Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

Embrace the Good

 

 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whaterver is true, whatever is worthy, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent orall  praiseworthy, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8

There is so much beauty around you. Each day is a treasure, a lovely gift to hold as a treasure of truth in your heart. Treasure is something you have to dig for, and the gift of seeing all that is lovely and true must be dug for. If you find yourself surrounded by ugly, in the midst of lies, caged in by hopelessness, then seeing whatever is lovely, pure, and true is not so easy.

The Lover of your soul treasures who you are. You are the lovely to Him, and He is the lovely, pure and all that is true to anyone that seeks Him. He is the One that can bring you out of every ugly place and show you how to use it for something lovely, He is the One that can reveal the truth to you, open your heart to hope, and wrap you in His purity. He is praiseworthy all the time, and worthy of all your respect.

 
 

When Beauty Calls


....Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.

1 Peter 3:4

This last weekend I went to the park with a friend, and we saw this cactus with the vibrant orange flower, so beautiful! It was significant to me because God had been bringing the word "Beauty" to my mind all week.  Later, that day, my husband and I watched a movie about a young woman that did not feel pretty.  Her entire life was tainted by her belief of not being beautiful.  She had a dead end job, she only had a couple of friends, and every way that she presented herself supported her belief. Then, she had an accident and hit her head.  When she woke up, she looked in the mirror and couldn't believe what she saw! She saw beauty! Eventhough she looked exactly the same, she believed she was gorgeous...and because of her belief, everything changed.  She fell in love, got a great job, became bolder and more courageous. The people around her sat up noticed as well, they loved her confidence, her belief, and everything about her.  She had finally seen the truth about who she really was.

And so it is with every woman. The lies we so often believe that make us feel plain, withdrawn, invisible, and uncertain. This in turn strains relationships, our health, our abilities to live a full life. I've definately had my share of lies that I've believed about who God created me to be. I've believed I was fat, ugly, unwanted, etc....those lies tend to build on each other.  But, as God has moved His light around, and within me, I've been able more and more to see the beauty He created in me, and my life too has changed as I've digested His truth and lived in beauty.  Just like the cactus, I don't feel as prickly when I focus on the flower!

What beauty is God showing you about yourself today?  Where is He asking you to journey as you listen to His truth?  How have you noticed your life changing as you focus on the truth of who He created you to be?

Walking Through Life

 

Husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word....

Ephesians 5:25

My husband and I will be celebrating our 36 years of marriage next week. As I was contemplating the day ahead for us, I started to count up various things such as how many dogs have we had and how many times have we moved.  In case you're curious, we've had nine dogs, and we've moved eight times!

We've walked together through the loss of pregnancies, the joy of five children, the loss of both parents, the joy of friendships, and the loss of friendships.  We've traveled to many places, and we've simply stayed home for long periods of time.  We've worked hard on our own business and ministry.  We've agonized together over raising children, and laughed together in the pleasure of children. We've intentionally embraced our grandchildren with the deep knowing that it is up to us to leave a legacy.  We've been rich, and we've been poor.  We've pushed through physical hardships, and rejoiced in health.   Most days we have been in unity, loving each other and our family, some days there has been discord, anger, frustration, and silence. We've searched for Jesus together and left religion. We've planted ourselves in God, and in each other.  I am so very thankful and so blessed. We have kept each others secrets, and still come back for more.

My husband has loved me on my most unlovable days.  He has sacrificed himself so that my life would be good.  He has walked with God and in turn walked with me.  This is irreplaceable.  

Who are you walking with through life today? What have you done together, and where are you going? Are you seeing the blessing that God has given you by the people He has put in your life?  I hope so!

To Be Wholehearted

Paul stayed a while longer in Corinth, but then it was time to take leave of his friends.  Saying his goodbyes, he sailed for Syria, Priscilla and Aquila with him....

Acts 18:18

Recently, I read an article on Priscilla and Aquila. I loved the attributes that were pointed out about both of them. Priscilla put her whole heart into all that she did.  Her name is mentioned first three times before her husband Aquila throughout the New Testament. But, it is never mentioned alone. She was with her husband in all that they did, serving Jesus, making tents, and living their lives. 

I imagine Priscilla as high energy, a women that puts her all into all that she does. She's committed, loyal, loving, and everything about her shines bright. She was highly gifted and dearly loved.

Priscilla was in one accord with her husband. Unlike Nabal and Abigail, who were opposed to each other in character, Priscilla and Aquila walked in unison with Christ Jesus and were of one mind with Him and each other. They were happy.

Paul spoke very highly of Priscilla and Aquila, they were his friends. He stayed in their home. They traveled together. They assisted Paul and worked together with him and spread the Word of the Gospel wherever they went.

Priscilla is a wonderful example for women today.  She did not shirk back in the adventures of life. She knew who God had made her to be, and was not threatened by her queenly title. She loved her husband and the Body of Christ, and worked beside him as an equal. She was not afraid to shine, lead, support, and love through every opportunity. She wholeheartedly jumped into life with the people around her.

May your life be a wholehearted adventure, seeking peace, brightness, courage, and love wherever you go. And, like Priscilla, step into each day utilizing the gifts God has given you, and exploring new ones.

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