Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pure grace...

I love Philosophy skincare products. (This is hardly a paid endorsement - Philosophy does not know who I am!) I have sensitive skin and have tried dozens of different products. The Philosophy products suit me. Plus, the packaging and promotion is clever...for example:

This is the cleanser - Purity (made simple).
Lather, rinse - purity. Ah.
And how about this little jewel?

Hope...in a jar?
Yes, please. I'll take some.
Then there's this...

When hope is not enough...This cracks me up...we women of a certain age can relate to this when it comes to a skincare regime! Then it may be time to turn to this:

Ah...a miracle! That should do the trick!
But my favorite Philosophy product by far is not a cream or lotion, but a lovely light scent:

Pure grace...in a bottle! It has a clean, pure, soap-and-water scent that I love. And while none of the skincare products has resulted in anything that can be remotely described as a "miracle," I find spritzing on a little "pure grace" can remind me of a miracle - the miracle of grace. It has not been spritzed, but lavishly poured and I want that scent to emanate from my life...to fill the air around me. I brought that bottle to my Sunday School class and spritzed it around while we talked about one of my favorite verses, 2 Cor. 2:14:

"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphant procession in Christ Jesus, and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him."

I reminded the girls, like I try to remind myself, we should walk around smelling like Jesus - like grace...pure grace. It should season our speech:

"Let your conversation be always full of grace,
seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how to answer everyone." Col. 4:6

It should keep us humble:

"For it is by grace you have been saved,
through faith—
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God..." Eph. 2:8

It is enough:

"He said to me,
grace is sufficient for you..." 2 Cor. 12:9

And as a friend sang last night,

Grace keeps giving me things I don't deserve;
mercy keeps withholding things I do..."
(Thanks, Wayne Watson!)

We've been given so much...grace has been lavishly poured out upon our lives. Can I extend it, lavishly, generously, to others?
I want to. I want to smell like grace.
Pure grace.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New beginnings...

Well, I took a little bloggy break...and I'm not sure I'm ready to end it. This ol' blog doesn't really know what it wants to be when/if it grows up... (hmmm...kind of like its owner?). Anyway, until I figure out what I'm supposed to do with this space I thought it would be worthwhile to continue to record my Scripture memory journey.

Beth Moore is once again hosting a "Siesta Scripture Memory Team," where some 8,000 women so far have committed to learning two scriptures each month. Amazing, right? To learn more about the team, you can visit Beth's blog here, and see what other sisters (also known as "siestas" on Beth's blog) are learning here and here. I'm not great at it, by any means, but taking a deliberate approach to Scripture memory has been life-altering - seriously. I highly recommend you join in, and, if you are, I'd love to know what you're memorizing and why (former reporter - I'm nosy that way!).

My first scripture for 2011 is almost embarrassing - because it was needed. I hate to admit that I need a holy reminder to put others first but, sadly, it's true. I memorized Philippians 2:3-4 in the ESV translation to try to start the year off right:

"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit
but, in humility,
count others more significant than yourselves.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests,
but also to the interests of others."

Lord, please let my mind and heart be transformed!

For the remainder of January, I'm working on a verse that struck me because I feel a little uncertain about some aspects of my life. (I am crazy about my life, don't get me wrong. I've got it good and I know it!) But things are changing and I want to navigate this season with some grace. I want to be "at the center of God's love - arms open and outstretched, ready..." as one of last year's verses stated. So, for whatever reason, Psalm 143:8 struck me:

"Let the morning bring me word
of your unfailing love,

for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul."

I also really, really love the Amplified Bible translation of this verse:

"Cause me to hear
Your loving-kindness in the morning,

for on You do I lean and in You do I trust.
Cause me to know
the way wherein I should walk,

for I lift up my inner self to You."

Cause me to know - as I lift my inner self to You.