Posts Tagged ‘Beauty’

Change Your Thoughts and Change Your Life

May 17, 2016

We have often heard it said that we are our own worst enemy.  And how many of us limit ourselves through fear, negativity, and the like.  It has been said:  “What would you be doing if you didn’t know how old you are?”  It could also be said:  “What would you be doing if you had a college degree, or what would you be doing if you knew you had a high IQ, or what would you be doing if you knew you couldn’t fail?”

There’s nothing wrong with having a realistic appraisal of our abilities–for instance, I’m not going to be an Olympic sprinter at 70 years old, or lift 200 lbs, or something which is actually impossible to do.  But a lot of things might be written off when we actually could accomplish them.  If we weren’t afraid to fail, if we weren’t afraid of consequences, if we didn’t think less of our abilities than we should, we might do a whole lot more than we ever thought possible.

A thought a lot of people never take into consideration is “What could I accomplish if I knew I could count on God to help me?”  We just never consider that possibility.  If we are hoping to do a good thing–something that makes life better for others or adds some beauty or goodness to the world, wouldn’t that thing please God?  If so, why not ask God’s help and then give it our best?  We might be astounded at where that beginning effort takes us.  It might not only be a successful effort, but we might also learn a whole lot more about the goodness of God.

Beauty is an Awareness of God

March 6, 2014

I love to look at pictures and videos of beautiful places.  I find on the one hand it relaxes me.  It also creates in me a longing that is almost a sadness, something that can bring me to tears.  Its not just that I wish I could visit the place.  Its a longing for a beautiful place that I can call home.  I do love my home, but I sense an impermanence about it.  I think the longing I feel for the beautiful place is tied up with longing for God, for perfection, for perhaps another time and another place where things are more than they are here.  Beyond that, I am perplexed by it.  C.S. Lewis says our longing for a perfect home or family (and he knew what it was to long for family) really comes from our being made for another place.  Our hearts long for the fulfillment of what we were destined to be, to have and to do.  Or as Augustine said “You have made us for yourself, O God, and our hearts find no rest until they rest in Thee.”

Our Lavish God

October 28, 2009

Lord, being in the mountains yesterday was a time of worship.  It was so incredibly beautiful.  Yet these mountains were not always as they are now.  Volcanoes, earthquakes and glaciers shaped what we see.  Nor will they always be as they are now.  Boulders fall,  dam up rivers and create lakes.  Earth moves and rivers are re-routed.  Climate changes.  Wildlife migrates.  Then there are seasons.  The rushing streams of spring make way for the green of summer, the vibrant tones of autumn and finally life slumbers under a blanket of snow.  You didn’t just create a masterpiece and walk away.  You are directing a neverending epic of beauty.  You didn’t have to be so extravagant Lord.  But you are.

What am I Looking at?

October 28, 2009

There are endless things to look at every day.  Its always my choice where to place my focus.  I can choose to look at the sky or at the ground.  I can choose to look at the good in people or at the faults in the same people.  I can look at the good and beautiful things God has made and be thankful for them.  I can look at the sin and evil in men and be sad, angry and discouraged.  The bible teaches us where to put our focus.  I call this verse “the mental health verse”.  “Brothers and Sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise.  Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.  Philippians 4:8  New Century Version.

In Winter

March 4, 2009

I have been praying a long time for a person who is very smart, talented, charming, and was at one time quite beautiful.  She has become bitter over her disappointment in life, depressed, angry, and seems to have little of her beauty left.  I pray for her daily, and my heart aches for what could be. 

I had a dream last night, and in my dream I was rubbing my hands over the stump of a rose bush.  There was not a trace of life left in it.  In my dream I heard God’s voice say: ” Can you believe in the roses inside?  When spring comes, the life will come back and this stump will once again bloom with beautiful fragrant roses”.   I understood, even though dreaming, this was God’s answer to my prayer for my friend.  I must have faith to believe roses are there in embryo form, although I can’t yet see them.  I have hope to believe  the life will come back, although I see no hint of it now.  I do know roses bloom every spring from lifeless twigs, and I do know God does bring renewal, to roses, to nature and to human souls.

American Music Awards

November 25, 2008

I watched the American Music Awards last night.  It was the first time in my very long life I have seen this show.  I have lived long enough to see many, many kinds of music come upon the scene, and a number of styles exit the scene.  I have seen fads, “flash in the pan” personalities, and some enduring music.  Last night’s show made me wonder “what is music” anyway?  A couple of stars talked about “pushing the envelope”, and I wondered what they can push.  Do they want to redefine music the way some people want to redefine marriage?  It seems to me, music has to have rhythm, harmony, a melody and if its a song, then it has to have meaningful lyrics.  I wondered how much more you can push the boundaries of music until it becomes something that is not music.  Do we equate cacophony, noise and the like with music because we like the artist?  I have heard some of the hoopla about the Jonas brothers.  I will agree they are handsome young men, clean cut, probably very nice, and I have heard from some young people that they are very talented.  Well, from the performance I listened to on the American Music Awards, I had to assume they aren’t very talented.  Even to my amateur ear, these young men can’t sing.  I suppose they might play guitar fairly well, but the singing, frankly, was on the low end of a high school variety show.  What makes them popular?  I think its personality, pure and simple.  Young girls like them.  They are heartthrobs, and it wouldn’t matter if they are musicians, actors, skateboard stars or ball players.  The girls like THEM.  All else is forgiven.

I saw what seemed like endless performances of what passed for music, including other stars who sang off key, had raspy voices, etc, and “music” that sounded like so much noise.  The visuals obviously were dramatic, and in some cases just sexually sleazy.  However, the music probably wouldn’t have gone anywhere in another era because, by itself, without the visuals, there’s nothing to please the ear.

Whatever happened to beauty?  The last two performances of the evening were real music, and arguably beautiful.  Alicia Keys has talent.  As for most of the rest of the performances, I am reminded of “modern art” where the beautiful is sacrificed to “pushing the envelope”.  The arts are a mirror of the culture.  The culture has also sacrificed beauty for many other things of lesser value.  The culture itself reminds me of a beautifully decorated “cake” I saw once at a show, and was amazed to learn it was iced hatboxes–nothing but cardboard and air underneath.  I long for beauty and substance once again.

Lost Sense of Wonder

April 28, 2008



Some people can look at a delicious meal and see calories, fat grams, carbohydrate grams, how much it cost, whether it was organic, and how it was prepared.  Other people just enjoy it and thank the cook.  I think we humans fall into these two categories about a lot of things.  We have, in our scientific age, lost our sense of wonder.  People look at this wondrous universe and reduce it to molecules, genes, chemistry, laws of physics, and so on ad infinitum.  They can’t just seem to enjoy the beauty of a wildflower field, a sunset, the ocean, the mountains, babies, and feel thankful.  Beauty is somehow about taking the whole package and appreciating it.  If you pick something to pieces and analyse all the separate parts, something is lost.  So, everything being as it is, its all in the way you look at it.  I will pick apart where I must, but for most of life, I want to enjoy, drink it in, and be thankful…very thankful.