Italian Fashion 2008

I am not a fashion guru by any stretch of the imagination–just ask my wife. But having lived in Italy for a little over two years now one has to pay a little more attention to what is “in” and what is “out.”

My aim here is to make sure you are in the know. Here is what I have learned so far. Apparently each year the fashion industry selects one color that dominates the fashion year. I think it has something to do with making money. This color change seems to take place on September 1st–which also coincides with scarf wearing season here–even if it is still 80 degrees. Sometimes the colors for men and women are the same–sometimes they are different. We arrived in 2006 and noticed that all the women were in something brown–and the men were all in some version of muted mustard yellow. In 2007 the men were consistently wearing muted burnt orange pants. I felt like I had just been dropped into a University of Texas alumni meeting. I’m actually not sure what the women were wearing. Give me a break–I was still trying to get the courage up to wear anything muted mustard yellow from the year before.

Well–while there is still time and you still have a small amount of disposable income left–I am here to let you know that the fashion color for this year–for both men and women–is PURPLE! Now I don’t want to appear disgruntled–but let’s face it–men don’t look good in purple–even if it is muted! But every major fashion house here in Florence has their windows filled with purple–Prada, Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbanna, Armani, Versace–even Brooks Brothers. For men there are purple pants, purple ties, purple sport coats, purple dress shirts, purple sport shirts, purple scarves–even a few pair of purple shoes. Women look good in purple. Men look like over grown eggplants. But hey–far be it from me to hold you back from being fashionable. Maybe I’m not that secure as a man. Maybe next year I can get in my two euros to Nicola Trussardi to go for something in the realm of muted Crimson. That I would wear. Roll Tide!

A Little Fun @ France’s, huh, Italy’s Expense

We just got back from our family Spring Break trip. We enjoyed a wonderful few days in the Italian Alps skiing. It was the first time on skis for Courtney and Davis. We had two perfect days on the slopes–one with fresh snow falling all around us, providing excellent powder for beginners–and the other day a sun washed jewel of warmth and crispness.

We stayed about 30 minutes away from the ski area in a town called St. Vincent, Italy. Each day we had to take a fairly narrow mountain pass road from one side of the peaks to the other. Along the way we kept noticing this little town called Moron. Now most of the names in this area of Italy are French–since the location is only a few miles from the French border. So I understand that the name of this town should be pronounced with a swallowed “N.” But we couldn’t help it–the name was just too classic in English. We had to stop and get a picture made–probably looking like morons to all who passed by.

Lust Destroys Beauty

imgresI have lived in one of the most sensual places in the world–Italy. Everywhere you turn there are images, both real and imaginary, to entice the flesh. Lust, defined biblically, is a strong craving often of a sexual desire. In the 29 uses throughout the Bible it is always used in a negative light. In the Old Testament it also carries the notion of idolatrous worship. Of course this is not unique to Italy. It is consistent throughout the world because it is in us.

Leaders seem especially prone to the consequences of this impostor. Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York, lost his job ultimately to lust. Anthony Wiener, the former congressman from New York and current candidate for mayor of New York City, lost his job to lust. President Clinton was brought up impeachment charges ultimately because of lust. It has been no less true of spiritual leaders in recent or past times.

Proverbs 11:6 says, “The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust.”
Lust left unchecked will destroy us because lust destroys beauty.

Lust is about self gratification, which is counter to a benevolent, all authoritative God. And this is a God who is ultimately beautiful. We literally appreciate beauty because we were created by a beautiful Creator. Lust is our desire for beauty turned inward.

I believe that lust destroys beauty for us in three ways.

1. Lust destroys our ability to appreciate beauty in our Creator. The more we lust after anything the more tarnished God’s beauty will become to us.

2. Lust destroys our ability to appreciate the beauty of creation. It makes sense that if we begin to appreciate God less then certainly we will not appreciate the beauty of creation around as we were meant to.

3. Lust destroys our ability to appreciate the beauty of our wife or future wife. Sexual lust reduces women to mere objects, objects to simply satisfy our own fleshly desires. Somewhere along the line that’s what happened to Spritzer and Wiener. That is what can happen to you and to me.

Lust becomes an idol. Idols have to be torn down. But the ultimate solution to lust is the beauty of Christ Himself. Until Christ becomes more beautiful to us we will always seek something less to satisfy our craving for beauty. The problem is that craving will take us somewhere that will destroy all that we were intended to enjoy.

Romans 1:24-25 states, Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”