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Archive for January, 2014

Do you ever think about what that statement really means? Is Jesus really with us every day? What does that look like?

Whenever I meet up with my mentor, she will laugh and say we need to pull up a chair for Jesus.

We laugh, and with a serious expression she says, “No really, Naomi, Jesus is with us. He is sitting with us right here, right now.”

There are so many things on our mind daily.

Procrastinated essays, broken friendships, kids needing your constant attention, that specific boy/girl always on your mind, all the what if’s, the dream job you’re applying for, your parents are hurting, bitterness harboring in your heart, you need to work out more, etc….

Big /small, good/bad they are there, in our minds, keeping us busy from remembering who walks besides us.

A couple weeks ago I was praying and the latter part of Matthew 28:20 came to mind.

…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Jesus just finished telling His disciples to preach to all nations, baptize them, and encouraged believers to follow what He has commanded of His followers. Jesus concludes reminding His disciples (and all readers) that He will always be with us.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Again, I do not know about you, but currently many things cloud my mind. I have questions, worries, comments, opinions, concerns, hopes, and dreams. I do not have answers.

I do know that Jesus is the IT. He is what everyone is unceasingly searching for, though they may not even know it themselves.

I do know that He is always with us. I know and I believe He is always walking with us.

So today, take time and acknowledge His sovereignty.

Walk with Him. He is already walking with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If you know me, then you must know how dearly I adore photos. Not merely simple iPhone selfies, but I’m talking the real deal.

Clear, sharp, beautiful photographs that tell a story.

The other day two friends of mine happily adventured with me on a photo shoot escapade.

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Afterwards we drove to our favorite Denton coffee shop, lounged on the couch, and laughed giggles while viewing our precedent photo shoot.

As we were scrolling through the photos comments were spoken out loud from all three of us…

“I look funny.”

“My hair needs a trim real bad.”

“Why does my face look like that?”

“My pants look funny from that angle.”

And so forth.

I began thinking in my head how silly we sound. Not only silly, but how human. (And girly, we sounded pretty girly…)

All three of us know that we are created in God’s glorious image. Yet, our comments sounded doubtful.

The world has this ideal beauty — male and female.

Males are suppose to look one way, females are suppose to look another way.

And if we somehow do not match up to this ideal, we tend to feel deficient. Our confidence levels seem to disappear, and we dream away our days wishing and hoping for an ideal that is not ourselves.

Magazines, celebrities, plastic surgeons, and photo shop all tell us one thing.
Thankfully, God tells us differently.

Psalm 139:13-14, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.”

Genesis 1:26-27, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

You are most likely familiar with those verses. We have been reminded of them over and over and over again.

But, have you ever let them sink in? Truly, genuinely, whole-heartedly let them sink into your heart, soul, and mind?

Pause, close your eyes, and think for a moment.

YOU. God created YOU in His image.

This is not only referring to physically. This refers to your compassion, humility, wisdom, love and other traits which He refines and reshapes while making us new.

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Now get this!

Psalm 96:4-6, “For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him, Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.”

Close your eyes a second time.

Imagine a grand throne room. The king and queen stand in front of their thrones smiling, looking out towards their kingdom. The king, mighty in strength, handsome, with long, plush majestic robes flowing about him. He holds an intricate, golden scepter in his hand. The queen smiles with her eyes, her beauty is the talk of the town. Her hair is delicately donned up with various braids and curls sweeping across the back of her head. The gown she wears is the envy of every maiden.

Think of how beautiful those two royals must be. Not only does their outward appearance reflect power, but it reflects character from deep within. Character their kingdom can trust and serve.

God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is unfathomably more beautiful than that.

If we are created in His image, why do we doubt the beauty of our individual uniqueness?

Recently Proverbs 31:30 has given me a fresh perspective.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vainBut a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”

You could use so many different words to define this decaying world we live in.
Outward appearance has always been a constant threat to our contentment.

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Yes, it is wonderful to shower and dress nicely (I love wearing make-up).

But when we, male and female both, begin to define ourselves by the way we look on the outside — we set ourselves up for something that does not exist.

In the end, it will destroy us. (Oscar Wilde writes this theme well in his novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray”)

Philippians 3:18-21, “For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”

Beauty at its finest, deepest level reflects a heart and soul of character thirsting for Christ. He has promised to make us new.

He has promised to transform our bodies into something glorious.

Quit striving for youthful, outward appearance to define who you are.

Begin thirsting for the One who will make you new.

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