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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Reading the Manufacturer’s Instructions

“God’s viewpoint is sometimes different from ours – so different that we could not even guess at it unless He had given us a Book which tells us such things….In the Bible I learn that God values us not for our strength or our brains but simply because He has made us.”
Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place*

This past summer, I decided to go cheap with a new gas grill, and bought one at a local discount store.  I knew I’d have to put it together myself, so I set out to do so one afternoon.  I pulled everything out of the box, and looked at the instruction manual as I painstakingly put it together piece…..by……piece.

Reading the instructions, early on, I noted a little box with an arrow going to it, but didn’t understand, so moved on.  The little box was so tiny, and therefore I assumed so “insignificant”. Unfortunately, that little box was crucial, and so when I got to a certain point, I realized I had put the legs on backward and needed to pull most of what I’d done apart. That little box was meant to alert me how to differentiate between the front and the back of the legs.

As I put the grill pieces together, I never wondered if they were formed accidentally through a mass explosion at the factory. Likewise, I never looked at the pieces and assumed they would put themselves together!  Nor would I ever think that the pieces would write their own instructions.  I assumed there was a manufacturer.  I acknowledged there was a plan – an instruction manual.

How could we, who are so beautifully and intricately fashioned, ever consider we were formed by an accidental explosion, and are able to write “our own instruction manual”? 

for through him [Jesus] God created everything
    in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
    and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
    Everything was created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16 (NLT)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1 (NIV)

 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Genesis 1:31 (NIV) (Italics mine for emphasis)

Dear one, when was the last time you looked in the mirror and saw yourself as intentionally made, and made well?  You may frustratingly state, “But I don’t feel that way; and if you saw my life right now, you’d not say “It is good”!

Stay with me, please, over this series.

Tomorrow, we will look further at How and Why we were made, according to God’s instruction manual.  As always, I invite your feedback and comments.  I love “table talk”!

With love and prayers,

Robin <3

*Corrie ten Boome was an amazing woman who lived during the time of the Nazi attempt to annihilate the Jews before, during, and after WWII.  A portion of her story is found in “Strength to Forgive

p.s. You may also wish to read:  “The Gift of The Word

 

 

Keeping Beauty In Its Rightful Place

When I choose to live within the lavish love of God, outward beauty begins to take its rightful place in my heart and mind.

I don’t always see my self as God sees me.  Sometimes I forget whose I am, and long for acceptance and approval by others. (Isn’t that truly the root of most feverish attempts to make ourselves beautiful?)

Jesus did everything needed to make me beautiful.  I need to dwell in the truth of it.

The easiest time for me to forget how God sees me, is when life is hard.  The enemy of my soul loves to take any weakness and expand upon it.  He does that with all of us, and so we need to prepare ourselves for his attacks.

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. 

10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. I Peter 5:8-10 (NLT)

My outward appearance is no more than a piece of who I am. I don’t need to use it to receive acceptance and validation, but rather I have the opportunity to express Christ’s lavish love for me by the way I appear.

Over the years, I’ve learned some practical tips in aiding this goal:

  1. I try to spend time early in the day with Jesus in his Word and prayer.  This gives me the ability to see myself through his eyes rather than the eyes of the world.  If this is a new concept, the book of Ephesians is a wonderful place to begin. (Clue:  Look for all the times it says, “In Him…” and record what we are given or who we are.)  As you read, ask the Holy Spirit to make these truths real to your heart and mind.
  2. I try to dress in the styles I enjoy, not to please others, but to honor God and express unashamedly how he made me.  How would that look for you?
  3. How I dress does affect me.  Even if I’m not going out, I dress so that when I look in the mirror, I’m pleased.  I’m not an avid make-up wearer, but I enjoy wearing pretty jewelry and pretty blouses – whether or not anyone else sees me. How would this change your daily view when you look in the mirror?
  4. There are times when the Holy Spirit will convict me of something I’m wearing. If my appearance objectifies my body or causes men (other than my husband) to focus on my body, I’m devaluing the way Christ made me to honor and express him.

The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7b (NLT)

As I grow in seeing my appearance as an opportunity to shine as one deeply loved by Jesus, I become even more beautiful!  I also more clearly reflect that love to the world.

How are we outwardly expressing Jesus’ lavish love for us, beautiful ones?

With love,

Robin <3

True Beauty Of A Changed Life

Jesus’ sacrifice of purest love offers me the true beauty of a changed life.

I love this song by Mercy Me entitled “Beautiful” (from the album “The Generous Mr. Lovewell“, released 2010).  It beautifully portraits the heart of God toward us.  I chose this rendition on You Tube because even the comments after are a gift, showing how God has used this song in the lives of listeners.

Beautiful

Days will come when you don’t have the strength
When all you hear is you’re not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart, they’d see too much

You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred
You are His
You’re beautiful

Praying that you have the heart to fight
‘Cause you are more than what is hurting you tonight
For all the lies you’ve held inside so long
They are nothing in the shadow of the cross

You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred
You are His
You’re beautiful

Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You’re the one He madly loves
Enough to die

You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
In His eyes
You’re beautiful
You were meant for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful
You are treasured you are sacred you are his
You’re beautiful
You are meant for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful
You are treasured you are sacred you are his

Songwriters: CAROLE KING
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind
Jesus, may you give me the faith to believe you, and follow you.  Fill me with your Spirit, and change my life as you’ve promised.  In Jesus’ name, amen.
“To all who mourn in Israel,  he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.” Isaiah 61:3 (NLT)
With love,
Robin <3

 

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

 

 

 

 

How Can I See Myself As Truly Beautiful?

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Good afternoon!  I hope this finds you well. For those who regularly follow, a quick update. Mamma went through surgery very well yesterday, and is already up in her chair this afternoon after her first rounds of OT and PT.  She is doing amazingly well, and so we give thanks to God, who gives all good things. Thanks to many who have been praying. She is doing so well, she is going home tomorrow.

Yesterday, Mom, my sister, and I were discussing the modern beauty trend toward extreme thinness and the “need” to dress in a way that shows so much body to “be beautiful”.  I’m so grateful that God doesn’t need either to see me as beautiful, for I’m neither thin nor do I like to show a lot of skin.

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. I Peter 3:3-4 NLT

God views me as beautiful when I clothe myself with Jesus.

When I’m struggling with who I am, that is comforting!  I am loved and accepted – even if my shape isn’t stick thin.  I can be beautiful to the God of heaven, even if I don’t dress in the latest fashions.  I can enjoy MY skin, because the God of heaven sees me as beautiful when I clothe myself with a growing character that looks like his Son!

How we see ourselves often relates to our circumstances.  When we are struggling, it’s too easy to lose focus and view ourselves wrongly. This week, I would love to look more closely at how we can see ourselves as God sees us.

If you are a man reading this blog, please don’t avoid our table the rest of the week! You may not struggle with “beauty”, but you may have a special woman in your life who does. The men in our lives contribute to how we see ourselves, based upon their personal ideology of beauty.  So, our discussions this week may give you ways to encourage your special lady. So please don’t stay away!

I look forward to being with you the rest of the week.  Discussions will also include practical ideas that have worked for me during times I’ve struggled.  As with any discussion, I’d love your input as the week progresses.

With love and prayers,

Robin<3