- Colossians 3:16 opens with, ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.’ As a kid, I thought this verse was referring to verse memorization (duh) but reading it this time around, the word ‘dwell’ struck me and the first thought I had was, dead things don’t dwell. To ‘dwell’ assumes life. It assumes that whatever is inside us is alive and kicking and active. To ‘dwell’ is a verb, but how often do we treat God’s word as a verb? I know too often, I don’t. God’s word should live inside us. We house it. As a human being, I can be a lousy landlord. My tenant wants a metaphorical leak fixed somewhere and I say, yeah, sure, I’ll deal with that tomorrow, and then ‘tomorrow’ becomes next week, next month, next year. When I move into a new house, I take over my room with immediate authority. I clean it, I decorate and re-decorate. I’m constantly changing things, making them better, freshening them up, and keeping the place clean. I light incense and bring in roses from the rose bushes because I want it to be as pleasing as possible. I want it to be perfect, and that’s what God’s word does in us. It wants to make us a perfect home.
“Free Barabbas! Free Barabbas!”
It’s hard to imagine those words leaving their lips; leaving our lips. Choosing a murderer over holiness. Knowingly casting your vote for the man who would not have been released, if it were not for this day.
And yet, I wonder, what would have happened, had it gone the other way?
What if they had cried, “Free Jesus! Let Jesus go!” while Barabbas stood and watched?
I believe that Jesus would have taken his place. That he would have said, “Take me instead. Let this man go free.”
We may have chosen Barabbas that day, but we weren’t the only ones.
Jesus chose him that day, too.
Jesus freed Barabbas.
Today began the search for The Perfect Red Lipstick. I bought a color called ‘cherries in the snow,’ and while it’s a very fun, vibrant color, it’s too pink to be what shall henceforth be known as TPRL. I was feeling very ‘dolled up with no place to go,’ and so I took the camera and had an impromptu photo shoot with myself.
I heard an ad somewhere – probably youtube – and the tagline went, ‘who better to take a picture of you, than you?’ And that summed up why I’ve never been anti-selfie.
I enjoy taking pictures of myself, but not out of vanity. It’s a study of who I am, and what makes me tick. It interests me to see how I view myself, and how others view me. It’s the only way I can essentially capture who I am, without writing a novel in vague metaphors. It’s a way to say ‘here’s how I’m feeling’ or ‘this is what I’m capable of.’
I’m not talking about duck faces or any of those ridiculous Instagram selfies that people poke fun at, and for good reason. I’m talking about you, staring into a lens – or away from it – or posing however you feel like – and capturing that feeling, that moment. It’s a personal thing. It’s an experiment of yourself. Of seeing all your different sides from a third-person set of your own eyes.
Do I see it as a sign of ‘the self-centeredness of the times?’ Not really. Not all the time. Sometimes, I think it’s just a way of getting to know ourselves a little better, and letting someone see us the way we see ourselves.
Put your best face forward.
I was talking with a very dear friend of mine early this afternoon. She’s going through a rough time with a friend, and is in a place where right and wrong seem a little blurred. We discussed where she was and what she was going to do about it, and I prayed for her and gave her a piece of advice which she then urged me to blog about. It’s not much, but it’s something that was a bit like a lightning strike for me. So often we search the world for that one ‘good influence’ – a parent, a friend, a historical figure, a fictional character – and we probably find them. We probably find dozens of good influences. But I think we forget something important.
Strive to be a good influence on yourself.
Whether you realize it or not, you have the biggest influence on you. What you take in, what you do, the words you say, the things you feel; all these come back around and influence you, again and again. Be the sort of person who provides you a good influence. Be the sort of person you can look up to. Be as godly and good as you can be. Be the good influence you need in your life, and you’ll be a good influence those around you. Don’t forget it.
Don’t assume, ask. Be kind. Tell the truth. Don’t say anything you can’t stand behind fully. Have integrity. Tell people how you feel.
— Warsan Shire
“Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now…” – Philippians 1:4-5
I’m a solitary person by nature, and fellowship is a habit I must acquire. It takes time, but I must learn to enjoy communing with people – the wave of a hand, the question, “How was your day?” called across the street. As a culture, we’ve forgotten the art of fellowship, of embracing new people into our lives, welcoming strangers and family alike, of being there in the present, of caring. As Christians, we should be the most open, caring, love-filled people in existence. We are the guardians here on earth – we are heavenly representatives, and we won’t represent anything unless we make ourselves available; unless we learn to fellowship again with everyone we meet.