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My daughter is beautiful.  I can say that without apology or hesitation because I am her daddy.  As we prepared the last two weeks for prom a simple moment became very profound for me.  A couple of incredibly sweet and  generous church families offered dresses that we could borrow, wear to prom and return.  These were no hand-me-down dresses.  I have seen and worn hand-me-downs with their patched knees, worn elbows, and frayed collars.  I had heard my mom say, “Well it’s not perfect, but it’ll do.  It’ll be good enough.”  Back to the dresses.  As I said these were no hand-me-downs, they were pristine.  So we gratefully and carefully began trying on dresses, the women at my house giggled like little girls and OOHED and AAH-ED at just the right times.  Finally the decision was made and a dress was selected.  It was a black ball gown, with sequins, and an optional petticoat (Hello, Miss Southern Belle), beautiful.  Say “beautiful” and really emphasize each syllable, “BE-AU-TI-FUL”.  That is what was before me that  evening.

Later on that night Anna came into the living room, sprawled out on the couch and laid her head on my shoulder.  “I want to wear it (the dress) all the time.  It’s so beautiful.”  I giggled at her girlish desires.  Then I was struck by the profoundness of her statement.  She wanted to wear the dress to “feel” beautiful.  I drew her close and said, “You ARE beautiful”.

We chase so many sparkly desires that make us “feel” a desired emotion or relive a favorite memory, when all along God has invited us through faith in Christ to trade in our corrupt desires, emotions and memories for the incorruptible righteousness of Christ.  We do not have to “wear the dress” or manipulate our circumstances to    extract a feeling.

Isaiah 61 says that God has sent a Savior to “comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve; to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”


Ephesians 4:24 says that you were taught: “to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”


How do you “feel” today?  Pick up the garments of righteousness.  Find the peace of the beautiful work of God    occurring in your life through your faith in Christ.  I love to feel the release of tension and anxiety when I hold my children close.  On that particular night I felt very close to God, as I longed for my daughter to know that she was, to me, always beautiful.  God is not in to hand-me-downs or good enough.  He longs for you and I to come close to Him and find rest in His words of promise and truth.  “You are BE-AU-TI-FUL!”

All for Him,

Your pastor