Heavenly Perfume: How to Smell Good as a Christian

Allowing the fragrance of your life to become more and more like Jesus

PerfumeJesus smelled good. Do you?

I don’t mean Jesus showered every day; He didn’t. People used various methods to try to smell nice, but cologne as we know it wasn’t available 2000 years ago. But no one could come near Him without feeling an almost irresistible attraction. The heavenly perfume of Jesus’ goodness and holiness was undeniable.

The attraction to Jesus was not some sappy happiness or momentary feel-good “love”. It had nothing to do with religious stuff. Yes, He healed people and gave them hope for a better life. But everything about Him – not only but including His words – radiated fierce courage, jealous love, and a call to a deeper, fuller, wilder, and more purposeful life than anyone had previously imagined.

You couldn’t meet Jesus and not be changed. Not everyone who sensed the fragrance of Jesus responded positively. But no one could leave His presence or His life without facing a choice – to either follow Him on a journey to goodness and holiness and purpose themselves, or to reject His offer and follow evil instead.

You Have an Aroma Too

Everything about you has an effect on others. You can’t keep that from happening any more than you can keep your body odor or perfume to yourself.

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A Woman’s Beauty and Strength: Dangerous or Delightful?

How a woman can use her beauty and strength to wound or to heal.

WomanCan we talk? Just you and me, girlfriend?

A woman’s beauty is one source of her strength. But everything depends on how you use it.

As a woman, you are powerful, beautiful, strong, smart, vulnerable, intuitive, and resilient. When God made you earth and heaven smiled, and you completely took Adam’s breath away. You are the expression of the part of God Himself that longs to connect, communicate, and nurture life, intimacy, and so much more. As John Eldredge describes it, every woman has a beauty to unveil.

In part because of your combined beauty and strength, God’s enemy has unleashed his most destructive weapons against you ever since the beginning. You have survived indescribable pain, loss, and torment. You’ve faced the worst that evil can dream up.

And yet you are still here! The assaults on your body, mind, and soul have not taken you out. You may feel down, but you’re not finished yet!

But the question is, What Will You Do Now?

You have two choices.

You can use your beauty and strength to wreak havoc on everyone around you. You DO have that power.

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How to Find the Presence of God

3 Keys to Experiencing God's Presence

Bible and CoffeeYou may have heard or read things about the presence of God. You may have experienced times yourself when God seemed very near and something special happened. Or you may think all this talk about the presence of God is just super-spiritualizing and meaningless for you, even though it may sound nice.

I’ve been there. I grew up experiencing a very intellectual Christianity. I’m forever grateful for the knowledge I had gained about the Bible, etc. But all that knowledge left me dry and empty when I faced some very difficult times as a young adult. The stuff I knew in my head wasn’t making any difference in the internal torment I was experiencing.

Everything changed when I began to experience the presence of God. It first happened in a large gathering of other hungry Christians, and then I started sensing God’s presence at other times even when I was alone. But not until more than ten years later did I begin to learn HOW to enter God’s presence without waiting for one of those ethereal moments of serendipity.

From my own experience and from Scripture I can tell you that God’s presence is real, it’s palpable, and it changes you. (2 Corinthians 3:18) While He is here with us every moment, sometimes He makes His presence known and felt to us humans in an extra dimension. It’s more than emotions. It’s deep. It’s real. And it’s priceless! Some people call these times the manifest presence of God.

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Intimacy when Sex Becomes Impossible

How to STILL Stay Physically Connected

Can you stay physically connected and enjoy intimacy when sex becomes truly physically impossible?

Intimacy between husband and wife is comprised of at least 4 facets. Sex – intercourse – is important. Really important. But it’s not the only – or even the foundational – aspect of intimacy.

I believe that God expects BOTH a husband and a wife to do what is in their power to do in order to meet their spouse’s sexual needs. That includes working through the emotional baggage many carry, and investing in medical help when physical problems interfere. And it includes an absolute commitment to sexual exclusivity.

But there are times when physical intercourse truly becomes impossible because of illness or other conditions. But here’s the thing:

The end of intercourse does not have to mean the end of intimacy!

You can stay connected – physically – with your spouse even in those difficult circumstances.

I regularly get questions from both husbands and wives who are struggling with some aspect of intimacy. I answer two of them in this week’s video. A wife is feeling lonely because her husband cannot perform sexually. A husband is feeling sad and frustrated because he and his wife had to stop having sex because it became too painful for her.

In this video I offer some specific suggestions on how to maintain physical intimacy even if sex becomes impossible or difficult. Sometimes relatively simple measures can restore your ability to engage in and enjoy sex. But even if not, you can stay connected!

Watch the video here.

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More Than Gratitude: Trusting God for ENOUGH

Believing Even If . . .

Joy in the MorningThere’s something powerful about relishing the enough-ness of where you are and what you have right now. It’s more than gratitude, although that is important. Some call it the abundance mindset, or the glass-half-full mentality. I call it trusting God to be ENOUGH.

Think about your prayers. How many of them are requests?

  • Please heal me of my sickness.
  • Please bring me the money that I need.
  • Please bring me a spouse.
  • Please fix my spouse so that we are happy together.
  • Please bring more people to my church.
  • Please give me more opportunities to expand my ministry.

It’s right to bring our requests to God; we are told to do that in Scripture. But if your relationship with God is based primarily on asking Him for things when you need or want help, you’ve made God into a heavenly vending machine; put in a prayer, get out a blessing.

How long would your relationship with your spouse or a good friend last if most of your conversations with them sounded like your prayers – you’re always asking for things and never listening?

If you’re a parent you know what it means to want to give good gifts to your children. Jesus said our Heavenly Father feels that way about us. (Matthew 7:11) But you also know that if your children are always focused on asking for – and receiving – things, they are not likely to mature into happy, productive, responsible adults.

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