by the trailer. But wow, it had the crowd leaving wanting to do something to make a difference in hopes to change the life of someone. I left telling Tim (actually, I warned him before the movie began) that perhaps this movie is going to cost us a whole lot more than just the price of the ticket to get in to see it. It's one that hopefully will cost us a lot more! I hope it prompts us to think more of other people. I want to SEE them! I don't want to be one that always passes them by! I want to live intentionally trying to make a difference to somebody else somewhere. Not totally self-consumed and thinking only of me and my circle. It's what I want to do! It's how I want to live! And may God remind me every time I forget... because it's sure easy to get caught up in your own life and not give thought about anybody else's. Not that we necessarily mean to, it's just that life has a ways of keeping our every minute busy. And on our rare off moments, we just want to sit and chill.

I can't change my yesterdays, but I can use them. I can learn from them. I can help someone because of where I've been. And goodness knows, I can work toward changing my future. But even more than that, I can work toward changing the future of as many somebody else's that God strategically and purposefully puts in my path! If I truly want to. If I take the time to. If I'm willing to pay the price that needs paying. If I'll follow Jesus' lead and lay my life down for the life of someone else's.

Somewhere there's a baby that's hungry, a child with no shoes, a person with no place to lay safe in their bed. There are orphans with no families, people stuck in their prisons, and multitudes that are seeking, but don't know it's Jesus they're looking for. What are we waiting on? If not me? If not you? Then who will reach out? Who will go? Who will tell them? Who will give them hope?

Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking..... Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future. Go! Hurry! Someone's waiting on you and life is short, we don't have much more time left! Let's try hard not to waste the time that we're given and the purpose we are still left here for!

Boy, that was quick!


Always a favorite time of my year!

I know a lot of people that hate the whole season. It's a sad time for them. One that they'd rather do without. That grieves my spirit. I wish I could change it.

I love it though. I love everything about it. The giving is fun. The getting is too. But it's the family that I always love the most. Remembering the gift that our Father has given us. The Savior of His son!

Our Christmas was wonderful! The one we had at home, and the one at my parents. There are so many of us. And so many children. We had more food than we could possibly eat. And then sat and told stories and played games and laughed until the day was done and we had to go home. We are so mightily blessed! It couldn't have been more perfect. It came fast.... then flew quickly past! It's like water, something you wish you could hold in your hand, but drips right through because you can't stay it. That's okay. Perhaps that is part of its attraction? Part of its mystery? Part of why we're so enarmored with it? And maybe it's why that it's so fabulous, there's not much time to mess it up?

We've had loads of extra kids and lots of extra noise, and a house littered with their leftovers to prove it. It's been such fun! I'd rather have them here though than anywhere else. It's easier on the wonder (as in: The wonder of what? and the wonder of where? and then, the later wonder of why they got into and did whatever it is that they did when they've done something they shouldn't?).  ;-)

I've got a good husband, and the best three kids in the world! God is Good! And He's faithful! Whatever would we have done without the gift that He gave in the salvation of His Son?! I want to learn more about Him, to know Him more, to love Him more, and to become more like Him! He's the best thing that's ever happened for any of us!

I feel full! Not from the things I ate (though I did eat too much), nor the things that I got (because I've gotten so much), but because I've been so abundantly blessed by my Lord! My cup overflows! We have a family that loves Him.... that isn't perfect, but seeks to serve Him. Jesus once came to this earth fleshed in human skin, and I see Him again all over in the skins of those of my kin!

"Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, Who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." - John 1:12-14

Wow! DO WE KNOW how blessed we are???

Monday, December 28, 2009

A computer crashing's silence

Well, my computer died. Could you guess by my silence? I'm using a computer that isn't mine, doesn't have my stuff on it, seems cold, feels like a stranger. I've been getting on every once in a while only to check my email. More than that doesn't seem right. As if my thoughts refuse to be typed on the keyboard of unfamiliar. It's crazy. But so. Even responding to emails takes more effort than it ought to. My husband seemed hurt yesterday asking me, "Why don't you want to use my computer?" It's sweet that he offers. How can I tell him my thinking won't work? my fingers won't cooperate? without my own laptop, my brain's frozen and rebels from even trying. Perhaps I'm just weird and shouldn't have typed it here to record it? :)

Maybe I'll type later?

Mostly, I can't wait to get my computer back!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What is it you're Seek-ing?

A friend sent me an email. One that I'm sure many of you have seen about America fervently needing to turn our faces to God and pray for our nation. Mostly because of our steady move away from God's principles and His commands. The email cries out, "America, prayer is our only hope!." The inspiring verse used to encourage us is 2 Chronicles 7:14 which says, "If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

Wow, a powerful truth! IF ONLY we could see the magnitude of it! God not only wants us on our knees humbly bowed to Him, but also us seeking forgiveness for our lack of urgency, for our failed sincerity, for our busyness, for our distractions and our loss of focus, for the idols we've erected and now worship and serve, for the gods we've made, and for our rebellion to sin simply because our flesh wants us to.

While we stood singing in church on Sunday morning about seeking God's face, I wondered if we truly are seeking His face for real? Or rather, instead, if most of us are just really seeking our own (without our consciously being aware of it)? Seeking recognition? Seeking acceptance? Seeking justification? Seeking significance? Seeking accolades? Seeking promotion? Seeking satisfaction? Seeking comfort? Seeking my wants? Seeking someone to notice me... seeking someone to see me, so that I'll know that I matter somehow, so that I'll feel that I'm special, so that I won't feel so alone? Do we seek Him really? Or rather seek what He can give me? what He can do? how He can help? I don't know. I don't know why I wondered. It's just a thought that while singing popped into my head.

I've thought a lot about "seeking" since then. We're seekers at heart, whether we know it or not. We seek what we want. We seek to fill. We seek finding our face on another's (Am I on anyone's mind? Is anybody thinking of me? Do I count to anyone?).

Some seek revenge. Some seek to find refuge. Some seek the face of their enemies... watching everything they do, magnifying their wrongs, slandering their sins, showing their faces to others after we've painted them ugly and mean. We'll seek a kind word. A pat on the back. Someone to take our side. We'll seek healing, or something to soothe the pain that's hurting within. We seek money to pay our bills; and before they're fully paid, seek another something else to buy that we can't really afford. We seek for the next product that'll make us look prettier, or thinner, or tanner, or younger. We seek just the right food to satiate our palette, but we often leave feeling overstuff and hate ourselves after we've eaten. We seek love..... and once married often we fight against the very one that we've chosen. We seek! We seek! We seek! But what is it that we're looking for? And where is it that we're honestly looking?

I don't think we mean to get distracted, and I think we are rarely aware that we've actually been distracted when we have been. And I'm thoroughly convinced that we're often guilty of thinking we're seeking God, when it's not really Him at all that we've been seeking. It hasn't dawned on me before now, that often when we call ourselves "seeking" God in prayer, that we're really just seeking Him to do something for us, to bless our latest endeavor, to help us in our needs, to give us what we want. That's not truly seeking Him. That's seeking Him to do what we want, praying for Him to provide, praying for our wishes not His will. There's a difference. We are so easily deceived!

We'll sing songs about seeking God, seeking His face, seeking His presence. But then, do we? Really? Are we? Do we even find the time or feel compelled to bother to look at all for Him in His Book?

That "seek" word really just stood out to me this week. I've not been able to get it out of my head. I honestly just really want to be genuine, a serious seeker, one that truly seeks only my Savior. One that doesn't just seek Him in all of my day around me, but actually opens His Word to find Him there and see what He has to say in order to guide me, lead me, change me, transform me, renew me, restore me, redeem me, and refuel me.

What am I seeking?

Where am I seeking?

And in seeking my Savior, how often to I bother to seek Him in the book that He's written?

Oh, we're all seeking. We're all searching. What is it that you're looking for?

royalty... dressed in disguise

Tennessee was wonderful! The whole three days of being gone, I felt as if I had been on the mountaintop - called to be there alone with God. And as I told Tim when I got home, as the miles flew by it seemed even that the nose of my vehicle was kept pointed in a downward position at my downward decline. I felt like I was descending from the heavenlies. And with my descent in my fast fury, I felt as if I could actually see my heavenly apparel being ripped and pulled off by the wind, as I again was sentenced (perhaps wrong word?) to don my earthly garments. I literally cried when I left. And I told God before I did through the whisper of my voice and the shake of my head, "I don't wanna go!" And I felt He said to me that there's work to be done on the battlefield that can't be accomplished here. "But just one more day, Lord?" I asked. To which He replied, "Tomorrow will be no easier. You'll go today." “Yes Lord, I'll go today then." But I soooo wanted to stay!

So with my return, the vision I had over the miles was as if I could actually see the fast motion of me returning back here... to this earthly soiled sod from my mountainous ascent. Being re-clothed for the country that I was being sent back to. Warned on the way that it's a battle, a war is to be fought, a victory to be won. Sent back to sacrifice my life too, as Christ did His, so that others could be saved. Freedom had set me free, and now Freedom sent me to set more captives free.

It was the weirdest ‘seeing’ that I felt privileged to see. It was as if I could actually hear the wind's rush and the wind's sound - Whhhhhhh! Whhhhhhh! Whhhhhhhhhh! --- there goes the tiara, there goes the robe, there goes the glass slippers, there goes piece by piece the royal attire. And with my disrobing I felt as if someone were next to me hollering: "Here, put these on," in a hurried yell. And thrusting my earthly clothes at me (my warrior robes opposed to my royal ones - because I was leaving the heavenlies to head into battle) I had to put them on! For it's here on earthly soil where Heaven's eternity is fought for! I was sent back to continue my part in its war. Sent back to continue to fight for freedom - where freedom's never free! Sent back to do my part in fighting the enemy to win freedom for the captives of this country. Sent back to recapture and release again the prisoners of war. Sent back - to give my life for theirs! Sent back - to die so that others could live. Sent back in service to my King, because my assignment lies here, there's work to be done. And just as importantly, as well, God is not finished with me yet!

I had to don these warrior clothes (a hard thing to wear after feeling so pretty in the robes I wore); but I was glad to shed my royal robes for the Kingdom's sake, so that my King might could use me to robe another!

One day my Prince will come and I'll see Him - riding in on His white horse! He'll dress me in robes of splendor too spectacular to tell. And He'll take me to His Kingdom where He's made a place for me to live. I'll ascend to the Heavenlies with Him.... never ever again having to descend and be stripped of the robes that He's dress me in. Until then, I'll serve Him in civilian clothes... an alien for now in a foreign land. God will continue to chisel away in me what needs to be chiseled. He'll refine me in fires to bring out impurities. He'll test my faith in order to grow it. And He'll use this broken-messed-up-ransomed-and-redeemed vessel to continue to do more of His work in.

"Meanwhile, we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling...
For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened,
because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling,
so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life."
2 Cor 5:2-4

AGAIN? Where's a camera when you need one?

I'd like to be able to purchase a camera that can capture on video the workings of my mind while I lay sleeping! Any inventors out there? I'd LOVE to be able to buy one! ;-)

I suppose I'm asking for the impossible. But boy, my brain stays in a stage of overload-working all through the night. I wake at all hours and am blown away. I'll be so whoa-ed by the thoughts that it's been thinking that I can not even begin to imagine that I would forget most of them by morning. Unfortunately, I do! Ugh! It makes me so mad! So sick! I need to start MAKING myself wake wide enough and stay up long enough to jot my thinkings down.

I was so overwhelmed by the profoundness of last night's wonderings that I thought I did just that. I thought I was noting them. But! I woke this morning, grabbing my notebook to add more, and to my horror found the pages blank staring before me, totally empty, not a single word written at all on it anywhere! "You're kidding me, right?" But it was no joke! I was so aggravated! I desperately tried re-prompting my mind to its earlier ponderings and found myself horribly unsuccessful at being able to do so. Argh! Perhaps it was a private showing that was meant to premier for my mind and me only???

I'd love to find a longer-lasting memory in my stocking this Christmas! Surely, we can be wired for memory chips to download and playback at will when we need them? :)

Yesterday came again today... and I didn't know what to do with it.

My "yesterday" knocked on my door today. Who would have known? Who would have thought? It’s been gone how many years now? How many years have passed since I’ve seen it? I didn't have it scheduled! I didn’t expect it! I wasn’t warned. I had no idea it was coming. My initial thinking when I saw it was, "What in the world are you doing here?" And I wondered: "What in the world am I to do with it?"

Invite it in? Ask how it's been? Tell it how much I've missed it? Throw fits with it for the pain that it's caused me? Laugh with it? Cry with it? Hug it? Kiss it? Kick it? Reminisce with it? Serve it supper? Let it stay the night? Sleep with it???.... Will I wake to find that it's still here waiting to be fed breakfast in the morning?

Yesterdays knock in all kinds of forms. In the shape of a person. A scene in a movie. A line in a book. A voice. A scent. A sound. A song. A name. A laugh. A cry. A telephone ring. A commercial. A lullaby. A picture. A wreck. An ocean. A……. Anything can prompt a Yesterday's visit.

Yesterdays are often painful. It can hurt. It can haunt. It can thrill. It can threaten. It can play havoc in your heart. And mind games to your imagination. It can move in and stay forever if you'll let it. It can consume your day and devour your tomorrows. It can plan your life. It can hope for your funeral.

I basically spent the weekend alone with my Yesterday. It wasn't planned. I didn't know it was coming. It just hopped in my car when I left for my trip and rode with me. It stayed with me in all the miles that I traveled. I let it in. Asked how it'd been. Told it how much I missed it. Threw fits with it for the pain that it had caused me. I laughed with it. Cried with it. Hugged it. Kissed it. Kicked it. Reminisced with its memory. Served it supper and let it stay the night. I slept with it. And found it there for breakfast in the morning.

But finally.

By late afternoon, I caught on to what I was doing (and what Yesterday was doing to me). I decided that I'd better get a grip and send Yesterday packing back to its moment... cause it'll steal my today, and take my tomorrow too if I'll let it. Yesterdays are past and shouldn't live here anymore, and I alone decide if it gets to.

What's your Yesterday?

What's that memory that every now and then comes calling again and wants to visit? A stronghold? Some sin? An old weakness? A guy? A girl? An addiction? An old want? An old won’t? A hatred? A bitterness? A resentment? An old misery? A longed for memory? A deeply despised one? Something horrible that happened? What skeletons stay tucked deep in your closet? What old buried thing is kept hidden there? What darling thing is treasured? What old guilt that still haunts? Or, old something that wants? Maybe something that’s not about you, but something you know about somebody else and you’ve never told it? What hurt still horrifies? What comes calling to beckon you? Better yet, what do you do with it when it comes calling?

It all goes back to that season thing mentioned in Ecclesiastes 3. There's a time for this… and a time for that..... but too often we forget the time and try to live in the wrong one. It won't work. A season past is just that. And a season that's not yet come... is just that too. We're often wanting to trade times, jump back to an old time, or jump forward to one that's not gotten here yet. Whoosh, how much we miss in our moment, from forgetting the time that we're in!

Okay, so I've synced my time back to our current day's moment. Shame on me for losing track and find myself in a past one. I'm back in my Today from my Yesterday's somewhere. Not to be wasted though, God taught me much in my time-travel. I knew He would. The travel to my past and back again has actually been a blessing. He's blown my mind in the things that He's said. I'm so enamored with how personal and into our business our Savior is. I love that my God would go with me to the place where I've gone and use it to heal, use it to teach, use it to change and transform me. He so touched me there!
To the God Who Is, the God Who Was, and the God Who Is To Come... I thank You for being The Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End! And the One that not only knows what to do with my days in whichever one I find myself in, but One that knows how to get me back to my Present when I've crossed the time-lines in my travel. :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Feathered.... with light-ups! Have you EVER?

It was April 21, 2005. My husband had a Company Awards Trip that he'd won to Las Vegas. It went totally against all of my want-to. I felt it an evil place. My thinking was that if the world themselves calls it Sin City, then what business would I (being a Christian) have visiting and vacationing there? How would the Holy One of Israel approve of my going? Should a princess to the Heavenly King place her presence upon the soil named for its reputation? I just didn’t feel it right. I fussed and fumed and was determined that “I shall not be moved” and would not go… But I was moved and went anyway... My husband wouldn't allow me to stay home, even against my most aggravated refusal not to. Please forgive my throes of rebellion. I did submit to my authority. I've repented for my uppity goody-two-shoes self-righteousness. I'm ashamed of my actions. I did go. I went! 

Now, if you're not completely repulsed by my uppity-ness. Stay with me here, the story gets better.

One night while we were there we had a formal affair that my husband and I were to go to. No one gave me the memo that it was an all black affair! I thought “Black Tie” meant dress-up! So dress-up I did! And it didn't go unnoticed! 

We were late. Tim had not tried his Tux on before leaving our hometown. In retrospect, he should have. It was too small. It took us way too much time to try to force buttons to connect to holes that were a far stretch from where we needed them to be. Our whole entourage of office people were waiting on us when we got there. We were to have a group picture made before the festivities began. On the backside of the pool area there were these two huge curved staircases coming down. All of our group (about 150 of us), except Tim and I, were already posed on its steps starting from the top of both staircases going all the way to the bottom. They were crowded. Hot. Squished. Sweating in the sweltering heat. All standing stiff in their ‘black-tied” dress! Totally stuck in their posed places awaiting only our arrival so that the snap of the camera could capture its moment, and they could all unfreeze from the frame where they had been strategically put. 

On our way to the stairs, we had to walk past this huge pool area. Pools on either side of us. There was a concreted path between the two. I saw them (our party) before we got there. Instantly I began to panic, “I can’t do it! I can’t do it!” Zillions of them (it seemed!) ALL clothed in black! Every last one of them. All, that is, except the one that was coming. ME! The only thing that kept me from turning around and running was because my pride in covering my pride overshadowed my other pride. The whole company was attired in black, while I pranced to meet them garbed in the palest of pinks. Sequined, no less! And with a skirt full of feathers!

Yes, you read right. Feathers!

Ya know??!!!! What can I say?

All night long not one person mentioned my dress. Not that I wanted them to necessarily say something, but I was so different from everybody else's that I knew they noticed, and with their not mentioning it... well, it was even more obvious that they were pretending they didn’t to save my face. You know what mean? It wasn’t a good sign! Its silence said to me: “Oh, how embarrassing!” Because with their silence I knew that even they were embarrassed at the dress I had chosen.

And if that weren’t bad enough....

Before we had gotten to the steps to where they were frozen, as we were walking through the pool area (after I had been horrified at noticing all their black), all of the sudden all of the people lying around the pool started sitting up in their lounge chairs. Some started standing. They began clapping and cheering and yelling. Hooping and hollering. Making an awesome show and noise to applaud the thing that had captured their attention. I turned around to see what all the hoop-la was all about that had warranted such applauding, such praising, such yells……… and saw nothing there when I turned. Oh my goodness! IT WAS ME that they were applauding! I could have died! If I could have willed it hard enough to be so, I would have had the concrete open and swallow me up to take me to my death!

I don’t know how I made it! Poor Tim, he was just letting me hang onto his arm and he was walking with me as if there was not a thing different about us than all of the rest of them. Walking as if everyone else out there was dressed in feathers too! Walking like it was the most normal everyday thing to wear! I felt like a bird that had flown in from the South to a flock of birds that was of a whole different color! Featherless birds, no less! Bless his heart (and mine too!)! It’s a wonder he didn’t make me stay in the room.

He’s got another trip to go on this year, and he has already told me that I didn’t have to go if I didn’t want to. Well, I wonder why!!!! Actually, no, he didn’t say a thing, and he’s invited me to go this year too; but I wonder if he wonders what I’ll wear? And being that I’ve begun to awaken to myself, I wonder too! And I wonder if later we’ll both wonder why we let me?

Hold on. That's not the worst part!

I had had to wear the highest shoes that I could find (because you can’t hem feathers!!! That so should have been my sign!). When looking in town it took me forever to finally find heels high enough to keep my dress (rather my feathers!) from dragging. I finally found some stacked heeled acrylic Cinderella-looking shoes and bought them. And though I didn't realize it when I was purchasing them those Cinderella looking things were light-ups! Horrors! and I wonder still: What was I thinking??? This was NOT what God meant in Psalm 119:105 when He said, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path!” He did not mean me for me wear the lights as light-ups upon my feet as I went!

Dawn (a friend of mine) was appalled before I even left town. She had so wanted to help me with this. She had so tried to find some shoes for me. She wanted so badly to save me from my horror. And I never caught on! I wore them anyway! When I got back I told her, “Dawn, I don’t think they ever even noticed that my shoes lit-up. Nobody said anything.” And she said with brows raised to the roof and with an expression that gave more emphasis to the mere words that she said: “And they wouldn’t have either!!!”

Basically, my INNEST-IN was way too exposed OUT! Even Jesus kept His Glory zipped hidden in human skin…. And there I was in front of a hundred and fifty people that my poor husband works with (and zillions more around us in the place where we were staying) showing full glory! I had people pointing at me through the windows! People gathering around, shading their eyes so that they could see. What could they say?... And so they didn’t!

I stayed horrified for a while. Ashamed. Embarrassed. And then, I changed my mind. I liked my dress! I liked my feathers! I liked the color! I was even okay in my light-ups. I felt pretty. I felt like I was Cinderella dressed for the ball. I did get lots of attention. So many compliments. NOT by Tim's co-workers, but from others in our prestigious hotel. For some reason I gained lots of respect. I was greatly admired. And was treated as a princess. So, I decided to feel good about it, and shine in my rarity of moments. Matter-of-fact, I feel it's how I was meant to dress! And I wondered why we don't get to dress as such more often?

Hmmm... one day our Prince will come! Riding on His white horse! With trumpets blaring! A feast spread on the table awaiting the celebration. A Home prepared. And garments of white that's sure to be gorgeous! Wow... wonder what that moment will be like? Wonder at the Beauty we'll behold and the beauty we'll feel? I so often wonder what it will be like beholding the face of my Savior! Our God on His glorious throne! The angels around Him singing His praises. The pearly gates and the streets of gold. Speechless! I'll be totally speechless! I can't wait for that Day... of no more tears, no more sorrow, no more death, no more disease........ LOVE ~ in all it's purity! The end (or really the beginning) of the real fairy-tale that's better than the ones found in storytime books. Oh Lord, I love you so! I can't wait for Your Face to behold!

What's your (k)NOT?

"When Rachel saw that she was not bearing any children,
she became jealous of her sister.
So she said to Jacob, "Give me children, or I'll die!"
Jacob became angry with her and said,
"Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?"
(Gen 30:1-4)

I'd read these verses so many times before, but while reading them again one night before bed the truths in those few lines catapulted before me. My attention stood to alert. I was whoa-ed by its impact. It wouldn't let go. I read them again and again. I settled there and stared. And stayed that way for quite some time before finally turning out my light for the night. Even when I did, my brain wouldn't stop. I kept thinking about what I'd just read.

Did you see what had my attention's hold? If it's okay with you I'll write these verses again while leaving blanks in it in effort to magnify my point. Here's what I saw:

When  _____  saw
that she was not  ____...,
she became  _____ .....
So she said...
[And then]  _____  became ____ and said....

It's in our nature. Seldom do we look for it or mean to, or rather realize what we're doing the in the midst of our doing. But when we look around and we see something that someone else is that we're not that we wish we were.... Or, we see something that someone else has that we want that we've not got... then we've got something to say about it!

We do an awful lot saying in our nots.

This is how the normal cycle goes: When we're not (something that we want to be) we'll then become (something that we weren't before... usually mad, or angry, or jealous or mean) and so we'll say (because we feel we must vent our newly heated feeling to someone else).... And then, the person that we've said to (that we've vented to) becomes (something, too, that they wren't before)... and then he says ......

And after we've said we want them to agree with what we're saying, to validate our opinion, to go with us in our feeling.... and when they don't, we get even madder and normally start saying even more.

It makes for a vicious cycle!

In Rachel's case, she was not bearing any children....

Perhaps we have the same not that she does? Perhaps it's you that doesn't have any children, and you so desperately want some?
  • Or maybe not!
  • Maybe you have a different not???
  • Maybe.... you don't have a husband that loves you, just as Leah didn't?
  • Maybe.... you're not as pretty as this girl or that one... and you so badly want to be?
  • Maybe.... you're not as weathy as he is or her, and you can't buy as much as they do?
  • Maybe.... you don't have the kind of job you wanted that someone else does?
  • Maybe.... you're not as gifted or talented in a way that you'd like to be?
  • Maybe.... you're not able to do what they can?
  • Maybe.... you're not married and you wish you were?
  • Maybe.... life just won't go as you've planned for it to and hoped that it would?
  • Maybe.... you've got a crippling disease, you don't have good health... and you don't 'deserve' that. It's just not fair!
  • Maybe.... you (or your loved one) has a fatal disease and is dying.... and it isn't fair either!
  • Maybe.... Maybe.... Maybe.... Maybe what? What's your not?
The question I'm asking isn't: Is there something you're not? We're all not something. And it's not: Is there something you don't have? None of us have everything. There are things that all of us have not got. No, rather, the question then is this: What is it that you're not... that you wish you were? Or, what is it that you've not got... that you wish you did?

Life ~~ it's full of nots. So I wondered this morning after pondering upon it last night, what kind of not do  find yourself in? What's your not that you're all tangled up and k-not-ted up in?

What (k)not has fastened itself to you and bound you in it?

What not has blinded you and stolen your focus and robbed you of your living?

What have you become now that you've seen that you're not? For all of us have a tendency to be just like Rachel: after we've seen that we're not (the thing that we wanted to be).... we become (something that we never indended). We waste a world of time away all tied up in our stronghold of nots, all the while what we've become consumes and rots our thinking.

After Rachel saw what she wasn't, what she didn't have that someone else did, she became....! Woe! Because often we do too!
  • Rachel "became jealous."
  • She became it.
  • She came to be it.
  • After she'd seen.
  • Is that you?
  • What is it that you've seen?
  • Have you become something too?
Somewhere when you were faced with a not .... what did you do with yours? What did you do with your not? And what did you come to be because of your feeling of want for it?

Jealous, like Rachel did? Or... did you become something else? hurt? angry? mad? mean? bitter? or....??? What are you now because you're not? Or what might you become (if you haven't already), because of the recent not that you've recently fixed your focus on? All because of your unhealthy growing obsession with your not. It's like a growth. An absess. A tumor. A cancer. It's got to be dealt with, got to be eradicated, got to be taken out, or its goal is to eventually rob you, destroy you, ruin you, kill you.

"Rachel SAW that she was NOT...."
  • She saw.
  • We see!
  • What are you seeing?
  • Where are you looking?
  • Might you need to change your lQQk?
  • It will do us all good to remember to watch our lQQks. Never fool yourself, our lQQks begin our becomings.
"Rachel SAW that she was NOT bearing any children...., (so) she BECAME jealous of her sister. So she SAID to Jacob....."

Sound familiar?

It's the same pattern that most of us follow. We discover that we're not and so we become (you fill in the blank). We become something that we hadn't planned on becoming. Some ugly thing that irriates and agitates and aggravates and poisons us with misery. And because of what we've allowed ourselves to become, we find someone to focus on and fume our venom to while blaming them in the process for what we don't have or what we are not.

After Rachel said to Jacob, then he, too, became (something). In this case, "Jacob BECAME angry with her, and (so then) he SAID..."

See the cycle? It's perpetual! And spiraling!

There's an awful lot of saying once we've become! And an awful lot of becoming once someone has said.... And then even more saying because of the whole crazy obsessing over it.

You personalize the sentence. You fill in the blank. How would your story read? What happened in your not? What'd you become? Who'd you say to? What'd they become? What'd they say back?

All sorts and kinds of emotions and passions get incited and stirred from our seeing and discovering our nots. Woe, at the pot of heat that can stew from throwing all of our nots into the pot of our pity and the stress we can cause to ourselves (and to others!) because of them! Nots can be dangerous! Nots can be painful! Nots can be mean!

Did you notice what it was that Jacob said to Rachel about the not that she came complaining and fussing and blaming him for? Jacob told her that God was the One "who has kept you from" the not thing that she wasn't. In the end of her story, we find that eventually God does allow her to have the thing that she doesn't.... But why do we become jealous and then angered so and fuss like we do and feel like we'll die if we don't get the thing we've decided we wanted? Why blame all of our nots on someone else until the person that we're fuming to becomes angry also and so begins to fuss back? Why? When God (and not us!) is the Giver of all good gifts and He is the One that holds our nots in His hands... to give.... or not to?

Should we not just got to Him first with our feelings and what we have to say and ask Him? And should we not rather praise and thank Him for what we do have, instead of only complain about all we do not?

Now let me ask you something else after remembering what James 4:1-3 has to say; might we "have not" because we "ask not"? Or might we "have not", because we ask with the "wrong motive"? James says this,

"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but you don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you do ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives..."

What not have you become tangled, engrossed, and all k-not-ted up in? And what might you become if you don't do something to until the hold that that (k)not has you in? Have you asked God? Have you asked Him with right motives? Or wrong ones? What's your not? How about putting these precious life-freeing nots (see below) in your pocket and fasten yourself to these instead:

"Thou shalt not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything."
Trust me, in the long run it only makes miserable!

"Thou shalt not bow down to them to worship them."
They can't give you what you want!

"Thou shalt not covet your neighbor's house... or wife... or manservant, his ox or donkey"... [his trucks or his cars, etc]... "or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

And then, how about this one:
"The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want..."!
Why? Because it's only in our Shepherd that we find true filling!

Those verses have a sweeter affect, for sure. It causes a prettier countenance upon your face, a freer one, a happier heart, a sweeter walk, a kinder talk. It's more joyful to walk in that kind of not rather than the other envious ones.

Oh my, we'll all have our nots. It's inevitable. The world and life is full of them. We can't all have or do everything. The question is: Which not carries the most weight with you? Which not moves you? And which nots do you act upon? The ones God gave you? Or the ones He did not?

When (put your name here) saw that she/he was not (fill in the blank), she/he became (fill in your feeling), so she/he said to (who?).

What about you? How does yours read? What have you done and what do you do with your nots when you see them? What have you become? And what and who have you said to because you became it? How's it working for ya? Is it worth it? Do you think it's time to give it to God and ask Him to help you to untangle some (k)nots that have been consuming and making you miserable>

"The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want."  I like that! I think that's one of my favorite nots of all! He is our Provider! He knows what we need! And the crazy thing is, He also knows what we do not!

Friday, December 11, 2009

What can I say? She LOVES to paint! :)

No rhyme or reason........... It's not that she goes out in the world all painted up like this. She just likes the challenge, the fun in it, the craziness...... It's just because she wants to!

This is my youngest daughter at home in Fun-Mode!

You know.... when she goes missing and she's up in her room too long, who knows what colors she'll be when she returns! I LOVE her creativity!

Don't you know that I've got a fun girl! We do laugh a lot and have a load of fun at my house! We're a crazy bunch of five. Each unique in their craziness. And I wouldn't dare trade any of them for anything. NOR would I trade our weirdnesses!

No one can see me! I'm Invisible!

Wow. A friend or mine sent me this. An old man. He wrote in the email, "Sharon, you are the first person I thought of when I watched this...." I wondered why? It made me cry! It's really good. I could relate. It's a feeling that I know a lot of people feel. We all feel a bit 'invisible' every once in a while. Some times MOST of the 'whiles'! I love that God's sees what no one else will, what no one else will take the time to. He cares when we feel that no one else does. It's a good reminder to remember that we're not doing for others, but building for Him. Our work doesn't go unnoticed. It's not in vain. This perfectly illustrated picture is profoundly painted in the words said in this video by Nicole Johnson.

I want to lQQk like that!

Prissy (my oldest daughter) was once schooling (for a very short season) at Barbizon Modeling School. In her very first class she was taught,

  • "A lady should never leave home without her legs hosed! There's no exception, except for the beach, you're never to go bare-legged.
  • "Shorts absolutely do nothing to flatter anyone. I can't think of any occasion where you'd ever have need to wear them!"
  • "You are never to wear flats or platforms. Always some sort of a heel.. even if it's the slightest tilt. The pointier the shoe the better."
  • "Skirts are always perferrable to pants."
  • "No denim is to be worn of any kind. Ever!"
  • "And for heaven's sake, always ascend (or descend) the stairs turned slightly sideways so as not to expose the bottom as 'a wide-load.' Slightly sideways makes you appear thinner."
I guess you could sum it up to say: Wear those hose.. on tilted toes... smile like you're a girl who knows... and don't forgot to walk sideways so as to always appear thinner! Because for Pete's sake, we dare not want the tush to be rendered as though it's a "wide-load" that we're having to carry!

Shoosh! No wonder we've grown into such weird characters in this crazy world that we live in. We paint our faces. Color our hair, straighten it, curl it, tease it or don't (it depends on the season). Pay to have fake-nails glued on and then polished to please us. Pierce ourselves in strategic places to dangle ornaments from! Bleach our teeth. Tan our bodies. Color-contact our eyes. And wear heels to make us seem taller........... And then some, if they can afford to, tuck their tummies, lift their faces, enhance their boobs, botox heir lips, suck their thighs......... and the lists goes on and on and on, tis only left to the person's imagination. Oh my, no wonder it takes so long to get ready to leave the house in the mornings! But after all that, we often leave depressed, because 'did we get it right' and 'is this outfit flattering on me?'

God has given us a guidebook of rules on how to dress too. He's told us in Ephesians 4:22-24, to "put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires" and to "put on the new self, (which is) created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Colossians 3:5-17; gives a list of things that we're to rid ourselves of and then things that we're to clothe ourselves in. And God's whole purpose is that we're being transformed into His likeness, reflecting the face of our Savior to others (2 Corinthians 3:18;); but instead of all at once, He helps to change us little by little.

Unlike how Barbizon might would like to keep you housed until you've learned to dress correctly, God will let us leave ours houses dressed in whatever pleases us, without wearing all of the things that He's told us to put on (when we are to be representing Him and when we're suppose to LQQK like Him!) and without taking off all the things that He's told us to get rid of. If it were me and someone were walking out their door and they were supposed to look exactly like me when they did; I think that I'd have to stand at their doorway and pre-approve their look before allowing their exit. I can just hear me now in my appallation of some, "Ewe! No! I'd never wear that. Put this shirt on instead. Wear these pants with that. And oh, these shoes look good. Uh, do you mind if I fix the hair a bit before you go? And really... the make-up, here, let me go grab my bag.............." I can hear my holler to them as they walk to their vehicles, "Stand up straight! Don't slouch! Hold the tummy in! And be sweet to people you meet!" And ugh, I'd probably think when they're gone, "I hate that they're making people think that I look like that."

A couple of years ago, the school that my children attend decided to go to uniforms. I absolutely hated the idea! I fussed and fumed for eons to anyone around who would listen. Prissy cried the first day that we went shopping for them; and I'll be honest, I would have cried too. She cried over each new thing that she tried on. It was awful! I hated it as much as she did. She even took one skirt off in the dressing room, then turned around and saw it standing all-by-itself! They were high-waisted and touched their kneecaps or longer, and were obviously scarched to stiff. Khaki (the choice for military uniforms) or plaid (the Scottish pick!)! Are you getting the picture? It was only me and my girls on our first excursion, Tabor had ball practice and missed our outing. By that night we had finally succumbed to the whole ordeal, and my girls put on a fashion show for Tim (my husband) and Tabor (my son). We laughed our socks off! I don't know that we have ever laughed so hard! We were rolling! Needless to say, Ta anticipated his moment.... and could not wait to cloth his bod in what someone else had ordered for him to wear...... NOT! But finally(!), we have bowed in submission to the thought and we don't fight it as hard as we used to. I remember thinking though on that first day when we left to go shopping, that, "Today we'll go spend money to look like everybody else."

Yuck! Who wants to be uniformed? My argument against the whole thing was that God made us all so differently. Different looks, different noses, different eyes, different shapes, different hair, different shapes, different sizes, different DNA, no two fingerprints the same, and even with all of the limited clothing selections that we have to pick from rarely do we ever meet another wearing the exact same thing that we are at any given moment. With as many people as there are in the whole world, we all look so differently. We never meet ourselves! "But surely," I said sarcastically, "if God had of thought of it, I'm sure that He would have dressed us all just alike!" Actually, I think God likes our individuality.

I had a dream several weeks ago that made such an impression on me that it stuck and stays with me still. I can't seem to quit thinking about it. In my dream were lots of people, and every single Christian in my dream looked exactly like the picture of how we've seen Jesus so often painted to look. Basically, once you were a born again Christian, your outward appearance immediately changed to look like exactly Him (or at least the way that Jesus is colored and pictured in all of the pictures that we see Him in). Everyone still knew who you were.... because (though your outside looked like Jesus) you still had the same mannerisms, the same characteristics. You still walked the same and talked the same. You were still called by your same name. Everyone still knew who everyone else was. You had the same likes and dislikes, went to the same places, etc. You were still the very same you, you just looked exactly like that icon that we've always seen Jesus painted to look. Every Christian on the outside looked exactly like Jesus.

The very first Christian that I saw stood there (like I said, looking just like Jesus) and as he was talking to me he was smoking a cigarette (yes, it seemed the craziest look!)...... He kept talking and smoked while he did, until all of the sudden he realized what he was doing and he couldn't in all good consciousness stand there looking like Jesus while puffing on the little white stick that he held. I saw it on his face. And though he never said a word about it I knew what he was thinking. I watched him take his last drag and then slowly put his cigarette down. I knew that he'd never have want to ever even pick it back up again. Next, I saw another Christian drinking his alcohol. He was staggering while swigging on his drink. After watching him for a few minutes he all of the sudden stopped too. I watched that look that knew fall across his face. And so, he too did the same thing, he laid his bottle down. and I knew he'd never go back to it. Because neither of them could feel comfortable looking like Jesus (wearing His skin, wearing His name, pictured completely to look exactly like Him) and stand there perfectly happy still doing their sin.

It went on and on and on through so many people in all kinds of sins (the gossiper, the embittered, the one that raged with hate, the one who's just mean, the one who refused to forgive, the adulterer, the thief, the pornographer, the liar, the.... etc.); it was the most incredible thing. I loved it. For no one could keep doing their sin while wearing their new look in Christ Jesus. It wasn't right. It conflicted, it clashed, it contradicted,.... and in the end the old couldn't be meshed with the new. One look had to go, and the new look was the one that was greater desired by every man that I saw E-V-E-R-Y time! The look of Christ Jesus set the older man free. It was filled with love and kindness and a purity that shone with the Light of God's Glory..... leaving no room (nor want) for the darkness that it once sought after and desired til it chained and held you captive to then steal and kill and destroy you. The total look of Jesus totally set each man free! It totally liberated him. And I woke up thinking: Wow, if only we saw ourselves pictured as we really are, wonder what all we'd be anxious to change?

Unlike the modeling school that's focused to dress the outside, and unlike the school that tries to uniform, God doesn't worry so much about either of those things at all. He didn't make us nor tell us to dress to look the same. Instead, He's given us different looks with different faces, and His ultimate goal in the end (with all of those differences) is hoping that we'll look just like Him on the inside! He's got a really GOoD look, you know? And His look is the look that I'm going for. For after all, He looks better on me than I ever will!

Loving my Lord Who thrills my soul so!