Avon Beautiful's Blog

June 24, 2013

The Ugliness of Perceived Perfection

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Beauty queens in Chinese New Year parade in Sydney. (Flckr)

At the Miss U.S.A. competition beautiful women from the United States of America compete to attain the title of Miss U.S.A., later qualifying them to run for Miss Universe. It’s admirable to watch these very polished, pretty, and talented women perform at their best in this pageant. Let’s face it, not everybody can be as poised under pressure. And with that statement. it really bothered me when a young woman from Utah was asked a question, which she did not answer well, so many newscasters and talk show host were noticeably vicious in commenting about her intelligence.

Granted, you should know current events and be well-versed in the topics of the day when you compete in such pageants, but sometimes you just make a blunder. It became evident that the young lady couldn’t speak about the given issue and became nervous trying think of something to say. It happens. The young ladies in these pageants are not perfect, even if we perceive that they look perfect. The reason for my concern stems from how unforgiving and callous our society has become. We were so willing to hang a young woman out to dry because she couldn’t answer a question well? Hmmmh, maybe we should check our compassion level because on this news-non-event many a commentator’s level was on “E.”

I noticed the same trend in other areas. I had a friend that so many of my male friends and family members found drop-dead gorgeous. Sounds great right? On the other side of  that equation was the shade I witnessed her receiving from women who didn’t even know her and decided not to like her. She is a very nice person, easy to talk to and her beauty made her a mark for hate. But what kind of ridiculous insecurity is that? The same kind of insecurity that got pleasure in seeing Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson being labeled “fat” and being constantly berated by news outlets, tabloids and entertainment shows during their pregnancies. Are you kidding me? How shameful!

We have to do better. When someone is slandered we should not be so quick to pick up a stone. I remember a story about a woman found guilty of adultery facing a group of pious men getting ready to stone her for her impropriety. However there was One who stood there with wisdom and knowledge that far exceeded the pious men and they asked Him if they should stone her since what the woman did was clearly wrong according to the law.  They asked seeking an occasion to accuse Him because of their own insecurities; however, the Wise Man—who was Jesus,—said this:

“…He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”~ John 8:7-11

Yes, it’s true Miss Utah messed up on her answer, yes it’s true that Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson put on weight during their pregnancies (by the way that’s what women do during pregnancy), but why such a rush to judgment? They never claimed to be perfect. Perhaps if you are the kind of person  that rushes to cast a stone at people, then the perceived perfection is on your end.

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August 28, 2012

Note to Self: Don’t take the lazy walk

“Note to Self” on just a few things to ponder.

Note to Self: Dont take the lazy walk

He tells me all things are new, but I’m continually clutching old things.

He’s given me a seat in heavenly places if I stand in this earth.

He challenges me to run, but I’m more comfortable with walking.

He tells me  to keep up now, so I can keep up when the Jordan overflows.

You don’t have the time you think you have. Choose today who you are going to serve.

 If you choose to serve your flesh, just know you are choosing to serve the devil.

Get in the race!

The race is not given to the swift or to the strong, but to those who will you endure to the end.

You are a winner in Jesus.

Don’t take the lazy walk.

Endure.

Written through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit through the word of God.

July 9, 2012

Will you stand in the ugly usher dress?

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Sunday fashion ranges from the modest to the ostentatious. Somewhere in between is where most people probably fall. Nonetheless, there is a segment of Sunday fashion that is not meant to draw attention, but to serve as an uniform for a particular role within the Body of Christ. Choirs have their robes, nurses have their lab coats, and ushers have their usher dresses.

Usher-wear ranges, but there is a good segment of ushers who are suited up in very plain white cotton dresses that are typically to or over the knee. Again, the dresses are not the most fashionable, but it is meant to allow the congregation to identify the doorkeepers in the house of God. Ushers literally open the doors for those entering in the church, they give out fans, and guide the offering lines. In some churches the ushers take up the collection, tidy up the sanctuary, and they are always there to serve the congregation’s needs.

In my church, all the ushers are in uniform on Communion Sunday. We wear our uniforms for the Communion service and keep it on for the evening service as well. This past Communion Sunday, I had the opportunity to hang out with two of my favorite Christian teens, who happen to be on the usher board. I remember when they joined the usher board. They were about seven years old and so cute. The white dresses were a source of pride for them. They were finally big enough to serve the Lord as an usher. Fast forward about nine years and everything has grown and evolved, including their thoughts on the usher dress.

After church, their mother decided that we would go get ice cream by the mall. Sounds like a plan, right? It’s been a steamy July and ice cream sure would hit the spot. Now, I did mention that these are teen-agers, right? I did mention that the dresses are not the most fashionable, right? I did mention that the ice cream we were getting was by the mall, right? Do you see the dilemma? Yes they are “Christian,” but they are also teens-a key component in this tale of fashion meets fate.

My two young Christian friends are sisters and teen sister #1 is A-okay with being in her uniform. She’s a fashionista, but she seems to be handling the “ice cream by the mall in my usher dress” experience with a cool exterior. Teen sister #2 . . . not so much. That’s a bit of a different story. Her take on the experience is more like “OMG! People are going to see me.” Her mother, sister and I try to calm her down and play down the significance of being in the usher uniform.

“You just came from church!”

“Who care’s nobody’s looking at you.”

“Don’t be ashamed of being an usher.  Are you ashamed of God!”

As you may imagine, the last comment didn’t go over so well.

“I’m not ashamed of God, but I like to look good.

I don’t look good in this usher uniform. It’s ugly.”

I’m admittedly paraphrasing the conversation, but this is pretty much the gist. The funny thing about this whole experience is that God really does have unique, hand-crafted tests, just for us, at every level. For better or worse, He lets us know what is in us. When I tell you that this experience was hand-crafted, it couldn’t have fit my young embarrassed teen friend’s situation any tighter than Serena Williams infamous black catsuit at the U. S. Open.

During the course of our excursion, which first took us to the bookstore and then to the ice cream shop, these sisters saw four people they knew while wearing “the ugly usher dress.” One had a “Whatever!” attitude and the other was, dare I say, “freaking out.” It seemed like the more she freaked out, the more people she saw that she knew. She kept saying things like “Lord help me. . .” but I don’t know if she realized that He was. He was helping her to learn how to get over herself and stand as a representative for Him.

Every last one of us as Christians will have some kind of situation to experience to stamp out shame. We can’t be ashamed of who we are in Christ. We are Christians in church and because we don’t live in church, we are also Christians outside of the church. This young sister is a remarkably strong young person in Christ. God is using her now and be the Lord’s will, He will use her tremdously in the future, but God is such a marksman that He knows what areas need work.

It’s nice to get dressed up and represent the Lord, but every experience isn’t going to be a pretty experience. What if God wants us to roll up our sleeves and get dirty? Are we going to be worried about the way we look and who sees us? That’s a distraction and a hindrance to the work of Christ. So we all have to learn how to get over ourselves through our relationship with Christ. He will enable us to stand in that ugly usher dress (or insert your issue here) because bigger challenges are ahead.

March 23, 2012

‘October Baby’ tells the unlikely story of being an abortion survivor

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October Baby hits movie theaters on Friday, March 23rd, bringing up a topic that is rarely talked about — the survivors of abortions. It’s probably hard to picture that there could be survivors of abortion when the word baby is swapped for the less offensive word “fetus.” Nonetheless, thousands of babies survive attempted abortions. Unfortunately after surviving the abortion some babies are left to die, others are put up for adoption, while others survive the abortion procedure and are born at a later date (as was the case with real-life abortion survivor Carrie Fischer*). There is a consequence in many cases; some who survive are disfigured or suffer health concerns throughout their lives.

October Baby, which was directed by award winning duo, John and Andrew Erwin, and produced by Provident Films, the makers of Courageous, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants, revolves around a young woman named Hannah, played by newcomer Rachel Hendrix. After collapsing, Hannah finds out a very difficult and life-changing truth; the results of many medical tests concluded that the reason for her collapse was because of her difficult birth—the result of a failed abortion attempt by her mother.

Continue reading on Examiner.com ‘October Baby’ tells the unlikely story of being an abortion survivor – Baltimore evangelical | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/evangelical-in-baltimore/october-baby-tells-the-unlikely-story-of-being-an-abortion-survivor#ixzz1ptpJBVxg

March 12, 2012

Stepping into Your Calling

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Yesterday evening, I had the pleasure of seeing God bring a very young woman, in her twenties, into a calling that is even older than Methuselah. It’s not a light thing because her life will forever be changed. Nonetheless, realizing that your life  doesn’t belong to you is the first step in the road to  your callinImageg.

God tells us “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you;” however, if you know anything about being an adult in your twenties, thirties, forties, and so on…you also know that we have our own thoughts and plans for ourselves. We  also  do not take kindly to anyone changing them. See, but the rest of the scripture in Jeremiah 29:11 tells what the Lord says His thoughts are: “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”  That doesn’t mean the road of life is going to be padded with rose petals and marshmallows (I like marshmallows a lot), but it does mean that God will be with us all the days of our lives, when we put our trust and faith in Him. We couldn’t be in better hands.

Not everybody will be called to be a minister or a pastor, but like John the Baptist, will we be able to decrease and direct the focus of our lives to the True Light, Jesus Christ? We were created for Him, By Him, and  for His purpose, so it’s just makes sense that He would know how to direct us best.

The road is narrow. Jesus tells us that. He also tells us there will be persecutions. Of course, because the servant is not greater than the Master. However, we have an expected end that is filled with joy, and the blessed assurance that we will be able to see our Lord and Savior and Loving Father face to face.

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January 23, 2012

Single—are your eyes and heart single?

“You are married to the Lord.” Most likely, every Christian single has heard that at one time or another, and it is true. Jesus is our husband, He died for His church, “the bride,” and it is an honor to be part of the church. It is also an honor to know that Christ prayed for me, specifically. He doesn’t just look at me as one of the many Christians—He loves me, specifically; He died for me, specifically; He was raised for me, specifically, and He calls me “His bride,” specifically.

That being true, many singles do have a desire to be married, have children, and have that one person on earth who they are one with in the eyes of the Lord. That’s real talk—not the so heavenly-minded conversation that you’re no earthly good jibber jabber that singles hear so often. Single Christians can acknowledge that they have desires; marriage is a holy desire that requires no shame. (Read the rest of this article on Examiner.com)

December 5, 2011

The little drummer boy gave his best – What will you give to Christ this Christmas?

An excited little boy standing in front of drums.

The Wise Men brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh for the child Jesus (Matthew 2:11). These were costly gifts, but they were coming to see a King. These gifts were not just random, they were spiritual gifts recognizing the  Kingship of Jesus (gold), His priesthood (frankincense) and His eventual death (myrrh). God can show you just what you need to give, even if you don’t know exactly why you’re giving it. That’s why we should always seek God and prepare to give Him our very best.

One can learn a lot from the Christmas carol “Little Drummer Boy.” If you listen to the words, it lets you know that the little boy didn’t have the means to give a gift fit for a king, let alone the King of kings; however, that wasn’t an excuse for him. He came to see the new born King anyway, and he gave what he had. He had a drum and as the song says, “He played his best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum. (Continue reading the rest of this article on Examiner.com by clicking this link: The little drummer boy gave his best – What will you give to Christ this Christmas?.)

September 26, 2011

God’s artistic side

I missed a sunset.  I don’t watch the sunset every night, but I was told a few days ago there was beautiful sunset which painted the skies with hues of pink. Mixed with the presence of the golden sun, I can only imagine what I missed. How beautiful it must have been—a vision of magnificent wonder.  I don’t take God’s artistic side lightly. After all, He is  the God of awesome wonders.

Every day He makes the sky a little different. In the beginning of fall the leaves are branded just a little more with shades of red and brown. And have you ever seen how God choreographs the fall of a leaf during it’s last hurrah? It’s almost like a dance the way it spins and twists and seemingly pirouettes on its stem before descending for its final bow.

You think that’s taking it too far. It’s not. The Word tells me “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:3).” So that striking leaf dance was made by Him. All things that were made were made by Him.

In the winter, the fictional mother nature gets credited for the blanketing of snow that makes the world appear as an empty canvas, but once again it’s God whose signature adorns the one-of-a-kind work of art. The craftsmanship and detail  put  into a single tree branch weighted down by the  snow; the poetry of the drip-dropping of icicles appearing on telephone lines and rooftops…it’s all so mesmerizing.

The spring brings revitalization and new life as buds appear and sprout into a splendid array of colors and clusters of tangible beauty. And alas, comes summer where the vitality of life is in full bloom, showing the strength and prime of life in a display of fullness in shades of lush green. What an awesome God! And there’s so much more…the rushing sounds of a waterfall, the quiet splatters of a running steam, the majestic sight of a snow thunderstorm, the horrifying beauty of a spinning tornado…the list could go on and on.

Now the zenith in God’s artistic capabilities came long ago when He conferred with the Godhead body to write a script where a fallen man was redeemed by One who came from heaven and descended to earth being fully man and fully God. The One was the Son of God and though the story is autobiographical it begins with the Genesis of time and ends with a book of Revelation.

The crescendo moment is often mistaken because the main character, Jesus, is beaten and crucified on a cross. They even shove a crown of thorns on His head mocking His eternal royalty. We see our hero, also known as the Lord and the Savior, in a moment that supposes a victory for darkness. However  God the Father, the Master Author duped the powers of darkness, flipping the script and  resurrecting His Son through the omnipotent power  of the Holy Spirit, consequently bringing eternal life to everyone that believes on Him.

What a story!  It’s the greatest story ever told and we are still telling it today. The script was written for me and now the Author and Finisher of my faith, gives me  the opportunity to tell the Good News of His work to whosoever will hear.

Like any great author, vivid pictures are drawn  through words and God artfully draws that vivid picture with His Word,  giving us a clear hope to anticipate the great ending scene and final hurrah. Cue the trumpet,  roll back the clouds,  enter Jesus, the Christ…and scene!

July 28, 2011

40!

Filed under: anti-aging,beauty,cosmetics,Jesus,Uncategorized — avonbeautiful @ 10:02 pm
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I see it coming, but I dont want to pay too much attention to it, and the hopes and the dreams and the societal demands that are supposed to be met at that point. And beauty….geesh! God knows the world makes it seem as if anything after your 20’s is downhill physically for a woman. Not knocking anyone else, but there will be no botox, lifting, or tucking things in. If it can’t happen with some kind of cream, or even better, naturally or supernaturally in Christ, it’s not going to happen!

If I didn’t have God to balance my thoughts, I’d probably have no hope. I’d probably think it was the end when the Lord has given me the ability to see it as a beginning. With every age there is something beautiful to explore. There is something learned that was not learned at any previous age. So here’s my prayer, if it’s the Lord’s will…keep on coming with the birthdays; keep on coming with the the wisdom; keep on coming with the new beginnings and keep on coming perfection!

July 6, 2011

What if?

Do you consider the breath behind your very being?

It’s funny how we can wake up and go about our day and not even consider what the power is behind our every move. You’ve been there before haven’t you? Jumping up, popping in the shower, rushing to the car, bus stop, train station without a second thought about who is guiding your every step in safety.

But here’s a thought…what if we were to wake up, drop immediately to our knees and thank the Lord of heaven, Jesus Christ, for being the wind beneath our ever-fluttering wings? What if we were to wake up and as the roaring thoughts of bills, responsibilities, illnesses, family issues, jobs, schools, and other everyday pressures tried to mount…what if we instead grabbed hold of the strength of God to make it? What if we, believing Jesus when He told His disciples (His followers) “…the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Mark 14:38) ,” submitted ourselves to the Father so the devil would have no choice but to flee (James 4:7)?

Then we would be a thankful, faithful, beautiful, God-fearing creation fit for the Master’s use. Let’s be that today!

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