Comeliness, Not Beauty

“Wake up Your Makeup!”

The article caught my eye because a woman my age wrote it after consulting with an associate of Bobbi Brown. Of course, I didn’t have everything needed on the list, but I used what I had. I thought it looked great! We headed out-of-town to meet Mom and my sisters for dinner.

My sister asked me, “Are you okay? You look tired.”

So much for waking up my makeup. Sigh.

(In her defense, I wasn’t feeling 100% and was sick the next day.)

Ezekiel 16:14, “Then your renown went out among the nations for your beauty. For it was perfect through My comeliness which I had put upon you, says the Lord God.” Modern English Version

* * * * * * *

“Comeliness: 1) Pleasing in appearance, attractive, fair. 2) Proper, seemly, becoming.” dictionary.com

At church on Wednesday night, Terri told me she enjoyed it when I played with the worship team. She said, “I watch to see you smile.”

That’s scary! When I hit a wrong note, I smile! I also smile when I feel God moving. (It’s difficult to explain. You just have to experience it.) 

I want God’s comeliness more than beauty. That means…

Less makeup – more smiles!

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See the Truth

I watched a western, (when I was sick on Tuesday), that included a crooked sheriff. The man who owned the saloon gave him bribes to look the other way. He did nothing when the saloon stayed open all night and the crooked gambling robbed the locals of everything. It wasn’t that the sheriff didn’t see what was going on; he just chose to look the other way.

Ezekiel 12:2, “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear. For they are a rebellious house.” Modern English Version

* * * * * * *

Ezekiel 12:2, “…you live among rebels who could see the truth if they wanted to, but they don’t want to….” New International Version

Money is what keeps people from seeing the truth and understanding the consequences. We are no longer bribed, they just threaten to cut off funding to control us. We have truly become calloused.

Matthew 13:15, “For this people’s heart has become callused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise, they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I will heal them.” New International Version

In the movie, the sheriff was fired and the people ran the saloon keeper out of town. That was the consequence of their rebellion. What consequence are we facing?

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God is Not Mad at Us

For a few weeks now, each morning, I drag myself out of bed. I didn’t know why. I printed off an hourly schedule for each week to increase my productivity. After two days, I turned that schedule into a time study.

It embarrassed me to see that I spent two hours playing computer games one day, and on another day, I spent three hours reading a western! I didn’t see either activity as productive. (Yet, I shared an excerpt from that book, see here.)

Yesterday was a total loss according to my “schedule.” (Maybe not a total loss – I did make a grocery list.) Mom came over to visit while they changed the oil in her car. (Her mechanic will bring her to my house and pick her up after he finishes. I love living in a small town!)

When Mom comes to town, I do two things: 1) Declutter like crazy, and 2) Ignore my schedule. I showed her pictures and posts on Facebook. She doesn’t have a computer and I sent friend requests on her behalf. When she is here, I show her updates on her friend’s timelines. (Her friends don’t post often.)

The mechanic picked her up right before lunch. I made a salad and played computer games while I ate. Three hours later, I realized I had not read my Bible! I felt guilt and shame.

Ezekiel 9:8, “…Will You destroy all…?” Modern English Version

I was sure God was mad at me. I wasn’t productive at all. I changed clothes and went to church.

Our speaker was Sean Hirschy, a missionary to Germany. He preached on Ephesians 3:17, “…rooted and grounded in [God’s] love.” Modern English Version.

“The accuser tells us God is mad at us or He doesn’t love us. If someone expects more from us than is humanly possible, that’s not love…God knew us before we were formed, (Jeremiah 1:4-10)….We are to be filled with the knowledge of His will, (Colossians 1:9, 10).” Sean Hirschy

Last night I learned:

  1. God is not mad at me. He doesn’t want to destroy me. He loves me.
  2. God does not expect me to go constantly for 6 days a week and then crash in exhaustion on Sundays. Jesus never ran. He walked and set aside time for rest.
  3. God formed me to solve puzzles. That is why I enjoy computer games and Sudoku. That ability to solve puzzles is how I was able to raise 3 kids on less than $50,000 a year, feed 5 people on $50 a week, and continue to pay our bills when my income dropped to zero!
  4. God wants me full of the knowledge of His will. His will is for me to write. He did not call me to blog in the traditional sense. I have to stop comparing myself to other blogs. (But God – they’re so pretty.)

I realized why it takes me so long to solve some of the computer games. I hurry. I try to complete it on my lunch hour. When I hit a dead-end, I push the button for a new game instead of looking for a solution.

I really need to slow down and enjoy the journey. I need to take more time for relaxation. (We don’t camp on the weekends and our last vacation was in 2012!) And I need to go to the library. I’m out of books!

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The Time of Doom

I’m battling my sinuses. I’ve taken the medication and drank the tea. I decided to get out the big guns…

…Taco Tuesday!

“He looked at Todd straight in the eye, and answered meaningly: ‘Well, if I was running the show, I’d go after that gang, hot-foot, and without losing any time. They’ll be back with augmented numbers. Remember, if you have to fight, beat the other fellow to it. I’d go after them so hot and heavy they’d never know what hit ’em!’ ”

“The Adventures of Hawke Travis” by Eli Colter

The children of Israel were just like that gang of rustlers. They thought everything was peaceful and going their way. The stolen cattle stampeding through their camp spelled the doom of the rustlers.

Ezekiel 7:7, “Your doom has come to you, O inhabitant in the land; the time has come, the day of trouble is near, and not the joyful shouting on the mountains.” Modern English Version

Lunchtime. Your doom has come sinuses!

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Eat What You Find

The last time I was at the library, I checked out mostly western books. My theory was, “If I read about the dusty, old west, maybe it will encourage me to drink more water.”

Unfortunately, western writers, today rely on expletives to sell books. I would read a page or two, and when I saw the first word that I would type in symbols, I dropped it on the floor by my bed. (This is one reason I check out 8 books at a time.)

I just finished a book that told of a lieutenant in the army who teamed up with the Indian Chief Cochise. Some outlaws, who stole army uniforms and then attacked his village, had killed women and children. As they tracked them, he ate what the Indians ate: rats, snakes, tubers, berries, etc. When an Indian was hungry, he would eat whatever he could find in the area.

Ezekiel 3:1, “Moreover, He said to me, son of Man, eat what you find….” Modern English Version

I’m grateful I read this verse today when we are eating out to celebrate my Mom’s birthday!

“You take what comes and make the best of it and when it’s all over, you’ll find that it wasn’t so bad after all….Differing widely in background, they found they had much in common which had nothing to do with environment or culture.”

“Temporary Duty” by Will Cook

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“You Do Realize You Said That Out Loud”

I have a big mouth.

God knows I have a big mouth and He uses it to bring glory to Himself. Satan also knows I have a big mouth and tries to convince me not to talk at all. Twice this week, people said this phrase to me…

“You do realize you said that out loud!”

I’m not Catholic and will not confess the conversations that led to that statement. Instead, I will share how God used my big mouth for good on Wednesday night.

There’s a middle-aged couple that sits in the front row next to the keyboard. Steve and Shirley always have a smile and an encouraging word for me. If I’m nervous before I play, I look at them and feel safe.

Only, I noticed Steve was gone for a few weeks. During church Wednesday night, God told me to make sure he knew I missed him. I marched up there, grabbed his arms and helped the two men on either side of him to pull him up. After his hands were firmly on his walker…

(Middle aged is 35 to 67!)

…I told him I noticed he missed two Wednesdays and I missed him. I think I even said it three times!

It turns out, Steve’s health had deteriorated. He is now so weak that his wife could no longer take care of him. She had to move him to a nursing home. She brings him to church because there are always burly men there willing to help him out of the chair and into the van.

He feels weak and useless but when he’s in that chair I have a mental pillar to lean on when I’m playing something new and unfamiliar. Steve and Shirley are always cheering me on.

Now, before you put me on a pedestal, remember the title of this post! I learned why my filter slips every once in a while in today’s verse.

Ezekiel 2:7, 8, “You shall speak My words to them, whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house. Open your mouth and eat what I give you.” Modern English Version

God has used me to preach to preachers, correct Bible School Professors, ((that one gave my mom a heart attack!), teach teenagers, and explain “Why?” to children. Satan just wants me to shut up!

Sometimes, I just want to shut up! I will struggle with something, refuse to talk about it with David, and then blurt out my frustrations at a birthday party. Then I wish I were still housebound where I don’t have to worry about what I say – no one is listening!

Today I realized Satan wants to muzzle me. I will continue to open my big mouth but will examine myself for any rebelliousness or frustrations before I do. And, as always, I will apologize when I say something out of line.

This could take some time. (Sigh.)

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Three Men Respond to Death Threats

Today we read of three men who faced death threats. They each responded differently.

Uriah

They threatened Uriah and he left the country. Unfortunately, he left the people and protection God had set up for him.

Jeremiah 26:21, “And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men and all the officials, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death. But when Uriah heard it, he was afraid and fled and went into Egypt.” Modern English Version

Jeremiah

People said they would kill Jeremiah, (see Jeremiah 26:8, 11; 36:26). But God sent men to help him.

Jeremiah 26:24, “Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam the son of Shapan was with Jeremiah, with the result that he was not given into the hands of the people to put him to death.” Modern English Version

* * * * * * *

Jeremiah 36:19, “Then the officials said to Baruch, ‘Go hide, you and Jeremiah, and let no man know where you are.’ ” Modern English Version

Baruch

He was afraid, but he stayed with Jeremiah and God gave him his life as booty in all the places where he went.

Jeremiah 45:5, “…For I will bring disaster upon all flesh, says the Lord, but I will give your life to you as booty in all the places where you go.” Modern English Version

The place where you live now is under God’s protection. He places you where he wants you and puts people around you to help you. More importantly, you are there to help the people around you.

David ran from king Saul for 15 years. Saul never caught him. At one point, David and his men were escaping on a mountain. Saul and his men were closing in on the other side of the mountain. They had almost caught up when Saul received a message that there was a Philistine attack. He abandoned the chase to go fight the Philistines, (see 1 Samuel 23:24-28). They named the place the “Rock of Escape.”

After the battle with the Philistines, Saul heard David was in the Wilderness of Engedi. He took 3000 men to find David. Saul went by some sheep pens and noticed a cave there. He went into the cave to relieve himself. David and his men were hiding in the back of the cave. David was able to sneak up to Saul, cut a corner of his robe off, and Saul never knew, (see 1 Samuel 24:1-22).

Keep moving, but don’t flee. Look out for your brothers and sisters in Christ. Stick close to the man who speaks the words of God. Don’t be afraid. When God hides you, no one can find you.

Jeremiah 36:26, “But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel to seize Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet. But the Lord hid them.” Modern English Version

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Pray for Your Leaders

In Jeremiah 25:9, God called King Nebuchadnezzar “My servant.” Nebuchadnezzar was serving the god Belteshazzar then, (see Daniel 4:8). Later in Daniel chapter 4, Daniel said God gives kingdoms to the basest of men.

Daniel 4:17, “This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High rules over the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever He wills and sets up over it the basest of men.” Modern English Version

It doesn’t matter if you view your leaders as the “basest of men” or “God’s servant” – God commands us to pray for them.

1 Timothy 2:1-4, “Therefore I exhort first of all that you make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for everyone,

(2) for kings and for all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty,

(3) for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour,

(4) who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Modern English Version

The secret to a quiet and peaceful life is to pray for your leaders.

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God Gives a Kingdom and Power

For the last few years, Republicans posted on social media Memes (a picture with a quote) saying things like: “Give Congress the same health care as we have.” After the election, a Republican became president. Now Democrats flood social media with Memes. The odd thing is – they are using the same ones Republicans posted a year ago.

The. Exact. Same. Ones.

Some have gone so far as to say, “He is not my president.” Republicans said it when Democrat Barak Obama was president and Democrats say it now. They both are wrong.

Daniel 2:37, “You, O king, are the king of kings. For God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.” Modern English Version

God places kings and presidents in office. He gives a man a kingdom and power. During Daniel’s time, his king was a heathen who had conquered Israel and taken him captive! Yet Daniel treated him with respect because he knew God had given him the kingdom.

What should we do instead of posting Memes?

Proverbs 25:21, 22, “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for you will heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord will reward you.” Modern English Version

I thought that meant they would get burned and feel pain. But it is just the opposite.

“Charles Swindoll explains that in ancient days, homes were heated and meals were fixed on a small portable stove, somewhat like our outside barbecue grills. Frequently, a person would run low on hot coals and need to replenish his or her supply. The container was commonly carried on the head. So as the individual passed beneath second-story windows, thoughtful people who had extra hot coals in their possession would reach out the window and place them in the container atop their head. Thanks to the thoughtful generosity of a few folks, they would arrive at the site with a pile of burning coals on their head, and a ready-made fire for cooking and keeping warm….”

“Active Spirituality,” by Charles R. Swindoll

God rewards mercy and kindness.

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A Tale of Two Kings

Two kings, a father, and a son, both reigned over Judah. The father, Josiah, did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and reigned for 31 years, (see 2 Kings 22:1, 2). The son, Jehoiakim, did evil in the sight of the Lord, and he only reigned 11 years, (see 2 Kings 23:36, 37). Yet, he expected the same blessings his father enjoyed.

Jeremiah 22:15, 16, “Do you reign because you compete in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness, and then it was well with him? He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him. Is not this what it means to know Me? says the Lord.” Modern English Version

King Josiah:

  1. Repaired the temple, (see 2 Kings 22:3-7).
  2. Listened to the Book of the Law, (see 2 Kings 22:8-20).
  3. Read the Book of the Law to the people, (see 2 Kings 23:2).
  4. Made a covenant to keep God’s laws, (see 2 Kings 23:3).
  5. Cleaned out the temple, (see 2 Kings 23:4-7).
  6. Removed idolatrous priests, (see 2 Kings 23:5).
  7. Defiled the places people worshipped idols, (see 2 Kings 23:8-20).
  8. Reinstated the Passover, (see 2 Kings 23:21-23).
  9. Disposed of mediums, idols, etc. in the land, (see 2 Kings 23:24).

King Jehoiakim:

  1. Rebelled, (see 2 Kings 24:1).

“God passed judgment on King Jeoiakim. His father, Josiah, had been one of Judah’s great kings, but Jehoiakim was evil. Josiah had been faithful to his responsibility to be a model of right living, but Jehoiakim had been unfaithful to his responsibility to imitate his father….He could not claim his father’s blessings when he had not followed his father’s God. We may inherit our parents money, but we cannot inherit their faith. A godly heritage, a good education, or a beautiful home doesn’t guarantee moral character. We must have our own relationship with God.” Life Application Study Bible Notes

God does not have grandchildren!

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