The Extreme Makeover, Part Four (final one)

The Extreme Makeover, Part 4

 

At the end of the “Extreme Makeover” show, they have the person make a grand entrance to be reunited with family and friends.  There are often happy tears shed as they behold this stunning beauty who has entered the room.  She appears to be so happy.  I have to wonder though: How long does this happiness last?

 

Proverbs 31:30 tells us that beauty is fleeting.  When one has a makeover done in the physical realm, the beauty and glamour of it all will quickly fade.  However, when God gives us a ‘makeover,’ it results in a transformation that will result in a gentle, graceful elegance, a joyful countenance (which can take years off of us!), a peaceful, contented heart, and a beauty which comes from His glory, which radiates through us. 

 

Are you ready to sign up for your ‘makeover’?  It won’t cost you any money, but it may cost you a whole lot of your pride.  The first step is taken by simply getting on your knees and approaching Father with a humble heart, a heart that is ready to be made over.

 

© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

 

 

Advertisements

The Extreme Makeover, Part Three

The Extreme Makeover, Part 3

 

I want to take this subject a little further to address how we handle the way our daughters are dressing.  I see so much immodesty in teenaged girls, even in the church! 

 

In Lev. 19:13, it tells us that we shouldn’t defraud our neighbor.  Webster’s dictionary says that defrauding means: “to take property, rights, etc., from them by fraud; cheat.”  Fraud is deceit, trickery, intentional deception, to mislead.  In looking at the word ‘mislead,’ I was thinking about how false prophets mislead the people little by little, and before they know it, they are completely astray.  Are we allowing our daughters to do this to young men by the way they are dressing?

 

The word ‘deceive’ refers to outwitting someone, fooling them, robbing, not playing fair, victimizing them, betraying them, entrapping them, or to ‘take in.’  I think these words paint a very vivid picture of what can happen when we allow our daughters to dress immodestly.  They may be attending church, but if dressed in an inappropriate way, they are deceiving those around them.

 

When we allow immodest dressing in our daughter’s lives, we allow them to defraud young men of pure and holy thoughts.  We are called to bear one another’s burdens, not to bare our flesh to others.  I may be stretching it a bit, but I think that the rapid hormonal changes that young men face should count as being a ‘burden.’  Why should we, and why would we, want to allow our daughters to fill the minds of young men with impure, lustful thoughts?  We should desire that they be encouraging one another in godliness, faith, love, purity, compassion, gentleness, and much more! 

 

It is God’s will for us avoid sexual immorality.  We need to control our bodies in a way which is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen.  We shouldn’t do our brother wrong, or be taking advantage of him.  (I Th. 4:3-6)

 

I talked with a youth pastor’s wife, and she gave me some wonderful insights to stress the importance of making sure that our young ladies are dressed in a modest way.  She said that she’s seen too many times where her husband has to intentionally avert his eyes when praying for a young lady at the altar.  Let’s say that a young lady is dressed in a very low-cut shirt.  She decides to go to the altar.  When she leans forward as she kneels, she’s giving a free view to all who are on the platform.  From the back, if her shirt is short, and she has hip huggers on, she is showing a lot of bare skin to those behind her, not to mention that they may be seeing her panties or thong.

 

I have heard several cases of where a youth pastor ends up ensnared in charges of sexual misconduct with a minor.  While there is no excuse for his behavior, if we are allowing our daughters to dress immodestly, are we helping to contribute to his behavior?  Even unknowingly, our daughters could be setting up a snare when they dress in this way.

 

As we look at the characteristics of a harlot in Prov. 5, we see in verse 3 that her lips drip words like honey, leaving us with an image of setting up a snare through flattery.  Her words are described as smoother than oil.  This reminds me of how Satan works – he is so crafty at what he does, and many times, he does it so smoothly, being that he’s had lots of practice at it.  Verse 6 tells us that she doesn’t give a thought to her way of life; she doesn’t even realize that her paths are crooked.  Is this how it is with some of our daughters?  Do we allow them to dress immodestly, which starts a spiraling path, leading them to act in an unbecoming way, much like a harlot? 

 

In verses 8 and 9 of this same chapter, it talks about staying away from her because you could wind up giving your best strength to her, along with giving your years to someone who is cruel.  While there are young men out there who are looking to defile our daughters, when we allow them to dress inappropriately, we may be opening a door for them that should remain closed.  How many of us know women who were promiscuous when they were young, and now they look much older than their years?  Have you noticed how deep the lines are on their faces?  That is what happens when we give our years to someone who is cruel.  Satan is the cruel taskmaster, and he tries to trick us into partaking of his “free love,” which comes back to haunt us for years to come.

 

Prov. 7:10 talks of a woman who comes out to meet a man.  She is dressed like a prostitute, with crafty intent.  Verse 11 describes her as being loud and defiant, never staying at home.  Doesn’t that sound much like the teenagers of today?  Visiting the malls on a Friday night can almost be scary because of how loud and defiant they are acting.  A common thing to hear these days is how the family is never together long enough to even have a sit-down meal together.  Could this be leading to some of the defiance and immodesty that is so prevalent in our society?  Could it be that we aren’t home long enough to instruct them in righteousness?

 

In verse 13, we find that the promiscuous woman takes hold of the man.  She is very forward, kissing him with a brazen face.  Then she continues her crafty intent, flattering him with her words in verse 14.  In verse 21, we find that she has ensnared him, leading him away with her seductive words.  In verse 26, we find that many are the victims of this kind of woman.  Let’s look again at her characteristics:  She is immodest, forward, defiant, loud, and she will use flattery, trickery, and anything else to trap a man.

 

We need to be careful if we see any of these characteristics coming out of our daughters.  It could be leading them down a very dangerous path.  For those of you who have preschoolers, I would highly suggest that you teach them modesty very early.  I did this with my daughter, explaining that we don’t wear bikinis at any age because we are not to be showing our skin to others because God wants us to be modest.  If we are careful to train them at a young age, it will be ingrained in their thinking when they get older.

The Extreme Makeover, Part Two

The Extreme Makeover, Part 2

 

On the show, almost every person wants to have liposuction done, removing that unwanted flesh.  Do we have flesh that God would like to remove from us?  Paul describes the battle with unwanted flesh so clearly in Rom. 7:15-25.  He tells us in Rom. 8:5-16 that when our flesh is in control, we have our minds upon what our flesh desires, and the end result is death.

 

After a person has liposuction done, they will go through intensive body building to sculpt their body.  God desires for us to do some ‘body building’ also.  He wants us to carry one another’s burdens.  (Gal. 6:2) We are to encourage one another.  (Heb. 10:25) He wants us to speak kind words to each other. (Pr. 12:25) We are also to be devoted to one another.  (Rom. 12:10)

 

After the body has been sculpted to satisfaction, they take the person out for a wardrobe makeover.  For the women, they always manage to pick out items that show cleavage.  While there is nothing wrong with dressing nicely, and in a way which pleases our husband, we don’t need to be letting anyone else see our cleavage.  That is for his eyes only!  Our dresses shouldn’t be so short that when we sit down, others can see our panties, nor should they be so short that our thighs are showing when we cross our legs.  Again, that is for your husband’s eyes only! 

 

One of the major differences between men and women is that men are turned on by sight.  If we, as Christian women, are wearing clothing that shows cleavage, or makes us look voluptuous, we are becoming a stumbling block to other men.  I Cor. 8:9 tells us not to let our freedom become a stumbling block to others.  Paul even said that if eating meat was a stumbling block to someone that he wouldn’t eat it.  Although he had the freedom to eat it, the law of love said that he should give up that freedom, so as to not cause another person to stumble.  In Rom. 14, he reminds us that none of us lives to (her)self alone. (verse 7) He also admonishes us to make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification. (verse 19) If we are dressing in an immodest way, we aren’t making the effort to live in peace and mutual edification because we are causing the thoughts of other men to be lustful.

 

The Extreme Makeover, Part One

The Extreme Makeover

 

One night, out of sheer boredom, I started watching the “Extreme Makeover” show.  People come on the show to have radical changes made to the features on their body which they don’t like.  Nose jobs, plastic surgery, enhancing the lips, breast implants, and liposuction seem to be quite popular choices.  It occurred to me that we, as Christians, can also be in need of a ‘makeover’ in a spiritual sense.

 

How many of us could use a nose job because we tend to stick our noses into other people’s business?  II Th. 3:11 refers to this as being a busybody.  Titus 2:5 gives us clear instruction to be busy at home, leaving the inference that while we are to be busy, we are not to be busy bodies.

 

Do our lips need enhanced?  We are admonished in II Th. 4:12 to live a quiet life, minding our own business.  Having a lip job done may require that we walk away from certain conversations.  If we stay there listening, it’s too easy to fall into the trap of wanting to add own opinions and judgments.  When we choose to walk away from that conversation, we end up carrying our integrity with us, rather than carrying guilt over having loose lips.

 

In Col. 3:8, it is clear that we aren’t to be using our lips for filthy language.  James 1:26 gives us a more sobering message, stating that if we are unable to keep a tight rein on our lips, our religion is worthless.  However, Prov. 13:13 tells us that if we guard our lips, we guard our life. 

 

When God does a lip job on us, His desire is for us to have words that are like choice silver.  (Pr. 25:11) He desires that we declare His praises through our lips, and to keep our lips from sinning.  (Ps. 34:1, 39:1, 119:71)

 

We’ve looked at what flows out of our lips, but what about that which comes into our lips?  In the church, it appears that gluttony is the acceptable sin.  So many of us who call ourselves Christians are either obese, or overweight to some degree.  We are bound by food addictions, which start a vicious cycle, leading us to be bound to physical ailments all because we have a lack of restraint where food is concerned.

 

In continuing our ‘lip enhancement,’ God wants us to find that His words are sweet to our taste. (Ps. 119:103)  In Jer. 15:16, we find that when God’s Word came, he ate them.  Do we take time daily to ‘eat’ of God’s Word?  Many times, we wouldn’t dream of skipping a meal or our afternoon snack, yet we don’t hesitate to neglect our spiritual food!

 

One of the most popular procedures on “Extreme Makeover” is to have  breast implants done.  While God doesn’t do ‘boob jobs,’ He can do a circumcision on our heart, which is in that same vicinity.  (Rom. 2:29) 

 

We may find ourselves speaking things that are sinful.  The root cause is from a sinful heart.  (Mt. 12:34)  Prov. 27:19 tells us that just like water reflects a face, a (wo)man’s heart reflects the (wo)man.  We find that where our heart is, our treasure lies.  (Mt. 6:21) Do we need to find different treasures?  Do we need to lay hold of treasures that moth and rust won’t corrupt?

 

Jer. 17:9 tells us that the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, but God is able to give us a new heart.  (Ez. 36:26)  He can help us to have a pure, undivided heart.  (Ps. 51:10, 86:11)

 

Evidence

Evidence

 

Children are so smart. You can’t pull much past them. They are very perceptive, and if there is anything fake about you, you can be sure that they will pick up on it.

 

On the mornings when I fail to take the time to meet with the Lord, invariably, I will lose my temper by the end of the day. I will likely have less patience when trying to homeschool. When something unexpected comes up, I will be more apt to gripe and complain about it. In other words, the works of the flesh become evident.

 

Galatians 5:19 tells us the works of the flesh are evident. Another version says that the acts of the sinful nature are obvious.

 

Several times, Rachel has heard me say, “I knew I shouldn’t have skipped my quiet time this morning!” It has become a joke between us now. Whenever I start letting the works of the flesh become evident, she will say, “Mom, did you have your quiet time this morning?” Busted again!

 

One good thing I have learned through this is that my daughter is getting a good understanding of how important it is to seek God in those early morning hours. She not only sees what a difference it can make for me, but also for those whom I encounter throughout the day.

 

Do you have any evidence piling against you? Take it to the Lord and get a fresh start.

 

© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

Eating Ashes

Eating Ashes

 

I worked with a lady who had such a bitter, unforgiving heart. Her daughter had been molested years before, yet when talking to this woman, you would have thought it was a very recent occurrence. By listening to her, you could tell that she was rehashing every sordid detail on a frequent basis.

 

When I tried to talk to her about how God wanted to heal the hurts in her heart, if only she would forgive, I saw fire in her eyes. She looked like a crazed madman. It was scary and sad at the same time. I tired to explain to her that forgiveness was for her own good, not the offender’s. She had held onto this bitterness for so long that a bitter root sprung up, snaring her in a mighty stronghold. (Hebrews 12:15) It had mastered her. (II Peter 2:19)

 

She reminds me of the person in Isaiah 44:20 who fed on ashes, letting a deluded heart lead her. She was unable to save herself, not able to see that the bitter hurts she clung to were a lie. She was convinced that she could never forgive the man who touched her daughter. Yet God said that all things are possible with Him. (Luke 1:37) Not only did she fail to see that she could forgive, with God’s help, she also failed to see that forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. When Jesus hung on the cross, I doubt that He felt like forgiving. I would imagine that He felt like climbing down from that old rugged cross. Instead, He chose to stay there because He knew at the end, it would be worth every ounce of pain.

 

Dear sister, perhaps you have been feeding on ashes, believing that nothing can change. Maybe you need to forgive someone, but you are also holding on to a lie that tells you it is not possible.

 

Isaiah 44:21-23 says that God has not forgotten you. He wants you to turn to Him so that He can heal you and display His glory in you.

 

Instead of eating ashes, turn them over to the Father and let Him give you beauty for your ashes. (Isaiah 61:3)

© 2006, Stacy R. Miller