Saturday, February 28, 2009

Personal Alignment...

I was recently very excited about a garment I was making for myself. I was excited about the pattern and found the perfect fabric for it. My favorite item in the project was the skirt; I also purchased some wonderful buttons to put on it—you know, the kind you purchase individually from the fancier fabric stores. I selected the right size pattern, but I usually have to make a few minor alterations. On this pattern, however, one major alteration was also required. Seasoned seamstresses know that most patterns are sized for a “B-cup” bra size. In the interest of modesty, let’s just say I’m not a B- or C-cup. As a result the jacket was too sung across the bust and no amount of side seam adjustment was going to fix it. In addition to this, I accidently purchased a lower quality lining fabric, too. Because the fabric was inferior, the shrinkage was ridiculous. Because of the shrinkage of the lining, the exterior layer of the garment was distorted. The lining pulled on the outer fabric, seams didn’t line up, and the fit was uncomfortable. Even though the garment appeared to look okay at first glance, closer examination revealed the distortions that were the result of the poor quality that lurked underneath.

The whole process got me thinking about what happens when we’re not aligned internally. I mean what happens when what we think or believe doesn’t line up with God’s way of doing things? I believe it causes a similar distortion in our lives. We may think what’s going on inside doesn’t mater, but it really does. In the same way the inner construction of a garment can often distort the external appearance of it, the thought, attitudes, and beliefs inside of us can have a significant impact on the behavior we manifest on a daily basis.

My friend, Rhonda, recently reminded me of God’s Word in Isaiah 55:8-9,

“ My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts. “

As much as we might hate to admit it, we don’t think like God does…. The garment “errors” and the passage in Isaiah brought home for me the importance of not allowing negative thinking and sour attitudes (or inferior quality thoughts) to bitter who I am inside. If I do, it will affect what I show the world or what others see. Most of us aren’t talented enough to “think and believe” one thing at our core, yet “live out” something else completely—at least not for very long. It took a few extra hours and some work on the interior of the garment, but I did manage to correct it enough to be wearable. I had to open some seams, add extra fabric, and think outside of the box about how to make it work. I still couldn’t fit it, but I was able to bless a friend with it—she’s convinced God meant the outfit for her all along. LOL!

Why not let one of our goals during this next year, be to align our thinking with the Lord’s? Colossians 3, encourages us to “set our minds on things above….” For some of us, it may mean opening areas of our heart that were previously closed, adding extra time to meditate on God’s Word, and thinking outside of our old comfort zones. If we try aligning our thoughts with His, perhaps His will will have more priority in our lives. Blessings in Christ, Marvita

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Heavens Declare Your Glory....

So, I spent last week in Hawaii on business. It has been 20 years since I last visited the island of Oahu. Of course, much has changed. What was very apparent in this rich, lush landscape, however, was the beauty of God's handiwork. The beautiful scenery immediately provoked reminders of Scripture about the majesty of our God and the wonder of His creation.

"The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands." Psalm 19:1

"O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!" Psalm 8:1

I was taken aback by how beautiful the vistas were. We certainly don't need to travel 14 hours to appreciate the majestic beauty God places before us every day, but the time alone in this beautiful landscape allowed me a moment to reflect on the awesome wonder of our God.

"The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; the world and all it contains, You have founded them." Psalm 89:11-12

"The heavens will praise Your wonders, O Lord; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones." Psalm 89:5

I also hiked Diamond Head Crater. I'll admit that while I do exercise "fairly" regularly, it has been a while since a physical activity challenged me the way this one did. It brought me back to how much I miss being outdoors. The views from atop Diamond Head were breath taking and again I'm pulled back to God's Word....

"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'" Psalm 14:1