Thursday, March 29, 2012

Beauty from Dust

Beauty from Dust
Oh, that dust would
Come to life
Is a miracle.
Dust to beauty,
Beauty to dust.
How precious,
How fragile.
A kaleidoscope of
Colors, sounds, and scents
Brings fascination to our
Vaporous lives but
They were created, too.
Chance does not
Chance can not
Create beauty
Create anything.
Only Love
You hear the earth
Groan for her Maker,
The Maker of Heaven and Earth,
The Maker of dust
And of us?
March 29, 2012

“Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”  (Genesis 2:7)
“By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  (Genesis 3:19)
“For he knows our frame (or how we are formed); he remembers that we are dust.”  (Ps. 103:14)
“All go to one place.  All are from the dust, and to dust all return.”  (Eccl. 3:20)

Did you know?     
     70% of the composition of dust in your home is made up of shed human skin and hair.
     The average person will shed 40 pounds of skin in their lifetime.
     The total amount of skin covering an adult human weighs 6 pounds.

      Lately, I’ve been meditating on these things: existence, creation, God’s plan.  It’s been so encouraging to remind myself of these truths and it’s helped me focus on God’s goodness, love, and character. 
      What an amazing thing: that God created us and then told us HOW He made us.  Not to mention that He didn’t just make us – He made us in His image.  We’re not rough drafts or rude sketches.  We're not ugly blobs of mud or plasma.  We have intricate parts and fine textures and quirks and personalities.  God didn’t throw a bunch of random pieces together or think that He had made a mistake (He doesn’t make mistakes) and should make another, better one.  He made us right the first time, and He planned us all out before He even made the world.  And what's even better?  He didn't just give us dust bodies.  He gave us a spirit that will live in the eternal realm when our bodies return to their original, dusty state.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Made by Love, with Love, for Love

I’d like to use this post to reach out to all the ladies in my life (not to exclude the gentlemen at all, because what I have to say should be taken to heart by you, as well).

This morning, I was daydreaming, as I like to do, when I was struck by this epiphany: “Made by Love, with Love, for Love.”  As I thought about it more, I realized that the whole of our existence is summed up by this little phrase.  The more I meditated on it, the warmer and fuzzier and happier I felt inside. 

1)  We were made by Love – Love Himself created us: “God is love” (1 John 4:16), and “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27)!  Can you imagine it?  You yourself were thought out, crafted, formed, and set apart from everyone else on earth by the very hands of Love.

2)  We were made with Love – “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14).  In this verse, the word “fearfully” in Hebrew translates to “with great reverence, heart-felt interest, respect.”  This carries very much the same meaning as when we say, “Fear the Lord.”  It does not mean that we are afraid of Him; rather that we are in awe and have great reverence for who He is.  The word “wonderfully” means just that: “unique, set apart, marvelous.”
3)  We were made for Love – to love God and others (Luke 10:27); to be loved by Him, and to bring Him pleasure, for His glory.  We were made not to love ourselves and our empty passions but to love the One who made us, who is worthy of all our love and praise and worship.  We were made for His good pleasure – not that we are toys or objects of amusement; rather, that we were made to be in union with Him, in a relationship, and He desires for us to do so willingly, out of our love and thankfulness and reverence for Him, our Creator.       

Ladies, I say all this to encourage you and point you toward what truly matters:  Your beauty and worth in and to Christ.
Let me just clarify –
I didn’t always believe I was beautiful or worth anything.  In fact, for a long time, I believed the exact opposite – that I was worthless and ugly.
But God. 
But God pursued me.  Had He not, I would still be where I was.  “[I] love because He first loved [me].” (1 John 4:19)  And we can only love because He first loved us.        
For those of you who doubt or have yet to realize just how precious your life is, these truths are especially for you.

1)       Your life is a gift. 
God didn’t have to create you but He chose to out of love.  Every breath you take is a gift from Him.  “Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”  (Genesis 2:7)   

2)    Your life is unique.
You are the only you that there will ever be.  You are uniquely set apart for His glory and special purposes.  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

3)    Your life is worth Christ’s.
Christ died to save you from your sins.  We have no hope, no life, apart from Him.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”  (John 3:16)

To deny that there is any beauty in the world is to deny the handiwork of a Master Creator, deny the miracle of your own existence, and deny that your life has any purpose.

I am blessed beyond measure by God.  I have a family who loves me, friends who care for me, and an adoring man who treasures me for and helped me see the gift that I am.  That is more than I deserve, and more than I could’ve asked for.
   The pretty bow:  A reminder that I am a gift yet to be given and received, and so are you.  Search for a man who views you this way and, while you do, remember that God views you as a priceless gift and always will.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Heart Question

At Week 4, the heart begins to beat.  Eyes, ears, and lungs begin to form.

At Week 5, tiny arms and legs appear, as does the baby's face.  The baby's blood is now separate from the mother's.

At Week 6, the fingers and toes develop.  The baby's brain is divided into 3 parts: emotion & language, hearing, and seeing.

At Week 7, buds for the baby's teeth appear.  99% of the muscles are present, and brain activity is detectable.

At Week 8, the baby moves spontaneously and is well proportioned, about the size of a thumb.  Every organ is present, but immature.  The skull, elbows, and knees are forming.

At Week 9, the hands and eyelids close if prodded.  Muscular movement begins.  The gender can now be determined.

At Week 10, the baby's fingerprints begin to form.  (Even at such a tiny size, the baby's individuality is being formed!)  Nerve and muscle connections have tripled.  The baby's eyelids fuse together to protect its delicate developing eyes.

At Week 11, the baby practices breathing and facial expressions, even smiling.  

At Week 12, the baby is now 3 inches long, 2 ounces in weight, and has fine hair.  The baby is able to swallow and feel and responds to skin stimulation.

 Did you know that the majority of abortions take place before the 13th week? 
At some point during this young child's life in the womb, it is snuffed out, dismembered, and thrown in the trash.  Would you have wanted your mom to do that to you?

 "For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb. 
 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well. 
  My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them."
Psalm 139:13-16