Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

Not far from the farm in Maryland where I grew up was this stone quarry; they called it Sylvan Dell…The quarry was noisy—a lot of hammering, a lot of dust, a lot of work and sweat. But that quarry produced flagstone and some pretty beautiful Maryland quartz crystal…When I was a kid, I thought we were walking on diamonds, like somebody had opened a treasure chest and scattered precious jewels everywhere, like really walking on real gems.

The Bible talks about this very thing—glittering, dazzling, glorious. In Malachi 3, verse 16, it describes how the Lord has a book in which all the names of those who love Him are written down. He calls these people His jewels. So we become jewels that glitter, I mean really shine.

Well, ladies, I don’t think this group is into “bling,” but I know if I want a rock like, say, my diamond wedding ring to dazzle, I’ll ask my get-up girl in the morning to take my toothbrush and scrub my ring, because a real stone like this one can take a good scrubbing. Jewelry is not as delicate as we think.

So God gets out His toothbrush and says in Zechariah chapter 13, verse 9, “I will refine them like silver, and I will test them like gold.” That’s me. What can I say? I long. I desire. I want to be a jewel that does not cringe if God chooses to give my soul a hard scrubbing every now and then.

Now, I’m not glorifying the suffering it takes to polish my faith. But ladies, I am glorifying the God whose image is reflected on the surface of any smile, my smile that might be hard fought for through pain or problems. If you want God’s glory to be your shine, girls, it’ll be on His terms. His glory will be the glow of His godliness in your life, His patience and perseverance, courage and the conviction that the Father is worth trusting and obeying.

No matter how painful the trial, His terms call for you to be refined like silver and for me to be tested like gold.

~Joni Eareckson Tada in “God’s Jewels”

Photo: OBMonkey

From Mourning to Rejoicing

“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
blessed be the name of the LORD.”

Job 1:21

John Mark Harrison and his wife Brigitte share their remarkable story of learning to trust God’s goodness and sovereignty through the hardest of times and living to see Him bring beauty from their ashes.

Video: Biltmore Baptist Church
Photo: Ann- Kathrin Rehse

Update from Joni and Ken

Please pray for Joni today. She posted this update on her blog yesterday:

Early tomorrow morning Ken and I will head to the clinic for my third round of chemo (my friend Careen who is here for the week will be joining us). And when the nurse starts the infusion, Psalm 31:14-15 will be on my lips, “I trust in you O Lord; I say: ‘You are my God. My times are in your hands.’” My time battling this cancer is in His hands — I can’t think of a safer place to be! Sure, I get nervous and have questions (like, how much assault can my quadriplegic body take?), but as Julie Ackerman wrote, “Jesus knew that we would have questions. To prepare us for them, He urged us to abide in His love (John 15:9). Even when God’s ways are inexplicable, His love is reliable. So we remain doggedly devoted to Him.” And that, I am!  

Joni’s husband, Ken, joined her recently to share some encouraging thoughts in this video update:

Visit Joni’s blog HERE.

Sharing Christ’s Cup

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me…”

Psalm 23:4

This summer, I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Greg Harris and his wife, Betsy, while I was taking classes at The Master’s College in California. After speaking to them for only a few minutes, I was struck by how kind and gracious they each were. Only later would I learn about some of the amazing work God has done in the Harrises’ lives through times of great suffering and darkness. Dr. Harris has described some of their story in his book on suffering and the sovereignty of God entitled The Cup and The Glory.    

In the introduction of his book, Dr. Harris describes how a simple lesson he attempted to teach his young daughter, Lauren, would soon be used by God to teach him far more about trust and obedience than he would ever have imagined. When Lauren took some candy from his desk without asking, Dr. Harris required that she return it saying, “Place them both in my hands.” He continues the story:

Little did I realize what I was trying to teach our children would in just a few hours be thrust on Betsy and myself as our heavenly Father would call for the same obedience from us. Having informed those at the Wednesday service of the serious problems in Betsy’s pregnancy, problems discovered only on the previous day, and having been comforted by the love and support of these cherished friends, we moved in a dazed stupor as Betsy unexpectedly went into labor later that very night. As we rushed to the hospital about midnight, we knew the situation was quite grim for the identical twin girls she was carrying. As Lauren’s earlier, my response was quite reluctant. Even at the hospital when we first received the news the babies yet to be born would not live, I still expected deep inside if I gave the twins to God, then He would give them back to me. Until the nurses gently wrapped the first lifeless baby into blankets and carried her away from us, and then repeated the process with the second baby, I somehow believed there was still an outside hope for them. Only after the nurse walked down the hall with our second baby and turned the corner forever out of our sight this side of heaven, did I fully realize this was one of those times when God had closed His hand over what had been placed into it…

Hours earlier I had instructed Lauren how deeply we loved her, and how we desired the best for her. I told her whether or not I gave her the candy she wanted was no indication of our love for her. These words were said probably more for my own benefit than for that of a four-year-old. Once more the Lord brought my own teaching back to me. God’s love for His children is not only stated in Scripture but also ultimately demonstrated in the sacrificial death of His own Son, Jesus. Even more so, God knows firsthand what it was like to stand by and watch the death of His own child—and He could have intervened and stopped it at any moment. God has exhibited His love for us in not only making us His children, but in infinitely countless ways every day of our existence. His love for us—and for our twins—is not contingent on whether we bring the little girls into our home, or God brings them into His.

“Place them both into My hands.”

“We have, Lord, and thank You for taking such good care of them.”

[The Cup and the Glory, pp. 10-11]

Traveling through the valley of the shadow and then the wilderness for several years after that tragic event, Dr. Harris gained a great deal of wisdom which he has graciously shared in The Cup and the Glory. In the following video, Dr. Harris explains more about the purpose and message of this powerful book.

Photo: Konrad Mostert

Temporary Blindness, Eternal Vision

“…this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Do your soul a favor this weekend–skip a sitcom and watch this instead! In a message given at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, Jennifer Rothschild shared her testimony and explained how her experience with blindess has taught her to see through the eyes of faith:

Though fear is real, your faith is real. Though fear is powerful, your faith is more powerful. And that which you esteem highly in your life is that which will dominate you. May we never esteem our fear more highly than our faith. But by the grace of God, we can humbly with meekness kneel before God. And when our knees kneel before God, our faith must bow to His sovereignty and power. And therefore, we walk by faith and not by sight.


Photo: Ziadin Givan