Wearing the Right Clothes

by Lynn on March 19, 2017

What’s that old saying—clothes make the man? Our culture seems a bit preoccupied with clothes. Some people spend a lot of time and money being concerned about what they wear, while others are concerned about what their neighbor is wearing. Women especially tend to notice, have opinions about and often judge others on their choice of attire. Now, I’m not knocking those who have an interest in fashion, because most of us would prefer to find clothing that flatters us as opposed to clothing that does not. What I’m really referring to are those folks obsessed about the material that they and others cover themselves with, for their concern is mis-directed.

As with most subjects in life, God’s word has a few things to say about clothing. It mentions two types, and we put on both. The first has little significance and should not concern us overly much. But the second is extremely important, and one we should give our full attention to, as our eternal destiny is at stake.

In the Gospel of Luke, we are told not to worry so much about our physical clothing since God knows we need it and he supplies what we need.

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear… Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!” Luke 12:22, 27-28, NIV

In the book of Matthew however, Jesus describes a very different type of clothing that we should be concerned about, as he shares the parable of the wedding supper.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son… But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless”… Matthew 22:2, 11-12, NIV

Intrigued by this passage, I wanted to do a word-study to better understand of how the idea of “spiritual clothing” is used in both the Old and New Testaments.

Isaiah 64 describes our natural state as unclean, and calls our “spiritual clothes” nothing but filthy rags.

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Isaiah 64:6, NIV

It is interesting that the Hebrew word for “filthy” is found only here, and comes from a root that refers to the soiling caused during menstruation. Our righteous acts are akin to being wrapped in blood-stained garments. This verse also points back to Levitical law where menstruating women were labeled unclean and separated from the population. As unclean things, our sin separates us from God.

Zechariah gives a fascinating account of a conversation in heaven, and describes a vivid change of clothes for Joshua, to symbolize how Jesus removes our sin and gives us new spiritual clothes.

Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.” Zechariah 3:3-4, NIV

The Hebrew word translated here as “taken away” means “to cover, bring over or through, deliver, or to pass over,” showing that we are delivered from punishment when our sins are removed.

Isaiah 61 illustrates the importance of our new spiritual clothes, describing them as “garments of salvation” and comparing them to the fine adornments worn by brides and grooms.

I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10, NIV

The most interesting part of this verse is that the Hebrew word translated as “arrayed” in the NIV is only found here. In the King James Version the phrase is “he hath covered me” and it means to clothe or cover, which is straight forward enough. But there are other words for clothed that are used more often. The fact that this word is found only here seems to imply that this type of covering is unique to God alone. I believe the phrase can be read in two ways—the first depicting an act of covering, and the second showing that it is God himself who serves as the cover. Elsewhere in the Bible God is described as a place of refuge, a shield, a shelter, or a set of wings under which we might remain hidden. It seems likely that this verse would carry the same meaning, that God covers us with himself.

Many New Testament verses use a Greek word for “clothed” which means “the sense of sinking into a garment, to invest with clothing, or to put on.”

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12, NIV

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Romans 13:14, NIV

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:26-27, NIV

While these verses admonish us to apply Christ-like characteristics to our own lives, could they also allude to the role of Christ as a covering? If his righteousness is applied to us then in essence, Jesus is the garment we wear. This points us back to the concept recorded in Isaiah implying that God not only covers us, but he covers us with himself.

So why is this important? Let’s go back to the wedding supper. The king prepares a lavish banquet for his son. As the guests arrive, he spots a man not wearing a wedding garment. He asks the man how he got into the event without the proper attire. The man is speechless. The king tells his servants to escort the man out of the hall.

Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are invited, but few are chosen. Matthew 22:2, 13-14, NIV

Wow—brutal consequences for not having on the right outfit! The Greek word translated “tie” means “to bind, or to put under obligation of the law.” This is very telling, since the law is what those without Christ will be judged by. And the word for “outer” means “the darkness outside the limits of the lighted palace,” to which the Messiah’s kingdom is likened to here.

The poor fool. Where did he go wrong? Well, basically, he accepted the king’s invitation but rejected the garment the king provided for his attendance. He refused to wear what was necessary to gain admittance, but instead chose to wear his own soiled and filthy rags which were clearly unacceptable. Perhaps, believing himself to be a “good person,” the man thought he was entitled to access regardless of what he wore. Oh, how much that sounds like many of us today—convinced our lives are just fine with God, based on some standard of our own making. Jesus admonished the Pharisees in his day, for just this sort of thinking.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Matthew 23:27-28, NIV

Like the wedding supper guest, the Pharisees didn’t take the subject of spiritual clothing seriously either. They arrayed themselves in their own righteousness, giving an appearance of godliness, but were just as adorned in filthy rags as the man. World religions try to manufacture, construct or sew together their own garments by following certain rules, observing certain customs, or completing certain tasks. While some of these activities, like feeding the poor are good in of themselves, they are not the means by which we are made righteous. Legalism is trying to sew together our own garment to come before the king.

A good example of someone trying to live up to religious legalism is Saul of Tarsus. Saul was a Pharisee, a teacher of the law, and therefore a good keeper of the law. He knew all the rules and followed them, but was dependent upon his own ability to keep himself in good standing with God. However, one day on the road to Damascus he found that his religious rule-keeping fell quite short of the mark. Alone, we are all dressed as dirty paupers, and quite unfit to stand in the presence of a holy God.

As explained so well in Isaiah, a holy God cannot abide with us while we are still mired in our sin. The filthy rags that wrap our frame keep us at a distance that we cannot traverse. We cannot approach God with our own righteousness which is akin to wearing clothes of our own design, made by our own hand. To enter God’s presence only one garment is acceptable—the covering provided by Jesus which he purchased with his own blood. Those trying to enter heaven clothed in their own righteousness will be turned away, but those who accept Christ as their savior will be clothed with salvation and one day, will be welcomed into the King’s presence at the supper of the Lamb.

Indeed, Revelation 19 describes the Bride of Christ dressed in fine linen, clean and white.

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Revelation 19:6-8, NIV

Wow—what a day that will be!

In the case of spiritual attire, clothes really do make the man (or woman)!

On the journey toward Home,

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peony camellia floral wreathI’ve recently added some new items to my Etsy shop, The Drawing Room at Pemberley. Here is a sneak peak! This wreath features silk flowers in vibrant colors of blush pink, medium pink, white, and cream. Hydrangea, camellia, Dogwood, and peony form the wreath, while a white dove sits on a nest of green reindeer moss. Tufts of pink organza, as well as strands of hanging amaranthus, add color to the design.

Several vintage teacup sets are available in a variety of colors and patterns. Current stock includes sets made by Coalport, Queens China, Lord Nelson, Shelley, Limoges, and Paragon. Some have extensive gold stenciling, while others feature a Chintz pattern or a cartouche motif with floral insets.

RS Prussia cake plate

This RS Prussia cake plate features clusters of pink flowers against a lavender colored background. This mold is commonly known as “Point and Clover.”

A repurposed/repaired demitasse cup, saucer and tea plate, form the base for this silk flower arrangement. A mauve and red colored bird sits in a nest of lime green reindeer moss surrounded by assorted flowers, leaves and berries in colors of fuchsia, burgundy, and violet. The cup, saucer, and tea plate are dark pink with gold filigree patterns.

This server features three tiers of vintage china plates in a floral color scheme of pink, lavender, and violet. The server is hand-drilled and assembled with new silver separator hardware.

This server features a vintage china plate with a vibrant silver and platinum Art Deco design.

This Limoges cabinet plate features a scalloped beige rim design with gold cartouche insets. Clusters of small blue flowers adorn the white interior. This is just one of several Limoges plates I have in stock.

vintage jewelry framesVintage jewelry frames are handmade one-of-a-kind treasures, and feature a mixed palette of vintage jewelry pieces, rhinestones, and beads. The back of each frame is trimmed in black velvet, with a kickstand for tabletop placement. This set holds 2 x 3 inch pictures. Additional frames in stock hold larger photographs.

RS Prussia dresser boxThis RS Prussia porcelain box features an Art Nouveau shape with a reticulated lid and raised floral accent. Decorated in colors of brown, pink and orange, the floral transfer depicts poppies or daisies. This decor has been identified on other molds bearing RS Prussia and Steeple marks.

A bronze and gold bird sits in a nest of lime reindeer moss in this repurposed/repaired teacup silk floral arrangement. Flowers, leaves and berries in colors of yellow and orange form the base of the nest.

Made by Limoges, this oval cake plate features a scalloped and mottled gold embossed rim design. Small hand-painted white flowers and gold leaves against a peach pink color band, circle the edges, and a gold center bouquet completes the design.

This server features three tiers of vintage and new china plates, in a pink and turquoise blue color scheme. The top tier has a floral garland design and a raised dot rim. The middle tier has a pink cartouche design with floral insets, and the bottom tier has a pink and blue floral garland with a vivid blue rim.

If you are looking for unique gifts, or want a special treat for yourself, please visit my shop and take a turn around the drawing room!

On the journey toward Home,

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Descanso GardensWinter is a great time to visit local gardens. The weather is cool and the camellias are in bloom. One of my favorite places is Descanso Gardens, located about 20 minutes north of Los Angeles.

Descanso GardensThe property was originally purchased in the 1930’s by newspaper publisher Elias Manchester Boddy, who bought 165 acres of undeveloped land for a ranch and new home. Interested in horticulture and plant science, Mr. Boddy developed garden areas surrounding the residence, adding trees and flowering plants to the indigenous California scrub.

Descanso GardensIn 1942, Mr. Boddy purchased the inventory of two prominent Japanese camellia growers in California. Today the camellia collection extends through much of the garden, nestled under majestic oaks and redwoods.

Descanso GardensGarden areas include an Oak forest, an Ancient forest, a California Natives garden and a Rose garden.

Descanso GardensThe Japanese garden features camellias, azaleas, water features and a tea house.

Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens

Descanso GardensThe Bird Observation Station allows visitors to view wildlife in and around the picturesque lake.

Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens

Descanso GardensThe original Boddy residence is now a house museum showcasing the elegant styles of the 1930’s. Adjacent to the house is an art gallery.

Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens

Descanso GardensDescanso Gardens has an extensive and beautiful collection of camellias. The gardens are lovely at any time of year, but especially now when these wonderful flowers are in bloom!

On the journey toward Home,

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Christmas was a Rescue Mission

by Lynn on December 18, 2016

Our human existence was never supposed to be this way. In the beginning we were perfect creations. We walked with God. We had everything we needed to be content and happy, and we were at peace with our Creator. But God didn’t want automatons who would blindly worship him, so he gave us a free will. We could do as we pleased. We could make our own choices. So we did. And to our great horror, we were left with the consequences of our poor choices. Beguiled, bewitched, and bedazzled by the father of lies, we chose death over life, and sold our eternal souls into slavery. Now captured by the one who despises our very existence, we are without hope—for there is no escaping the bondage into which we have willingly given ourselves over to.

God has no option but to remove us from his presence. Since he is a righteous judge, he cannot just set aside our sin. Our transgressions have to be dealt with. We are law breakers before the court of heaven and deserve punishment. Unhappily, we find that we have no mechanism to atone for our own sin. In the end, we receive an eternal life sentence for our crimes.

If our story ended here it would be bleak indeed, but gratefully it does not. For our Creator loved us in spite of what we had done, and devised a plan of rescue.

God would provide a substitute—one who would step into our shoes and stand before the Judge in our place. But who is qualified to stand before God? Only a sinless human can do that, and since none are in our world, God chose himself for that task. The Creator stepped into his creation, donning the skin of those he had made.

On that first Christmas, a baby—fully human and fully God, was born into our world. His mission was to live as one of us, but without sin. This made him uniquely qualified to present himself as a ransom for us.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 1 Timothy 2:5-6, NIV

God’s rescue plan is first described way back in Genesis. As we are expelled from Eden, God tells our adversary about the future Champion who will defeat him.

So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. Genesis 3:14-15, NIV (emphasis mine)

The greatest love ever shown to mankind was the gift of Jesus. He is the Lamb of God, born into our world so that he might die in our place. Without his atoning sacrifice we had no way to get home. Through Jesus, our relationship with God is restored, and we have all the rights and privileges as sons and daughters of the Most High.

There is just one caveat—the free gift of Christ’s atonement must be accepted. God’s gift is not forced upon us, nor is it ours by default. We must acknowledge that our sin separates us from a Holy God, and then believe that Jesus paid our debt in full through his death and resurrection.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9, NIV

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9, NIV

Perhaps you have questions about what it means to accept God’s free gift of salvation. Pastor Greg Laurie explains it here: http://KnowGod.org

Christmas is the greatest story ever told, about the greatest gift ever given. May you be blessed with the receipt of that gift today!

On the journey toward Home,

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Give Thanks to the Lord

November 24, 2016

You are my God, and I will praise you; you are my God, and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 118:28-29, NIV Blessings to you and your family. Happy Thanksgiving! On the journey toward Home,

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Victorian Pink Vintage Style

October 22, 2016
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A few years back I had a bit of trouble with a leaky roof. When the roofer decided to save himself some effort by nailing down only every other tile, the Santa Ana winds unfortunately unseated and broke a few of them, leaving the paper exposed to the sun which quickly disintegrated it. And since […]

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Chicken Cranberry Spread

September 21, 2016

As we here in California anxiously await cooler weather (daily temperatures are still in the 90’s), some of us are already planning holiday menus! One of my favorite appetizers is a simple-to-make chicken cranberry spread. I’ve brought this spread to many pot-luck functions over the years, and it continues to get rave reviews and recipe […]

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God Sings over Us

August 7, 2016

The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17, NIV This verse is part of a passage illustrating God’s promise to Israel about the future reign of […]

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Fourth of July Sale

July 2, 2016

Happy Fourth of July! My Etsy shop, the Drawing Room at Pemberley (listed as lizzieanddarcy) is having a sale! Get 20% off all items now through Monday. Just use coupon code JULY4 during checkout. The shop has a great assortment of vintage china, tiered servers, tea cup sets, floral baskets, and vintage jewelry frames. http://lizzieanddarcy.etsy.com […]

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Trusting God’s Will When Life is Hard

June 18, 2016

We humans love to get our own way. Ever since Adam and Eve decided that their plan was better than God’s plan, it has been our nature to pursue our own desires first. From early childhood, we begin to exert our own will, and learn how to manipulate others into conforming to it. When my […]

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