Attention

Imagine practicing all week long for the biggest game of the season.  You have stayed in the gym countless extra hours to perfect your jump shot and increase your percentage from the charity stripe. Once game time comes, you’re in the zone and ready to go.  After the starting lineups are announced, the opposing coach walks up to your coach and the refs and announces his team is going to give you the win.  What?! Being the way to super overcompetitive person that I am, I want to work for a dub, not just be given one.  

God shot that perspective down this morning.  Man, think about His grace.  There is nothing I can do to earn my way to heaven. I can’t follow enough rules, I can’t do enough community service, I can’t solve world hunger…..nothing. The only thing that gets me there is God’s saving grace through the death and resurrection of His Son.  

Countless times I have studied and been taught the Beatitudes in Matthew 5.  Its “counterpart” is found in Matthew 23 entitled the Seven Woes.  The religious leaders are teaching the people about the Bible, but their actions aren’t matching their words.

So practice and observe whatever they tell you – but not what they do.  For they preach, but do not practice.  Matthew 23:3

Right off the bat in this passage, what am I doing? Are my actions matching my words? 

Backing up, let’s compare the first seven Beatitudes with the woes.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. // But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves or allow those who would enter go in.

The first says that you are nothing without God’s grace.  The latter says the church leaders are false leaders who have drawn the people away from the kingdom of heaven instead of toward it.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. // Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

The first discusses the loss resulting fro sin that should lead to mourning and a longing for God’s forgiveness and healing. The latter is about the manner in which the teachers sough converts, only to place them under the burdensome weight of many requirements in their extrabiblical traditions.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. // Woe to you, blind guides, who say, “If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.”

The first discuses those who do not assert themselves over others in order to further their own agendas in their own strength because they trust in God to direct the outcome.  The latter is about the leaders focus on misguided superficial distinctions an overlook the higher principles of the law.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. // Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weighteir matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness.

The first is about recognizing that God is the ultimate source of real righteousness, so they long for his righteous character to be evident in people’s lives on earth. The latter is about the teachers stressing the small details while overlooking the far important matters. They are straining the small bugs from their wine while swallowing a camel, the largest animal they knew of.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. // Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

The first is about showing mercy and receiving it in the end. The latter is about the teachers seeking external purity while becoming oblivious to the corrupt internal condition of their hearts.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. // Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like the whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.

The first is about the pursuit of purity and uprightness and how it affects every area of life because purity of heart is most important. The latter discusses the tombs that on the outside were very beautiful held death and decay on the inside.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. // Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous…we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.

The first is about those who promote God’s messianic peace and are called sons of God because they reflect the character of their heavenly Father. The latter is about those people plotting Jesus’ death.

Alrighty, back to Matthew 23. Who are the scribes and Pharisees Jesus is calling out?  The Sanhedrin was a religious ruling body of 72 men. There were two different groups in it: the Sadducees and Pharisees. They did not get along, at all. The Sadducees were very liberal, and the Pharisees were very conservative. If you were a Sadducee, it meant you were born into that position.  If you were a Pharisee it was not about your family but your hard work.  Ok, cool. What is a hypocrite? We call people these all the time, but what does it really mean? The word comes from Greek ancient classical theater; Greek actors were called hypocrites. One man would have many different roles and wear certain masks for each one.

They were too busy following the rules rather than Jesus. What people see didn’t reflect who they were. 

They do all their deeds to be seen by others.  Matthew 23:5

Who do you do your deeds for? I wish I could say I did them all in following Jesus, but I do them for the acceptance for others also.  Plus, I am never vulnerable about my faith.  I put on a mask to make it look like I’m the perfect Christian  and everything is running smoothly when on the inside that is not the case.  But man, Jesus does not expect His followers to be perfect but to be authentic.  He says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that He is made perfect in my weakness.

“We try and do enough to make up for our mistakes and earn God’s favor.  Instead of following Christ we are determined to make our own way.  The keyword for grace is “done.” Our punishment was taken by Christ. He has made a way where there was no way so we live with a freedom and an appreciation for what has been done. Fans are about the do, but followers celebrate the done.”

So, what are you? Are you a Sadducee or a Pharisee?

Sadducee. Were you born into faith but never really chose it? You never truly fell in love with Jesus? It has always been more about honoring your heritage than surrendering your heart?

Pharisee. Do you measure your faith by your hard work at following the law? How is your inside? Does it match the perfect facade you are carrying on the outside? Saying and doing the right things aren’t enough. He wants your all.

Jesus came to free us from religion, but we must obey Him. That obedience comes from the inside out. What we do or don’t comes from who we are as followers of Jesus. 

Man, it is time to stop worrying about the appearance and focus on what truly counts, the inside. It is time to stop putting on a show for others and live genuinely for the Savior.

 

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Cost

Earlier this week the NCAA announced possible sanctions for Baylor because of impermissible phone calls and text messages to recruits.  My thought on this is we had become too successful, and people were trying to figure out how “scrubby little Baylor” was bringing home the hardware.

Now, I’m not a D-1 athlete, but I know what goes into being one. Being an athlete does not just guarantee them the easiest classes ever and makes them the cool kids on campus. Y’all, being an athlete is hard work. Free time is something that rarely comes in the off season. They practice, the eat right, the hit the weight room, they build up their endurance, they perfect their skills and then they do all their homework and get an adequate amount of sleep to do it all over again.

While the appearance of being an athlete seems glamourous, it costs them a lot more than it seems. Think about Perry Jones III and Brittney Griner. Both of them are great athletes and have found success at Baylor, but the hate mail and criticism they have to endure is insane. Those two could have easily chosen to forego athletics in college but they knew the cost and determined the outcome was worth it.

Ok, cool story bro. What are you trying to say?

Think about your walk with Christ right now. When you became a believer, you were told that it was a free gift because you did nothing to deserve it, right?  Man, if I told you this I apologize. Being a Christian is not about merely believing Jesus is who He said He is (but that is super important). It is also about following Him.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22

Nicodemus in John 3 was a member of the Sanhedrin, an elite group of religious leaders.  He went to Jesus at night so that he would not seen by others, and he is faced with a choice: religion or a relationship with Jesus. It takes him a bit to understand that he cannot follow Jesus without receiving some criticism.

“Most of us don’t mind Jesus making some minor change in our lives but Jesus wants to turn our lives upside down.”

You cannot follow Him without it interfering with your life. The Gospel is not something that costs you nothing and promises everything.

“There is no forgiveness without repentance. There is no salvation without surrender. There is no life without death. There is no believing without committing.”

Believing and knowing Jesus are deeper than we see them as.  Knowing Jesus is an intimate thing.

In Genesis 4:1 it says, “Adam knew his wife.”  Well, we all know what that means. That same word, know, is used in Psalm 139 for how God knows us. He wants an intimate relationship.

It is the difference between knowing of someone and knowing someone.

I can tell you the stats of athletes, but it doesn’t mean that we bro out on a daily basis. There is a difference between knowing about them and truly knowing them.

To express this knowledge will cost you as well. In Luke 7, a Pharisee, Simon, invites Jesus over to dinner. When He enters, Simon does not greet him at the door with a kiss, provide water to wash his feet or oil for his head. That wasn’t an accident; it was intentional. While they were eating a prostitute appears.

And standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.      Luke 7:38

She is so focused on Jesus that she forgets herself. When we worship God, how concerned are we about our appearance to others? Just let go and praise your Savior.

“When is the last time you had a moment with Jesus like this woman? When’s the last time you’ve poured yourself out before him? When’s the last time the tears streamed down your face as you expressed your love for him? When’s the last time you demonstrated your love for him with reckless abandonment.?”

Following Jesus will cost you your life. But it is worth it.

Bread

Hot mess. It has been way too long. I had such a blast in Denver getting to watch and cover the Lady Bears finish business. While I was there, I did not make time to spend with God. Which is awful. Then I got home and dealt with the post effects of altitude sickness and again did not make time to spend with Him. There is no excuse. If there is a time period when I am not posting, there is a good chance I am not in the word. Feel free to call me out on it. 

In about a month, I am going to be headed back out to Van, Texas and Sky Ranch for the entire summer. I am so excited to get to meet new people and spend the summer loving teenage girls well and speaking truth to them. However, in the past I have fluffed up the gospel, making it seem more attractive so they will accept it. Which is so wrong. 

I just started a book called “Not a Fan” and didn’t make it past the prologue before it blew my mind and broke me down.  

Check out Luke 6.

A large crowd was following Jesus after seeing him perform miracles on the sick.  They come to a stop on a mountain. It is Passover. Jesus asked what they were going to do about feeding the huge crowd. BUT HE ALREADY KNEW WHAT HE WOULD DO. That statement has a much greater impact beyond multiplying the fish and bread. Andrew seems kind of sassy to me when he points out the boy with the bread, but Jesus uses it. Everyone on the mountain got their fill. Jesus began to feel like he would get jumped by the crowd for providing this abundance of food from nothing so he escaped to the mountain. While he was there, the disciples peaced out on their boat, leaving Jesus behind. In the middle of the night while they were in the water, Jesus shows up walking on the water and they let him into the boat. What is that?! That is randomly put in the middle of this insane story. Is it to portray that Jesus wanted to show himself to his followers not his fans? I don’t know.

So in the morning the crowd wakes up and realizes that Jesus has crossed the sea. They get in boats to follow Him. They are not looking for Him for a message but for more food because they are hungry. When they get there, Jesus knows what brought them to Him but refuses to offer food to keep them by His side. “Truly, truly I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves…I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall not thirst.” Called out. Krista. Stop seeking me for what I can give you. Stop following me for the benefits of salvation. Seek me for who I am. Seek me for what I am. I am life and everything I can give you will satisfy. You don’t need all these extra things. You should not follow me to get the riches of heaven. You should not follow me to get grape juice on Sunday. You should not follow me to “fit in.” You should not follow me because you want the benefits I provide. Want to follow me because I am the Son of God. Period. Final. This is not a coke zero commercial where you get me and… You should be satisfied with me. End of story. There is no sugar coating this. To follow Him with all of these benefits is to CHEAPEN THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD. Who am I to lessen Him???

Ruth

Later this afternoon I will be on my way to Denver to cover the NCAA women’s Final Four. There I will be surrounded by ESPN and the likes of Holly Rowe, Lisa Leslie, Carolyn Peck, Rebecca Lobo…you get the point. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to go and learn from women who are successful in the sports’ world. 

Being a woman in this field has been a difficult obstacle for those in years past. However, biased from the male audience still exist…like my grandpa. It is almost impossible to watch sports at their house because he criticizes the women reporting on the sideline. His favorite sport to watch is hockey (I think because there are no women reporters.) Being a successful woman in sports is my dream but more importantly,  I want to be known as a woman of God.

Proverbs 31:10-31 describes the characteristics of a godly woman.  This virtuous woman is personified by Ruth.

 

Devoted to her family – Ruth 1:15-18/Prov. 31:10-12,23

Delighting in her work – Ruth 2:2/Prov. 31:13

Diligent in her labor – Ruth 2:7,17,23/Prov. 31:14-18,19-21,24,27

Dedicated to godly speech – Ruth 2:10,13/Prov. 13:26

Dependent on God – Ruth 2:12/Prov. 31:25,30

Dressed with care – Ruth 3:3/Prov. 31:22,25

Discreet with men – Ruth 3:6-13/Prov. 31:11,12,23

Delivering blessings – Ruth 4:14,15/Prov. 31:28,29,31

 

Reading this book, I got to see what God desires from me to be a virtuous woman. More importantly, the Gospel was revealed.

Ruth was a Moabite. Moab was the enemy of Israel. She arrived in Bethlehem as a foreigner, became a maidservant, married wealthy Boaz, and discovered herself in the physical lineage of Christ.

Basically, she married Naomi’s son, Mahlon. He, along with his brother and father, died in a famine that struck Moab. While her sister-in-law returned to her family, Ruth clung to Naomi, which was a sign of loyalty and devotion. They returned to Bethlehem. Naomi insisted on being called Mara because she was bitter. She viewed her suffering as punishment from the Lord; however, her troubles would provide the means to God’s bounty. She sent Ruth out to the fields to glean, and Ruth wound up in Boaz’s field.  God’s providence was shown in that action. Naomi began to understand God’s sovereign working because Ruth was not led by human direction to Boaz. Later, Ruth went down to Boaz at the threshing floor and proposed marriage. After checking with a relative closer than he, Boaz took Ruth as his wife. They had a son, Obed, who would father Jesse, the father of David.

In all this, Boaz is the redeemer. He was a man of valor, never married or was a widower. He provided for Ruth and took her as his wife despite the fact that she was a Moabite.

Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”       Ruth 2:10

Despite my past and being born an enemy of God, He chose me to be His and spend eternity with Him. I pray the joy of this truth shines through me as God plans my steps for the future.

 

Power

In sociology today, the question was asked, “Who has power?” The instructor flashed a picture of Quincy Acy throwing down a monster jam on the screen. I agree. Quincy not only has power above the rim but also off the hardwood. The way he has led this season’s team, been a role model to kids and a great father to his son, Austin, have all been testaments to the power he has had.

Power: ability to do or act

When Jesus ascended into heaven, the Holy Spirit was given to those who believed.  Acts 1:8 presents His last words to the disciples before He was lifted up on a cloud and taken out of sight.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Power. Little, ol’ me will receive power. To do the will of my Father. Will my power ever be to throw it down like Quincy? Probably not, unless the goal is 6’. But this power will enable me to proclaim the name of my Redeemer, through my words and actions, to everyone I see.

Effort

Today in my HP, I had a group presentation. We created a workout for the class to do that consisted of toning stations and a scavenger hunt all over campus. Five minutes after we sent them outside, it started raining. Whoops. We told them they could come back inside if it started to rain, but they didn’t want to. After twenty minutes I went outside and herded them back into the gym for the toning stations. We told them what to do and showed them examples of what the different exercises looked like. As we watched them, it was pathetic. There was no effort what-so-ever.

Being a super competitive person, I was frustrated. Why would you sign up for an HP and not work to get stronger?

And that’s when Jesus thumped me on the head. Why would I accept Him and not get in the Word? He has given me instructions and examples yet my output is pathetic. There’s little effort.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.  – Colossians 3:33

What is holding me back? Just accepting Him yet doing nothing is like me putting on a Baylor basketball jersey and acting like I would be playing with them in Denver. Wrong.

Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  – James 1:22

Look at March Madness. Every team plays hard or its season is over. The next round is not promised. They don’t just listen to what the coach calls and think it’s a good play; they go out and execute it. 

Why do I take His commands and discuss them with others rather than put them into action? My effort is lacking. He has given me examples of how to do it through the life of His son. The Bible is also busting with people who didn’t do it right. Learn from them.

There should be nothing holding me back. Tomorrow is not promised. Go hard or go home.

Weary

Y’all. I am tired. I am weary. I am worn out. I am fatigued. I am whatever other words are synonymous to exhausted. Tonight has been a battle between my bed and my Bible. I compromised; I’m sitting in my bed reading my Bible. When I opened it, I was reminded of Matthew 11:28:

Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Alright. That sounds good to me.  Usually I just look at that verse and interpret it how I wish, but I read further.  It talks about a yoke and is kind of confusing.  I looked it up in The Message:

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me, and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

This passage is not about desperately needing caffeine to make it through the day.  It is not about all the homework your professors decide to give that will be due on the same day.

It paints a beautiful picture of grace. Often we try so hard to gain righteousness by our own words, chasing perfection but never quite catching it. This unattainable standard we set our sights on is killing us.

God says, “Come to me.” He does not say to fix certain things about yourself. There is no condition to your approach. Just go! When it says “get away,” I think of the beach, walking with my Redeemer on the shore as the sun is setting.  An escape with Him is where things are put back into perspective. He offers to walk you through things. His directions are found in the Word.

I like the phrase “unforced rhythms of grace.” Think about what happens when you’re alone in your room and your favorite song comes on your iTunes. You bust a move. Man, these unforced rhythms just come naturally, and you don’t really try at them either. You just let go. Let go and let God.

Back in the ESV, verse 30 says, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” A yoke is a wooden frame used for pulling heavy loads. It was used as a metaphor for one person’s subjection to another. For the Pharisees, their extensive list of laws that had to be kept were a crushing burden; however, Jesus’ yoke of discipleship brings rest through simple commitment to Him.

So, run to Him. Cast the burden of perfection from your shoulders and put on His yoke of discipleship. His grace is something to rest in.

Conversation

After a long bus trip, I am home from Des Moines.  The bus I rode on was full of season ticket holders who love their Lady Bears more than anything.  It was funny because we received free t-shirts when we got to the hotel. As a college student I love free shirts, but these super fans were a little disappointed because they had their game wardrobe picked out already. This morning when we boarded the bus to return to Waco, most everybody grabbed at least two newspapers to read about Baylor from the night before, and the Lady Bears were the topic of discussion the entire trip.

Their enthusiasm for Baylor made me think about my enthusiasm about my Savior. Yes I love Him and He is first in my life and I am satisfied in Him, so why don’t I talk about Him more often? Why do I not eagerly grab my Bible in the morning (with multiple cups of coffee) to see what He wants to tell me for the day?

 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.    – Romans 1:16

I take pride in my team because they are No. 1 in the country and, more importantly, are solid on the defensive end. Well, Jesus comes to earth and goes to work telling people about his Father despite their hatred. He dies and then kicks death in the face by rising from the grave.  I mean, Brittney Griner’s two-handed slam against Georgia Tech was awesome, but Jesus has her beat. So why have I not brought that up in conversation?

I always say that I hope people can tell I’m a Christian by the way I live my life, but that is not enough.  Speaking truth to people is what I’ve been called to do according to Ephesians 4:1-2,5.

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching…As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

This week I pray that God becomes a part of my daily conversations.  I pray that He works through me to bring courage and boldness when I fear the response I may get.

Who am I to keep Him to myself?

His gift of salvation is so much more than a national championship will ever be.

 

Wait

I am a hot mess when it comes to being patient.  Earlier this afternoon I stepped off a charter bus in Des Moines, Iowa, that I rode for sixteen hours. And I couldn’t sleep. Imagine cruising through Oklahoma and Kansas at night…

Anyways, grumpy would be an understatement.  Waiting is definitely not a strength of mine, but that should not be used as an excuse. In the wee hours of the morning, I switch my iPod over to Jillian Edwards and Bethany Dillon because their voices are soothing and make me sleepy.  Bethany Dillon recently released an EP with a song entitled “To Those Who Wait.” Funny, Jesus. You would make sure this played.

 

I am waiting on You

I’m waiting on You

You say You’re good to those who wait

My heart’s discouraged so I come to You expectant

You say You’re good to those who wait

 

Lord today You know what I need to do

But You could do more in my waiting than in my doing I could do

So I won’t run anymore

I’m waiting on You

 

O wretched man that I am

Free me from my distractions

You say You’re good to those who wait

Then confession and repentance

Find me in the quiet

You say You’re good to those who wait

 

O my soul wait on the Lord

Keep your lamp filled with oil

O my soul be not deceived

Wait for Him

Don’t be quick to leave

 

This reminds me of Sarai in Genesis 16. God promised her husband Abram that he would be the father of many nations, yet she was old and had not born any children.  So, she had her husband sleep with her slave, Hagar. Hagar became pregnant and gave birth to a son, Ishmael. Sarah later sent Hagar and Ishmael away because she was jealous (Genesis 21.) Basically, if Sarah were to have waited on the Lord, Ishmael would have never been born, and we would not have another religion. Yet she thought she could fix the problem herself.

 

I do that a lot. I am very independent and I want to do things myself. But it is not bad to ask for help, something I ignore.  In the most recent Narnia movie, Eustace puts on a golden bracelet and becomes a dragon. He can’t fit on the boat anymore and the things he could do as a human weren’t as easy as a dragon.  He ends up by himself scratching at his scales trying to get them off. Then, Aslan shows up and rips off the skin.  Duh, that hurts. But the skin came off. No matter how hard Eustace tried, he needed Aslan to help him.

 

God will use our weaknesses to show his strength to the nations.  We should not become impatient when He does not help us right when we want Him to.  His timing is perfect.

 

But those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:31

Image

I woke up this morning to the sun streaming through my window, my Bears and Lady Bears in the Elite Eight and a packed suitcase ready for a long bus trip to Des Moines. After grabbing coffee I was getting ready for the day when the song “What Love is This?” by Kari Jobe came on my iTunes.

What love is this that You gave Your life for me and made a way for me to know You? And I confess You’re always enough for me. You’re all I need.

That chorus brought an overwhelming sense of satisfaction in my Savior.

I decided to listen to the Breakaway podcast from last week titled Attraction that covered the first two chapters of Song of Solomon. Ben Stuart pointed out that we the readers know nothing about the appearance of this couple. However, we do know their character.

Getting ready to go to Des Moines, I was going through my closet looking for something to wear to cover the game. ESPN is there, and I want to make a positive impression to land some connections for a potential job in a year. After I narrowed the selection down to two, I walked in my bathroom and looked in the mirror. Dissatisfaction set it. I began to compare myself to the reporters I watch on television, always coming up with the short stick of the bunch. Normally, I’m not like that. At the camp I work at in the summers I talk with girls about their appearances but this time it seemed different.

Song of Solomon is full of metaphors that have both confused me and weirded me out. Stuart broke down the imagery and pointed out the words of the woman in verse five:

I am very dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. Do not gave at me because I am dark, because the sun has looked upon me. 

In that culture, the men found the exotic attractive. Think of the movie Mulan. When she is taken to the Matchmaker, she is robed, and her face is painted chalk white. Why? To distinguish herself from the women who were tan from working out in the fields. What the woman is saying in this passage is that she is dark from working out in the field, but even though that is not ideal, she knows she is lovely. This woman’s self image is right on! She trusts who God made her. She is secure in herself and trusts God with her life.

Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Proverbs 31 describes the ideal woman. In the original order, Proverbs was followed by Ruth and Song of Solomon was after that.

Love God and look like it.

That stood out towards the end of the message. I should not be so caught up in my outward appearance. It will fade away. But my relationship with my Savior will continue to grow stronger and stronger, and that is what is most important.

If God blesses me with a job of reporting from the sidelines on television, I don’t want people to notice me because of my appearance. I want them to see Jesus in me.