The Covergirl Look

Whether it’s CoverGirl or Maybelline, the point is to cover your face with enough cosmetics to make yourself radiant and catch others looking at you for your beauty.   When the Olympics were on, their ads were promoting “gold-medal beauty.”

While we are commanded to take care of our bodies, our focus is not to be centered on making ourselves beautiful.  I believe if we are working on our inner selves, our spirits, it will transfer to our outer selves.  That is true gold-medal beauty.  Braiding your hair doesn’t make you beautiful. Wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes doesn’t make you beautiful.  Instead, your beauty comes from inside you. It is the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. Beauty like that doesn’t fade away. God places great value on it. (1 Peter 3:3-4 NIRV)

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. (Exodus 34:29) Others were fearful to even come near him. This did not occur after a 20 minute morning quiet time with God.  Moses had been on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights without eating bread or drinking water in the presence of God.

To truly transform our inner selves we need to spend quality time with the Lord.  Moses was fasting.  I don’t recommend fasting all food and drink for 40 days and nights but how many have done it for one day or even one meal?  If you want to be changed, change from the inside out starting with your quiet time.  Is it consistent?  Do you have a plan that you follow?

Pick a place and challenge yourself.  Perhaps you would like to try reading through the Bible in a year. Many plans are available that break it down for you on a daily basis.   How about extending your prayer time? Got a prayer partner?  Ever journal?  Begin a Bible study.  Take a discipleship class.  Join a fellowship group.  Fast.

Psalm 34:5 says, “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”  Go and shine from the inside out!

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Restraining Order

A restraining order today prevents someone from coming near another person.  The word “restrain” prevents someone from doing, exhibiting, or expressing something.  Moses had to give an order to RESTRAIN the Israelites from bringing any more materials to help build the tabernacle.  Imagine!

In Exodus 35, Moses takes an offering and asks for gold, silver, bronze, yarns, linens, oil, wood, gems and other items.  He asks for skilled workers (engravers, embroiderers, weavers, designers) to come forward to make all the items for the tabernacle; poles, bases, coverings, curtains, furnishings, garments for the priests, etc.  Verse 21 says, “and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments.”

There was such a response that they had more than they needed and Moses had to put out a restraining order, “Stop!”  When have you ever been in a church where you heard someone from the pulpit cry out, “Stop!  We have enough Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, ushers, and help in the sound booth.  We can’t use any more help cleaning the building, can’t fit any more singers or musicians on the stage, can’t use any more help at the information table or setting up for coffee. Don’t bring anything else for the food pantry as we have nowhere else to store it.  Don’t give any more money because we have enough!”?

What skills and abilities or resources has God blessed you with that you are not willingly giving to build His church?  Ex. 36:3, “And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning.”  What freewill offerings are you bringing to the Lord on a DAILY basis?

 Then Moses sent for Bezalel and Oholiab. He sent for every skilled worker to whom the Lord had given ability and who wanted to come and do the work. They received from Moses all of the offerings the people of Israel had brought. They had brought the offerings for all of the work for every purpose connected with the holy tent. That included setting it up. The people kept bringing the offerings they chose to give. They brought them morning after morningSo all of the skilled workers who were working on the holy tent stopped what they were doing. They said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded us to do.” Then Moses gave an order. A message was sent through the whole camp. It said, “No man or woman should make anything else and offer it for the holy tent.” And so the people were kept from bringing more offerings.  Exodus 36:2-6 (NIRV)

May it be so with us!

Long Life Secrets

The world’s oldest living person, Misao Okawa, turned 116 years old on March 5, 2014.  Her children are now 94 and 92. She said her secret to a long life was to eat a lot of sushi and sleeping at least eight hours a night with an occasional nap and that you have to learn to relax.

The article I read on Okawa went on to discuss various studies on longevity.  Some of the research indicates that the majority of centenarians (those living past 100) have enjoyed good mental health and have adapted well psychologically, have strong wills, are outgoing, have a sense of curiosity, and have even gone through a period of food shortage (WWI).  We do know that there is no fountain of youth!

Misao Okawa

Methuselah lived 969 years. (Genesis 5:27)  That makes Okawa seem like just a child.  I’m not sure what secrets Methuselah could pass on for longevity but I’m sure one of them would be to walk with God and to put Him first.   Enoch was Methuselah’s father and we are told that after he became his father, Enoch walked faithfully with God for 300 years. (v.21 and 22)  Imagine the role model that Enoch was to Methuselah!  Methuselah was Noah’s grandfather and we know how faithful and obedient Noah was to the Lord.

Believe it or not we DO know the secret to longevity.  The Bible tells us the secret:

Exodus 20:12, Regard (treat with honor, due obedience, and courtesy) your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God gives you. (AMP)

Proverbs 10:27, The fear of the Lord adds length to lifebut the years of the wicked are cut short. (NIV)

Psalm 91:14-16, “If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God,
    “I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care
    if you’ll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
    I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,
    give you a long drink of salvation!” (MSG)

So there you have it, the secret for long life: Honor your parents, fear the Lord, and hold on to God for dear life!  It worked for Methuselah.  Why not try it?

No Hiding

It’s always exciting to watch a magician perform a trick and make anything from a coin to a person disappear.   We all know it’s only a trick, magic, an optical illusion.  They don’t “really” disappear.  What about the Malaysian airline jet, flight MH370, that disappeared on March 8th?  Today I saw an article that was titled, How a Plane Can Just Vanish because everyone is wondering what could have happened to a large aircraft with today’s technology? This is hard reality, however, not a slight of hand trick or something done for entertainment.  A total of 239 lives are missing.  At this point it’s been 4 days, using 40 ships and 34 planes from 9 different countries searching for the missing plane.  No debris has been found.  It’s a mystery.

Hide and seek is a popular game that children like to play.  Little ones even get a chuckle out of a parent “hiding” behind their hands playing peek-a-boo.  I Spy is another popular game where an object is in plain sight but is disguised or surrounded by so many other objects that it is hard to visually find and see it.

I know someone who ALWAYS knows exactly where we are.  In fact, we can’t get away from Him even if we tried!

Psalm 139:3-12 says,

You know when I leave and when I get back;
    I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
    before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
    then up ahead and you’re there, too—
    your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
    I can’t take it all in!

 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
    to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
    If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
    to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
    you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
    At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
    night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you. (MSG)

Hebrews 13:5 tells us that He will never leave us or forsake us.  He is always with us, always knows where we are. We’ll never get lost on His radar. This is very comforting but at the same time should be a warning and a check in our spirit.  You can’t run from God.  Jonah tried it and look where he ended up!  There’s no hiding anything from God either.  We might as well lay it all out on the table and strive for  clean hands and a pure heart.  Instead of running or hiding, let’s draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22 (NIV) We should make it our goal to have nothing to hide!

Sinkholes and Treasures

On February 12, 2014 a sinkhole opened up in Kentucky underneath the National Corvette Museum devouring 8 rare sports cars.  The total value of the damaged vehicles is substantial.  Fortunately it happened in the early morning hours before the museum was open and no people were hurt.  The sinkhole was estimated to be between 40 feet across and 30 feet deep.

The sinkhole was underneath the Sky Dome portion of the museum.  CNN reported, “Bharucha, of the Long Island Corvette Owners Association, knows the museum well…‘There’s a sense of awe and you get a lump in your throat when you walk inside.’ He’s right. I’ve been there.  It’s hallowed ground. Under the Sky Dome’s recognizable red spire and towering vaulted 100-foot high ceiling sits a round chamber that cradled rare vehicles… The room feels like a cathedral. And for many enthusiasts, it is kind of the Church of the Corvette.”

Wow!  Holy ground?  A cathedral?  A church of the corvettes?  We really do worship idols.  What do you value?  What is sacred to you and of utmost importance?

There is no basement in the museum and a cave was literally under the Sky Dome.  The museum is only a short drive away from Mammoth Cave National Park.  This also makes me think about our foundation, what are we building our lives upon?  What is your solid foundation?

It seems most people focus on storing up their treasures here on earth.  The Bible tells us that any treasures we store up here will “rust, be destroyed by moths, get stolen” or vanish into sinkholes!  The point is, we cannot hang onto them forever.  What are your treasures and where are you storing them?  What is your heart set on?

Matthew 6:19-21, Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NIV)

1 Timothy 6:17-19, Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life. (MSG)

Matthew 7:24-25, All who listen to my instructions and follow them are wise, like a man who builds his house on solid rock.  Though the rain comes in torrents, and the floods rise and the storm winds beat against his house, it won’t collapse, for it is built on rock. (TLB)