Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice… Jesus firmly and tenderly emphasized this promise: “Your father knows what you need. . . . Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father has chosen gladly to give. . . .” [Matt. 6:25-34] … Continue reading

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice… When my paralysis finally began to sink in, when I realized it was permanent, I felt like my life had come to a dead end. I had absolutely no strength to fight off that … Continue reading

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

Worry is a failure to understand God’s priority, [Luke 12] verses 22 and 23. “He said to His disciples, ‘For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life as to what you shall eat nor for your body as to what you shall put on, for life is more than food and the body more than clothing.’”

Now here’s the point: God didn’t create you just to survive. God didn’t create you just to have you eat and wear clothes so that you can make it. God did not create you to fulfill some physical goal, or objective, or purpose or design.

Your life is far more than eating. Your life is far more than clothing. You must understand the divine priority…if you belong to God and you are in His Kingdom, He has a plan and a purpose for your life. That’s the reason you live. And as long as God has a plan for your life, He will feed you and clothe you until the plan is complete. So what is there to worry about?

There is really no place for worry and no place for fear, and no place for anxiety if you understand that the priority with God is far more than just surviving, it’s far more than making it through the winter, it’s far more than getting at least one or two meals a day, far more than that.

God’s purpose in giving you life, God’s purpose in giving you a body is not material, it’s not physical, and it’s not earthly, it is immaterial, spiritual and heavenly. We were made for His glory.

We were made to serve His glory, to serve His purpose, to honor Him, to bring attention to Him, to proclaim the gospel, to live out Christ and the power of the Spirit in the world. And as long as that’s the divine priority…for us, He will sustain us to the end of His purpose.

~John MacArthur inAnxiety-Free Living, Part 2

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

I wait for you, O Lord, you will answer, O Lord my God. Psalm 38:15 

Have you ever had a cup of the coffee they serve in hotel hallways or lobbies? …It’s not the best-tasting stuff and may have been sitting there for hours. Sometimes when I’m traveling, I’ll spot the coffee, sniff the aroma, and often I’m tempted to scarf down a cup. If I’m in a hurry, I’m thinking less about quality and more about caffeine! 

Ah, but if I know there’s a gourmet coffee kiosk at the airport… serving up a fresh ground heavenly brew, then I say, “Hmmm, I think I can wait a half hour.” I know it will pay off…

This is at least some of what it means to “wait on the Lord.” Waiting on God does not mean passive indifference—hanging around and doing nothing. It has more to do with saying “no” to impulsive, spur-of-the-moment actions or decisions, and by so doing, saying “yes” to something you know will satisfy much better on down the line.

Those who have not yet learned how to wait on the Lord may tend to indulge in something immediate that only half satisfies. But Christians who have fostered a degree of self-control—Christians who know God better—don’t mind putting pleasure on hold. They know something better is brewing down the line.

~Joni Eareckson Tada in “Putting Pleasure on Hold,” Joni and Friends Daily Devotional, May 2, 2012

Photo: OBMonkey

Trusting Our Father’s Driving

“For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust,
O LORD, from my youth.”

Psalm 71:5

Comforting and convicting words from J.I. Packer…

“Do not worry about your life,” says the Lord, “what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear” (Mt 6:25). But, says someone, this is not realistic; how can I help worrying, when I face this, and this, and this? To which Jesus’ reply is: Your faith is too small. Have you forgotten that God is your Father? “Look at the birds of the air; …your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (v. 26). If God cares for the birds, whose Father he is not, is it not plain that he will certainly care for you, whose Father he is?

The point is put positively in verses 31-33: “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ …Your heavenly Father knows that you need [these things]. But seek first his [your Father's] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

“We might have a crash,” said the small girl anxiously, as the family car threaded its way through traffic. “Trust Daddy; he’s a good driver,” said Mommy. The young lady was reassured, and she relaxed at once. Do you trust your heavenly Father like that? If not, why not?

Such trust is vital; it is in truth the mainspring of the life of faith, which without it becomes a life of at least partial belief.

[Knowing God, p. 213; emphasis added]

Although we may not know what’s ahead, we do know our Father, and
that is enough.

Photo: Denise Docherty

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

What does it mean to depend on God? What does it look like? Proverbs 3:6 answers that question: “In all your ways acknowledge him.” Charles Bridges explains how this works out in everyday life in his book, Commentary on Proverbs:

Take one step at a time, every step under Divine warrant and direction. Ever plan for yourself in simple dependence on God. It is nothing less than self-idolatry to conceive that we can carry on even the ordinary matters of the day without his counsel. He loves to be consulted.

It’s the “ordinary matters of the day” that we often try to accomplish on our own, is it not? When we’re faced with a big decision, Proverbs 3:6 is our go-to verse. We’re quick to acknowledge our need for God in extraordinary situations. However, it is often in the ordinary matters of our day where our lack of dependence is most evident.

We live for periods of time as if we don’t need God in order to clean our bathroom, or to counsel our children, or to make a phone call, or to run that errand. Yet, as Bridges rightly asserts, this is self –idolatry. We think we’re sufficient to handle everyday matters. But, of course, we’re not! Rather, we must abandon self-effort and self-idolatry and actively choose to depend on God…

In the end, our highest goal each day is not flawless execution of our plans or increased productivity. It’s our relationship with God, walking in dependence upon him throughout the day. We should not be more consumed with the completion of our to-do list than pleasing and glorifying the Savior

~Carolyn Mahaney, Nicole Whitacre, Kristin Chesemore, and Janelle Bradshaw in “Navigating the Interruptions and Busy Seasons of Life

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

When I used to ride horses, I had a special relationship with my thoroughbred named Auggie. Because I fed him, brushed him, and exercised him, he knew me and trusted my judgment when I guided him through fences in the show ring. It was the joy of his heart to do my will because he trusted my wisdom.

Well, First Peter chapter 4 says, “…those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” To commit ourselves to our Creator is to trust Him; to do good is to obey Him.

Trust and obey! Oh, that we would be like a simple horse and trust the wisdom of the one holding the reins in our lives. If we’d only take the time to really know our Master (like my horse knew me), we’d trust Him and obey Him more easily, more faithfully.

Join me in yielding to the One who holds the reins. 

~Joni Eareckson Tada in “Trust and Obey

Photo: OBMonkey

Trying Times

“So have you heard anything new about Evangelle?”

It seems I now answer this question multiple times a day. I’m glad people care; I really am. And I certainly prefer for people to express their concern instead of ignoring what we’re going through, but still, I’m beginning to cringe inwardly each time someone asks about our progress.

Of course it’s not the question I dislike; it’s the answer I’m currently required to give that’s the problem. Unfortunately, we really don’t know anything new aside from the fact that the month of March is almost gone and Evangelle is still on the other side of the world.

These are the times that try a woman’s soul. 

I wish I could tell you that I’m taking it like a champ, but the truth is I’m not. Each morning when I wake up and realize we didn’t receive an email from the Embassy during the night, I feel like a dark cloud has enveloped my soul. While working on Evangelle’s lifebook this week I realized that I’m not just struggling with the wait, I’m also grieving the time with her that we’ve lost. She was 4 months old when we first saw her face. She’ll be 10 months old at the end of this month.

The realization that the first year of her life is nearly gone has been weighing heavily on my heart, and it’s a fight to keep my eyes fixed on the Lord and not become overwhelmed with grief. Right now, I’m thankful for God’s promise to be near those who are broken-hearted and crushed in spirit. I desperately need to be near to Him.

Yesterday, God provided me with much-needed encouragement through Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s teaching on the fearlessness of the Proverbs 31 woman. If you’re also fighting for joy, I know this will be a help to you too…  

I know that time is short, and eternity is long. How foolish it is to waste the little bit of time I have here on this earth pining and moaning and resenting and resisting the very things God wants to bring into my life to help me be like Jesus, to help fit me for eternity!

…One of the mandates of the gospel is to be people of joy. It’s not an option. It’s a mandate. First Thessalonians 5, verse 16, “Rejoice always.” Psalm 5, verse 11, “Let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy.” “Serve the LORD with gladness!” Psalm 100 tells us (v. 2).

…Now, we’re not talking about shallow, hollow, cheap joy that is dependent on what’s going on around us, but we’re talking about that deep, abiding joy that is rooted in the gospel. It’s rooted in God. It’s rooted in the truth of who He is, and that comes to mind as we look at these two verses in Proverbs 31 that we’ve been examining.

Proverbs 31, verse 21, “She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.” And then verse 25, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” The New American Standard there says, “She smiles at the future,” and another translation says, “She shall rejoice in time to come.”

That word laugh, “she laughs at the time to come,” as it is in my English Standard Version, that word means “to laugh in pleasure, to make merry, to play.” It has the thought of being carefree. Now, it’s not because the woman has no problems. It’s because she knows to cast her burdens on the Lord, so she doesn’t let those burdens stay on her.

She’s not frivolous. She’s not silly, but she walks with dignity through the trials and challenges of life. She laughs in pleasure as she thinks about the future. She is free from fear of the future. She looks to the future with confidence, with hope, and with joy regardless of its challenges.

Here are a few phrases that commentators have used in talking about this woman laughing at the time to come. One says, “She has a calm anticipation of the future.” Another said, “She happily looks forward to the future.”

…This woman has a calm anticipation of the future. I think that could relate to the immediate future, the circumstances that lie right in front of her. They’re staring at her, the bills, a son or daughter who’s getting ready to marry someone who is not in the faith. It’s an immediate challenge in the immediate future, the days immediately ahead.

Then there’s the longer-term future. There is that which is known about it—we think we know—and there’s that which is unknown about it. Both can cause us to be anxious and joyless.

The woman we’re reading about in Proverbs 31, the woman of strength and dignity, has a calm anticipation of the future because she trusts the wise and loving providence of a Heavenly Father who cares, who is able to control the future, who does control the future, the life to come, not to be feared for the woman of faith, the woman of strength and dignity who fears the Lord and who knows Jesus Christ.

Listen to or read more of Nancy’s teaching on this topic in her current series
Facing the Future with Joy.

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

There’s a wonderful truth that’s sometimes hard for us to grasp. That is that God doesn’t make any mistakes.

Other people sometimes may make serious mistakes that affect our lives. But God is always fulfilling His eternal purposes, and they can’t be stopped by any human failure. If we’re in Christ, our lives are in His hands, and nothing can touch us that hasn’t first been filtered through His fingers of love.

Someone has said, “God’s will is exactly what we would choose if we knew what God knows.” When we stand in eternity, we’ll see clearly what we now know only by faith: He truly has done all things well.

~Nancy Leigh DeMoss in “Filtered through His Hand

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

We might be tempted to think the emotions of fear, worry, and anxiety are truly emotions that come from outside of us…But before we go there, let’s remember that our emotions express our values and evaluations. Our emotions tell us what we really, really believe. Therefore, not even fear, worry, and anxiety can be attributed to something that happens to us.

The Bible leaves us no room for debate. The source of fear, worry, and anxiety is unbelief. The unbelief is specific, spelled out for us by Isaiah and Jesus. When we fail to believe that God is for us, will take care of us, has our future in his hands, and is with us right now, we cave in to fear, worry, or anxiety.

Listen again to the prophet [Isaiah]: “Whom did you dread and fear, so that you lied, and did not remember me, did not lay it to heart? Have I not held my peace, even for a long time, and you do not fear me?” Likewise, what is our Lord’s diagnosis of the anxiety shown in Matthew 6:25-34? The answer is, “O you of little faith” (6:30). When we are gripped with anxiety and fear, we are making an evaluation. Our souls are speaking, and our innermost being is expressing what we believe and whom we do not believe.

~Brian Borgman in Feelings and Faith

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

Dry times—we all have them…I had one of those dry times not long ago. I couldn’t trace it to anything specific, yet my spirit felt as arid as July in the Mojave Desert. Maybe you can identify.

I know that Simon Peter would. He was weary, had been fishing all day. His back ached, eyelids drooped. All night without so much as a sardine! Yet at the command of Jesus, he summoned what little energy he had and let down his net. One more time.

Do you feel God has forgotten you today? He hasn’t! He is asking you to let down your net. One more time. Keep in the Word. Hit your knees and return to prayer. He’s going to bring you out of that dryness. So be faithful, friend. Trust Him. Wait on Him. Jesus can still fill an empty net.

~Joni Eareckson Tada in “Let Down Your Net” 

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

I know a lot about waiting…I’ve spent a lot of time waiting in this wheelchair. After the accident in which I became paralyzed, I waited to go to physical therapy. Once there, they parked me outside until it was my turn. After the hospital, I waited to be sent to a rehab center. In the evenings I’d wait for my family to come visit, and it seemed that I was forever waiting to go home. 

Back then, waiting was just a matter of “killing time”—but no more! I’ve got to remember—and you too—that God does not give us time to kill. He gives us time to use, to hold onto hope and yet still be involved.

Remember, friend, God is doing something even when it appears nothing is happening. So make sure you keep living, even while
you wait.

~Joni Eareckson Tada in “Waiting…and Living” 

Photo: OBMonkey

Embracing the Opportunity to Wait

“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen
thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”

Psalm 27:14

Given the current circumstances of our adoption, I’ve been thinking a lot about waiting lately. Based on what I’ve learned thus far in my 34 years on earth, it seems to me that life is a constant cycle of learning and re-learning how to wait on the Lord. When we look at Scripture (and at all of the practice God gives us), it’s clear that waiting plays a vital role in our sanctification. 

In his new article for The Gospel Coalition, “5 Signs Waiting Has Weakened Your Faith,” biblical counselor Paul Tripp warns of the dangers of growing spiritually cold when you struggle to see how God is at work in your wait… 

When God asks you to wait, what happens to your spiritual muscles? While you wait, do your spiritual muscles grow bigger and stronger, or do they become flaccid and atrophied? Waiting for the Lord isn’t about God forgetting you, forsaking you, abandoning the ministry he’s called you to, or being unfaithful to his promises. It’s actually God giving you time to consider his glory, grow stronger in faith, and grow in courage for ministry. Remember, waiting isn’t just about what you’re hoping for at the end of the wait, but also about what you’ll become as you wait.

So waiting always presents us with a spiritual choice-point. Will I allow myself to question God’s goodness and progressively grow weaker in faith, or will I embrace the opportunity of faith that God is giving me and build my spiritual…muscles?

Tripp then shares 5 hints that you are allowing the waiting process to weaken rather than strengthen you:

  1. Giving way to doubt
  2. Giving way to anger
  3. Giving way to discouragement
  4. Giving way to envy
  5. Giving way to inactivity

Do you see any of these in your own life? If so, then Tripp’s biblical advice will be an encouragement to you. 

You can read the entire article HERE.

Photo: sem rox

Does God Give Us More Than We Can Bear?

“Just remember…God will never give us more than we can bear.” 

Have you ever had someone attempt to comfort you in the midst of suffering with those words? If something about that statement didn’t seem quite right to you, you may appreciate the following clarification on 1 Corinthians 10:13 from Joni Eareckson Tada…

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. —I Corinthians 10:13

“Oh Joni, isn’t it wonderful that God will never test us beyond what we can endure? That’s a promise from God!”

I knew my friend Sue was looking for an affirmation, a confirmation that God would never “bend the bruised reed.” As I nodded slowly, relief flooded her features. Sue had never faced the kind of mind-bending, soul-obliterating pain that now loomed on her horizon. But with the recent medical report and the looming prospect of a morphine-drip pump in her future, she was scared. Surely the Lord won’t give me more than I can bear, she was thinking.

First Corinthians 10:13 is certainly a promise… but it isn’t talking about trials. It’s talking about temptation. The promise is that God will always, always give you the power to say no to sin. But when it comes to heartaches, physical problems, and disappointments—things out of your control, difficult circumstances suddenly thrust upon you—you may very well be overwhelmed beyond what you can bear. There is a kind of suffering that rips your world apart and leaves you bewildered and wounded. There are trials that overwhelm.

I drew a deep breath, showing my friend the context of the promise-and her brow furrowed. “But take heart,” I told her. “It’s when we are at the end of our strength…that’s when we fall helplessly into the everlasting arms of God. That’s when God floods our hearts with sustaining grace.”

You and I may indeed find ourselves overwhelmed at times—at the end of our rope and beyond. But we will never fall farther than the palm of his hand. And where he has called us, his grace will
sustain us.

[Joni and Friends Daily DevotionalJanuary 31, 2012]

Paul himself knew what it was like to be overwhelmed by suffering, but he also understood the purpose behind the pain: “For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).

Photo: Shirley B