Painting a picture of Transformation

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I could only imagine what the cashier in the convenience store was thinking when I barged through the door covered with paint, dashed to the freezer section and returned breathlessly with mint chocolate chip ice cream.  As I counted out my pennies with green and white splattered hands he (a former student) looked at me quirkily.  We’d been transforming my basement with a coat of paint that resembled mint chocolate chip ice cream and the paint slaves had watering mouths.  Under his gaze I was aware that in the process of my DIY drama I had transformed from the cleanly dressed meticulous teacher into a splattered, sputtering disheveled Bryers junkie in need of a sweet fix.  Chuckling, I briefly updated him on my saga and dashed home to keep the minions running another hour with the sugar rush.

Not just my basement, but so far this year, I’ve confronted numerous transformations or at least the beginning of them.  My college-bound child is transforming from a high school student to a man who will be launched into a Military academy.  My mother in law was transformed into a widow by the sudden stopping of a heartbeat. Cancer has transformed people that I love. God has transformed unbelievers in my life into Warriors for Him.

Pondering transformation and nature, the butterfly comes to mind as one of the most amazing transformations in the insect world. The Greek word for transformation  is metamorphoo (met-am-or-fo’-o)which is why we call what happens to the butterfly Metamorphosis.  In all of its stages from egg, to caterpillar to chrysalis to beautiful winged masterpiece, it undergoes obvious transformation.

I came across the verse below and while I’d heard it and studied it before, the word TRANSFORMATION seemed to really jump out at me.

” And do not be conformed   to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,

that you may prove what [is] that good and acceptable and perfect   will of God.”  Roman’s 12: 2

What does renewing of the mind mean?

Renewing the mind sounds like something we have to do daily.  It has a lot to do about where we focus and what we focus on.  The Bible says to set our minds on the things above:

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the cearth.” ~Col 3:2.  How can we not focus on this Earth, we live here?  Yes, we live here, but we need to remember it is NOT our home.  Our true home is in heaven with the Father.  So we need to keep focusing on our Heavenly Home.

 We are called to focus on spiritual things. Romans 8:5 says:  “For hthose who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, [focus on]ithe things of the Spirit.”

When any species goes through metamorphosis it requires fuel for the process…as do we.  We need to be mindful of what we are fueling our mind with.  If we feed on the “bread of life” or nourish our spirits with the word of God daily, we’ll be fueled up for the transforming of our minds.

And while the transforming of my basement will add resale value, the Transforming of our minds has eternal value.

Point to Ponder: How have you experienced transformation in your life recently?

(Thanks www.lindajackmanphotography.com for these images)

 

The letter

It was an ordinary day two weeks ago when I stopped to pick up the mail. I opened the box and saw a large cardboard important looking envelope it was addressed to my son.  In my heart I had the feeling that life would never be the same.

Jacob and me at my nephews wedding in October

 I looked at it in there – looming large. Knowing that once it was pulled out, then opened, everything would change. I pulled it out with the bills and other junk and I sat in the driveway. I cradled the envelope in my hands.Office of Admissions, shouted the return address in the corner. 

I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw my eyes over flowing with tears.  Tears of pride and joy but also tears for what used to be, when in my arms, I was cradling that sweet baby boy…not his ticket out of here.

Flash forward to this week when preparing for a speaking engagement that utilizes scripture, I was looking for an illustration to make the Bible meaningful to my audience, something they would relate to.

At 3:47am on the morning I was to speak, I got the nudge. No, not from my husband, from my Father, my Heavenly Father who seems to like to speak to me at this time of the morning…before coffee Lord?

Our mission Trip in San Luis Mexico

He laid on my heart, that His Word – the Holy Bible –  is very much like Jacob’s acceptance letter from the admissions office.  Jacob’s letter mentioned how special he was, how excited they were to extend him the invitation and what steps he needs to take to accept their offer. (The letter to his parents a few days letter mentioned what it would cost)

The Bible tells us how special we are. (“What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.”  ~ Psalm 8:4-5) To say nothing of the fact we were worth dying for.

The Bible tells us how excited God is about giving us the chance to enter His Kingdom. (“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  ~ John 3:16)

The Bible tells us how to accept God’s offer of admission to His family. (“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  ~John 14:6 NIV)

Recently our community was rocked by the tragic death of a vibrant, healthy, active, adorable 17 year old girl in a car accident. I watched my son grieve his first loss of a peer. I saw him change a little having tasted the bitterness of grief and the loss of someone his own age.  Listening to the classmate’s family speak, they have a peace.   Their peace comes from knowing that their daughter ACCEPTED the invitation. She read God’s letter to her and she accepted the offer of admittance.

The Bible is God’s invitation to you.  It speaks of your value and your worth.  If you are struggling with wondering who you are and how you fit in, read his letter to you.  I recently heard the quote: “God is the only author who is present every time his book is read.” – want to connect with God? Read his letters. 

POINT TO PONDER:  If you’ve read the Bible, what chapter or verse do you feel was written especially for you and why? If you’ve not read the Bible lately, why?

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