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Tag Archives: Jesus

You are Beautiful

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So there is a new post trend starting that I wanted to reflect on a little bit. The trend? “Post 5 pictures that make you feel beautiful.” You post, you tag 5 people and they need to do the same.

And so my news feed is slowly filling up with “beautiful” pictures of my friends and family. And I don’t say that sarcastically. Truly, each and every one is beautiful… But here is the thing… I look at all those pictures and immediately some other pictures come to mind:

Pictures of Jesus.

For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son so that whosoever believed in him shall not perish but have everlasting life…
– John 3:16

So loved…

So treasured…

So considered each and every person worthy and truly marvelous.

Oh, that we would truly believe:

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
– Psalm 139:13-14

And I wonder as I scroll through my news feed, seeing selfie after selfie…

Do we really know it?

Do we really know we are beautiful?

Or are we sitting and wait for comments? For validation? For someone to say, “Yes, you are beautiful!”

If you are…

Can I tell you something?

Somebody already said that.

We don’t need to hang our beauty on the words or lack of words in the comments of our “selfies.” We can hang our beauty on the One True Word.

May we remember that the fullness of our beauty isn’t found in our face, but in His.

And when we get tempted to base our beauty by our positions and our accomplishments,

We may remember:

We greatly underestimate our beauty if we base our beauty on our position and accomplishments.

For the fullness of our beauty isn’t found in our position here, but the fact that the Word of God tells us that through Christ we are seated there, in heavenly places with the very maker of the heavens.

But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
– Ephesians 2:4-7

We can know we are beautiful, so SO beautiful, not because of what we do or have done, but because of what HE did.

And here is thing about knowing how precious and beautiful you are to God.

When you know, truly know, just how beautiful you are to God, it opens your eyes to the outrageous and overwhelming truth that every single person you see is beautiful to God.

Every single person was and is worth reaching out for, drawing a line in the sand for…

Worth sitting with and laughing with, listening to and talking with…

Living for, dying for…

They were are all worth it.

And I pray you know that reader and friend.

I pray you know that YOU were worth it.

YOU ARE beautiful.

Not just five times over, but infinitely over.

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL in the eyes of our most beautiful God.

Your beauty is found in HIS beauty and your worth is found in HIS.

Colossians 3:2-4
New Living Translation (NLT)

Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

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You are His

Our baby boy is going through another stage of separation anxiety. He was just crying and crying in his crib, but as soon as I entered the room and he saw me he immediately stopped. I helped him lie back down, pulled his covers over him. He is now fast asleep, snoring away.

And all of this reminds me of a line I heard in a song today by Jamie Grace. The line has been on repeat in my mind and on my heart today: “You are enough to change the atmosphere.”

When Jesus draws near to us, He changes the atmosphere. His presence makes everything ok. All is well when we know He is at our side.

I don’t know what you may going through tonight. Perhaps someone may even be in tears right now.

For anyone who may be crying out tonight, I pray right now you feel Jesus entering the room. I pray you feel his love covering you and comforting you. I pray you feel the change in the atmosphere as God draws near. Because truly He is enough. Nothing else needs to change. May you sleep so sound tonight knowing you are safe; you are loved; you are held, You are His.

 

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Distractions from the Main Attraction

Worry, fear, doubt, anxiety… They are all just one big distraction from the Main Attraction.

Fix your eyes on Jesus and those distractions will fade.

Once again there will be peace.

There will be joy.

There will be faith.

There will be trust.

There will be time to breathe and smile.

Time to slow down and just savior the goodness of the Savior.

There will be time to knock the dirt off your soul and simply feel his love washing over you, his spirit strengthening you.

There is time to enjoy the present, but you must stop allowing fear of the future to steal that time.

There is time to rest.

It is ok to just rest.

It is ok to simply stop and trust that God will move the mountain.

He will.

HE will.

But you will miss those moments of rest if you spend all your time scheming and working on ways to move it.

Fix your eyes on Jesus tonight.

Don’t allow the distractions to be the main attraction.

 

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When a Man Truly loves a Woman

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A princess gets locked by some villain in a tower. A fair maiden gets carried off as some plunder of war. So many times we see the plot. It is a classic truly, and one I caught a few weeks ago in the movie ” Despicable Me 2.”

“Despicable Me 2” took this classic plot to a whole new level as a macho wrestling villain, his chicken, and army of purple, crazed, all-consuming minions, strap fair maiden “Lucy” to a shark rocket headed straight into the depths of some volcano out at sea. Once-evil villain “Gru” comes rushing into save her with his scientist and adopted daughters, all armed with jelly guns… Quite the creative and imaginative twist on a classic plot for sure.

Watching it with our oldest boys got me thinking about the classic plot of a woman in distress, rescued by a man who is willing to take on any and all opposition and go any height or depth, in order to save the woman he loves.

This is the plot that fascinates and captivates and resonates.

Because deep down,

I believe,

We desire love like that.

Women want to be loved like that.

Men want to love like that.

But how can they?

How can a man today love a woman like that?

He sees no villains, no towers, no purple crazed minions or shark rockets. There are no wars to charge into with sword ( or jelly gun) in hand, no battles to fight, no mountains to climb, no depths to dive into it.

But all to often,

They are there.

They are there, seizing her unexpectedly and trying to bring her down.

Battles of the mind, of the emotions, and the spirit… These are the battles that require the brave.

These are the battles that require a man who is willing to take on any and all opposition and go any height or depth.

When hormones rage,

When the only blood in the fight is the blood filling her menstrual pads,

It takes a man who is willing to take on an army of hormones and stand in the midst of the checkout line with super maxi pads in hand.

When she looks in the mirror and delusions, depression, lies and discouragement try to seize her,

It takes a man who is not willing to see his love carried off into the depths of depression,

Or locked in a tower of fear.

He does not flee the battle but steps in and holds her, and begins to wage war, not with sword and shield (or jelly guns), but with words of truth and words of encouragement.

When sickness plagues her body,

When she is too weak to work,

Or walk,

Or hold their crying child,

It takes a man who is willing to rush in, lead her to the restroom, hold her hair, wash her, feed her, and care for her and the children.

He will not leave post, but he will stay as faithful watchman. And for the true lover, this will be his joy.

For he who fiercely loves a woman’s soul, will fiercely fight.

He will not only provide food on the table.

He will provide food for the spirit and soul.

This kind of love, is not for the faint.

This kind of love is the kind that gets dirty, sweats and bleeds.

This kind of love is the kind that goes the distance.

This kind of love is the kind that refuses to give up.

This kind of love is the love we saw poured out two-thousand plus years ago by a man strapped to a cross,

A man who gave it all,

A man who did not jump ship (or shark rocket), but willingly went down into the deepest depths to conquer them and release the prisoners that were locked in darkness.

This kind of love is true love.

This kind of love is Jesus love.

And oh, when we see it in a man.

It captivates.

It fascinates.

It resonates.

It testifies to our heart,

“That is love.”

 

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I just wanted to remind you…

The toys will break.

The clothes will fade and become worn.

The food will get eaten.

The family and friends will return home.

The decorations will come down once again.

And when they do, I am praying for each and everyone of you, that you remember:

These were all just gifts from the Giver.

Yes, they come and they go, but the greatest gift is that the Giver himself came to be with us.

Jesus was born in a stable and placed in a cow’s feed box.

He came and from the get-go, he resided in the mess. From the get-go, God the Father made it clear that this Jesus, this tiny devine baby, was sent and placed here in this world as food for our hungry souls.

He would grow up to heal and perform miracles, to be beaten and crucified for our sins, and then incredibly, he would overcome death and the grave so that we too, through faith, would be able to overcome, both in life and death.

He came to be with us and he himself said he is always with us. He is the greatest gift I know- and each of you friends- are his precious gifts.

You are all so precious to him. You are why he came. You are what he desired. You are his gifts and I thank God for each of you.

If any of you are hurting I pray you feel his comfort. I pray he flood and fill those empty places. I pray you be overwhelmed by the sense of his presence because he is with you.

And if there is any of you who do not believe- my prayer for you is simple- I pray that should a time ever come when you have no where else to turn and you know you need something that this world simply cannot offer- I pray that in that moment you would call on Jesus to step in and flood you with his love.

He can heal the hurt. He can fill the holes. He can bring the joy. In him is forgiveness. In him is strength. In him is new life. In him is food for the soul.

So this Christmas season I just wanted to remind each and everyone of you that God loves you. His love for you will never fail, never leave, never get worn. His love is food for the soul.

 

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The Holes That Need Filled


It was dinner time and our ten year-old son was sitting on a stool in our kitchen, his hands holding his face, his head hanging low. His daddy was at work, again. But tonight, something gave. Tonight something inside this young boy began to tremble, tears began to flow and he began to pour out his broken heart.

“He’s never here. He’s here and then he is gone. He comes home. We see him for like thirty minutes and then he is gone again…”

And he continued to go on and on making an account of every event missed, and all the things they used to do before daddy got busy with work.

My husband’s work schedule has indeed changed. Before his work had him gone for days and then home again for days. The days gone were hard, but when he was home, he was home.

But over the past 5 weeks we have been in transition with a new business venture, and though he is home every night, in the eyes of our son, it has been so long since daddy has “been home.”

And I know this. My husband knows this. And he is trying, truly trying to make the adjustments needed to be home more.

But all his efforts could not stop the waves of emotions crashing against our son as he sat there waiting on another dinner without dad. Then finally he spoke the words that caused the dam to break. He looked up, looked me in the eyes, and said something I have never heard him say,

“There is just this hole in my heart.”

At that, the tears streamed and his body shook, and all his hurt poured out of his soul into my arms. He cried for some time. My mind raced, as I searched for the words to say, and all I could say is what I have learned to be true,

“That hole can only be filled by Jesus.”

“Your daddy loves you and I know you love your daddy, but your daddy cannot be the source of your joy.

No person can be the source of your joy…”

And my heart was breaking over a harsh truth in life. And I knew it was time to tell our son,

“People, even the people who love you the most, will fail you.”

“Your daddy is just a man. And I am just a woman. We are just people and we will fail you.”

His tears stopped and he just sat there, holding unto me.

Those who have been failed truly know God’s faithfulness.”

I knew that he didn’t understand that statement as it rolled off my lips, but I was sure that in time he would. When others had failed him enough and God had proven himself over and over again. Yes, in time, he would understand how those who have been failed truly know God’s faithfulness.

I then asked him,

“Do you know what I do when I get lonely?”

He looked confused by that question, most likely because I am rarely, rarely alone.

I smile.

“You know it is possible to be lonely even though you are surrounded by people. I get lonely even though I am surrounded by you children.”

He smiles and nods, now understanding.

“I ask The Lord to show me his love for me. I ask him to show me how he is with me through the day. And he does. He will do the same for you.”

He is with you always. Look for him. When you laugh, listen for his laugh. When you accomplish a goal, your Heavenly Father is cheering you on. God is with you. He alone can fill that hole.”

He is now smiling, head high.

He looks me in the eyes and says,

“Well there is a hole that is filled now.”

My heart fills with warmth at those words and then he continues,

Yep, but it’s not my heart. It’s the hole in my nose. My nose is filled with boogers.”

My warm and fuzzy feeling quickly leaves.

He laughs and gives me a big hug and then whispers,

“My heart is filled too.”

He steps down off the stool and heads out of the kitchen.

Part of me felt deeply joyful and part of me felt deeply saddened, because as he stepped out of that kitchen I knew all too well, that in many, many homes all over the world are children and parents with holes.

And these holes are real.

And these holes go deep.

These are the holes of the women who spent all day and night home with the children because daddy is working again.

These are the holes of the mothers and fathers trying to make ends meet.

These are the holes of children who desperately desire time with their fathers.

These are the holes of children who desperately desire the energy of their weary mothers.

These are the holes of the widows.

These are the holes of the orphans.

These are the holes of the foster and adoptive parents, raising children with many, many holes.

We all have holes.
Holes that only Jesus can fill.
Emptiness that only Jesus can occupy.

Because even in the “happiest” homes, people are still people and people fail.

But in every home, in every place, is God and God never, ever fails.

May you feel his faithful love. May all your holes be filled.

– Charity

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2 Chronicles 5:13
… they raised their voices and praised the Lord with these words: “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!” At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord.

 

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Yes, Step into the Middle of the Mess

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She walks out of her room,
Dirty diaper in hand.
For reasons that I,
Cannot comprehend.
Onto the floor falls her waste.

And there she is,
This daughter of mine,
Covered in poop,
One more time,

Another miss.
Another mess.

Another chance,
For me to step,

Closer to your heart.

I feel you whisper,

Step,

Step closer to a love,
That changes.

Step closer to a love,
That endures the stench.

Step closer to a love,
That washes clean.

Step closer to a love,
That covers.

Step closer to a love,
That says, ‘Try again.’

Yes, step.
Step into the middle of the mess.”

So I step.

And I feel your heart.

He is sitting at the table,
Pencil in hand,
Needing help on a problem,
He cannot understand,
Calling for me to come.

And there are dishes in the sink.
There are crumbs on the floor.
There are so many messes,
My attentions have implored.
But I feel you urging,

“Stop and step.

Step into the middle of the mess.

Because in the messes,
I still speak.

In the messes,
I still teach.

In the messes,
Is where I long to be.

So step.
Step into the middle of the mess.”

So I step.
And I feel your heart.

Later in the evening,
I fill a request,
To accompany my husband,
And try my best.

So I find myself,
Back behind a line,
Messes around me,
Yet one more time,
Cleaning and cooking,
Lending a hand,
Speaking a language as best as I can,
Seeing broken people as they stop by.

And I feel you whisper,

Yes, you have stepped.
You have stepped into the mess.

You have stepped,
Closer to a love that keeps pouring.

You have stepped,
Closer to a love that keeps cleaning,

You have stepped,
Closer to a love that keeps serving,

You have stepped,
Closer to a love that keeps standing.

You have stepped where I step,
Into the middle of mess.”

Now, I don’t know what mess,
May surround you today.
But I want to challenge you,
In this very same way,
To step.

Step into the middle of the mess.

Step where your Savior,
Has stepped for you.
Step where he daily,
Continues to.

Step where you will find His rest.

Yes, Step into the middle of the mess.

John 3:16
For God so loves the world…

He stepped.

 

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