Beauty matters

Excertp from Dr. Weber’s blog. Why Beauty Matters for Balance Against Brokenness

We teeter on the edge of freedom and fear.

Dealing only with broken pieces keeps us deprived, holds us back. The beauty is too extravagant. I can’t justify it. It’s unrealistic, unreachable. I can’t enjoy it because it’s overshadowed by the darkness and brokenness.

That’s why Jesus came. His love and beauty set us free.

He brings light into our darkness. He makes beauty from ashes.

And only the Spirit of God can release us, open our eyes and hearts to see all that Christ is, what He provides for us through the Cross. What He promises to do in us, in the new Heaven and the new earth – is goodness and beauty. Images of fresh flowing rivers, life-giving fruitful trees, no more pain and tears – instead peace, love and laughter.

Beauty matters. The beauty of Christ’s transforming life in us matters.

We can’t escape the pain, darkness, brokenness and vandalizing.

But then we open our lives to the Holy Spirit, holding on to our visions of God paying the price, transforming and empowering us now and finally making the whole of creation anew – with love, joy, peace, hope – and beauty.

 

Henri Nouwen reminds us that “every time we show compassion to a suffering person, every time we arrange a bouquet of flowers, offer care to tame or wild animals, prevent pollution, create beauty in our homes and gardens … we are making the vision come true…Whenever it comes alive in us we will find new energy to live it out, right where we are….this beautiful vision gets us involved.”

 

Live out the Beauty.

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Here I am down on my knees again…

It’s been a bumpy month with the kiddo. Some days, I just want to having a crying sesh and I know that would do me good. But one thing that sustains me is His loving Presence. He is near. He cares. I surrender.

Here I am
Down on my knees again
Surrendering all
Surrendering all

Find me here
Lord as You draw me near
Desperate for You
Desperate for You

I surrender

Drench my soul
As mercy and grace unfold
I hunger and thirst
I hunger and thirst

With arms stretched wide
I know You hear my cry
Speak to me now
Speak to me now

I surrender
I surrender
I wanna know You more
I wanna know You more

Like a rushing wind
Jesus breathe within
Lord have Your way
Lord have Your way in me

Like a mighty storm
Stir within my soul
Lord have Your way
Lord have Your way in me

Like a rushing wind
Jesus breathe within
Lord have Your way
Lord have Your way in me

Like a mighty storm
Stir within my soul
Lord have Your way
Lord have Your way in me

Like a rushing wind
Jesus breathe within
Lord have Your way
Lord have Your way in me

Like a mighty storm
Stir within my soul
Lord have Your way
Lord have Your way in me

Lord have Your way
Lord have Your way in me

I surrender
I surrender
I wanna know You more
I wanna know You more

Wrapping Up Fall Semester

Final Exam #1 just happened. I’m fully aware I couldn’t have done this semester in my own strength because most mornings i wanted to hide under my bed and eat hot cheetos and thought WTH was i thinking going back. But God once again supplied me with all that I need and carried me through by His grace and power of His Word reminding me  I can do everything that  I need to do through Christ who strengthens me; regardless of my story, status and situation. To my Heavenly Daddy, I love you and thank you for being with me.

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

phil 4.13

 

Lead Me, Holy Spirit

One of my favorite authors and teachers in faith is Stormie Omartian One of the women whom I admire and look up to. She has written many books on power of prayer that have sold million copies. Recently I purchased her latest book called Lead Me, Holy Spirit. It was so refreshing, I read 120 pages in one setting and wouldnt ‘t have put it down if I didn’t have to.

It’s so important for us to know the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We pray in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit but aren’t mindful of how God is near and wants to be a part of our daily lives and guide us into the life He has for us. When we read the book of Acts in the Bible and are amazed at the work of the Holy Spirit that’s done through the disciples what we fail to realize is that we can do the same kind of work int he kingdom of God because we’re given the Holy  Spirit if we believe in Jesus.

Many people are fearful of the works of God or His Spirit because they have heard creepy church stories. I personally have not seen anything freaky or creepy about our church or the things who believe in God do. I’ve actually been able to see how the Holy Spirit has brought joy during difficult times and has given peace in place of fear and has transformed lives, including my own.

The most important thing is God doesn’t tranform us to some alien “spiritual” creepy mystical being, yet He makes us more like ourselves so we don’t walk aroud with masks on and pretending to be someone we’re not.

Here is what the book looks like if you’re interested and I wanted to share Stormie’s video about the book below.

Lead me, Holy spirit

Love and Blessings,

Elle

Divorcing Religion

If anyone thinks himself  to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and  does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religious  service is worthless (futile, barren). —James 1:26

Sometimes it seems that religion is killing people. There  are many who are seeking a relationship with God, but the religious community  tells them what they need to “do” in order to be acceptable to Him. This   religious spirit was alive in Jesus’ day, and even though He died to put an end  to it and bring people into close personal relationship with Himself, the Holy  Spirit, and the Father, that same spirit still torments people to this day—if  they don’t know the truth.

Religion says, “You must find a way, no matter how  impossible it may seem. You had better follow the rules or suffer punishment.”  But relationship says, “Do your best because you love Me. I know your heart.   Admit your faults, repent of your mistakes, and just keep loving Me.” – Joyce Meyer

Being an Armenian and from the first nation to accept Christianity, Armenia – we as people are much more religious than we are in a relationship with the God we claim to believe. We follow man-made traditions we have created like baby christening for the name of God but are clueless to know God and what baptism means to Him in our Lord Jesus Christ. For instance the Bible says

water baptism, as taught and demonstrated by Jesus, as the way for
believers to identify with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

We live in motions of going to church maybe for Christmas but for sure Easter, and doing other stuff on the side like wearing the evil eye charms but are not living lives that reflect our beliefs in fact it almost contradicts everything written.

I was raised in a home that taught right from wrong and was taught to believe that no matter what I do God is watching me. I was given the idea that in order for God to love me, I had to be good and if I wasn’t, I should be expected to be punished. Not knowing the truth, I lived in fear and torment whenever I did make a mistake or didn’t live up to the rules and standards that my parents had made for me. Just like everyone else, we actually practice withcraft without knowing it like reading cups, cards, wearing evil eye jewelary, hanging from our car, cross hanging at our house and our necks but No Christ in our hearts or seen in our Lives.

It wasn’t until after high school, that I decided to dig deep to the roots of my faith Christianity and make sense of this confusion. I realized this deep longing inside of me that no one and nothing else could fill. I had a good family and lacked no good thing but there was an emptiness inside of me that i knew only God could fill.

I was all alone in my room on a Saturday morning, when I invited God to show himself real to me. And He did by surrounding me with the warmth love as if His arms were really around me & filled my heart with so much joy and peace all at once that I couldn’t deny him. That’s when the desire in me to want to go to church, want to read the Bible to know Him better birthed. I could now have conversations with him inside my home, in my car and fellowship with other believers at church in which all reflected His love and character for His children in all races and nations.

It’s been almost 12 years since I started my journey with God and He has changed my idea of Him.

I had to divorce religion, in order to know God.

With love & blessings,

Elle

 

Thrive: Aiming Higher

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

This Sunday, our pastor continued with the teaching on Thrive series. I love going to church, learning practical stuff that I can apply in real life! Here are some of my take aways.

Our Heaven Fatherly loves us SO much and He wants all the best things and experiences in life for us. Just as when a mother or a father holds their baby in their hands, the desire in them to give their baby the best of everything comes to life and unconditional love even when the baby is incapable of doing anything with their tiny little selves. That’s how our Heavenly Father sees each and every one of us. He has chosen us to be fruitful in life because ultimately that will bring Him glory!

I thought about how majority of us settle just for the good enough or just enough to get away with it, get by, survive and sometimes we might even feel bad if we want more or achieve more because we’re afraid of success or how other people might look at us and call us selfish. But God wants us to FLOURISH. He wants us to Aim higher. Have the best life now. He wants us to be connected to HIM so that HE can bless us abundantly.

In the book of John, Jesus says “apart from me, you can do Nothing.”

Really made me thing about that and I realize I can do stuff apart from Jesus like I can do Ok, I can make money, I can pay bills but IF i don’t have the blessing of God in my life, God’s protection, God’s hand, those things DON’T last. When God blesses, He blesses with an EVERLASTING fruit that comes with joy, peace and ABUNDANCE.

Don’t be afraid, to step up, aim higher. We’re not meant to just get by, we’re born to THRIVE.

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.: John 10:10

to love & obey

If you love me, you will obey what I command (John 14:15)

I used to feel so much pressure reading that verse because I’d think Oh snap, I made a mistake and a fool out of Jesus, God is gonna doubt my love for him now and people are going to think and say she’s a hypocrite! Look at what she is saying, wearing and doing that’s the same girl who says believes/loves God?! What a hypocrite.

Many people are afraid of God because growing up they’ve been taught to fear God and if they do something wrong, they expect to be punished. If you bring up God in conversation, you can see how many people leave the room so quickly. At least, that’s how I was raised to see God as a grumpy old man who sits and judges people all day long. Many people don’t want to do the Jesus/church thing because they ALREADY know they can’t KEEP all the commandments. No one can. Jesus did. That’s why we need HIM.  I’m so thankful, over the last 12 years, I have come to know the truth and have been set free from the legalistic, religious views!

So many people are trying to get close to God or win God’s approval by doing the right things like going to church and reading their bible or doing good deeds. God is not impressed nor does he require all of that in order for him to love you. He loved you before you were even born. He might not approve or like certain behaviors and actions because ultimately they are not good for us but He loves US and delights in US.

I used to think that if I love God then I need to OBEY all his commands to show or prove God and others that I love him. Isn’t that how we’re raised in our families? It’s all conditional. What do you have to offer to ME? or I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine. That’s why it is hard to believe because sounds too good to be true that God really loves us no matter what but it’s TRUE!

I relate my married life to my relationship with God. There are things that i know if I were to do that would make my hubby happy and even though I might not like that thing, I do it with gladness! Same is true with God. I love God so I obey him because it makes Him glad. No extra effort needed or guilt if I didn’t do something. He is not going to love me more or less.

This past year especially, I have come to know God in a newer way. A way that I can relax. I don’t have to keep all the rules. He is cool with me. I can be myself. It’s sad that some folks assume you lose your personality when You become a Christ follower. I have found out that I have actually been able to become more like myself since I’ve starting following Christ.

Our society hides and masks but  God reveals and sets free and loves.

He loves you no matter what!

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how high, and how deep his love is.

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Ephesians: 3:18-19

God’s Tattoos

I have three tattoos and each one is meaningful. I have one representing my marriage, faith and my baby girl. No matter where I go, they go with me. Same is true with God’s presence. We don’t have to try hard to get to God. He is with us. We are like God’s tattoos.

I’d like to share today’s Joyce message.

God’s Tattoos

by Joyce Meyer – posted September 14, 2012

Where could I go from  Your Spirit? Or where could I flee from Your presence? If I ascend up into  heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol (the place of the dead), behold,  You are there. If I take the wings of the morning or dwell in the uttermost  parts of the sea, even there shall Your hand lead me, and Your right hand shall  hold me. —Psalm 139:7-10

Sometimes we try so hard to get into the presence of God,  but the truth is that it is impossible to get away from Him. He is in constant  pursuit of us. You may sometimes feel that the Lord is not near, but that is  why knowing the Word is so important.

The prophet Isaiah brought a complaint before the Lord,  reporting that His people were saying: The  Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me. [And the Lord answered] “Can a woman forget her  nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget  you. Behold, I have indelibly  imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands (Isaiah  49:14-16).

Parents did not originate  the idea of keeping pictures of their children handy—God carries a picture of  His children everywhere He goes. The next time you question your self-worth,  remember that God has your picture tattooed on the palms of His hands.

From the book New Day, New You by Joyce Meyer.

All things

Today, is my second week back to school.

I think I’m starting to get the hang of things. I was able to get into the swing of things in class today.

I’m certain this power word is going to get me through this season.

Philippians 4:13

Amplified Bible (AMP)

13 I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who [a]infuses inner strength into me; I am [b]self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].