What Was, “The Ugliest Face She Ever Saw?”

I’ve always loved stories and once my grandmother Deloney told me a family story that stuck with me. I’ve tried to remember the details correctly.

She had one of those “No!-It’s-not-possible-pregnancies” when she was a bit older and her youngest child was already eleven. The result was wonderful–my Uncle Donnie. But first it was nearly fatal.

The little one almost died at birth and his mother as well. Grandma was unconscious for three days. She told me that the first thing she saw when she finally woke up was the haggard, stubble-covered face of granddad leaning over her.

“That’s the ugliest face I ever saw,” she teased weakly. And those were probably some of the sweetest words he had ever heard.

You often can tell a lot by looking into someone’s visage. Grandpa didn’t talk much and he sure wasn’t romantic, but that worried, sleep-deprived face shouted how valuable Grandma was to him.

Looking Into God’s Face

Looking into God’s face can revolutionize our lives and teach us a lot about Him. “Whoa! Wait a minute. I thought you couldn’t look into God’s face. Moses wanted to but God said it would kill him (Exodus 33:20).

Yes but something transformational happened at the Cross. The Lord’s death and resurrection opened the way for us to look into God’s glory. It shines from Jesus’ face. “2 Cor. 4:6 For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (ESV)

Looking into this glory is essential if we are going to be all God created us to be. The vision of this glory changes us to look like Jesus.

Here’s how it works. “6 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Notice three things here:

1/ We turn to the Lord. Before this men turned to the Law of Moses to be saved, but they struck out. The Law only condemned their sin but couldn’t take it away. So, by faith we turn to the Lord Jesus, looking for forgiveness and a new heart. Yet, men stubbornly persisted in trying to come to God in their own goodness, a goodness that was far short of God because of sin. Paul says it was like the veil that Moses put over his face when it shone with God’s glory. That glory scared them so Moses had to hide it.

2/ But when we turn to the Lord Jesus in faith that He will forgive us and renew us, this veil is taken away. God does it! He forgives us and gives us a new spiritual life. We’re looking into God’s glory in Jesus’ face.

3/ Then day by day as we continue to look at His glory we’re changed, transformed, to look more and more like Him. We’ve got to gaze at Him each day and like the heat of the oven changes the batter into cake, God’s glory changes us into Jesus’ likeness.

He doesn’t just zap us one time and we’re perfectly like the Lord. It’s a daily process, a metamorphosis.

The dictionary defines metamorphosis as, “(in an insect or amphibian) the process of transformation from an immature form to an adult form in two or more distinct stages…a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means.”

Paul says, we, “are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” (2 Cor. 3:18). Guess what this word, “transformed,” is in the Greek language in which this passage was originally written … “metamorphoō.” From which we get, “metamorphosis” in English.

According to M. Thayer’s Greek lexicon it means, “1) to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure. 1a) Christ appearance was changed and was resplendent with divine brightness on the mount of transfiguration.”

Same word.

So, if I want to know God more intimately and be changed what are some practical things I can do this year?

Scour God’s Word to see Jesus revealed more; spend time praying in the Spirit and listening to Him as I go about my day; look for Him in my brothers and sisters; go on vacation and see Him in His creation and keep my eyes open to see what the Lord is doing in the world to bring about the fulfillment of His great plan.

I MUST mix healthy doses of faith into each of these activities in order to see it through God’s eyes and not just human eyes. I’ve got to keep my eyes on the glory in Jesus’ face.

Image par Ian Lindsay de Pixabay
Image par NJ Lechnir de Pixabay

What Did I Do To Deserve This?

If I were a weapons inventor, I would create the ultimate weapon. Here’s how it would work.

The enemy launches a huge missile. Someone shouts, “Incoming!” and everyone jumps into a hole or looks for something to hide behind.

Not to worry, though. My trusty invention fires a cloud of happy dust into the air and when the missile flies though, its payload changes from explosives into good stuff. Red, green, blue and yellow flowers float towards the earth, along with oatmeal cookies.

The only thing is, I haven’t figured out how to do it. I’ll keep you updated.

God’s Weapon

God can do it, though. Missiles may still hurt when they explode (an oatmeal cookie would hurt if it fell on your noggin), but instead of destroying us they work for our good if we face them with faith in the Lord.

There were a couple of things that really troubled me when I was a kid, then a teenager. If I could have changed them I would have done it in the blink of an eye. It stills hurts a bit when I think of it, all these years afterwards.

But, in a way these circumstances help to make me. Continue reading

Meeting God In “Thin Places”

One of my favorite places to go with my wife was Cochem in Germany. Over a millennium ago, men founded this town. Though today’s atmosphere was probably created more by the Chamber of Commerce than by history, when you’re there you feel like you step back hundreds of years in time.

Phyllis and I accidentally discovered it in 1988 as we wandered alongside the Moselle River, driving up from nearby Luxembourg. Friends had offered to watch the kids so we could get away. We spent the night in a bed and breakfast in Cochem, and the next day went to see the Eltz castle in the forest northeast of town.

The little boy and the historian in me fell in love and Phyllis and I went back several other times, creating vivid memories together—the night of the festival with all the oom-pa-pa music, and the people in old German costumes, for example.

Funny, but we often connect places with good times or bad times. That is a good place for me. A really good place.


Cochem, Germany

Morning Places

I’m a bit like that about the place where I read my Bible and pray in the morning. Just like some Christians are attached to a certain pew, I like to meet the Lord at a spot where I have memories.

At the moment it’s the back deck of our house (it’s really the back porch but I said “deck” so that you younger readers would know what I’m talking about). Before I get my work day gets started,  I love to sit out there. The quietness soothes me. Note, “quietness,” still includes birds singing and crickets cricketing. We’ve got a couple of Robins who think they own the place and we are their renters.

The day has intruded on the night; the sunshine is fresh and soft and I can get centered with God for what’s ahead. Continue reading

Key #6  Growth Is Incredibly Important If You Want To Be Successful

Most of us stop growing around the age of eighteen … upwards anyway. Horizontal growth seems to spread out all through life. That’s natural, but what isn’t natural is the fact that when we come to a certain place in our life many of us stop growing in other ways.

Some stop growing in their knowledge of the Lord when they realize they are saved from hell and are heading to heaven because of Jesus. They didn’t want a PHD in knowing the Lord, just a fire insurance policy.

Others go to sleep intellectually. They never entertain new ideas, never read books to learn more, never listen to speakers who can help them grow, or they never take a course or sign up for an apprenticeship. They know enough, thank you. So, they stop.

And, “I got the girl, okay? Why should I try to help our relationship grow. We’re married!”

What if a baby decided that the ability to walk across the room was sufficient for him in life and he never went any further? As much as possible, he lets mama and daddy carry him around.

We can’t make ourselves any taller but we can grow in a lot of areas that add tremendous value and contentment to our life.

Here’s How Continue reading

You Won’t Believe What This Star of the 1960’s Looks Like Now


Don’t you just love those hooks on internet articles: “What This Former Beauty Queen Looks Like Now Is Incredible,” or “You Won’t Believe How This Star Looks Now!”?

(Scroll to the bottom of the page to see what this star looks like today!)


If you click on the picture of the young star you’ll find it’s more of a commercial than a news story. And when you see the picture, you get a jolt when you realize they’re not 25 anymore. (And it reminds us that most of us aren’t either).

Let’s face it. If you’re better looking now than you were forty years ago, you were probably really homely forty years ago. (“Homely” = “ugly” for my British readers).

Are You Going Forward Or Backward?

And still … still. I hope I’m better looking inside than I was when I started out with the Lord. The inside beauty I’m talking about can’t be located by an x-ray or a cat scan. I’m talking about my character, my heart, the core of who I am.

It’s possible to get better looking as we go forward.

“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For our momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:16-18, NASB

How Can I Do This?

Now if I were to lift weights, run marathons, color my hair, get a facelift and put on (man) make-up, I might look a little better on the outside. But, if I stopped doing that one moment, everything would start to sag again.

Gravity is rough on aging bodies.

Let’s do the best we can but trying to look young again is like trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon.

Can we make some permanent improvements on the inside, though? Yes!

Practically How?

–We can change our way of looking at things. Constantly remember that these battles

—when we fight them in faith—produce an eternal glory. We’ll have heavenly rewards. Yes, it’s true. We send over deposits in the bank of Heaven. Our inside man is getting better looking each day and all the while we’re storing up eternal benefits.

–We keep our eyes on what we can’t see with our physical eyes. Our time on this world world passes like the shadow of a cloud that hurries between us and the sun. Then it’s gone. When you’re twenty and full of dreams, that’s hard to realize. But, you need to start working on the inside while the outside is still good-looking. Continue reading