Monday, May 18, 2015

OH DEER...TRACKS!


Snow.

Yup, the last few days we have had an unseasonable (but oh so welcome) Spring snow.

Curled up in my blankets, with a roaring fire going, I have enjoyed watching the big, fluffy flakes fall to earth.

One of the things I really love about living in the mountains is the snow.

It covers everything with a powdered-sugar coating.

It's so pretty.  

And peaceful.  

Snow brings a *hush* over the landscape.  There's nothing like the feeling of being tucked warmly inside during the storm.  It's like there's no one else in the world but me and "The Hub."

Oh, and the deer.

That's something else I love about living in the mountains.

The wildlife.

And I especially love the deer.

We have a watering trough just down the slope at the side of our house. And we've added a salt lick.  Reassured by the "locals" that salt licks don't interfere with the deer's natural feeding patterns, we couldn't resist.

Our salt lick looks like a boulder!

So, it's great fun to peep out the window during the day to see if we have any company!

Last year we saw one mother deer with two babies.  And another mom with one baby.  They still drop by for a visit – though the babies are bigger now. And one of the mothers looks a little "chubby" – more babies soon to be born?

But where on earth are the bucks?

I do remember "The Hub" encountering one rather majestic male deer just down the road to our house.  (His picture is down below).  Oh, what a sight he was!  Wish we saw more of those guys!!

But he's been the only one.

We've seen some "teenagers" with little antlers just forming, but sightings of Mr. Stag have not happened since.  But, we have had the fun of finding some shed antlers on our property.

So, I know those guys are out there…somewhere.


I wonder…

Where do the deer go when we don't see them?

Where do they sleep?  Where do they go when it's cold and rainy and snow covers the ground?  Where do they give birth?  Where do they call home?

I know they're out there – and I've seen evidence of their movements in the snow.  Footprints galore.  And once, I saw a little guy following a bigger guy.  Little footprints carefully following in bigger footprints.

Which brings me to today's rumination.

(By the way, deer are known as ruminants.  So, clever pun, huh?!)

I am thinking about those deer tracks, and specifically about how those little ones follow their leader…

Deer have well-traveled paths that they traverse over and over.  They know where they're going.  And the little ones follow the big ones to find shelter, nourishment, water, and safety.

Such an example of how we should walk with the Savior!

He alone knows the path we should take.  He alone knows the well-worn ways. He alone is qualified to lead us.  His footprints are the only ones we should follow.


He knows when and where we sleep.

"You know when I sit down or stand up…You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.  You know everything I do." (Psalm 139:2-3, NLT)


He is the place we must run to when life gets stormy.

"You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat." (Isaiah 25:4, NIV)


He has been with us since before we were born.

"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb…You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.  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." (Psalm 139:13, 15-16, NLT)


He alone is our true Home.

"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God…" 
(Ephesians 2:19, ESV)



And He will eternally be our source of shelter, nourishment, water, and safety.

"He will cover you with his feathers.  He will SHELTER you with his wings.  His faithful promises are your armor and protection." (Psalm 91:4, NLT)

"Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation.  Cry out for this NOURISHMENT, now that you have had a taste of the Lord's kindness." (1 Peter 2:2-3, NLT)

"'…those who drink the WATER I give will never be thirsty again.  It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.'" 
(John 4:14, NLT)

"In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in SAFETY." (Psalm 4:8, NLT)



As I enjoy this beautiful and unexpected snow, as I ponder the lessons of deer tracks, I am warmed by the thought that my Lord leads me.

All I have to do is follow…

…in His tracks.


"You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him." (Deuteronomy 13:4, NASB)





He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He causes me to stand on the heights.
As the deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, O God.



"This is what the LORD says: 'Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.'" (Jeremiah 1:16, NIV)

"You shall be careful therefore to do as the LORD your God has commanded you.  You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.  You shall walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you..." (Deuteronomy 5:32-33, ESV)

"I have refused to walk on any evil path, so that I may remain obedient to your word.  I haven’t turned away from your regulations, for you have taught me well." (Psalm 119:101-102, NLT)

"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." (Psalm 16:11, ESV)

"Your own ears will hear him.  Right behind you a voice will say, 'This is the way you should go,' whether to the right or to the left." (Isaiah 30:21, NLT)

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." 
(Psalm 119:105, ESV)

"Enter through the narrow gate...For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Matthew 7:13-14, NASB)

"Therefore Jesus said again, 'Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep...whoever enters through me will be saved.  They will come in and go out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.'" 
(John 10:7, 9-10, NIV)

"The One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out.  Their King will pass through before them, the Lord at their head." (Micah 2:13, NIV)



How closely are you following The Leader?



Linked with:

SHARING HIS BEAUTY, PLAYDATES WITH GOD, SMALL WONDER, MONDAY'S MUSINGS, MONDAYS AT SOUL SURVIVAL, MAKE A DIFFERENCE MONDAYS, GOOD MORNING MONDAYS, MOTIVATE & REJUVENATE MONDAYS, GRATEFUL HEART MONDAY, FIND STABILITY, TELL ME A TRUE STORY, SOLI DEO GLORIA, TITUS 2 TUESDAY, TESTIMONY TUESDAY, TELL IT TO ME TUESDAY, TUESDAY TALK, RA RA LINKUP, WOMEN HELPING WOMEN, UNITE, TELL HIS STORY, WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAY, A LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS, WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY, THREE WORD WEDNESDAY, COFFEE FOR YOUR HEART, WISE WOMAN, COFFEE & CONVERSATION, WOMEN WITH INTENTION, WAITING ON WEDNESDAY, THOUGHT-PROVOKING THURSDAY, LIVE FREE THURSDAY, BELOVED BREWS, EVERYDAY JESUS, GRACE AT HOME, SHINE, THOUGHTFUL THURSDAYS, FROM HOUSE TO HOME, LITTLE THINGS THURSDAY, FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY, LIGHT FRIDAY HIT LIST, MAKE MY SATURDAY SWEET, A GROUP LOOK, FAITH FILLED FRIDAY, SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS, COUNTING MY BLESSINGS, FELLOWSHIP FRIDAYFAITH & FELLOWSHIP, GRACE & TRUTH, DANCE WITH JESUS, SATURDAY SOIREE, STILL SATURDAY, WEEKEND BREW, TGI SATURDAYS, LIVING PROVERBS, SUNDAY STILLNESS, GIVE ME GRACE


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, May 11, 2015

I HATE BEING SICK


I really, really do.

And as I type this, I am sick.  Yuck.

The inside of my nose feels like it's been torched by a flamethrower.  My throat feels like I've swallowed fiberglass.  I can’t taste my food because my sinuses are so plugged up.  My body feels like I've gone twelve rounds with a heavyweight boxer.  My head is doing a rather fantastic job of imitating a jackhammer.  And I just might have a fever.

You can probably tell, too, that I am not a good sick person.

I complain…a lot.

First of all, I'm just mad that I'm sick in the first place.  Somehow I view it as a personal failure.  Like there's something wrong with me because I can't fight off each and every germ that comes my way.  I get angry with my body for being fragile.  I also get kinda perturbed because I am the queen of waterless soap.  Seems like I should be rewarded for my cleanly habits with ever-present good health, right??


Second, I don't do well with the symptoms.  

I am annoyed by symptoms.

I get frustrated with stuffiness.  I don't like having my ears painfully plugged up.  "What??"  I can't stand trying to find a comfortable position for my aching joints.  (Just call me The Princess and the Pea – although you might want to wait until I'm not sick anymore…)  And I hate waiting the 2 or 3 days it takes before my very sore throat gets *coated* and I can swallow easier.

Of course, I also try incessantly to discover why I got sick in the first place. I do this because then I reason I can avoid doing this again.  But, in this crazy world, there are innumerable places that we come in contact with "stuff" – and we are always susceptible to invasion.  Even in spite of waterless soap.


When I'm sick, I get awfully cranky moody.

I start feeling sorry for myself, and I want company all the time.  My poor husband.  He can't disappear for five minutes without me calling him.  "I'm lonely.  Where are you?  Come sit in here by me."

Illness = Instant Regression to 5 Years Old.

I sometimes cry – though I try to limit crying until my throat feels better. Nothing like a good sob to inflame fiberglass.  So, usually I just whimper a lot.

And, I just love how I look when I get sick.

My long hair is all tangled in the back of my head like the rear side of a tapestry.  I avoid brushing my teeth.  My eyes are watery and red.  My skin is pale.  I stay in the same clothes for days.  I am a living example of the verse in 1 Peter that says, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment…"

Nope, not winning any pageants here – unless it's "Mrs. Congested Uncongeniality of 2015."


But, I've got to tell you something – "The Hub" is an amazing nurse.  

He brings me all sorts of stuff, and sits with me, and mutters nice words of pity and encouragement.  He rubs my feet and pats my head, and really does all he can to make me feel better.

He tells me he'd rather be sick than me.  That he'd take it upon himself so I wouldn't have to suffer.

And you know what?  He means it!!

And in these blistering days of brain fog, I realize one thing that's true.


My husband is being like Christ to me.


Here's how he’s doing that:


1) He commiserates with my infirmities

I've often wondered if Jesus ever got sick.  The Bible tells us that He is our High Priest, tested and tempted in every area that we are.  So, I'm going to assume that He felt the travails of being human, including being sick.

And if not sick, He certainly understood physical pain.

Jesus, uniquely God and man at the same time.

So, He knew what it was like to live without pain and disease and suffering. He knew what it felt like to be omnipotent.  But, He also chose to enter the human condition – to experience the limitations and liabilities of being finitely ensconced in a frail and faulty body.


Therefore, Jesus empathizes with my illness.

"This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do…" (Hebrews 4:15, NLT)


2) He ministers to my needs

This is also what Jesus did.  He met people where they were – sick, blind, lame, faithless, angry, depressed, lonely – you name it, Jesus was there, providing what people needed.  Of course, the ultimate need that Jesus took care of was our "sin sickness."  He did what it took to procure a permanent cure.


Always and forever, Jesus takes care of our needs.

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19, NIV)


3) He gives me comfort and encouragement

Oh, indeed!  And is there any better comfort than knowing that Jesus cares for us?  Is there any more encouragement than knowing that these temporary ills are just that – temporary?  When our bodies fail, our spirits can soar in spite of them because of the hope we have for the future.


Jesus whispers promises of eternity to me.

"For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…" (2 Corinthians 4:17, ESV)


4) He keeps me company

You know, being ill or physically impaired is really a lonely place.  It can be very isolating to suffer.  Sometimes people are "there" for us initially, but over time their presence can disappear.  After all, it can be hard to be around someone who isn't well.

One can be reminded of their own frailties.  Or they can tire of the demands of the afflicted person.  Or they succumb to the depressing circumstances.  Or they just run out of words to say.

But really, the very best comfort is just the presence of someone else.

In the beginning of his travails, Job's friends got it right – "Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights.  No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words."  (Job 2:13, NLT)

Sometimes that's all we need.

No words, no clich├ęs, no platitudes.

Just someone's presence.


And the unflagging and unchanging presence of Jesus is something that we can count on in every single moment of our lives – now and forever.

"'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'" (Hebrews 13:5, NIV)


5) He'd be willing to take my place

You know, it's rather amazing to me when my husband tells me he wishes he was sick instead of me.  I've been known to say that to him, too, but maybe not always as sincerely!  His pain at my pain is plain to see.  He would do anything to spare me discomfort.  He's so unselfish that way.

And Jesus – oh, do we need to say more about His self-sacrifice?!

He actually DID take our place.  He did indeed transfer our pain and suffering and sin onto His own shoulders.  God's pain at our pain was so intolerable that He sent His own Son to do something about it.

And Jesus willingly obeyed.

The Bible tells us that some of us might be willing to lay down our lives for another person.  

"Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die." (Romans 5:7, NIV)

But, would any of us ever think of dying for a traitor, a terrorist, or a murderer?  Would we sacrifice our lives for someone who was absolutely "no good"?  I think not.

But this is what Jesus did.  

He died for us – when we were still sinners, and therefore abhorrent to God's perfect holy character.  He died for us – when we were still enemies of righteousness.  He died for us – when we didn't even fully realize that we needed Him.


He died for us – He took our place  because He loved us.

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us." 
(1 John 3:16, NIV)


So, my friends, are you sick or suffering?  Are you physically maimed or hurt? Are you groaning in the confines of your diseased and dying body?

Are you discouraged by the affliction of being human?

Then take heart!

For we have Jesus.

The One who commiserates with our infirmities, ministers to our needs, gives us comfort and encouragement, keeps us company…

And not only was willing, but did indeed take our place.


Can you hand me a kleenex?

And not for my stuffy nose this time…

My heart is overwhelmed by my Savior's presence.






My New Best Friends 




"The LORD nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health." (Psalm 41:3, NLT)

"My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever." (Psalm 73:26, NLT)

"So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day." (2 Corinthians 4:16, ESV)

"For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:17-18, NASB)

"...after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.  To him be the dominion forever and ever.  Amen." 
(1 Peter 5:10-11, ESV)

"'...I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.'" (John 10:28, NASB)

"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.  He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.'

And he who was seated on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.'" 

(Revelation 21:3-5, ESV



What helps you deal with physical infirmity?




Linked with:

SHARING HIS BEAUTY, PLAYDATES WITH GOD, SMALL WONDER, MONDAY'S MUSINGS, MONDAYS AT SOUL SURVIVAL, LIFE GIVING LINKUP, GOOD MORNING MONDAYS, FIND STABILITYGRATEFUL HEART MONDAY, TELL ME A TRUE STORY, TITUS 2 TUESDAYSOLI DEO GLORIA, MAKE A DIFFERENCE MONDAYS, UNITE, TELL IT TO ME TUESDAY, MOTIVATE & REJUVENATE MONDAYS, TESTIMONY TUESDAY, TUESDAY TALK, RA RA LINKUP, WOMEN HELPING WOMEN, TELL HIS STORY, A LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS, WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAYS, WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY, THREE WORD WEDNESDAY, COFFEE FOR YOUR HEART, WISE WOMAN, COFFEE & CONVERSATION, SO MUCH AT HOME, WOMEN WITH INTENTION WEDNESDAYS, WAITING ON WEDNESDAY, LIVE FREE THURSDAY, BELOVED BREWS, THOUGHT-PROVOKING THURSDAY, EVERYDAY JESUS, GRACE AT HOME, SHINE, THOUGHTFUL THURSDAYS, FROM HOUSE TO HOME, LITTLE THINGS THURSDAY, FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY, LIGHT FRIDAY HIT LIST, SPIRITUAL SUNDAYSFELLOWSHIP FRIDAYS, COUNTING MY BLESSINGS, MAKE MY SATURDAY SWEET, FAITH & FELLOWSHIP, A GROUP LOOK, FELLOWSHIP FRIDAY, GRACE & TRUTH, DANCE WITH JESUS, SATURDAY SOIREE, STILL SATURDAY, WEEKEND BREW, TGI SATURDAYSRECOMMENDATION SATURDAY, GIVE ME GRACE, SUNDAY STILLNESS



BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, May 4, 2015

"SPITTING STITCHES"


Yeah, you read that right.

Spitting stitches.

What on earth am I talking about?

The phrase "spitting stitches" refers to the concept that either permanent or absorbable sutures that are normally just under the skin poke through the skin and are palpable on the outside.

OK, yes, gross.

But, Marty (my granddog) knows all about it.

About six weeks ago, Marty developed a bump along his scarline.  Over the course of two weeks, it waxed and waned, until finally it got quite large and red.  Yup, off to the vet's again!

Turns out that Marty's body was having a reaction to one of his surgery sutures.  (You can read about his surgery here).  So, though the stitch didn't actually break through to the surface, it was causing all sorts of problems – which led to more money, two weeks of antibiotics, and another stint with the Cone of Shame.

Marty is fine.

And like the wonder dog that he is, he took all this in stride.

But the whole process got me thinking about how the body works.

Fine-tuned to survive, the body does all sorts of cool things.  And one of the things it does is fight off invaders that don't belong.  Like bacteria, viruses, and foreign objects.

Like errant stitches!

Dissolvable stitches are meant to dissolve.  (Well yes, duh).  But sometimes they don't.  And then the body takes over, and tries to repel them. Kinda like what happens when you get a sliver.  I remember once when a tiny piece of glass worked its way out of my foot a year after I had stepped on broken glass in my kitchen!

This process is called *rejection.*  

Our body's immune system is designed to seek and destroy any foreign object that it finds in our bodies.  Rejection occurs as the body's immune system responds to the invasive entity.  Without our conscious knowledge or voluntary direction, our body starts the processes necessary to protect itself and remove the offending object.

An inflammatory response occurs when tissues are injured.

Damaged cells release chemicals, causing swelling, and this helps isolate the foreign substance from further contact with body tissues.  The chemicals also attract white blood cells that "eat" germs and dead or damaged cells.


You might not be a medical person, but I find this fascinating.

And it provokes wondrous awe at how God created bodies to work (even doggy bodies!)


Now you know me, I'm always going to be looking for a *God lesson* – and here's what I'm thinking:


1) Our physical bodies are indeed "fearfully and wonderfully" made.  God, knowing the eventual ramifications of sin – that it would bring about disease, injury, pain – fashioned in-built defenses.  It's amazing to watch them at work.

"Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it." (Psalm 139:14, NLT)


2) In the same way that our physical bodies can be "invaded," our spiritual beings are also subject to assault from things like temptation and sin. And since we were originally created perfect, sin is truly a "foreign object."

"When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned." (Romans 5:12, NLT)


3) Now, when we accept Jesus as our personal Savior, we also welcome the presence of the Holy Spirit.  And He's kinda like our spiritual immune system.  He works to seek and destroy sin in our lives.  He helps us to *reject* it!

"So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the…Spirit [desires] what is contrary to the flesh." 
(Galatians 5:16-17, NIV)


I'm glad to say that though Marty was "spitting mad" at some stitches a while back, he's doing fine now.

And once again, his life has reminded me of some spiritual truths.

Bodies are wonderfully made.

And God has created some incredibly effective defense mechanisms.  The immune system is a miracle, in my opinion.  Mysterious, effective, strong.

And, in the same way, the Holy Spirit provides spiritual defense against the marauding onslaughts of temptation and sin.  He, too, is mysterious, effective, and strong.  


My friends, we are cared for immensely.  Our Heavenly Father has blessed our bodies and our souls with some pretty amazing stuff!

And I am so grateful that He helps me reject the things that don't belong!!

Here's to *spitting sin*!!





It's all good. 



"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up." (Hebrews 12:1, NLT)

"...now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.  Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator." (Colossians 3:8-10, NIV)

"That...is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:20-23, NIV)

"Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls." 
(James 1:21, ESV)

"Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]." (Romans 12:2, AMP)

"'I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.'" (John 14:16-17, NASB)

"The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here.  So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living." (Romans 13:12, NLT)

"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds." 
(2 Corinthians 10:4, NIV)



Are you *spitting sin* out of your life?



Linked with:

SHARING HIS BEAUTY, TELL ME A TRUE STORY, PLAYDATES WITH GOD, SOLI DEO GLORIA, SMALL WONDER, MONDAYS AT SOUL SURVIVALMONDAY'S MUSINGS, MAKE A DIFFERENCE MONDAY, GOOD MORNING MONDAYS, GRATEFUL HEART MONDAY, UNITE, TITUS 2 TUESDAY, LIFE GIVING LINKUP, MOTIVATE & REJUVENATE MONDAYS, TESTIMONY TUESDAY, TUESDAY TALK, TELL IT TO ME TUESDAYS, RA RA LINKUP, WOMEN HELPING WOMEN, A LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS, WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAYS, COFFEE & CONVERSATION, WAITING ON WEDNESDAY, TELL HIS STORY, WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY, THREE WORD WEDNESDAYCOFFEE FOR YOUR HEART, WOMEN WITH INTENTION WEDNESDAYS, WISE WOMAN, LIVE FREE THURSDAY, BELOVED BREWS, THOUGHT-PROVOKING THURSDAYS, EVERYDAY JESUS, GRACE AT HOME, SHINETHOUGHTFUL THURSDAYS, FROM HOUSE TO HOME, LITTLE THINGS THURSDAY, FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY, LIGHT FRIDAY HIT LIST, FELLOWSHIP FRIDAYS, FAITH FILLED FRIDAY, SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS, COUNTING MY BLESSINGS, A GROUP LOOKFAITH & FELLOWSHIP, GRACE & TRUTHFELLOWSHIP FRIDAY, TGI SATURDAYS, DANCE WITH JESUS, SATURDAY SOIREE, STILL SATURDAY, WEEKEND BREW, RECOMMENDATION SATURDAY, SUNDAY STILLNESS, GIVE ME GRACE



BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, April 27, 2015

MY SELFIE


OK, let's just say that I am not a social media queen.

I am not on Facebook.  Neither am I "linked in."  I do not tweet, smartchat, flickr, or instagram.  (Though I have been known to google).  I am not a tumblr.  And, silly me, I still think "meerkat" is a cute wild animal, and "periscope" is something on a submarine.  Evidently I am not a very pinteresting person.  

My blog is my one shining example of staying current with the times.

But, I admit, I do like taking photos with my *intelligent* phone.

And I have been known to spy on look at other peoples' photos.  I especially like the people who post publicly.  This allows me to watch their lives unfold without the commitment of joining anything.  (Kinda like buying a gallon of ice cream and then hiding all the spoons so you don't have to commit to eating it).

Some people take really interesting photos.  Like small pieces of portable art, they are colorful, exotic, beautiful, dynamic.  Some people are very talented, even with a phone.  Other people are just silly.

Really, is there any need to post something every day?

And really, is it necessary to bombard the internet with copious amounts of selfies?

(Interesting sidenote: The term "selfie" was discussed by photographer Jim Krause in 2005…Initially popular with young people, selfies gained wider popularity over time.  By the end of 2012, Time magazine considered selfie one of the "top 10 buzzwords" of that year; although selfies had existed long before, it was in 2012 that the term "really hit the big time." – From Wikipedia)


People enjoy selfies because of the control they give self-photographers over how they present themselves.  Therefore, selfies are normally flattering. Well, duh.  And, don't get me started on celebrity selfies. 

But really, I have to ask…how self-absorbed can we get?

Now I'm not knocking the innocuous fun of most of social networking. But then again, I think it's a symptom of the general disease of human nature.

We are rather enamored with ourselves – with our SELVES.

It occurs to me that this preoccupation with self was the root of the first *fall from grace.*  

Can't you see Lucifer snapping selfie after selfie as he admired his beauty? Thinking that he was "all that" he toppled himself right out of heaven.

Then there's that second *fall from grace.*

Adam and Eve, again focusing on themselves, fell into the trap of self-aggrandizement and pride.  After their terrible sin, I'm not thinking that any selfies were taken.  They would have been too unflattering to the human race.


But, we must not point any fingers.

After all, here we are, so many years later, suffering from the same fixations.

Humans are an interesting bunch.

We can be narcissistic or self-loathing.  We can be egotistical or lack self-esteem.  We can be self-sacrificing or selfish.

Sometimes, even as believers, things can be confusing.

We are taught to die to self, and yet to love our neighbor as ourselves.  We are unworthy to achieve eternal life on our own, but we are worth saving.  We are taught to turn the other cheek, and love our enemies, and yet told to stand firm against opposing forces.

We can be prideful – even in self-deprecating ways.

I don't think I'd like to see a selfie of my heart.


Fortunately, there is an alternative.

There is another view.

And it was accomplished on a cold and dismal day when Someone hung from the cross.  And later, when He triumphantly walked out of a tomb.

Can you imagine if Jesus posted a couple of selfies on those days?

One a picture of unspeakable horror and suffering and pain.  A gloomy portrait.  Singularly unflattering.  

And then, a couple of days later, another photo full of glorious light.  A glowing Savior's face.  A miracle of joy.  

The most beautiful picture ever taken.


So, as we negotiate the crazy world of social media, let's be mindful of our tendencies and preoccupations.

Let's remember that *self-ease* can only come by believing in the One who paid the price to redeem us from ourselves – our SELVES.

Let's remember that though we are unworthy of His grace and forgiveness, He deemed us eminently worth saving.

Let's remember that we are not "all that"but neither are we wretched worms.

Our true selfie can only be found by viewing ourselves through the lens of Jesus' righteousness. 

And only by following Him, can we ever hope to look like Him…

His selfie.

The most beautiful picture ever taken.





"Selfie Incognito"



"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe." (Ephesians 1:18-19, NASB)

"For God, who said, 'Let there be light in the darkness,' has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:6, NLT)

"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.  For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." (2 Corinthians 3:18, ESV)

"Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2, ESV)

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." 
(1 Corinthians 13:12, ESV)

"'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.'" (Matthew 5:8, ESV)

"Even after my skin is destroyed, 
Yet from my flesh I shall see God; 
Whom I myself shall behold, 
And whom my eyes will see and not another.  
My heart faints within me!"

(Job 19:26-27, NASB)


"I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes." (Job 42:5, NLT)




He must become greater, I must become less.
For God so loved me...




How do you view your *self*?  How does looking through the eyes of Jesus change your perspective?



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