Anything Can Happen: Bad Hair Day?

If TRUTH is BEAUTY,

how come no one has their hair done in the Library?
-Lily Tomlin

Bad Hair Day?Having a bad hair day?

No problem.

You’re beautiful ON THE INSIDE!  🙂

Better Bad Hair Day

The Face of Beauty: Embracing the Gift of Our Days

Today’s Beauty Minute is from Reverend Verlee A. Copeland from First Parish Church in York, Maine,  excerpted from a weekly devotion written for her parishioners. Her words inspire us to embrace the aging beauty of our own faces and the gift of each and every day.

woman in window

There’s something sobering about living in a cemetery.

Every day when I stumble to the kitchen for a cup of steaming courage, the tombstones out back are the first things I see out the window. Though I haven’t paced it off, there are maybe 50 yards between me and these saints that have gone on to glory.

CemeteryThe stones stand up straight and look me in the eye everyday as if to say, “You’re next.”

But not yet. There stretches a pleasant space between me and the grave, a long, lovely slope of yard that ends in a tangle of bittersweet and trees as if to prolong the passing over to the other side. As my mother-in-law once said, “I’m not afraid to die. When that day comes, I’ll be ready to go home to Jesus. But I’m not homesick.”

You may think that your pastor is a bit morose this morning. On the contrary, it’s both sobering and energizing to acknowledge that these beautiful bodies we inhabit were created with a limited warranty. We do not know the day nor the hour when the gig will be up. Therefore, we have the great privilege of making the most of our days.

We rise every morning with deep and abiding gratitude for the precious and oh so fleeting gift of days. We ask ourselves, “What is it that God wants me to do with this sweet, short life?” Then, having asked that question as a prayer, we look for ways to be useful to God. God will reveal them to us when we pay attention.

There’s no sense living with regret over a past we cannot change. It’s gone to us. In like manner, wringing our hands over how we shall live tomorrow will just make us anxious and afraid.

Rather, receive this day as the gift from God that it is, for you. There will be no other like it.cemetery stone

It’s time to stop gazing at the cemetery, put on my shoes and quit the house.

Whatever you and I do with this sweet short day, let’s give it our all.

To God be the glory.

Rev. Dr. Verlee A. CopelandPastor Verlee Copeland

 

 

Past Face of Beauty posts:

Amanda

Amanda

Lygon Stevens

Lygon Stevens

Writing in the White Space: Resurrection

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” Romans 8:15 MSG

Writing in the White Space 2

Praying for the beauty of the resurrection life of Jesus for you today.

Linda Crawford

©Linda Crawford 2013

More Writing in the White Space posts:

We long to create

Vytvoření

Cold

Cold

Joy Floats

Joy Floats 

Six Minute Sabbath: A Friendship Story

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 NIV

It’s Six Minute Sabbath. . . well, actually, it’s a seven minutes and fifty-two seconds sabbath.

That’s how long it takes to share this story.

The story of two friends sharing the light on a very dark morning:

Share the light.

Somebody you know needs it today.

Linda Crawford

Linda

Cheryl

Cheryl

© Linda Crawford 2013

 

 

 

Past Six Minute Sabbath videos:

Beauty from Despair

Beauty from Despair

To Create

To Create

Need You Now

Need You Now

Beauty from Brokenness: The Bullies Were Wrong

He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me. Psalm 18:16-19 NLT

I had an entirely different post planned for today.

God planned this one.

It’s been a rough week for me, and I’m sure for many others. The physical pain I have battled for over three years decided to attack me with a vengeance again this week.

And on these days, all pains begin to hurt.

On these days, when I can barely breathe beyond the physical pain, the voices of the bullies decide to take advantage of my weakness. They rise up from the past and start to ridicule, poke, punch, and knock me down again.

You are nothing. You are worth nothing. You are ugly.

You think you’re a little angel–but you’re NOT!

Even though I am surrounded by light, life feels dark.  Even though I am blessed with words of love and affirmation,  I struggle to believe anything in me is redeemable.Transformed

I writhe against the pain, battling to believe in the beauty that is me.

And even though the physical pain does not yield, the emotional battle must be won.

The lies of the bullies were not, are not, and never will be true.

We have all been wounded by words, some more than others, and as I fight the lies once again tonight (even as I write this), I wonder if perhaps we can go to battle together…to drown out those voices that sneak in to exacerbate our pains.

Bully Free Zone

Today, let’s create a bully-free zone in our lives.

Let’s speak LOUDLY and OFTEN of the beauty we see in one another.

Let’s share the message of healing–the message of love–the message of beauty.

Share the video below. God put this video directly in my path last night…because I needed it.

I believe you do too. And somebody you know needs it.

Watch, allow God to reveal your beauty, and share. So many of us need to hear the message of beauty…over…and over…and over again.

Praying for all the wounded, broken, and in pain today.

Linda Crawford

 

 

Past Beauty from Brokenness posts:

The Hidden Chair

The Becoming of an Artist

The Becoming of an Artist

The Life Quilt

The Life Quilt

Friends Photo: Focus

Today’s photo theme is “Focus” and comes from a new blogger friend, Jim, who shares beauty and wisdom that inspires me each day at his blog: jimfields.wordpress.com

What does “Focus” mean to you?

Sometimes focusing on the details can be rather abstract, confusing, or maybe details just don’t let us see the true beauty.  Details can be choppy, crude or even obscure.

When that happens, when the big picture gets lost in the details, we have to step back and look from a different vantage point to see with more clarity.

In other words sometimes the greater beauty is seen in the big picture where the details combine and fit together.

The details of life are the moments, the efforts, the work, the play, the things that happen to us or for us.  The larger picture is our goals, where we’re headed in life, what we look forward to…And sometimes life distracts us from the larger picture – usually because we are so intent looking at how to make the best of the moment, or because things don’t always go the way we plan.

The same is true in our religious life.  The detail is the life we live day-to-day and the effort we make at helping God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.  The larger picture is people, mission is people…It is helping people see the beauty in the life of Jesus Christ, the mind of God.

A balanced Christian life is living the details all the while keeping an eye to Jesus.  Sometimes we can see clearly up close…other times to see clearly we have to back off and broaden our vision.

Peace,

Jim FieldsJim

 

Popular Past Friends Posts:

Winter Beauty

Winter Beauty

Love Redeemed

Love Redeemed

Anything Can Happen: It’s Not the End of the World…

Transformed

Some days are darker and harder than others.

But there’s a transformation that happens in the hiding place, where the struggle is solitary and at times seems endless. And though I sometimes despair of being constrained so long by life’s troubles, I know God will be  faithful to His promise to transform my pain to beauty.

May we embrace the beauty the Master is creating in us today.

Linda Crawford

The Face of Beauty: Lygon Stevens

I am a work of art, signed by God.

But He’s not done; in fact, He has just begun…I have on me the fingerprint of God. Never will there ever be another person like me. In all the world I have a job to do in this life that no other can do.

Can you see the fingerprint of God on me?

Lygon climbling

Lygon Stevens once carried my eight-year-old daughter. After a few bumps on her knees from tripping over shoes that were too big, a teen-age Lygon scooped her up and transformed her frustrated tears into joy.

She became a hero to me right then.

Lygon was a gentle, quiet girl who was amazingly strong in her devotion to the Lord and in her physical and mental ability to climb high–very high–mountains. Tragically lost in an avalanche in January of 2008, she would not be found until late June when the snows melted. Only her camera and journal were recovered by her climbing partner, her brother, who miraculously survived.  In Lygon’s journal, in addition to being able to read her last thoughts on earth, her family discovered the astounding beauty of her written words and her intimate relationship with the Lord.

It is my hope that whoever might read the pages in this small book would not see a victory won by greatness, or determination of self, or a uniqueness in a person that brings them to high heights…I can only Lygon journal hope that the reality of human frailty and the inability to do anything outside the will of the Lord God would be evident. This is not the account of the journeys of a young girl, no, it’s the message that that girl is allowed to write of the glory of the Lord God Almighty…He is the reason for living and for whom I will someday die. There is nothing without Him, no god beside Him, and only by Him was I chosen as a witness to tell the world of His great deeds.

I remember hearing her parents say at her funeral that they realized, through reading her writings, that Lygon was always more His than she was theirs. I personally cannot thank them enough for their generosity in sharing her words with us. Lygon was, and always will be, a Hero with a capital H.

She is the face of beauty in a life well-loved. A life well lived.

A legacy of a life well written, left for those of us to read who, as her mother Sarah said, “still have a peak to summit.”

The Time to Live is Now

The time to run and wake up every morning excited about what the world might throw your way is Lygon on mountainnow. The time to lay low in turmoil and humility before God is now. The time to seek and find, the time to change and learn is now…

Now is the time to live. Not tomorrow, not in ten minutes, not in twenty, not when you are good and ready. But don’t think you have to do this and become this — your full duty is to love the Lord so much you would lay down your life and value His will above the richest gain of earth…Be a desperate searcher. Yes, the time to live, and live truly, is now.

♥ In loving memory of Lygon and Sarah Stevens ♥

To order the book Cairns for the Climb from the journals of Lygon Stevens and to read more of her story click here to go to the Lygon Stevens Time to Live is NOW website.

Day of Discovery has produced a full-length documentary The Time to Live is NOW on Lygon’s life story. The links below are to the preview and the full 90 minute video.

Linda Crawford

Writing in the White Space: Cold

Writing in the White Space began in the white space of my journal.

white space I wrote that white space was “a canvas to be painted, a sky with endless possibilities for combinations of light and dark to streak across it . . . art waiting to happen.”

In the White Space of life I search for the prism of God . . . white space journal

and discover the colors that make life truly beautiful.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Cold

The snow clings to the branches as long as the temperature is rightkeeping it light.

But when heat begins to melt the bonds of cold…flakes turn to slush.snowflakes

Wishing to stay afloat, dreaming of a breeze to fly upon–no longer. Now water, it must fully fall to the ground to impart its own life to the soil of the earth below.

Yet it will live again, rise as vapor to mingle and dance upon the atmosphere…to become…

warm as tears, cold as art.

My thoughts long to be weightless as vapor. Not tears, but snowflakes, chilled to icy perfection so they may joyfully float as they fall.

They long to be cold, and cold is not bad.

Cold is when rest cycles start, when hidden rejuvenation happens. Growth slows, but life is not barren, just hidden–blanketed by air and water-light, dripping slowly to nourish.

Melting so deliberately.

Lord, may my inspirations float as unique flakes and be directed by the wind of your Holy Spirit. May they be free, joyful and happy just to be.

Others may scoff, criticize, and ridicule what I create, but there’s no denying the perfection of a snowflake–and isn’t that what all art is?

You see it, and that needs to be enough for me.

Without you I am nothing; have nothing. Not one single flake, one breath, one thought, one drop of blood.

Life — let mine be left and lived and shared.

No other life but this one can I lay at your feet.

Make me a melting offering.

Today, I pray…to be a flake.

Or at least a little more flake-y. 🙂

Linda CrawfordLinda Crawford

Six Minute Sabbath: To Create

God created human beings; he created them godlike, reflecting God’s nature. Gen 1:27 MSG

It seems a mystery to me–where the vision, voice, and melody of creative inspiration originates.

Beethoven Piano Concerto #3

Piano Concerto #3 handwritten score by Ludwig van Beethoven

Yet we, as created beings ourselves, were designed to create. To paint pictures that have never been painted, compose music that has never been heard, write words that have never been spoken, and dance to choreography that has never been danced.

To create beauty–to create what has never before been created–brings glory to THE Creator.

Today, this story and piece of music inspires me to give glory to God for endowing us with the ability to create such beauty. May it inspire you to embrace the notes of your own creative melody–because we are all created to create.

Beethoven: Imagining the Notes

When Beethoven performed his Piano Concerto No. 3 in concert for the very first time, he had no music. His friend, who turned the pages of the music for him that night, later wrote:

“I saw almost nothing but empty pages; at the most, on one page or another a few Egyptian hieroglyphs wholly unintelligible to me were scribbled down to serve as clues for him; for he played nearly all the solo part from memory since, as was so often the case, he had not had time to set it all down on paper.”

Lord, may we embrace inspiration, and be infused with courage, to create works of  beauty to bring you glory!

Linda Crawford

©Linda Crawford 2013