You , my darling, are a God-shaped container !

You my darling are a God-shaped container!

You my darling are a God-shaped container!

I know you have probably never been told this but you are a container: a beautiful, God shaped container created in God’s image to reveal His amazing glory in this world.

Okay, I know God did not form us to look like a Mason Jar, but we are definitely a container that has life-giving qualities, necessary essentials for our very existence.

Don’t believe me?

Remember back in Genesis?

After the creation of the animals, a hush fell over creation…Shhhhhhh!

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

God himself began to mold the dust of the earth like a potter with clay, gently forming and designing every part and piece of a human body. When our physical body was complete, God gently pressed his lips against the mouth of mankind.

With one deep inhalation, God breathed into the container of our body!

The breath of life swirled into man and he received life  physically and spiritually.

centerpiece of beauty

You have a heart, soul, mind, emotions and will inside the container!

A container of a spiritual heart and soul

In that one breath, God breathed an eternal soul into our spiritual heart. The spiritual heart is considered the control center of a person and the ultimate container of our eternal soul.

Jesus speaks of the soul of man when he says in Mathew 16:26, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and looses his very soul? “There is nothing in all of creation that contains the value of your soul.

A container of emotions

God breathed multi-colored emotions in our heart so we could experience life with more that just black and white feelings. We can express joy seeing the glory of God in the rising sun and watching moonbeams sparkle on the water. The tears you cry and the deep sadness of your heart are also precious to the God who saves every tear in a bottle. All our emotions are directly connected to our thoughts and beliefs.

A container of Thoughts

God filled you with a mind that is capable of understanding and learning. In the complex circuitry of your mind, you possess thoughts and reasoning ability to act upon knowledge. He gave you a will with the ability to choose to believe and trust Him. That same will is capable of making you stomp your feet when you don’t get your way and then fall to your knees in prayer when you realize you need God’s help.

A container of the real you.

Most of us live our lives only seeing and measuring a person by what they look like on the outside, when the inner contents are what really matter most. Our hearts are a divine birth place of the inner self, the real you. 1 Peter 3:4 calls this the “hidden person of the heart.” The verse goes on to tell us that contents of the heart, the real you on the inside, are “precious in the sight of God.” I Samuel 16:7 “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”NIV

Precious things must be preserved

Because of the value of the workings of the inner man, scripture tells use to guard the contents of our heart. Above all else, guard your heart for it is the well spring of life. Our hearts are not just any old container, but one that needs to be sealed properly with protection.

In all of creation, God put the most valuable contents of life, right inside of you!  Because of the necessary elements inside our hearts, God began to design a way to preserve the contents of our lives.

Keep reading more each day to discover how our hearts are similar to a mason jar.

Today , just know, that you are a container designed to hold the most valuable eternal qualities on earth!

Do you see the inner you as a person of value in God’s eyes or are you focused on the outside of the container?

Share the message!

This weekend, I shared the message God has placed on my heart for women called,

Mothers are like Mason Jars.

It was a scary thing to not know how women would react to my story and the creative way God called me to share it. Most of my messages just start out as thoughts whirling through my creative brain but still I wonder, God is this you or the large cup of coffee I just drank?

I am a speaker who travels around to different women’s groups, so I spend most of my time alone preparing for the messages. Trust me, there is no audience in the public library where I sit and write!

With more prayer and lots of time in God’s word, I discover if in fact a message is from Him and is consistent with scripture or is this just creativity.   In the case of Mothers are like Mason Jars, I was Blown AWAY with the way women of the bible have been used to preserve some of the most influential children and families. God consistently uses just three simple things in their life. Let’s call them the Anatomy of a Mason Jar :

share your message

Anatomy of a Mason Jar!

A Jar: symbolizing Love filling their heart,

A tight screw top lid: symbolizing holding onto Faith  in God,

A seal of the spirit: for Hope for the future!

It’s simple but it’s consistent in every Mom of the Bible. Now, would ladies understand the further application using:

Mason Jars?

Gift ideas?

Scented Candles?

Would this message resonate in the hearts of women?

As the doors opened to my retreat event, women lined the hallways with smiling faces, ready to hear about Moms and Mason Jars. My heart raced with the possibility that God could use this talk to minister to a woman’s heart more than I dreamed or imagined!

As I began talking, I felt such a joy in my heart and saw women’s faces lighting up with the truth of God’s love for them and His ability to reuse the love in their hearts for their families.

Afterwards, I got to hug a few of these ladies, with laughter and tears. They shared their stories with me and each had a unique way the message connected to them. I loved meeting and hugging every special lady!

God can indeed use the messages in our lives to reach others with His grace and power. Are you willing to be used in this way? Are you willing to step out in faith and use something as crazy as a Mason Jar to share the good news that Jesus Christ can repurpose hearts ?

What symbol would you use to share hope with other women? Maybe you would use flowers or spoons? It really doesn’t matter, as long as you are communicating truth from God’s word.

So my blog post today is to share the message God has on your heart.

Don’t be afraid to write the words or scribble down a few thoughts that you feel are important for others to hear.

Take some time to open the Bible with those very thoughts and find some verses that may apply to what you are trying to say. Is there a scripture that captures you heart or a life verse that you want others to know? Write it down! You never know when you may be asked to give a short talk or even meet a friend who needs that very message.

No message is insignificant when it contains the Love of God coming from your heart.

Remember the words of Mother Theresa:

We can do no great things. Only small things, with great love!

moms and mason jars

share your message !

 

Share the message! 

What message is important for you to share?

Maybe you heard something this weekend that you feel is an important message that others need to know?

Please feel free to start a conversation with me and I will respond to you !

bE-You- tiful!

I saw her this morning in the school parking lot.

I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I could tell by the neat state of her children, she had it all together. I glanced at her while my children fumbled with their books and bags and half packed gear. Inside, I felt a wave of inferior fear that caught me by surprise, just like the lost agenda my child forgot to bring to school.

In that moment, every mother I saw looked better than me:

She was in work out clothes with legs like a twenty-year-old

She was perfectly manicured from her freshly highlighted hair to her french pedicure

She was wearing designer clothes while I still had on running shorts. Sigh-

It’s a challenge as mothers to see our real value and beauty that only we possess when we compare ourselves to others. I’ve learned over the years, that in this moment of focusing on everyone else, I loose sight of the unique beauty I possess for my family.  I am not talking about my external beauty that seems to be fading like a forty year old flower, but the internal beauty that can stay alive and fresh for years.

 

1.) Inner beauty is unfading, thank you God 

I Peter 3:3-4

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

 

2.) Comparison is not a great mirror for beauty!  

2 Corinthians 10:12

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.

 

AS I write this blog in my running shorts and pony tailed hair, I’m  curious if you are need a make-over in your heart today?

Do you need to remember that beauty comes from the inside out?

 

Hopefully, like me you will be encouraged to be your own kind of beautiful today-

real beauty, just be you

Creation is a giant container for God’s glory! Part 1

Isaiah 6:3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

 

creation, design, God, inspiration, creation container of glory

Summer 2014 was coming to a close…..I stood in awe of a moment on the beach at our family reunion, pictured above. Magnificent colors floated over the water. A giant canvas was painted, just for me. As the final beams of light from this golden  sunset spread across the sky, I felt like I received a giant goodnight kiss from God.  In my heart, the beauty confirmed scripture that declares creation is a manifestation of God’s glory.

How exactly does creation do this?

1.) Creation contains His signature :Psalm 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” 

Our universe is brimming with the glory of an intelligent creator. David, who wrote the book of Psalms, marveled as he looked into the ancient skies of earth and saw the work of God.  The sky is similar to the signature of a famous artist that authenticates His prized handiwork.  Each morning and night, we have been given a daily opportunity to observe God’s signature of authenticity on creation with each sunrise and sunset.

2.) Creation contains His goodness ! Genesis 1:31

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. 

From the dawn of the first sunrise, God filled the world with His goodness and immeasurable amounts of unending love through his creation.  He scattered stars across the sky and set the sun and moon in place. His universe would contain His finest expressions of creative majesty. Multi-colored planets swirled in the heavens while oceans teamed with living creatures. Mountains would reach toward the sky while streams glistened with sunbeams dancing. God blended the color palate of flowers and fields that would produce vegetation. Birds sored with feathered wings as creation was almost completed. God surrounded us with His beauty and glory in all of delight of creation. This process was not just good, but very good!

3.) Creation contains His power : Isaiah 40:26

Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing

Have you ever experienced the power of a wave knocking you over in the surf or a rapid pushing you forward out of control? Nature has power flowing through it that can’t always be controlled by men.   In 1994, our family experienced Hurricane Andrew as we lived in Miami during that time. Even with the best hurricane shutters and supplies, our home was almost completely destroyed. We learned, first hand, that nature is a powerful force that humans can not control. Yet, God’s power created all of  nature. He alone knows all the intricacies of the universe.

4.) Creation contains His divine nature: Romans 1:20

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

The creation of the world was meant to display God’s power and divine nature to every human. The word divine means “God like. ”  Our world  spins at the perfect distance from the sun for light and life to exist.  It’s almost egoistical to presume that creation came from a giant explosion from an unknown force.( And by the way, when was the last time a giant explosion created something of beauty? )

I found this quote in on the Creation Institute Website:

Two different conclusions can be drawn from the data which have been presented. The data indicate either that an omniscient Mind planned and designed our amazing planet,or that it originated by a fortuitous accident without plan or design. There is no middle ground! One must decide either God or chance!

What words come to your mind today when you think of the world as a giant container of God’s glory.

Does your heart agree with the words of the Bible or do you still wonder if this is all just chance?

In order to fully grasp our unique role in the world, we must grasp that creation is a giant container of God’s glory.

 

Do we declare like the scripture that the whole world is full of His glory?

Do you think with your heart?

 

 

 Today I am asking,

“Do you think with your heart?”

Biblically speaking, the spiritual heart is referred to as the inner workings of a person.  Your spiritual heart contains the intangibles of a human personality that set us apart from all creation.  This kind of heart did not refer to the physical one pumping blood through your body. The spiritual heart seems to include three distinct areas of concern to the ancient writers of the Bible: You mind, will and emotions.

Strong’s Concordance defines both the Hebrew and Greek word used for heart.

Hebrew word for heart
leb: inner man, mind, will, heart

Original Word: לֵב
Part of Speech: Noun Masculine
Transliteration: leb
Phonetic Spelling: (labe)
Short Definition: heart, inner man, mind, will, emotions

Greek word for heart
kardia: heart

Original Word: καρδία, ας, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: kardia
Phonetic Spelling: (kar-dee’-ah)
Short Definition: the heart, inner life, intention
Definition: lit: the heart; mind, character, inner self, will, intention, center.

the mind, will and emotions

 

Today I just want to focus on the first area of the spiritual heart-

#1 ) YOUR MIND!

 As a man thinks in his heart, so he is- Proverbs 23:7

In the Bible the word “mind” is almost always used in connection to the word “heart.”

Our thoughts have a powerful affect on the inner workings of our spiritual heart! Dr. Caroline Leaf is a best-selling author and neuroscientist, who wrote Who Switched off my Brain. In her book she is quoted as saying:

“The average person has over 30,000 thoughts a day and research says that 87% of illnesses are a result of our thought life. What we think affects us physically and emotionally. “

The thoughts in our minds are critical to our sense of well-being.

She further explains in a recent blog post:

“Thoughts are real – they occupy mental real estate. Every thought has a “heart” – the intention of that thought. God looks at this ‘heart’ (Jeremiah 17:10). When we are not using our minds (intellect, will and emotions) to listen to what the Holy Spirit lays down in the depths of our spirit, then we will be listening to the lies of the enemy . Whatever we listen to, we will think about and whatever we think about grows into a physical thought with this ‘heart’ being reflected as our attitude.”

For me, becoming aware of the thoughts in my mind was critical to my recovery from the loss of my nephew and mother. Following their death, fearful and negative thoughts would race through my mind making me feel insecure about my safety and my children. My mind felt like a giant puzzle that was constantly shifting pieces together of misinformation that told me I was not safe, my children were in danger, I could not cope, and I was not “alright” anymore. Through grief counseling at the Bethany Center, I was able to realize that those thoughts were a normal part of the grieving process but I did not have to accept them as my reality or truth.

The first step to controlling my mind was to identify the negative thoughts.

So I am just curious, What is taking up space in your mind today?

Does your mind need a garage sale ?

This weekend I was reading Daily Hope, an online blog written by  Rick Warren. The post described how our spiritual hearts are designed to be filled by God . One of the analogies described was a garage. A garage is meant to be used to park cars.  How many times is a garage so full of children’s toys and other junk that you can’t even park your car inside?

In the Russell garage, we are guilty as charged! We have a giant half pipe that takes up half of our two car garage. Then, a neighbor gave us their golf cart to store for them ,taking up the other half. Needless to say, the space designed for cars is not serving it’s original purpose.

Yes, this is my garage and don’t judge! ( no cars in sight )

how to heal a heart

So today , I am wondering if our minds need an occasional  garage sale for negative thoughts that don’t serve us well and take up the space for God honoring thoughts?

How can we begin to let go of negativity and critical thoughts ?

It is important to take some time and really consider what you thinking about ? This morning, can you identify just one negative thought that is not serving you well?

Write it down and then consider this prayer:

God I ask that you would give me the mind of Christ and begin to release me from this negative thought through your perspective and power for change. 

Philippians 2:5 – Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:.

I ask that you not let me be molded or conformed to this negativity of this world, but help me change and renew my mind with your word so that I can see your will  that is good, acceptable and perfect. 

Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

What do you think in with your heart ?

I would love to hear from you !