Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Inney or Outey?

It seems to take us humans such a long time to be more concerned with inward growth than outward trappings, in other words, to be an "inney," rather than an "outey."

We seem to be experts about getting the motor before the Volkswagen, particularly regarding our physical versus our spiritual. We tend to lavish all kinds of attention on our outward persons: make-up laid on generously (and constant searching for the kind that will make us look like someone else), wrinkle-preventer slathered on nightly (depends on age), to-die-for cologne, just the right kind of shampoo/conditioner/gel/mousse so we can toss our lustrous, shiny heads of hair, not to mention brushes, blow-dryers, straightening irons, etc., etc.

Only one kind of jeans will do - either the expensive sort for the brand-conscious, or those that makes the posterior look smaller – ha! How about the underwear that promises to make certain parts appear more perky - and shoes ... well, shoes galore.

Before some of you complain, I'm really not picking on us women – we all know men have problems with inney and outey also - I just know females better because I are one, and I've certainly spent time (and, unfortunately, sometimes still do) in the "outey" category more than the "inney."

After all this attention to heads, faces, and bods, is there time to give thought to the grooming and nourishment of the inside of us – our spirits - the “inney”? Are we apt to ingest a thimble-full of the rich nourishment of Scripture occasionally, but give most of our energy, money and time to the daily tending of this shell? Our bodies are aging daily and won’t even enter heaven, folks! (that is, until Jesus does a radical remodel of them at the last trump)?

Don’t let the deceiver claim your mind. Look through the lens of the sword of the Spirit – the Bible – daily. Don’t listen to television or anything else for your game plan – but: “Give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice … Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (Rom 12:1-2). NLT

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I used to look around the room at the young wives and moms in our class, and think: What a flower garden of women God has created! And he longs to bless each of them for his purposes. Perhaps not in Searcy; he may call some elsewhere to serve. One thing's for certain: their Creator enables each to bloom beautifully for him anywhere. "The godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the LORD's own house. They flourish in the courts of our God" (Psa 92:12-13).

Before you ask "Just the younger ladies?" No, ALL of God's women are beautiful - even we who are walking much further down the path. Read the next verses: "Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, 'The LORD is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!' "

Satan knows this is God's plan - he tries every conceivable way to block it. One of his most common lies is, "You're too ordinary to do much of anything. Quit dreaming!" Our enemy is also expert in using shame to hold us hostage; we feel unworthy to do anything for God.

Or he urges us to fixate on everything we hate about ourselves. Oh, he really shines here!! How many women lament their body shape (or the lack thereof according to them), skin texture or color, its sagginess, bagginess etc., or their stringy or mule's tail hair. Some feel their families of origin have handicapped them for the rest of their lives, spiritually, emotionally and/or mentally. The devil wants us to blame the Lord for our perceived deficiencies - in our bodies, personalities, emotions, minds and circumstances. If we buy his lies, he has successfully damaged our faith in God's love and wisdom - we begin to suspect God has short-changed us. How could he love me and let me be born to those parents? Or with this horrible birthmark? Or so dumb?

With some of us, aging is the handle Satan uses to pump us dry. It's hard to deal with getting long in the tooth! I struggle with the junk keeping me company as I get older. The deceiver points out my achy joints, my less-than-swift brain action, and lures me to be whiny. He also now and again whispers, "No one wants to hear what you think. Go take a nap instead."

Here's a principle we must, must believe:
It matters not how your bones are arranged, whether you're healthy or ill, to whom you're married, your skin color or its condition thereof, whether you're a new believer or old faithful, kids or no kids, ancient or young ...etc, etc.

And he will use you if you BELIEVE him.

Ready for this? God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's grace you have been saved!)
For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms ...God can point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us ... Eph 2:4-7

Okay, who are we gonna believe - the slanderer, deceiver, diabolos - or the Creator, Sustainer, and Savior who gives us our every breath?

We are vessels. Will we be the kind of vessel that shatters - or implodes - (or rolls in the closet) every time the Master tries to use us?

Our vessel will disintegrate into shards unless we believe God. Believe he has given each of us exactly what we need to serve him. No, we're not perfect - neither are most vessels. Some constructed of metal have dents, ceramic vessls may be chipped. Most of us certainly show some wear, and one or two may even leak. No jokes here. Even the leaky containers can be used -stick dried flowers in them for beauty in your world.

Get that vessel cleaned out, ready for the Master's missions.