Following the Designer’s Care Instructions

Designer clothing is valuable because it carries the designer’s label and there are no two pieces exactly alike.

We carry our designer’s label.

So God created human beings in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (NLT) (italics are mine for emphasis)

Each of us is an individual masterpiece, created specifically and personally by the Master Designer himself.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
    They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
    they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
    you are still with me!

Psalm 139:13-18 (NLT)

Each of us bear the Master Designer’s label because we bear his image.  None of us are like the other.  We are each his personal masterpiece!

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We would never consider wearing a designer outfit to work on a car or in the garden.  Nor would we out of convenience decide to wash it with our everyday clothing in the washing machine. Why not?  Because the value makes us want to protect and cherish it according to the designer’s care instructions.

‘For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’  

Acts 17:28 (NLT) (italics mine for emphasis)

We would never think to say “I hate breathing oxygen, so I think I shall start breathing carbon monoxide today, just because I feel like it!”  Yet how often do we think we can decide to live outside of God’s care instructions because we feel like it, thinking we know better than the one who designed us?

God made us to live in his life and environment.  When we attempt otherwise, we starve from lack of him and die inside.

His care instructions state that we were designed to live in him.  That means that we were designed to find our satisfaction and identity in close relationship with him.  Not as a robot doing his every bidding without thought, but more as a lover responding to the love given.  

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God’s word, the Bible, outlines his care instructions for us.  It lays out the blessings for those who choose to abide by his instructions.  It also lays out what happens if we choose otherwise, in the form of warnings. Not because God wants to limit us, but because of his great love for his masterpiece, he wants us to have the most amazing life, by being cared for and cherished according to the value he placed upon us, and according to how he designed us.

What difference would it make in your life this very moment, if you decided to live within the care instructions of your Master Designer?  

I challenge you to discover the answer!  As always, I’d love some discussion!

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With love and prayers,

Robin <3

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Looking At Me Through God’s Eyes

As I get older, my figure isn’t what it used to be, and modern fashions made for thin, younger women don’t always suit me well, but in spite of this, I long to know that I’m beautiful to someone!

Aren’t we all on a quest to find that person, or group of people who see us as exceptional, beautiful, talented, and valued? And when life gets hard, the voices in our heads so easily send us down dark tunnels that echo “I’m not all that beautiful, and I’m not all that important.”  Those same echo’s have reverberated off the walls of my mind many times throughout my life.

However, I am discovering,

The more I look into my heavenly Father’s face to see my reflection, the less I care about the reflections I see through human eyes.

So, here are some reflections from our heavenly Father’s eyes to ponder:

“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
” Psalm 139:13,14 (MSG) 

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” John 3:16-18 (MSG)

“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. Romans 8:31-39 (MSG)

Wow!  Lord, I have trouble comprehending such love – for ME.  Please, help me to be able to embrace your amazing, over-the-top love.

With love,

Robin <3

 

 

 

 

Repost -God’s Incomprehensible Love

This week I’m with mom, preparing for her knee replacement on Monday.  Today we went to a training on how to best care for her after surgery. Tomorrow and Friday I will meet with long-time, dear friends for lunch; as well as spend precious time with mom, my sister, and brother-in-law through the weekend. I’m grateful for this precious time God has given us.

Last weekend, enroute, I was able to stay with a dear friend I’m able to see maybe once a year. She was 9 when we met, and is now married and raising her first child.  It was good to be in her home for the first time!

I thought I’d repost a blog I wrote a year ago for Advent 2015. There is no way that I can love those struggling perfectly, but there is One who can. His love is the beginning of all true loves.

“ADVENT DAY THREE; THE GIFT OF INCOMPREHENSIBLE LOVE “

my phone and can’t seem to locate that feature!

I pray you are well. I miss our time together!

With love,

Robin <3

Book Reviews – Ideas for Loving Purposefully

This week we have looked at standing with the struggling.  Today I thought I’d share a couple of books that have encouraged me recently in my pursuit of loving others.  I hope you enjoy!

For your information, I have not nor will I gain anything monetarily or otherwise from reviewing these books.  This is purely for your information and encouragement.

LISTEN LOVE REPEAT, Other Centered Living In A Self-Centered World

by Karen Ehman, New York Times Bestselling Author 

“Karen’s words here speak my heart language – and echo the heart of God.”  Ann Voskamp

I am currently reading this gem.  Karen takes her own experience of being loved and purposefully loving others to the next level.  Her ability to write in a way that places no judgement on the reader, encourages us to do as the title says, “Listen, Love, [and] Repeat. Placing loving others above ourselves.  Each chapter is full of examples on how to listen for someone’s “heart drops”, as she calls them, and find a way to love them in a purposeful, intimate gift of love based on what you’ve learned from/about them.  This book is an easy read, but you won’t want to rush through it – every chapter needs time to ponder and personalize.  (Purchasing the book through the link above will support Proverbs 31 Ministries.)

Karen’s blog “Karen Ehman, live your priorities, love your life” is delightful, and diverse!  I especially enjoy her weekly post “#LoveYourLifeFriday .

if you find this Letter, My Journey To Find Purpose Through Hundreds of Letters to Strangers

a memoir by Hannah Brencher

I was first introduced to Hannah at a “Propel” Women’s Conference in Orlando last December.  She was a delightful speaker with an inviting personality that speaks “life” without a word.  Her book tells her story of a college graduate with big dreams, headed for New York City.  She finds herself very lonely. So lonely, in fact, that she ends up writing letters to absolute strangers, leaving them in the subways, restrooms, and in coat pockets all over New York City.  This advanced to her writing a blog and offering to write a letter to anyone who would request one, no questions asked.  I will let you ‘hear’ the rest of the story from her.  The book is absolutely delightful, and will tug at your heartstrings.  Hannah has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, USATODAY.com, Chicago Tribune, and dozens of other publications.

You can learn more about Hannah and her purposeful love ventures at:  HannahBrencher.com or MoreLoveLetters.com

Both books leave me realizing that loving others can be an adventure, if I allow God the freedom to move me and propel me in new ways!

With love,

Robin <3

p.s. Please let me know what you think about having book reviews once in a while.  Let me know if you read these, and what you think!  I will be off line for at least a week traveling and helping out my mom.  I’ll enjoy when we get back together again, real soon!

Look For God’s Gifts

Advent, Wk 4, Day 1 – Jesus, God With Us

As I look back over the first Christmas, life for this small family wasn’t easy.  They endured much – rejection, uncertainties, and facing evil in order to follow God’s amazing plan for them. Yet, this story isn’t ultimately about the difficulties.  Why?

An amazing thing about the first Christmas isn’t that this family endured immense hardships, but that they chose to endure, seeing even dimly something so much bigger – trusting that God had chosen, through them, to dwell among men!  

Mary birthed the Son of God, because God longed to dwell with us, fulfilling a promise made hundreds of years before.  

Jesus came to set all aright. (Luke 4:14-18Malachi 3:1-5 – both NLT)

God dwelt with us not as the royalty he deserved, but as the son of a poor carpenter; allowing himself to endure every heartache and difficulty we endure.  

Jesus came to be a compassionate high priest before God on our behalf.  (Hebrews 4:14-16 NLT)

In dwelling with us, Jesus fully demonstrated God’s amazing grace and truth before all mankind perfectly; tempted in every way we are, yet never once falling prey to selfish motives or evil’s intentions.  

Jesus came to make a way for us to return to God, no matter what drew us away from God. (Romans 5:6-9 NLT)

Jesus dwelt among us knowing ahead of time that his ultimate purpose was to be

turned on by a friend,

turned over to blood thirsty religious leaders who reviled and beat him senselessly, and

turned away from those he came to save, to face a cruel Roman crosspiece

So that through his death and resurrection three days later, any who come to him will find rest in restored relationship with Almighty God.

This is the amazing gift of Christmas!

Jesus came.

He didn’t have to.

He did it for us.

So, as we face our own painful Christmas, how would things change if we began to look for Jesus in the middle of the pain?  What if we began to search for the magnificent plan he has for us as we go through the pain?  How would that change things?

Throughout this final week of Advent, we will be looking once again through the Christmas story to see God’s gifts in the middle – those magnificent moments that make the story of the babe in a manger so extraordinary.

As we do, I pray that you will begin to see your story in a new light – through the lens that you aren’t alone, and there is a magnificent plan for you through pain, because – God chose to dwell with us!

With much love,

Robin