Of Light Sabers and Lip-Gloss

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Cleaning up around the house on Saturday night I came across all the various remnants of a relaxing “Stay-Home Day.” Crumbs in the carpet, sippy cups under the coffee table, and crayons in the sofa cushions were just a few of the offenders. The most telling find was a pile beside the bathroom door; it included a satin Cinderella gown, a tube of lip-gloss, and a blue light saber.

I’m not sure which girl dropped all of this at the last moment before she jumped into the bathtub, but it is indeed a fair reflection of the day. My son, Jesse, is in full-on Star Wars mode. His little sisters are doing their best to be right in the mix.

It is a balancing act, this job of being a woman-warrior, but with the right ratio of strength and glam, it is also a lot of fun.

Smile at the Baby in the Mirror!

This is Macy’s favorite thing to do: smile at the baby in the mirror. After all, she’s so cute and always laughs at the same jokes! At her daycare, a huge mirror is screwed into the wall right at floor level. Macy loves to crawl over there and talk to her little friend.

I think we could learn something from this. How many of us are comfortable with ourselves? Do you like you? It might be a good place to start when we’re looking at remodeling our character. Would you want to be your friend?

A Rare Rock should have this kind of confidence, not a shallow persona that actually disguises insecurity, but a genuine sense of acceptance. This week my Teaching class learned that the basic theme of the Bible is reconciliation – it begins with God and humankind in perfect harmony, follows with the story of our separation from Him and His eventual incarnation for our rescue, and concludes with the promise of an eventual eternity together. For us to grasp this concept of reconciliation at all, we have to begin with the simple truth that God made us and has a plan for us to be in perfect relationship with Him, despite our failures.

So test yourself today. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Hello, Pretty Baby!” And smile. If you don’t like what you see, remember that God is in the business of beautifying us. Just ask for His help: 1) to see you as He sees you and 2) to embrace the changes He wants to help you make.

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Barb Wise: A Rare Rock You Should Know

My husband and I created opening worship music for speakers Barb and Rick Wise last night at a church in our area. We had a great time (Dan got to play a beautiful baby grand with his drum tracks blaring through the monitor behind him – best of both worlds!), but the message from Barb and Rick was just incredible.

You can check out their website for a sample of Barb’s delivery style; it was very impactive. But, really, her story could almost stand alone. She speaks on abstinence, and because she lives with HIV/AIDS after casual sex in college her story has major power.

My favorite part was a visual she created with colored boxes. She began with four blue boxes that represented parental love. This was the foundation of the pyramid she was going to build. Then came the green boxes of friendship love. After that she used two red boxes to represent romantic love. Finally, at the top of the pyramid was a white box for unconditional love, the kind of love we need in marriage to stay committed and faithful. Barb demonstrated by jerking a blue parental love box out of the bottom that these blocks are dependent upon one another. The whole middle of the pyramid crashed to the floor when she described losing her dad to immorality and divorce.

This visual was a strong illustration of how God has designed a healthy pattern for love, but how fragile that system seems in our world today!

You WANT this husband/wife team speaking to your young people about premarital sex. They are normal and fun, but their message is serious and intense. It provides great tools for parents and young people who want to find God’s best for their sexual identity. Barb is genuine and passionate, and Rick is a honorable role model for young men.

Here’s to Barb Wise – A Rare Rock!

Shereen – A Beautiful Cut

Tonight Shereen graduated from the Recovery Program at our church. Two years ago she was a Bible College student in my classes, but after some poor choices in her personal life, Shereen’s parents told her she needed make some changes. Since she had grown up in our church, the last thing Shereen wanted to do was join the women’s program here. But she did it anyway and tonight we got to witness the beauty that is a life submitted to God.

Diamond cutters say that sometimes a rough diamond has to suffer major cuts for the sake of the best shape. Sometimes more than half of the rough is sacrificed for the ultimate goal of the perfect cut. It is a diamond’s shape that determines the light reflection that makes a stone sparkle. A beautiful diamond is the result of a master diamond cutter at work.

When Shereen first checked herself into the program, I remember thinking, “This is a cut worth making.” Shereen probably could have moved on with her life and been successful. She is smart and beautiful. But she made the decision to focus on her spirit instead. She didn’t settle for just being almost O.K. Instead, she submitted to the cutting of the Master.

Tonight I saw the brilliant work of Jesus alive in Shereen. She said in her remarks tonight, “I found out that God really is everything He says He is.” And that says it all.