What’s Your Fragrance?

II Corinthians 2:14-17

I am a distributor for essential oils and use oils daily as a part of my wellness routine.  I carry oils in my purse and share them with anyone and everyone I meet who has a need.  I believe they are effective in keeping me healthy.

People will frequently say, “You smell good,” or “What is that smell?”  Generally, it is peppermint oil, my favorite.  But today, my heart was challenged by the verses in II Corinthians.  Do those who cross my daily path also detect another fragrance, a fragrance sweeter than any essential oil I could choose?  Do they detect in me the fragrance of Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of souls? Do they detect the aroma of kindness, goodness, and unconditional love?

As an ambassador or representative of an essential oil company, it is part of my job to “put on” oils and display their qualities.  But even more, I am an ambassador for God; and as His representative, I should display His qualities.  On my own, I could never achieve this.  My shortcomings are many.  But fortunately, I do not have to rely on my own strength.  “Not that we are competent in ourselves. . . but our competence comes from God.  He has made us competent as ministers. . . ” (II Corinthians 3:5-6)

My prayer is that through the power of the Holy Spirit, the primary fragrance emanating from me will be that most compelling of sweet aromas—the Aroma of Christ–that people might, through me, be drawn to Him.

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A Virtuous Husband [redux]

A strong, sensitive, and spiritual husband—who is she that can find him?

He is far more precious than solid bars of gold, and his value is far above the wealth of Wall Street.

The heart of his wife trusts implicitly in his priesthood of their home, confidently relying in his spiritual wisdom.

He comforts, cares for, supports, and partners her in all their endeavors, and supports her and their offspring as long as there is life within him.

He spends quality time with each child in his family, learning the child’s bent and seeking to develop his or her potential to its fullest.

He finds joy in the accomplishments of his family.  He rises while it is early to study and seek God’s will for his life and the life of his loved ones, and stays up late praying for the growth and safety of his children.

He works diligently to provide for his family.  He considers business decisions in Godly context and does all things with integrity, ensuring his family’s future and well-being to the best of his God-given abilities.

He does not worry over his children’s futures for he has provided a solid spiritual and economic foundation from which to launch them.

He looks well to the care of his home and property and gives excellent care to those material things which God has provided.

He manages the family finances, giving tithes to the Lord and contributing to the needs of the poor and lost.

He is a leader among men and an example to all who know him, and provides whatever help he can to his neighbor.

He opens his hand to his friends and neighbors and shares the fruits of God’s bounty wherever he can.

He speaks words of Godly wisdom and is a father and spiritual guide to all whom the Lord brings across his path.

His children honor him and respect his advice, and he is blessed with grandchildren in his latter years.

He knows the importance of rest and relationships and takes time to celebrate the Lord’s Day and family events.

He takes time to acknowledge his wife—his life partner—and is sensitive to her needs.  He is rewarded with a solid bond, lasting through golden years.

Many sons have done virtuously, but you exceed them all. Brains and good looks are deceptive, and physical strength is vain, but a man who lives with God as Lord of his life shall be praised.

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My husband always buys white tennis shoes.  In over forty years of marriage, he’s never bought another color—until this time.  This time, he bought gray tennis shoes.  I like them.  But every time I see them sitting by his chair or our bed, I’m confused.  For a split second, I wonder, “Whose shoes are those?”

We are creatures of habit, and change is hard.  Even when a change has no impact on what we do—like a new pair of shoes—it takes the brain a while to process.  If such an insignificant change can be so difficult to grasp, how can we ever change things in our lives that are of great significance?  How do we change bad habits into good ones?  How do we change prejudice into acceptance?  How do we change hate into love?

The short answer is, “We can’t.”  We often don’t have the strength, desire, or will power we need to make changes like that on our own.  No matter how much we determine we will power through, it takes very little to slip back into old, comfortable habits or mindsets.  That’s why I’m thankful for Jesus.  Jesus, Who came to earth and died for our sins, Who forgave us, and Who is the only One who can transform us into the image of God.  In Christ, all things are possible.  In Christ, changes can happen.  Thank God that in Him we “are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  2 Corinthians 3:18

Do you need to make a change in your life?  Ask God to help you.  The biggest change He ever makes is when He cleanses us from our sins when we ask Him for forgiveness and put our lives in His hands. From that point forward, He helps us make the other changes we need, whether it’s something big like transforming an attitude or prejudice, or something personal, like changing our lifestyles to healthier ones.

And speaking of healthier lifestyles, I believe I will go find my own tennis shoes and take a walk.

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A Prayer

Strengthen me, Lord; I am tired.

Strengthen me, Lord; I need rest.

Strengthen me, Lord; I’m your child.

Strengthen me, Lord. I am blessed.


Teach me, O Lord, how to love you.

Teach me, O Lord, how to pray.

Keep me, O Lord, in Your bosom.

Hold me, so I will not stray.


Hear me, O Lord, when I worship.

Hear me, O Lord, when I pray.

Hear me, O Lord, when I’m joyful.

Near you, O Lord, I will stay.


Yesterday’s gone now forever.

Tomorrow I never may know.

Today is the day that is promised.

I’ll rest in the Life-giving flow.


Jesus, the Lord, is my Savior.

Jesus, the Lord, is my Friend.

Jesus will love me forever.

Eternity means, there’s no end.

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The Colors of Christmas [redux]

Into a dark and sin-filled world

A blessed babe was born.

To rescue men with blackened hearts

He came that Christmas morn.

A promised King, at last arrived,

His parents tired and worn.

No one to welcome their new Son,

With Kingly robes adorn.

How could all men with cold, black hearts

Display contempt and scorn?

For the One who came to offer them

New life in Him, reborn.


He hung upon a cross to die,

Forsaken and forlorn.

To bear my sins and on Himself

He took my shame and scorn.

Blood of red spilled from His side.

He like a sheep was shorn—

Stripped and beaten, nailed and mocked.

His crown, a crown of thorns.

“Abba, Father,” was His cry;

His Mother, nearby, mourned.

And from the temple came the sound.

The veil, at last, was torn!


Ring out the bells, sing out the news,

Let heralds sound their horns!

A promised King, at last, arrived;

A blessed babe is born.

And now, He does, with robes of white

The righteous ones adorn.

To all who come and humbly bow,

To all who’ve been reborn—

Rejoice in Him. Sing out your praise.

Let Him, your life, adorn!

And celebrate the birth of Christ

This year on Christmas morn.

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The Rest of the Christmas Story (Luke 2:25-35) [redux]

Just a baby in a manger

Holy, precious heavenly child

Born in humble, poor surroundings.

First born Son so meek and mild.

Nearby shepherds hear the story

Told by angels, joyous news.

Born to you this day a Savior,

Resting now with cows and ewes.

Swaddling clothes, a sign of glory.

Angels sing, their voices raise.

Shepherds seek in haste to find Him,

Share the news and give God praise.

Mary ponders all their sayings,

Weighing thoughts within her heart.

Joseph’s quiet strength beside her,

Silent presence from the start.

Came the time for dedication.

Jesus was the baby’s name.

To Jerusalem they brought Him,

He, who’d later suffer shame.

Now there was a man named Simeon,

Righteous and devout was he,

Looking for the hope of Israel,

Promised death he would not see

‘Til the Christ, the Lord’s Anointed

Had been held within his arms.

And when Simeon held the baby,

At the moment safe from harm,

He revealed the Child’s appointed

Destiny—a Light to bring

Glory to God’s people Israel,

Salvation through a promised King.

Though an earthly King they looked for,

God had planned another way.

“And a sword will pierce your own soul,”

Mary heard old Simeon say.

And a prophetess named Anna

At the temple day and night

Offered thanks to God for Jesus,

Israel’s redemption now in sight.

Little baby, news so joyous.

The Messiah, promised King

In a manger, His life started

Born to reign, the angels sing.

But a coming shadow lingers

Prophets of His future told.

Destined death to save His people

To return them to the fold.

As we linger at the manger

Celebrating Jesus’ birth

Let us not forget the shadow

Of the cross—this baby’s worth.

Not to weep or moan in sadness

But to multiply our joy.

Saved by grace because He suffered—

Holy, precious baby boy.

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Santa’s Reminder

I had already scheduled to post all of my old Christmas poems because I hadn’t written a new one this year; and then, this morning, I was inspired to write this one.  Hopefully, you won’t feel poetry overload.  Merry Christmas to all my family, friends, and blog readers.

Santa’s Reminder

The workshop is empty.

The elves have gone home.

Mrs. Clause is resting.

Santa’s alone.


The tools are all quiet.

The floor is clean-swept.

The toys are delivered;

Yet, Santa’s bereft.


He’s tired and he’s weary.

His mind is confused,

Abstracted, bewildered,

Perplexed and bemused.


He worked through the year.

He did a good job;

And yet, at the moment,

He’s holding back sobs.


He wonders if working

So hard every year

Is worth all the effort,

And this is his fear.


That children and grown-ups

Alike will want more

And never be happy

With presents galore.


That come Christmas morning

When gifts are unwrapped,

The joy of the gifts

Will be gone in a snap!


Cause Santa knows true joy

The joy that can last

Comes from the One Who

Was born in the past.


On the morning of Christmas

In a manger He lay,

The Greatest Gift ever.

For our sins He would pay.


And then, in a moment

Santa heard very clear

A whisper, a voice that

Said, “Have no fear.


You’ve accomplished the task

That I’ve given to you,

And it’s time to move on

To a year that is New.


The gifts you’ve delivered

Came wrapped in your love

Like the Gift I delivered

That came from above.


We’ll patiently wait

For all people to see

That the Best Gift of all

Isn’t under the tree.


The True Gifts of Christmas

Are peace, love, and joy,

Which will reign in their hearts

When they first meet My Boy,


Who grew to a Man

And sacrificed all

To redeem all mankind

From the curse of the Fall.


And during this Season

The Message rings out

That Jesus is born.

There can be no doubt.”


And hearing the Message

Again in his heart,

Santa leaped from his seat

And he gave a great shout!


Joy flooded his soul

And he knew right away

His job wasn’t finished;

He’d start now, today!


With a heart that was happy

Santa pulled up a stool,

Grabbed his design book,

And got out his tools.


He started the planning

For gifts he could give.

This was his calling

As long as he lives.


As long as he could

He’d still do his part,

And leave it to God

To change men’s dark hearts


Now the workshop is empty,

Not a mouse makes a peep.

Santa’s retired

For a well-deserved sleep.

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