Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘beauty’

Awesome! Or is it?

A computer game that my husband and I enjoy has an irritating habit of describing our every success as “Awesome!”  This word seems to be the current version of what what used to be neat, cool, or groovy (hate that one!).  But wait a minute!  What is really awesome? 

Awe:  an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like.  (Dictionary definition)

From this word comes “awesome,” which should describe things that produce that feeling of awe.  Truly awesome things leave us speechless, weak-kneed, overwhelmed by a grandeur far beyond the ordinary, beyond human comprehension.  My husband uses “awe” to describe the feeling he had when he first saw the Grand Canyon.  It’s how I feel when viewing a particularly beautiful sunset.  When examining the intricate detail of a flower.  Or even when watching the miracle of a huge jetliner soaring gracefully through the sky. It’s other-worldly, evidence of Someone far wiser and more powerful than we are who is showing us a taste of super-human majesty.

If we dumb down the word “awesome” to a mere expression of approval (e.g. the taste of your sandwich), what other word is left to express the feeling inspired by God’s wonderful works that bedazzle our eyes, minds, and imagination?  Or do we have our eyes so glued to our mirrors, menus, and manmade gadgets that we no longer lift them up to see what is truly awesome? 

Click below to enjoy a stirring rendition of “Our God is an Awesome God”—with pictures of His breathtaking creation.  NOW, THIS IS REALLY AWESOME!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaU6EMR37NA

Truth and Beauty—Eve’s perspective or God’s?

Eve’s perspective on her situation was much like today’s postmodern view:

The fruit was beautiful—“beautiful thoughts, words…”  Anyone can claim anything is beautiful (e.g. abortion, perverted sex, euthanasia, false words about God).

Would make one wise—we get to be like God and decide what is right and true!

Tasted good—it’s fun—if it feels good, do it!

She ate the poison and disaster resulted.  Meanwhile, Satan laughed up his sleeve and thus commenced the battle for the human heart down through the ages.  Have we learned?  Have we forgotten the lessons of the ancient past?  Do we even believe that this happened?

From the Facebook post of a friend: 

The darkness says, “What is truth? Just do what I say. You’ll never really know what is true. And why should it matter, as long as you’re pleasing yourself?”

The Holy One says, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

Funny, smart & beautiful

I’ve seen these three words strung together to describe the most desirable traits in a woman.  But what about kindness & compassion, wisdom, faithfulness, godliness, loyalty, purity, and integrity?  Not every woman can be “funny, smart and beautiful,” but any woman (or man, for that matter) can, by God’s grace, develop the  character traits listed above which are the criteria of true attractiveness. 

“The Proverbs 31 woman” is is an amazing woman who by no means fits the stereotype of a meek and mild nobody living in the shadow of her husband.

She takes initiative and is industrious in her work and the administration of her household. 

She has a head for business–in buying land, planting a crop, and selling her products. 

She takes pride in making all kinds of beautiful things for herself and her family. 

She plans ahead and provides for the future. 

She shares with the needy. 

Her words are wise and gracious. 

She is a great asset to her husband. 

She is praised and honored by those who know her best—her husband and children. 

(By the way, it doesn’t say anything about her appearance.) 

And what is the foundation of this kind of character?  Maybe the clue is in the summary:  “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”  (Proverbs 31:30)

Maybe the task isn’t so daunting after all.  By God’s grace, this is the woman I want to be! 

Joys of Eden

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Oh the joys of a weekend at Eden, a mountain resort, away from the hot and bothered city!

Jungle-covered slopes separated by streams cascading in rocky falls

Wild flowers and vast formal gardens all displaying the Creator’s skill

Insects serenading us through the night

Deer frolicking in the freshness of the morning

A breeze through pine trees

Giant ferns towering above

Getting up early to see the sun rise between the shimmering city lights 2500 feet below and a brilliant Venus above…

A hint of light

A bit of color

Rays emerging, dividing the sky into lighter and darker wedges

Color deepening, becoming brilliant

Fiery gold focusing our attention on “the spot”…

And then finally the sun bursts forth.  We can no longer stand it; we must turn our gaze away.

Birds have awakened and begun their joyful songs.  A new day of God’s faithfulness has begun. Sun

God’s Beautiful World

In springtime, we especially enjoy the reawakening delights of the world around us: The ingenuity of camouflage.  The intricacy of cell structures.  The infinite variety of flowers.  The incredible endurance of tiny hummingbirds migrating across the Caribbean.  The perfect balance of the ingredients for life.  The wisdom of birds in my mom’s yard to figure out how to glue down their nest materials with mud after the wind blew away their first attempts.  The exuberance of a deer (seen on Facebook Smile) dancing in and out of a big puddle.  The devotion of a dog….

Eyes to see, ears to hear–all the senses to appreciate all these things.  Minds and hearts with which to thank and praise their—and our—Creator.

These are all “Rumors of Another World”—as Philip Yancey says in his book of that title.  Glimpses of the transcendence that people are so fascinated with and seek so avidly.  It’s all there if only we would open our eyes and hearts!

Heaven above is softer blue, earth around is richer green;
Something lives in every hue Christless eyes have never seen. 
Birds with gladder songs o’erflow, flowers with deeper beauty shine 
Since I know, as now I know, I am His and He is mine. 

by George W. Robinson

You can hear the song at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0S5BZJDlGw

A Bit of Heaven

I’m still reveling in the joy and beauty of the other evening with our son and his young family.  A neighbor had brought over a new picnic table for the deck, so we all went out and sat around —six children and seven adults, including the “other” grandparents, our very sick granddaughter and her nurse. 

We basked in the perfect temperature and prolonged light as the sun prepared to set behind the trees.  The birdsongs were extraordinary.  Before us lay the yard with its lush lawn and colorful garden. The kids entertained us with creative tricks on the swing set.  We savored yummy mini cheesecakes that another neighbor had brought.  We enjoyed one another’s company as we chatted and then gathered the kids back on the deck for “Bible time” from a book for children about heaven, which is much on our minds these days. But this evening was a foretaste of heaven, and I will always cherish its memory. 

Thank you, Father, for these feasts for the senses, mind, soul, and spirit.  You are so good!

So beautiful I could…

Why do you suppose stores have signs warning people not to touch the fragile merchandise?  When we see an attractive trinket or cute animal, don’t we want to touch and hold it?  When we hear beautiful music, don’t we feel compelled to dance or sing along with it?  When we smell an exquisite fragrance, don’t we close our eyes and inhale deeply?  When we see or smell a tasty dish, don’t our mouths water?  When we see a sweet baby, don’t we have an impulse to squeeze its cheeks?  When we see a fuzzy blanket, don’t we long to cuddle in it?  And when we see a beautiful sunset, do we ever find ourselves beside ourselves for lack of a way to internalize its beauty?

We hear phrases like, “so cute I can’t stand it!” or “so beautiful I want to cry.”  (Not to mention the irresistible urge some people reportedly get to squeeze the toilet paper.Sarcastic smile)

God’s good gifts appeal to our senses, and He gave us those senses with which to enjoy His gifts.  Then just think what heaven must be like–infinitely more stupendous wonders to overwhelm us forever, and heightened senses with which to enjoy them. 

Thank you, God.  Smile 

God…richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment.  1 Timothy 6:17

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