Your life will be as bright as the noonday sun. Job 11:17

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Just For Looks

This weekend I laughed with a friend as we kicked back and listened to Jerry Clower, Justin Wilson and Jeff Foxworthy on Pandora.   Especially funny to us (because of an inside joke) was Foxworthy’s line about the towels in the bathroom being “just for looks.”

Now I know that my friends and colleagues who are reading this post are at this very moment exchanging some looks.    Upon reading  the names Clower, Wilson and Foxworthy, some are saying, “Who?” while others are saying, “What?”  Still others are rolling their eyes in disbelief that I was listening to these three.

Nevertheless, the towels in my bathrooms are “just for looks.”  They are white!  Bright white, actually.  Not touching them is one of the rules of my roost.  Now if a guest came and used one I wouldn’t get bent out of shape (much), but those closest to me and those who frequent my home the most know.  They KNOW.  The white towels are “just for looks.”

Jeff Foxworthy said this simply did not make sense to him – or any other man (that was the point of the joke – crazy rules women have).

It was a joke – a simple one liner, but it got me thinking.  About looks.  About the things we do “just for looks.”  Because others are watching.  Because we worry about what people will say.  1 Samuel 16:7(b) ESV says, “For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

Focusing on looks is clearly a “mis-focus.”  While there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to look nice or wanting to maintain a beautiful home, we must establish priorities and maintain balance.  Our priority should be to seek the things of God (Colossians 3:1-2) and maintain balance in life.  We maintain balance by making sure Jesus is the center of our lives – much like the hub is the center of a wheel and permits that wheel to roll in balance.

Our lives naturally have a hub.  For some it is family.  For others it is career.  Your hub might be pursuit of education and degrees or it may be the quest for money.  It may be appearances or looks.

Make Jesus the center of your life.  He will provide the stability, control, power and confidence you need.  Isn’t that, after all, what our obsession with “looks” is about?  The Scriptures tell us to “Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants.  Then all your other needs will be met as well (Matthew 6:33 NCV).

Yes, even the ones “just for looks.”





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When You Lose Your Song

Author Max Lucado shares in his book In the Eye of the Storm a humorous yet poignant story about a parakeet named Chippie, who had a very bad day. It all started when the bird’s owner decided to clean Chippie’s cage.

With a vacuum cleaner.

Things were going well, and then the phone rang, so she turned to answer it. Before she knew it, “ssswwooopp!” (Wish I had a sound button.)  Chippie was gone. Sucked right in.  In a panic, the owner unsnapped the top of the vacuum and ripped open the bag. There was Chippie, covered in dirt (and all that other stuff that gets in your vacuum cleaner), gasping for air and obviously stunned. The owner grabbed Chippie and rushed to the bathroom to rinse him off under the faucet. Suddenly it dawned on the owner that Chippie was now cold and wet, so naturally she grabbed the hair dryer.

Lucado wrote, “Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.”

His owner was asked a few days later how Chippie was doing. “Well,” the owner replied, “Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore. He just sits and stares.”

Have you lost your song?

That’s how life seems sometimes.  One minute we are whistling along – loving family, great job, bills paid, healthy bodies, clear minds and blue skies.  Like Chippie, we never see it coming.  Divorce, pink slip, cancer… Worries suck us in.  Situations make us feel washed up.  And relationships gone awry leave us feeling blown out.  Life can steal the song from your heart.  Or it can try.

Ephesians 5:19 says “be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord…” But how do you sing in your heart when your world has been turned upside down?  Look to Colossians 3:16 for a clue:  “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”  As the Spirit of God and His word dwell within us, we have songs in our hearts!  Hold onto yours, and sing it!

And until you have your song again, here are some from Alvin Slaughter, Hillsong and Ron Kenoly.  Hold one in your heart.

That’s When He Steps In:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTLmHJlq-6Q

God Can:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYi4OGFdAHY

This is How We Overcome:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-0V_LkaJME

Lift Him Up:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4Rs4RDVHB4

Encouraging Scriptures

Bible Study Tools:  http://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/encouraging-bible-verses/

Life, Hope & Truth:  http://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/bible-study/encouraging-bible-verses/

Lynn Dove:  http://lynndove.com/2013/03/16/25-encouraging-bible-verses-to-give-you-peace/

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It’s All Under Control

The Bible tells us (at least six times) that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly places (Acts 2:33 and 5:31, Colossians 3:1, Ephesians 1:20, Hebrews 1:3, Romans 8:34).  Don’t you just love that about the Scriptures – how the truth can be cross-referenced again and again?

I love, too, just the image of this – that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, the Father.  He’s not standing.  He’s not pacing.  He is seated – above all rule and authority, above all power and dominion.  Everything is under Jesus’ feet!  He is seated at the right hand of God.

And what does this mean?  He has it all under control!  He’s not worried.  He’s not caught off guard.  He’s not panicky.  He’s not engaged in a wild texting frenzy.  He’s not scrolling through his phone contacts trying to figure out who to call.  He’s not without a plan.  He’s in control.

And there is still more! We are ascended and seated with Him in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).

So on this Monday morning as you return to work or school, as you go to that doctor’s appointment, as you walk into that meeting, as you make (or answer) that phone call…, just remember that your Lord and Savior, Jesus, is seated in Heaven and you along with Him and that He has it all under control!