Welcome, friend! It's good to spend this time together again. I'm so glad you stopped by.
It's been really great talking together about adding beauty to our lives.
Finding little and big ways to live
Some of the things that make me smile are silly, I know.
I will never apologize for how much thinner I feel when spray-tanned.
(I hope we can still be friends!)
But I'm curious to know what you think about this:
Do you think it's possible that God loves you so much that He actually cares about you living a creative and beautiful life?
I know we come from all sorts of backgrounds, and I love you and am glad for your friendship and for our morning coffee on the yellow couch even if you vehemently disagree with me on things.
We don't have to agree on everything in life to agree that our friendship is way-cool.
But because I love you, I could never hold out on some good sparkle-stuff.
Check out what I read this morning, ok?
This guy Paul, who used to hate and try to kill Christians professionally, became a Christian himself. He wrote a bazillion letters that are part of the Bible.
He says stuff that made "religious" folk and leaders in his time throw rocks at him and try to kill him, or sometimes they'd throw him in jail, and the guy is just so darn nuts about Jesus that he keeps on coming back for more.
(Who said Christian guys are wimpy?! They're totally fierce.)
But anyway, I digress.
The stuff I was reading this morning is super-cool.
Paul wrote to some churches he really cared about, and he wanted the people there to live these full, free, productive, exuberant lives.
(Sounds like sparkle to me.)
Paul is pointing out all the crummy stuff he is noticing that leaves people feeling empty inside.
He gets people. This guy is no fool.
I think all of us can relate to some aspect of the not-so-satisfying life he's hoping these people he loves won't get stuck living.
He wants more for them.
"It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on." (Galatians 5: 19- 21 Message)
Yeah, who wants that life?! (And anyone think this sounds a lot like how people feel now, in 2013?!)
So, Paul, he has these great things he wants to see his friends enjoy.
They certainly are things I want to enjoy.
And I want all this for you, too!
"But what happens when we live God's way?" Paul asks them in verse 22.
(Real quick: What would YOU say to that question right now....?)
Now check out Paul's answer:
"He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard - things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely." (Galatians 5:22-23 Message - emphasis mine)
That stuff sounds like soul-sparkle.
"Live creatively, friends....Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life." (Galatians 6:1 & 4-5, Message - emphasis mine)
My heart is smiling today.
I am so thankful for our time together, and I really want your life to be amazing.
Would you dare to consider that God cares about your life being amazing and creative and beautiful??
I'd really like to hear what you think about this.
Can I pour you another cup of coffee?