I’m presently riding through what seems to be a desert in Arizona, disappointed that there’s no In-n-Out burger stand anywhere on the horizon. It looks barren & desolate with little tufts of gray foliage scraggling it’s way on the endless sand, to the end of the horizon.
For some folk, this vista is austere beauty in perfection. For others, the seeming absence of life & vacancy is nothing but unattractive.
And I’m grateful that God has made not only this austere beauty along with rainforests & snowcapped mountains. Equally true is that God has made you beautiful & you’re highly desirable to Him, regardless of how your look, your talents or inadequacies, etc. You are never ugly nor repulsive to God!!
Have you seen or heard something that was deeply moving or thoroughly enthralling? Over the last 2weeks, my family & did a western US whirlwind road trip vacation where I experienced forests that were entirely enchanting, beaches of supreme serenity, waterfalls with endless energy & rock formations that defy human explanation. In some ways, this road trip was a day to day encounter with masterpieces of divine creation that still swim in my thoughts & mesmerize my imagination.
But here’s the greatest masterpiece of all: YOU! You have been fashioned, shaped & sculpted in the image of God & there’s no one who looks, thinks or talks like you! Because you’re God’s masterpiece & you have the breath of the Almighty in your lungs, please never settle for being a clone or repeat. One of the glorious things about a masterpiece is that it’s one of a kind & any reproduction pales when compared to the original. Be all that God has made you to be with the help of the Holy Spirit!
This is a picture I took while flying home yesterday & it doesn’t do justice to the splendor & majesty I saw from the plane. What interests me today as I look back over these pictures is that the clouds seemed to define the top of the picture even though I know that these clouds aren’t really any kind of a limit.
I think we often do the same thing in our daily living. We see stuff that seems to be limiting or constricting factors. But beyond our perception can be glory, adventure, beauty & mind blowing experiences. Let’s remember that the sky is the limit!!
I really like listening to symphonies and experiencing the music from excellent orchestras. I think I acquired this appreciation from various field trips to the orchestra when I was in elementary school and maybe from a few of those heinous piano lessons in my childhood, maybe. I get extremely excited when I start to hear an orchestra tune for the performance – like a giddy anticipation of the ensuing excitement that is about to unfold. Here’s a brief link to an orchestra tuning & I’d encourage you to focus on the one instrument to which all the others are attempting to match.
I bring up this example today because many of us have pieces & parts to our lives that can feel disjointed & unconnected. Let me encourage you today, to tune your attention to the Holy Spirit to give cohesion, direction and order to what can seem random & chaotic in your life. Sometimes we need to remove some clutter that creates cacophony & disorder. Sometimes, we may need to slow down to hear the Holy Spirit better. And sometimes we may need to have some internal fine-tuning so that our lives express the love of God poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit – Romans 5:5 🙂
Yesterday, I had the awesome privilege of visiting the National Art Museum in Washington, D.C. – such an amazing place! My dad loved art, so I grew up visiting art museums & galleries, hence my appreciation for art. The thing about art museums is that everything is on public display except for the back hallways, security systems & inner workings of the building. These areas are not available for public access, nor should they be. They are kept for the employees, for keeping the art safe & for maintaining a reasonable environment for the art to be enjoyed by the general public.
Seems to me that an art museum is kind of how our walk with the Holy Spirit should be. Our public life should be regulated by the Holy Spirit in our private world. We should allow the Holy Spirit total access into the hallways of our thoughts. We should allow the Holy Spirit to protect us from the harmful efforts of the devil & we should let the Holy Spirit display the life & love of Jesus through us to the world around us. Let’s be certain to give the Holy Spirit total access throughout our lives so that we display the life of Jesus in all of His glory!
This morning, I read about how God created the world in 6 days, speaking & creating – super powerful & very amazing! What always rattles me to the core is when I read about how God created man. This upends me because with everything that God created, only with man did God shape & mold man according to the image of God. With the rest of what God created, God spoke & it was done.
God’s fingerprints are all over mankind & as I watch people with this mindset, I see beauty, creative individuality & even some glimpses of glory. Since we are made in the image of God, watch & listen for God’s fingerprints as we interact with each other, with respect, gratitude & encouragement 🙂
Announcing with splendor and display
“Goodbye to our trees,
Our homes we now leave
Farewell to branches, twigs and trunk
We bid you, ‘adieu’
Our home we now leave
To nestle away in bugs, dust and decay
Fertilizing and feeding
Investing for resurrection
But today we prepare to leave
We pack the green
And exchange for gold
Orange, red, magenta and maroon
We are leaving, the leaves bid ‘adieu’
Living in America has the very subtle & sneaky attempt to be blinded by glitz, glam, image, shiny, trendy and veneer. Whether we realize it or not, our culture bombards us with airbrushed faces, glimmery white teeth, body images that are almost physically impossible and lots more. If we aren’t careful, we can be seduced by image and forget that substance, character and integrity are very important.
With this in mind, I find it very interesting that the person who heralded Jesus’ arrival was the antithesis of image conscious – John the Baptist was very earthy and for that matter, so is Jesus. The Son of God, robed in splendor, glory and the ultimate glitz put on our skin, lived among us and was often mistaken for a mere man. May the Holy Spirit help us to reveal Jesus through our daily and earthy living 🙂
YAHOOOOO!!! Today is Cinco de Mayo – the 5th of May (after the official Star Wars May the 4th be with you). This is a day when we commemorate the history of freedom and democracy, along with celebrating Hispanic culture, achievements and heritage. Having grown up in Denver, Colorado and making innumerable vacations with my parents in New Mexico, I particularly enjoy this holiday and honor the achievements of my latin amigos!
When I think about cultural diversity on a more universal scale, I think that heaven will be a completely OUTRAGEOUS celebration of diversity, blending of cultural strengths and honoring the amazing diverse beauty that our Creator has designed into the fabric of humanity throughout all time. Today, we honor our latin friends and we are also reminded that we are each fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God – such breathtaking beauty, captivating and consuming!
I was reading this morning about how Solomon build God’s temple and I was particularly impressed with all of the gold stuff. If I read correctly, I think Solomon had the Holy of Holy entirely covered in gold, including the floor. If this is true, the room was the definition of glitter, sparkle, beauty and extravagance. Solomon was beyond extravagant with building God’s temple – his worship to God might even be considered by excessive by some, if that could ever be possible.
As my friend Darlene Zschech embodies, lets worship God with abandoned extravagance, no matter what we may be going through or what’s happening around us 🙂
I’m sitting in a malnutrition until for babies & surrounded by beauty – beautiful moms, babies, care workers & beauty. Along with the vast colors & faces who are nothing less than breathtaking, I am also see babies who have some definite feeding & some healthcare needs. So I’m looking into some possibilities & we’ll see the ways in which we can be helpful. In the meantime, I’m overwhelmed by how beautiful the people are. They’re regal, majestic, strong & friendly. I’ll try to post some pix with this blog, but know that the beauty goes far beyond my ability to capture in a photo & with that in mind, consider how wonderful & beautiful you are to God 🙂
It seems to me that Spring is a very popular season – we like it for the newness of life, for the conclusion of winter, for the longer days and for a host of other reasons. My kids particularly like it because it’s the time when they get to celebrate the conclusion of another school year 🙂
During this Spring, I’ve noticed that many of the trees in our neighborhood are starting to blossom and they’re very beautiful! As I was thinking about how beautiful these blossoms are, I was reminded about seeing a team of men who were pruning the trees about a month ago, at the very tail end of Winter. The best blossoms happen after winter and some healthy pruning 🙂
Welcome to the month of May! In Denver, it’s snowing today & while that may seem out of synch with the Spring season, it is nevertheless, an extremely beautiful day. Yesterday was also a beautiful because it was sunny with chirping birds and bright air.
In my mind, we can find beauty in every day. We can find beauty in the trees, the wind, faces that we see, songs of birds, wind chimes and much more. Today reminds me that even though the snow isn’t exactly congruent with the season, there is beauty everywhere and in every season 🙂
I’m presently on our Fall group trip & we are doing some touring & ministry in Rome. Can I just say that Rome is one of my all time favorite cities?!?!! Wherever you look there’s just amazing beauty, history & magnificence! Yesterday, we visited the Vatican & I posted lots of pix on fb & Instagram, so you can see some of the amazing sites that filled this amazing day. Today, we are going to visit the Colesium along with several piazzas, fountains & of course cappuccinos ,)
One of the things that takes my breath away about this city is the prolific history. Everywhere I look I see history & since I’m a history fan, it’s almost impossible for me to not love this city 🙂
We just drove by a temple that was built in the 7th century bc. I’m just sayin!! Ooooh la la!!!!
I’m currently making my way to Rome to join mom for ourFall group trip, with a layover in London. One of the great things about traveling is the magnificent opportunities to watch people & London is one of the best places for people watching. When I watch people as I travel, I see & experience lots if things:
*an overwhelming display of God’s outrageous creativity
*a diversity of beauty in people: beautiful eyes, beautiful hands, beautiful travel hair, beautiful wrinkles and so much more
*despite the hustle & bustle of making flight connections, gate changes, luggage challenges, etc, I can experience an internal peace & serenity that can still my foggy yet whirling thoughts
I like to watch people in lots of different places – starbucks, airports, grocery stores, etc. Sometimes when I watch people I’m awestruck at how beautiful & magnificent each person is. Some people have beautiful eyes or beautiful hair. Some people have rustic beauty & others are beautiful because of their regal stature. But people are beautiful – made in the image of our Creator & everywhere, they are beautiful, way beyond being broken 🙂
Today, we had a small bit of family time. Reece & i took Benji (our 5 yr old) skiing. Reece & Benji ski, but i snowboard – that’s a whole different story. Anyways, driving up to the mtns, it was totally beautiful. It was lightly snowing & the wind would gently stir the trees, catching the snow & creating almost like snow ghosts, whisping around the tree tops. Once we hit the slopes, it continued to snow throughout the day & was totally captivating. I don’t think there are many more peaceful things then being in the mountains while its snowing. Everything seems extremely still & quiet – almost like a holy awe. It was also incredible today because i couldn’t hardly see – the snow from the sky was blending into the snow on the ground & i my eyes couldn’t differentiate very well different elevations on the ground. You can make your own conclusions, but none of us got hurt.
Ok, my point in all of this was that today seemed like a divine assault on my senses – totally light, the air filled w stillness & the clouds occassionally giving way to the sun’s mild globe. Totally amazing. i’m captivated by God – such extravagence