God Didn’t Make You Ugly!

20160418_150706Rain had been forecast but had not yet produced, it was overcast and gray, cool but not cold, a good day for a walk down by the river.  A bench bade me to come and sit. I did. I sat taking in the expansive view as the fast running water ran passed me on its way to join the mighty Mississippi River

It was peaceful sitting on the bench; a quite oasis from the noise of life. To my left was a old foot bridge, one I had walked on from time to time. Peering through the trees I could see the bridge although my view was completely different to previous encounters. Now I could see clearly the beauty of the structure as the graceful curve of metal combined with straight lines.  Some wide and some narrow formed the sides of the old rust colored bridge. Frame that picture with colorful green foliage bending over the river from a nearby tree and you have the stuff that postcards are made of. Beautiful indeed!

20160418_150905Rising up from the bench I turned back towards the path and there in front of me I saw a beautiful sight. Tiny flowers with lilac petals formed a crown around a bright yellow center and they stood out against the vivid green of the grass.  At first glance it was hard to differentiate the stems of the flowers from the blades of grass as they mingled in their natural habitat.

They were not expensive or rare flowers.  They were not destined to be a collectors item. They were everyday common flowers, the type that most people don’t notice. Their tiny buds had opened up and they held their heads high. Not ashamed of who they are.

As we know inward beauty far exceeds outward beauty. No one likes a person with a ugly attitude. But lets be honest here, while we desire inward beauty, we still long to be told we are outwardly beautiful and more than that, we long to believe we are beautiful no matter our age.

“Believe it Sister! You are Beautiful.”

Believe it sister! You are beautiful. God did not make you ugly. Don’t believe me? Take a close look at creation, see the awesome colors and intricate details in His handiwork. It is beautiful, is it not? Creation is not ugly. God created you and me, we are beautiful. You are beautiful! So hold your head up and see yourself from God’s perspective not the perspective of the world.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139: 13 & 14 NIV

I pray we will see ourselves and each other through the eyes of our Heavenly Father, our Creator.

Thank you for visiting with me, hope to see you again next week.

Helena

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The Woman in White Capris

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She only needed one seat, though three were open. No one sat beside her, no friend or family member occupied the remaining two seats in a of row of forty chairs or more. She was one woman in a church service of two thousand people on a Sunday morning.

The first worship song was underway when she arrived.  I only noticed her because she sat in the seat directly in front of me. A small framed lady, maybe in her early sixties. I noticed her white capris.  I had decided a few days before I would buy a pair when I lose ten pounds in weight. Okay lets get real, I admired her white capris…yes I momentarily stopped worshipping the Lord to look at a pair of white capris; how pathetic is that?

Mingle moment arrived, that moment when we greet those around us. After speaking to the people in front of her she turned to me and I to her.  Her face was kind and gentle.  We briefly greeted each other then she turned and faced forward.

Some woman don’t mind attending church on their own, personally I like company. Maybe it’s not the actual sitting alone during the meeting that bothers me the most but rather it’s the end of the meeting that bothers me more. That time when you gather your belongings together, leave your seat, and join the exiting crowd, unnoticed and unseen as you head back out the church door; having been with the local family of believers, yet not part of them.

I wondered if the lady in front of me felt part of this particular body of believers? Something about her told me she did not. It wasn’t anything she did or didn’t do, maybe it was because I have been in her shoes that caused me to sense her disconnect.

I felt a tug in my heart to invite her out for coffee, I rummaged my purse for my business card holder only to find I had one card left, unfortunately I had scribbled over it. Ah well, nice try but perhaps it was not meant to be. I relaxed in the thought that I would not be inviting a total stranger out for coffee.  I had been willing to obey the prompting but breathed a little easier when it didn’t work out.

Tug. Tug. Here came the same message, “Invite her out for coffee.” I needed to give her my contact information but was all out of usable business cards. We often hear the message to use what is in our hands.  I took it literally and looked at my hands, I was holding a tithing envelop. I wrote on it a short invite for coffee, my email address, and cell phone number, then waited for the end of the meeting.

Not knowing how this lady would react to a total stranger asking her out for coffee, I felt a little uneasy as the end of the meeting approached. I had no need to have worried, she smiled at my invite, thanked me and took my contact information. We exchanged first names and a few pleasantries.  I told her I would leave it up to her to call me to arrange a day and time. I did it that way because it takes two to make a connection. Both parties have to want to be connected or the disconnect continues.

At the time of writing I am still waiting for her phone call as it has only been a short time. Maybe she will call, maybe she won’t. She has been invited and I eventually obeyed the Holy Spirit prompting. Why is it I am slow to obey?

Phillip in the book of Acts was not slow to obey.

Later God’s angel spoke to Phillip: “At noon today I want you to walk over to that desolate road that goes from Jerusalem down to Gaza.” He got up and went. Acts 8 Message Bible

He got up and went! Love his immediate obedience.

What is the Lord prompting you to do that you are holding back from doing?

Would love to hear from you.

Please feel free to like, comment and share this post.

Helena

The Father’s Delight

20160406_112452-1 (1)“The dog got out” my daughter informed me over the telephone as she drove the twenty miles from work to home. I immediately went over to my daughter’s house as we only live a short distance from each other. Sure enough the side gate was wide open and Cooper was gone. Animal Services had joined in the search but to no avail. The fear was that he would make his way to the towns busy main boulevard.

The Sighting.

With a keen eye and a calm voice the man from Animal Services asked as he pointed down the street, “Is that him?” Sure enough it was and although in his own street, Cooper was still a distance from the safety of home. I called out his name loud enough for him to hear while at the same time trying not to sound frantic and scare him off.

Cooper’s Return

It worked! He came bounding up the street, ran two circles around me, and proceeded to run straight into the familiar surroundings of his backyard. I followed him through the open gate, closing it behind me.  He was happy beyond ecstatic to be home. After running a few laps around the yard he decided to do a merry dance outside the back door. Moments later my daughter arrived home, the sound of the car remote locking the door caused Cooper to sing in anticipation as he danced; a delightful sight indeed.

The Father’s Delight

As I watched this unfold I thought how our Heavenly Father delights in our return home to Him when we have strayed. Whether we bolted out of the church gate or wandered out, the end result is the same.  We stop fellowshipping with other believers, stop reading the bible, stop praying, and eventually stop listening for our Heavenly Father’s voice.

It’s time to come home dear one. Your Heavenly Father is calling (your name here), perk up those ears and listen and you will recognize His familiar voice. Respond like Cooper and come bounding back home.  You too will be beyond ecstatic that you did. Okay, maybe you won’t run two laps around the church parking lot or sing and dance outside the door but you will have a glad heart and your Heavenly Father will be delighted to have you home.

When Cooper and my daughter were reunited I couldn’t tell who was the most relieved. It will be the same for you and your Heavenly Father both of you happy. You won’t be coming home to an empty house the whole family is waiting to celebrate with you.

“So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him”. Luke 15:20

If you need help finding your way back to our Heavenly Father I would be honored to help you.

Helena