Tag Archives: Pam Farrel

A “Heavenly” Question about Colors

10 Feb

I never desire to include off-color humor here. I want to bring honor to God and not be crude or distasteful. Today, I’m offering some COLORFUL clean jokes:

Q: Where do crayons go on vacation? … A: Color-ado.

Q: What kind of berry has a coloring book? … A: A crayon-berry.

Q: What happened when the red ship crashed into the blue ship? … A: The crew was marooned.

Ok, that’s enough. Oh, maybe one more… a riddle.

There were four houses on a street. The red house was made from brick. A purple house was made from brick, and the yellow house was also made from brick. What was the greenhouse made from?

A: Glass!

Did you get it right? LOL.

I used to paint, and it was fun to play around with color. I love to fine-tune color selections. So I’m always touched by videos of people who are completely color-blind. But when they wear amazing special glasses, they weep or are so deeply affected when they see the variety of colors they’ve never seen before.

Here is one heartwarming example of two colorblind brothers who see colors correctly for the first time. And here’s another that explains the struggle of the nearly 300 million people—mostly men—who are colorblind.

We do take color for granted.

I’ve long been fascinated by color, which is one reason I was a color consultant for a couple of years. I loved to study the interplay of colors and skin undertones.

But I think my fascination began in high school. One of my favorite classes was chemistry. As we learned about the elements and their atomic numbers, I studied Chromium (Cr), the element with the atomic number 24.  Although silver in appearance, chromium—when used as a catalyst—created Chromium compounds that are highly valued as pigments for their vivid colors.

But that’s getting too technical … let me keep this post simple.

Though I am not colorblind, I think I have not even begun to see the colors the Creator has made. Lately I’ve been astounded by sunsets in California and I’ve posted on Facebook about them. Amazing colors (like the one you see to the right).

That night I said to my husband, “If it’s so beautiful here sometimes, what must heaven be like?”

I have a question for you:

What color do you think of when you think of heaven?

When I think of heaven, I normally think of “streets of gold” and the glory of God—so I tend to think in terms of brilliant yellows.

But there are other colors mentioned in the Bible in regard to heaven.

Yes, there are “WHITE robes” (Revelation 7:13)—garments made white (pure) by being washed in the blood of the Lamb. (Hmmm… let that color picture sink in for a minute!)

We also see the 24 elders in heaven dressed in white clothes with gold crowns (Revelation 4:4), and Jesus said the righteous will wear white clothes (Revelation 3:4-5, 18).

Beyond white, have you ever noticed that GREEN rainbow around God’s throne? (Revelation 4:3)

And consider the vivid JEWEL tones of the great City, “Jerusalem the Holy” (Revelation 21:10, 12, 18-20). To get just a glimpse of that, imagine all the colors on typical Christmas trees. Now multiply that big time. Imagine the joy!

Here’s an interesting one. Consider all the colors of PEOPLE groups in heaven! (Revelation 7:9) As children we likely sang, “Red and yellow black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

But people are many more colors than that! People are snow white, ivory, cream, buttermilk, beige, tan, golden, amber, sepia, chestnut, chocolate, cocoa, onyx, black—and countless other colors.

The variety of people colors is incredible, and all are beautiful. 

The past few years, I’ve watched with interest the “coloring” phenomenon in Bibles and journaling.

Pam Farrel—my co-author of LOL with God—recently co-authored a Bible study with Jean E. Jones. The book, Discovering Hope in the Psalms, includes a creative artistic aspect. Pam says she colors and draws when she studies scripture, and especially when she memorizes scriptures, because the colors help her “remember.” In other words, they make a big impression in her brain.

Something I’ve only thought about recently: We see colors because we see light. 

The “Prince of Preachers,” Charles Spurgeonwrote,

Light is the cause of beauty. That is obvious to you all. Take the light away, and there is no beauty anywhere. The fairest woman charms the eye no more than a heap of ashes when the sun has departed. Your garden may be bright with many colored flowers, but when the sun goes down, you cannot know them from the grass which borders them. You look upon the trees, all fair with the greenness of summer—but when the sun goes down, they are all hung in black.

Without light,” he said, “no radiance flashes from the sapphire, no peaceful ray proceeds from the pearl. There is nothing of beauty left when light is gone. Light is the mother of beauty. In such sense, the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the light of Heaven—that is to say, all the beauty of the saints above comes from God incarnate—their excellence, their joy, their triumph, their glory, their ecstatic bliss all spring from Him.” (C. H. Spurgeon, “The Lamb—the Light”)

There will be colors in heaven we can’t even begin to  imagine now.

I think of all the colors in my Ultimate Crayon Collection—152 colors! Yet that is a puny representation of all the colors God has created.

One of my favorite Bible teachers was J. Vernon McGee, who is now seeing the beauty of heaven firsthand. He once said in a program on his Through the Bible radio series,

“What a thing of beauty! Varied hues and tints form a galaxy of rainbow colors. … The New Jerusalem is a city of light and a city of color.”  (J. Vernon McGee, “Homesick for Heaven)

Creation began with “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:1-5), and in that light God made it possible for us to see color.

Imagine the unspeakable joy when we live in our perfected bodies in His presence and see the entire spectrum of His colorful creativity.

“…no mere man has ever seen, heard or even imagined what God has ready for those who love the Lord” (2 Cor. 2:9, LB).

Even as people who are colorblind weep when they see colors for the first time, don’t you think we will weep tears of joy when we see the colors of heaven?

Go outside and take in some of the loveliness of God’s creation today.

All graphics, except sunset, adapted and courtesy of Pixabay.


But I Don’t Want to LOL!

10 Jun

I had to laugh when I read about a little girl who asked her mom for frozen stuff for Christmas — meaning from the movie Frozen.

She wasn’t too happy when she got a bag of frozen peas.

There are some days I’m not too happy either.

Life gets hard or I’m disappointed. Or I mess up for the umpteenth time.

I just don’t want to LOL.

I know the Bible tells me to give thanks and rejoice (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), but sometimes it’s just hard.

We must choose joy and gratitude as we walk in the spirit, because our fleshly desires sure don’t want to cooperate (Galatians 5:16).

When Pam Farrel and I co-authored the women’s devotional, LOL with God,* Pam included this wise and practical page titled, “10 things to Do When You Don’t Feel Like LOL.”

I want to reprint part of that page here — mostly because I need it today!

#1. Be Proactive. 

Do something you know you’ve enjoyed in the past that is healthy and good for you: a bubble bath, a walk on the beach, checking out a favorite book from the library, watching a favorite movie, reading a joke book or an online joke page (the clean ones only!).

#2. Be Relational.

Call a friend—or your mother! Make a connection with someone you love and who loves you: your husband, son, daughter, mom, dad, sister, brother, in-law, friend or mentor.

#3. Be Productive.

Work! Often, accomplishing something will help you feel better about yourself or life.

#4. Be Organized.

Spring cleaning or revamping a drawer or closet can be cathartic. A fresh start can come with fresh, clean surroundings. We know it’s hard to believe that cleaning house might make you feel better—but it can!

#5. Be Active.

Get off that couch and move! Exercise releases endorphins that will make you feel better after working out.

#6. Be a Model.

Do a personal makeover. Go to the mall and request a free makeover at the cosmetic counter of a department store, or invite a friend over and have her mix and match your wardrobe for some new looks.

#7. Be Relaxed.

Have a spa day (at a spa or at home). Give yourself a facial, a manicure, and/or a pedicure, or sit in a Jacuzzi. If you have funds, splurge for a massage at a spa or health club.

These practical suggestions can do wonders to lift your spirits, but the best suggestion ever for a “struggling to LOL” day is to allow THE Spirit to teach you joy.

Being filled (walking) with the Holy Spirit is the equivalent to allowing the Word of Christ—the Bible—to dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:16a); and the result will be gratitude, a singing and worshipful heart, and joy (Ephesians 5:18-20; Colossians 3:16b) as well as the “fruit” of the Spirit living and working in us (Galatians 5:22-23).

Struggling to LOL today? Which of these seven practical suggestions might help? Does the Spirit of God live in you? Consider how He might give you lasting joy.

– Dawn

* Note: LOL with God: Devotional Messages of Hope & Humor for Women by Pam Farrel and Dawn Wilson is no longer in print, but some are still available here.  The information included above is from p. 113 in that book.

  Graphic adapted, courtesy of Pixabay

5 People Who Need Your Quality Time

21 Oct

How do you create quality time?

Comedian Groucho Marx once said, “I find television very educating.” Why?

“Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book!”

I’m LOL-ing at the remark, but also the word “set.” (Can you tell what decades Marx lived in?)

But Marx brought up an important concept. How we use our time is important. We want to choose wisely. We want Quality Time.

Today as I thought about the people in my life, I accessed just how much quality time they’re getting from me. Have you ever done that?

I discovered five areas in my own life (you may find more), and I am sharing some books that I’ve found helpful. Perhaps you’d like to share resources that help you with quality time. (I do not get any compensation for mentioning them.)

1. Quality Time with God[Note: More accurately, God doesn’t need your time, but He loves you and desires your time.] You’re either smiling or cringing right now, depending on how much time you’re spending with God and whether that time is “quality.” Some women don’t spend much time with the Lord at all. Others spend time and make moments (hours?) together  times of powerful  intimacy and study. Most of us are somewhere in between.

God convicted me of this last year, and I made some radical changes to spend more time with God. The enemy conspires to steal our time away from the Father, so we need to be proactive and schedule time, if necessary. The more we spend time with God, the more it will be times of delight rather than duty. Some powerful books in this area are Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s books, The Quiet Place, A Place of Quiet Rest, and a study she wrote with Tim Grissom, Seeking Him, a book designed for personal revival.

2. Quality Time with Your Husband (if you’re married) – In the busyness of life, we sometimes forget how special our marriage relationship is (or can be). I have many, MANY marriage books on my shelves, including a number by Bill and Pam Farrel  (including A Couple’s Journey with God; Men are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti; Marriage in the Whirlwind;  Red Hot Monogamy; and 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband ~ all available at love-wise.com).

In Marriage in the Whirlwind, the Farrels describe the whirlwinds that come into marriage and how to survive these stressful tornadoes. They say, “Many times it seems couples long to cry out, ‘Stop the world ~ I want to get off!'” They talk about how unexpected circumstances, the busyness of technology and life just moving too fast, emotional storms, financial struggles and other whirlwinds can destroy a marriage if a couple isn’t wise about using their relationship in positive ways. Quality time together can help to combat stresses.

Quality time in marriage includes listening, simplifying the calendar to make time for each other, setting goals together and taking time to build physical intimacy. [Besides the Farrels’ books, which are meant for men and women, I also recommend Kathi Lipp’s The Husband Project and Arlene Pellicane’s 31 Days to a Happy Husband to women.]

3. Quality Time with Your Child (or children) if you have them (or Grandchildren) – One of the statements that always bothered me is that children need quality time, not quantity time. Nothing could be further from the truth. Children need both! They need to be near their parents in order to feel loved and learn from them. But quality time is certainly important.

First there are the simple things: cooking and baking together, planting seeds, enjoying art and music, sharing the how-to’s of life, and helping them see how things work. More important ~ seeing how LIFE works with wisdom principles from scripture.

Then there are times of more focused teaching. One of my recent joys is sharing A Girl after God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George with my oldest granddaughter. A book I wish I’d had when raising my sons is Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson, which is all about “Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus. For busy moms who wonder how they can be more proactive in pointing quality time toward spiritual truth, I highly recommend Carrie Ward’s book, Together: Growing Appetites for God.

4. Quality Time with FriendsI tell women that no one friend (except Jesus) can be all for us. We need a variety of friends who encourage, challenge, teach, and help us. We need some friends to kick back and LOL with.

One of my biggest regrets is that I waited so long to build friendships. They don’t just happen. It’s rare that God just drops a friend into our laps. The Bible says that is we want friends, we need to show ourselves to be friendly). That takes planning. It takes time. We need to listen when we’re together and not just talk about ourselves.

This is my weak area and I’m working on it. I go on Friendship lunch dates (and need to plan some Friendship activity dates to help me get some of the lunch dates pounds off! LOL!) I’m writing a book on friendship based on some of the things God is teaching me. (Do you have some good Christian books on friendship to recommend to me and others?)

5. Quality Time with YourselfThis may seem like a strange one, but the Bible says we are to love others as we love ourselves (Mark 12:31), so this presupposes we are properly loving ourselves. Kathi Lipp has a helpful book titled The Me Project: 21 Days to Living the Life You’ve Always Wanted

When it comes to quality time with ourselves, we can be more proactive when choosing our activities ~ either (1) doing things that build/improve our lives, (2) leave us pretty much the same, or (3) tear down/hurt us in some ways. (When I speak to women, I call these Climbing, Coasting, and Collapsing choices.)

Pursue Climbing choices; they’ll always be the best. As you plan time for yourself, think of things you can do that will challenge you mentally, physically, and spiritually. Do things that energize you, encourage growth, build your confidence and please the Lord. These are things you won’t regret, things that make you feel better about your life and, at the same time, bring glory to God.

These are choices like reading a good book, listening to music that blesses, enjoying a sport you love … anything that inspires you. For stories that are inspiring and missional, I recommend any of Kathi Macias’ books.

To find more time to pursue Quality Time relationships with yourself (and everyone), check out Marcia Ramsland’s books about simplifying your time and organizing your life at organizingpro.com. Choose Climbing choices that build all of your relationships!

Reserve the Coasting choices (those you might make when you really don’t feel like making any choices!) for those days when you want to relax and unwind. These are happy choices that may make you feel good and won’t tire you out, but they really aren’t designed to move you forward, either. A massage would fall into this category, or reading a good mystery novel, or spending some time on Pinterest. These are things that are easy to do. (But beware – too many Coasting choices and you’ll begin to waste time.)

Avoid Collapsing choices (negative, destructive, or hurtful options) like the flu! Collapsing choices may seem good at the time, but they don’t build us up. This would include watching bad television, pigging out at a buffet, or anything that prevents you from being your best. Basically, it’s doing anything you’ll regret or be ashamed of later.

So … what category needs some improvement?

Where are you not spending enough Quality Time? What can you do TODAY to change that? Can you think of others who might need your Quality Time?I’d love to hear about ways that you spend Quality Time in any of these areas, as well as any resources you would recommend.

– Dawn

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