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Archive for February, 2010

New Album in the Making

Is beauty really only skin deep?

Well, I suppose it is for some people.  Ergo the common statement that is actually a warning about people whose good looks don’t match their heart.

However, I’d like to submit a crazy idea.  Let’s suppose for just a moment that beauty isn’t supposed to be like a thin, cheap sweater that barely keeps off the cold.  Let’s imagine that maybe, just possibly, it is supposed to be a deep, vibrant, bubbling flow of life that originates at our core?  That every time you peel back another layer you will simply find more of the same?  

In fact, while I am at it, I might as well go after another cultural norm. What if beauty is not always in a nice place?  What if its surroundings are downright ugly?

Sometimes that’s when we most need to find beauty.

God used a lot of beauty in the world He made, like an artist.  But I think too often we sell it short by believing that it can only be found in nice places or even worse, that it exists outside of us, on the surface.  

It is a facet of the nature of our God.  It is a flavor of life that can flow from within us, strengthening our own spirits as well as transforming the world.  Really, just think about it.  Dark, dirty, and sin-stained is the world around us.  True beauty is hard to find, and for some, their hearts are so clouded by pain they can hardly see it anyway. 

But what if YOU were different?

 Imagine. 

Over the next few weeks I am going to be working on the first set of a three-part series on beauty.  This topic flows from a very deep place within me, and I am really looking forward to the process of articulating what God has put inside my heart.  I fully anticipate that I will be changed in the process. 

I would be most grateful for your prayers, as you feel led.  I have set aside Sundays as the primary time to work on the blessings.

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Real to the core

It seems like sometimes the best way to appreciate God is to see something that is the opposite of Who He is.  Or at least, it works that way for me.   Everything inside me says “thank GOODNESS you aren’t like that!  Boy, am I even more grateful for who you ARE.”

Well, I recently had some of those glaring opposites happen to me.  In the last couple of weeks I have had several occasions of coming across someone who was pretty obviously NOT the same on the inside as they were on the outside.  I’ll bet you’ve run across a few of those in your life.  Sometimes they are really obvious, and the dissonance between the “real” them and their projected self is like fingers on a chalkboard.  Sometimes it can be just plain hurtful.  You know, you have the kinds that give you sugary smiles while they stab you in the back.  One of the people I came across was startling and sad.  She had some significant trauma in life and the joy she wore was nothing more than a mask.  I wasn’t fooled. 

I have never particularly liked it when people have felt “fake” to me, but it was a little odd to have a run of them all at once.  I think that God wanted to make a point of differentiating Himself in this way.  In the process, I realized that being real (true to His design!) REALLY matters to me.

So, I thought about and savored all the ways in which God is most decidedly NOT fake.  We may not understand Him – in fact, most of the time we don’t – but He will be true to His core a million times out of a million.  You could peel back all the layers of His character, all the facets of Who He is and you will always find that they line up.  Nothing is out of place.  He doesn’t wear classy clothes and drive a Mercedes to cover up His lack of legitimacy.  He doesn’t beat the air with useless words, trying to please everyone and saying nothing at all.  He doesn’t wear masks.  He doesn’t smile while He betrays you.  He is REAL TO THE CORE. 

I like that.  I really, really like that about Him.

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