************Have you ever thought about beauty? Sure you have. We all have at some point and time. It's just human nature to want to look good. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as long as it doesn't stand in the way of more important things. Are you obsessed with beauty? If so, then that's when it isn't a good thing. How much do you contribute to the multi billion dollar beauty industry each year looking for the latest and best beauty product, treatment, surgeries or perception of beauty? If you are like me, when I look at it in terms like that, I can say I probably spend too much. Not that what little I've spent has helped, because in some cases, like mine, I'm just throwing good money after bad and it doesn't help much. hahahaha But we all like to feel like we look good or pretty from time to time.
When I started thinking of beauty, I went on a quest to find out about Biblical beauty. We all know the standards the world sets for beauty. Those standards are not even humanly possible. The Barbie doll has been proven to be impossible to mimic in human perspective, yet that's what most women my age grew up with, thinking that was the standard for beauty. The human standard of beauty reflects what we see with our eyes. Seduction of either lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes or lust of pride. That's what satan seduced Eve with, the lust of flesh and seeing with her eyes, something that satan said was beautiful even after God had told them not to eat of the tree. But she saw with her eyes that it was good for food (lust of eyes), it was pleasant to look at (lust of flesh) and it would make her wise (lust of pride). The enemy uses everything he can to cause us to lust in some form or fashion. This is what the worlds point of view is. Lust of eyes, flesh and pride makes something or someone beautiful.
In my search, I found that satan even tempted Jesus with the same 3 lusts that he tempted Eve with and still tempts us with! Yes, that's true! The account in Luke 4: 1-13 tells all about it:
The enemy tried to get Jesus to turn the stones to bread, lust of flesh; he showed Jesus the world and tried to give it to Him (it already belonged to Jesus anyway) if He would worship satan , lust of eyes; and he tried to get Jesus to jump from a high place; lust of pride. If the enemy tempted Jesus, do you think he won't tempt or seduce us? Ohhhh, he will and for most of us, he's usually successful. That's sad but true. We fall for it. Jesus didn't fall for it. He quoted scripture each and every time satan tempted Him!!!!
So we know the worldly view of beauty, now lets see what God's standard of beauty is. Only God can set His standard of beauty. There are very few people in the Bible that it actually mentions as them being something beautiful to look at. The truly beautiful women in the Bible were beautiful from the inside out. The Bible mentions some of the women as being beautiful, but for the most part, physical beauty is brought into account when God is showing us how easy it is to be seduced or tempted by beauty. Some of the women done nothing wrong, they were simply beautiful, but the eyes looking upon them, well, they were lusting. David would be a good example of that. Also men lusting after Abraham's wife was another good example. Scripture even says David was handsome in his youth. On the other hand, Isaiah says that Jesus was a "comely" man. That means He wouldn't be much to look at, in the standards of this world. We have no idea what Christ looked like. Just the modern images that we see of Him. But, we can be rest assured He wasn't what we would consider a handsome man by today's standards. Christ is beautiful from the inside out!!!! Because He has the qualities of beauty. People are not drawn to Him by what is on the outside, but by what is on the inside. That was true for then, just as it's true now.
It was pointed out in an article that I read, that God doesn't even use culture as a standard of beauty either, because we, with our human eyes do not see every culture and the ways some people live as beautiful. We have a tendency to feel if someone is different culturally, then they are not beautiful.
Beauty is usually something that is appealing. Poor is not beautiful or appealing to our eyes or is it. How beautiful was the little woman that gave everything she had, a widows mite? A beat up car is not lovely to look at or appealing or is it. If that's what your trying to get a sick wife or husband or child to the drs office or hospital to save their lives, how beautiful does that beat up car become? A dilapidated old house is not a thing of beauty or appealing or is it. Maybe if the house could tell you about all the laughter that the walls had heard from the multiple families of kids having called that house home, or about the love of one spouse sitting with the other while one drew their last breath. How beautiful that house suddenly becomes. Not because of the outside, but because of the memories the inside holds. So, if it has nothing to do with what see on the outside, then it has to be on the inside, right.
So, what are some traits that God would recognize as beautiful? Trust is one of the qualities God recognizes as beautiful. The Old Testament is filled with men and women who trusted God. Noah, Abraham, Moses, Sarah, Esther, Daniel, Rahab, Hannah, Ruth, to name just a few who trusted God with their very lives. That's beautiful. The New Testament is also filled with many examples of real beauty. The Beatitudes are a great starting place to see what God considers as beauty. The Fruit of the Spirit is also a good collection of what beauty looks like. God also considers it a thing of beauty when He sees His living sacrifices; us, His children; wearing the "whole armor of God". Living a life of faith is a beautiful attribute in the eyes of God.
Having a heart that weeps over injustice, cares for the poor, loves the unloveable, recognizing ones own spiritual needs, being a peace maker, showing mercy, having a real love for others, extending grace to those who may not deserve it, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, fear of the Lord, gentle and quiet spirit, Proverbs 31 is a wonderful description of a beautiful woman, the gray hair of the aged is a thing of beauty, a praying spirit, our works from a desire to show love toward others, salvation is beautiful, the Holy Spirit active in our lives is beautiful, true worship is beautiful, a holy life is beautiful, a person who has captured the heart of Jesus is beautiful, a joy filled spirit is beautiful, to have hope is beautiful. Simply put, true beauty is a gift from God. It is. It can't be bought, borrowed or stolen. It is given to us to be treasured, cherished and shared with those around us.
"Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness" (Psalm 29:2).
"And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands" (Psalm 90:17).
"Your eyes will see the King in His beauty..." (Is. 33:17)
(1 Ch. 16:29).
One last thing on beauty. I ask myself two or three questions every day. As a woman (or a man), how do I reflect God's beauty today? Do I mirror the excellence of God? Do I find great purpose in the small things, and humility in the big things? I think these questions are good questions for us to ask ourselves every day. I think the way we live out the answer is where we will find beauty, in ourselves and in others. Beauty as the world sees it is fleeting. Beauty in the eyes of God is forever!!!! Are you sold out to the beauty that God loves or the beauty the world loves?
************The project I have to share this time is the cards we made at Card Ministry at our church in the month of January. Since it was back in January, it was still cold and the theme of a couple of the cards was snowmen. Who doesn't enjoy a snowman? I will get my card out and look it this summer when the thermometer hits 100* and wish for a little coolness from the snowmen. hahaha
This is my favorite, I think. The church was stamped on the blue background and then it was heat embossed using silver embossing powder and the heat tool. I have to say, I think dark blue and silver is a truly lovely combination. It never ceases to amaze how beautiful the combo is. I really love our time of getting together to make cards. Its just a fun time and friends gathering, what more could be better. Then sending out the cards is a part of the ministry and that's fun too. Everyone loves getting cards from the Card Warriors. We certainly have a great time making them and I'm so thankful for the lady that gets it all together. She sure is a lovely lady with a heart for the Lord and that's a beautiful thing!!!
My Tip is in the form of a "quick to throw together" recipe this time. Every once in a while I will want something tasty and easy to put together and forget about it. Several years ago, at a church we used to go to, we would have a fellowship meal after services a lot. There wasn't many members, but everyone loved to eat. We know that hungry guys can eat some food and the gals can too, when it's good. hahaha Who doesn't like to eat, right! We always enjoyed the meals, but may or may not have left on several occasions and stopped at fast food before going on home. I started a search for something fast to throw together and easy to have on hand. I succeeded in coming up with a trio of recipes to fix in the crockpot. A self proclaimed crockpot queen has several crockpots. Guess what? I do, so I guess that makes me a "self proclaimed crockpot queen". hahahahaha Since I love dessert, we'll start with dessert first. Who doesn't love that? I don't even know where I found the recipes, because it was way before I even had the internet. (Oh my gosh, how did we even live without google?) hahahahaha Anyway, in my search, I found a dessert called "Dump Cake". hahahaha I couldn't even imagine what that would taste like, but hey, I was certainly willing to give it a try. The first time I took it to the meals after church, I almost didn't even have to wash my crockpot, because it was licked clean!!! hahahaha That's true, and I may or may not have been involved. hahahaha Anyway, needless to say, it was a hit!!!! So here's the recipe:
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 can of cherry pie filling
1 stick of real butter (margarine is watery when it's melted, so use at your own discretion, I just prefer butter)
-Spray the inside of your crock with non stick spray.
-Pour the cherry pie filling in the bottom of the crock.
-Melt the butter in the microwave or stove top. (I prefer stove top, the microwave causes too much splatters.)
-In mixing bowl, dump in box of cake mix and pour melted butter over cake mix and stir. It will be a really stiff mix and you may not even get it all incorporated, that's ok.
-Pour stiff mixture over pie filling and DO NOT STIR!!!! Spread it out as evenly as you can without disturbing pie filling.
-if you have any chopped pecans or walnuts on hand, toss in a hand full while stirring cake and butter together.
Cook in crockpot for 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high.
This is quick, easy and delicious!!!! Don't believe me, then try it for yourself. hahaha
Feel free to mix and match with the different canned pie fillings on the market and all the different kinds of cake mixes. The sky is the limit with this. Oh yes, and if you really want to take it over the top, put a scoop of ice cream on top!!!!! People will be bowing to the "crockpot queen" standing before them. hahahaha And you may not even have to wash your crockpot either. hahahaha
As I was writing this just now, I had a thought. My thoughts are usually dangerous, but not this time, it's a keeper. If I'm not mistaken, I think there is sugar free pie fillings and sugar free cake mixes on the market. That is good for people having to watch their sugar intake. Of course, if it's sugar free, then it's probably got more fat and other stuff in it, but it's a thought anyway. See, I said it was a keeper. hahaha
My most memorable quote from this day: "There IS a yoga diva in me that's just dying to come out!" Hahaha Some who read this will understand. hahaha
Well, it looks like that's about it for tonight. I hope and pray you have enjoyed your visit with me here and I thank you for taking time out of your busy lives and sharing in a portion of mine. I hope you had a good time and that you can take something away from your visit. I hope you look for the beauty that God looks for and that you can see it in yourself and others. I hope you enjoyed my tip in the form of a kinda old and forgotten recipe made new again. Be sure and watch and I will be sharing the other two recipes that goes with this one for dinner on the grounds at church or other big gatherings. People will be thinking that you are the queen of southern cuisine when you spring them on your friends. hahaha I also hope that you enjoyed the cards that I shared. I will say good night and God bless you and keep you all till next time when we meet right back here for some more fun and good times. Remember that God loves you, so much so that He provided a way for you to be in right relationship with Him thru His Son, Yeshua, Jesus Christ!!! Hey, I love you too and appreciate your visits!!! hugs, Patty