Thursday, September 6, 2012

Divine Design

September has arrived...back to school time! My kids are all grown up and living on their own, no longer in school, nor am I enrolled in any learning institution. But that doesn't mean I can't study and learn something new! I've got two key areas of education I am currently pursuing: nutrition for reduction of pain and nutrition for my soul.

I ran across an interesting looking Bible study book while at a District LWML function several weeks ago. The cover of the book is spattered with dresses, hats and shoes. Fashion, of course, is one of my favorite interests, so I picked up the book. It's titled "Divine Design: 40 Days of Spiritual Makeover" by Sharla Fritz. Lovely! I wrote a "Fashion Show" Bible study session once, a long time ago, and would love to learn another person's view of the subject. And I'd love to share the makeover journey with other "fashionistas"...join me? I'm going to take more than 40 days to get through this book - life is too complicated for me right now to go through it so quickly. We're going to take a month for each "week" in the book, so this will be almost a full two semesters of study. Even if you don't have the book yet, you can easily catch up to me if you order it soon. ( has the best price.)

This week, I read the introduction and Day One of Week One, What We Wear - Wardrobe Woes. The memory verse for this section is Ephesians 4:21-24. I am memorizing it in the NIV, as that is a translation with which I am more familiar, so it's actually verses 22-24 for me.

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

In this first session, Ms. Fritz challenges us to allow God to work a spiritual makeover in our hearts. Proverbs 31:25 says of a godly woman that "Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come." While God does want us to dress modestly, it is doubtful that He truly cares about the fashion-ability of our attire. He does care very much about how we clothe our character.

Wardrobe Workout Questions:

1.  Pretend Stacy and Clinton from What Not To Wear are coming to look in your closet. What wouldn't you want them to see? Pull out an item that has seen better days but that you still wear. As yourself why you keep it...why do we hold onto things that are unattractive?

Here is just one of many beat up old flannel shirts in my closet:

Yikes! Stacy and Clinton would laugh their heads off at the sight of this! Why do I keep it? Because it is warm and comfortable. Not attractive in the least...but easy to toss on if I'm chilly. Sometimes, it is needed to keep me warm as I work outdoors. Work clothes, in my opinion, do not need to be attractive, simply functional. The problem is that I wear this shirt for more than just hard labor! I think that sometimes we have an emotional attachment to certain articles of clothing that keeps us holding onto them, despite their lack of proper fit or fashion. Many times, I have purchased an item at a really great price, even though it isn't quite right for me, but I keep it because I wouldn't want to "waste" a bargain.

2.  Proverbs 31:25...Strength can be defined as "the power to resist strain." Dignity presents a picture of calmness and poise. How can these improve your daily life?

Strength could make stress not beat me up, could cause me to make better health choices, could keep my mouth shut when it needs to, could make me more like Jesus. Dignity could keep away those feelings of worthlessness and self-pity.

3.  What key lesson did you learn this week?

Strength and dignity are "character clothes" that God has given me to wear. I am not able to make either of them myself - but "I can do all things through Christ who GIVES ME STRENGTH" (Phil. 4:13). I am a daughter of the King, and that should foster dignity in my spirit.

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