Monthly Archives: January 2015

Simple Optimism: Encouragement for the Day

True optimism is not found in a random positive quote from the internet (though some of them are quite good), but by taking a personal inventory of your God-given greatness.

What do you possess that others admire or that God Himself adores about you?

We all have something.

How can I be so sure?

Because His word says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. And that we are created in His image. If He says it, then it must be true.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

Try this: list at least five things that you love about yourself.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

How did it go? Was this an easy activity for you? Or did you find it a bit challenging?

In all honesty, this took me some time. Not because I don’t love myself, but rather because I don’t think of these specific characteristics often. Yet, this practice of positive thinking is not only biblical but extremely healthy for us. Positive thoughts truly do produce a positive outlook. And the manner in which we carry out our day is ALWAYS driven by an outlook (whether negative or positive).

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

Focusing on the good within ourselves cultivates a deep desire to practice “self care”. This is both loving and wise.

“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

So, here goes…..

1. I love my ability to communicate, whether it’s through public speaking or writing a piece of material. And I really enjoy reading my own work.

2. I love my passion towards making a positive difference in other people’s lives.

3. I love my entrepreneurial spirit and my ability to cast vision to others.

4. I love my laugh.

5. I love my deep-embedded interest for foreign travel and cultural experiences.

Now, here’s for another exercise. How about listing 5 things that you would describe as positive in the world that surrounds you. What do you enjoy? What do you appreciate in all of God’s creation? 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Was that exercise a bit easier? For me it was. Now can you see the importance of setting your mind on the things that produce joy, laughter, motivation, and determination in order to retain an optimistic mindset?

“Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” Psalm 100:2

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

Here’s my list from this morning: 

1. I’m thrilled that I get to wake up and enjoy a mug of my hot green/jasmine tea.

2. I really enjoy my garden. I get so tickled every time a new beautiful bud begins to bloom. And the fact that I can cook with my fresh herbs.

3. I really like the idea of having a blank canvas each day, and the fact that it’s completely up to me in how I choose to live my day.

4. To add to point #3, I love that God gives me a dose of totally fresh and new mercies to tap into for whatever I need for the day. It’s just so cool.

5. I love that I can listen to Argentinean tango, cook a good meal, and stare into my husband’s face while catching up on each others lives. It’s just good stuff.

May these two simple exercises spark an appreciation both for the person that God designed you to be and for the world that surrounds you. There is so much treasure that can be found in every single day; we just have to look for it. This search always starts with an optimistic outlook, beloved. 

Feel free to post your comments below, because I’d love to hear from you!

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5 Simple Ways that Beauty Harms Women

If you’re just joining us today, we’re glad that you stopped by. And if you missed us yesterday, click HERE to check out the last post (because today’s post is a continuation).

Frankly, I’m teed off at the enemy for how he tries to convince everyone that the temporary (which can fade at any moment) is the measuring stick by which we should valued as women. Please pay attention to this message, sweet beloved. I cannot even begin to express how deep this conviction runs within me. May God alone receive the glory.

Beauty is not attained through human effort; it is given by Our Creator. All women are bearers of God’s beauty. Every single one of us. But this truth can only be revealed and fulfilled in the loving arms of Jesus. As women, if we ever look to any outside factor (such as an activity, a person, a product, or an idea) to gauge our worth, we are misplacing our trust and feelings of significance. Those outside factors are dangerous because they are inconsistent, yet in his deceitfulness the enemy always emphasizes them to us.

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. John 6:63

Allow me to share five reasons why emphasizing external beauty is detrimental to ourselves and to our faith: 

1. Ironically, emphasizing external beauty doesn’t feed into self-confidence; it ultimately creates deep insecurity.

When we place our value and worth in any one thing, we’re shell-shocked when it’s gone. We lose who we are as a person. Everything that formerly won us praise, affection, admiration, and “self-esteem” was actually a hoax. None of it has permanence, and the enemy already knows that. But you better believe that satan’s going to do all he can to distract your mind off of this truth. If he can convince you that anything outside of Christ can give you purpose and value, then that’s exactly how he’s going to tempt you.

Don’t fall for his trap, ladies. The enemy knows that the only way that we can walk out in our God-given beauty as women is by running into the arms of Jesus. This is the only way.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

2. Emphasizing external beauty can become idol worship.

Worship belongs to God alone, and worship is defined as meditating on a thought over and over again. As women, we are created to be pursued and affirmed (roles excellently fulfilled by Jesus). If we’re constantly obsessing about how we look, thinking about what others say about how we look, and looking at ourselves ALL the time, then we’re distracted and need to refocus our hearts on God.

“You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3

3. Emphasizing external beauty is oppressive.

A woman who is driven by her outer appearance must strive to keep it up. Her identity is wrapped up in how she looks (rather than Christ), and she thrives on the flattery of others. Her physique must be maintained constantly, which is a lot of hard work. There is no freedom to just “be”. One example could be intentionally skipping a birthday party specifically to “avoid” the birthday cake out of fear of gaining an extra pound. Is that really living life to the fullest? Is there really freedom in that?

“So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad.” Ecclesiastes 8:15

4. Emphasizing external beauty destroys relationships.

When someone believes that looks are their most valuable asset, they will generally hold other friends (who don’t meet their standards) in contempt. Although that may seem shallow, remember that vain people believe both that they have it all together and that others simply don’t. Vanity creates an attitude of “look at me…emulate me…I am what you want to be like”. What we need to have are attitudes of “look at Christ…emulate Jesus…Jesus is what you want to be like”.

“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” Psalm 119:37

5. Emphasizing external beauty can break the bank.

Acquiring more external beauty is an expensive endeavor. It’s hard not to invest in what’s considered most important. Shopping sprees for the best clothes, shoes, jewelry, and all the other necessary items become non-negotiable. But it doesn’t stop there: liposuction, breast implants, Botox, you name it- they all offer beauty at a hefty price tag.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:34 

Beloved, as a woman who loves dangly earrings, sparkly sandals, shimmery nail polish, eating food from my garden, and the muscle tone produced by a good series of workouts (all beautiful things that we as women can enjoy), I know that the real secret to being beautiful is a heart that has been captivated by Jesus. A heart that understands that she is beautiful because the Lord has told her that she is.

Our hearts are entirely too valuable to be given over to anything unstable. We must trust in the Lord with all our hearts. May you be encouraged to allow only your Creator to define your beauty (that He alone gave you).

“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.” Song of Solomon 8:6 

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! Please comment below or contact me by clicking HERE to share your thoughts on today’s post. I’d love to hear from you!

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I Want to Have Beauty, Now How Can I Get It?

***I strongly believe this post needs to be shared today. If you are greatly encouraged by this message and/or you know someone who would benefit by reading it, please share it through our various social media options below. To God alone be the glory!

The contents of this post have been waiting to burst forth from within my heart for the past several weeks. If you’re a woman, this message and its exploration of true beauty will be particularly resounding for you. As a woman, an image-bearer of the Great I AM as part of His divine creation, I’m going to speak with the authority that Jesus Christ has entrusted into my care.

Recently, I’ve found myself bombarded with worldly messages emphasizing the importance of external beauty, ranging from scantily clad women misusing their bodies for the sake of advertising to commercials promoting products to make you a “better you”. Because I’ve been encountering such messages so frequently, I almost began to believe them. For an instant, I forgot that Jesus has marked me with His name years ago – He instilled deep within me the true value, worth, and extraordinary beauty that I possess as His daughter.

Only through Jesus can you become a new and better you.

Today, before the King of kings and Lord of lords (and before you as readers), I can write with a full assurance that I believe that I am the apple of God’s eye – without a shadow of a doubt. Jesus has given me this belief, not any self-help book or mantra on being positive. Jesus alone did this, and He deserves the glory. Because I am part of His beauty, I am also beautiful, and so are you.

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:4 

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

Should women believe we lose any value (and self-worth) as we age and our looks fade? This is a real question we need to ask ourselves as image-bearers of beauty for our Creator. As we consider this, remember that beauty is not something to be attained; it’s something that is already present. Beauty is a gift to be protected and bestowed upon this world in a fashion that brings Him the upmost glory.

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30 

Although I’ve never shared this before, I feel the need to exhort and admonish your feminine hearts. I want you to know (just as I had to learn) how powerfully romantic (and real) this Christ of ours is. During several walks with Jesus, He would show me various sweet things that made a HUGE impact in my life. Though I wouldn’t have realized it at the time, His actions changed me for eternity.

I remember one afternoon when it all started. Streams of sunlight caught my eyes as they flickered on Lake Allatoona, giving the appearance of a million tiny diamonds sparkling on the water. “Lord, this is so beautiful. Thank You for allowing me to see it,” I casually whispered to Jesus.

Like clockwork, He immediately replied: “Oh, Christy, you are much more radiant and beautiful than millions of diamonds. In fact, your beauty captivates My holy heart. At times it’s too much for me to bear. You are the apple of My eye, My sweet darling.”

This really happened, and His words cut me straight to the core. I couldn’t believe that Jesus would ever see me this way, much less say those things to my heart. Was it even possible for Jesus to move my heart like this? To know me and pursue me this deeply?

“Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful!” Song of Solomon 4:1

Jesus, who hung on a cross for us, stepped down from that cross. He has walked with me in my every moment, and He is the Lover of my soul. And He longs to become yours. This is real, beloved. This isn’t merely a fairytale that ends when prince charming sweeps a princess off to his castle. This Prince is real. He’s present. And you really are His beautiful princess. Just let that sink in for a moment.

“Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention: Forget your people and your father’s house. Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.” Psalms 45:10-11

Once you have tasted this, there is nothing on this entire planet that can replace that radical, eternal, holy truth that He deposits deep within our feminine hearts. Nothing. There is no endeavor, no man, nothing outside of Jesus that can offer this kind of affection and truth (which we all are desperate to hear). Everything else just feels…cheap. Anything else is a sorry substitute for what only Jesus can give.

Join me tomorrow as I share five specific points the Lord has taught me concerning the world’s emphasis on external beauty. You’ll be surprised by how deceptive this trap can actually be to your feminine heart. If we’re not careful, we all can fall for it.

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose today! Did this post speak to you in a way you would like to share? We’d love to hear from you! You can comment below or contact me by clicking HERE.

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