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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Great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved

God’s Voice of Love

I’ve never quit loving you and never will.

Expect love, love, love and more love. Jeremiah 31:3 The Message

Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again. Great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.

Loved for ourselves. Even loved in spite of ourselves.”

Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Lord help me to let go and let you Love me like you want to.

Lent – 40 Day Journey of God’s Renewal

“Aren’t you, like me, hoping that some person, thing, or event will come along to give you that final feeling of inner well-being you desire? Don’t you often hope: ‘May this book, idea, course, trip, job, country or relationship fulfill my deepest desire.’ But as long as you are waiting for that mysterious moment you will go on running helter-skelter, always anxious and restless, always lustful and angry, never fully satisfied. You know that this is the compulsiveness that keeps us going and busy, but at the same time makes us wonder whether we are getting anywhere in the long run. This is the way to spiritual exhaustion and burn-out. This is the way to spiritual death.”
 ― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World

There is something beautiful about the 40 days of Lent. There is peace. joy. giving. love. All that makes up the characteristics of God Almighty. There is nothing sweeter than the presence of God. Daily Bible Reading. Staying Connected to Him in prayer throughout the day. I love talking to him about everything and knowing that he cares about everything that concerns me.

I’m willing to give up the things that are wasteful and useless and in place draw closer to him without all the noise that fills up my days.

Lent for me is a time of surrender, giving it all up for the One Who gave His Life for me. It is a time of renewal, reflection of what Christ did for me and mankind.

It is more than just not eating certain things or doing certain tasks, it is depending on him for all that my heart desires.

It’s a time to check my heart condition and I’m not talking about the physical heart but the emotions the conditions of my soul.

It is a time of me giving my pains, disappointments to God and asking him to heal me and fill me with his love because nothing else will do.

It is a time of letting go and letting God love me.

As long as I keep running about asking: “Do you love me? Do you really love me?” I give all power to the voices of the world and put myself in bondage because the world is filled with “ifs.” The world says: “Yes, I love you if you are good-looking, intelligent, and wealthy. I love you if you have a good education, a good job, and good connections. I love you if you produce much, sell much, and buy much.” There are endless “ifs” hidden in the world’s love. These “ifs” enslave me, since it is impossible to respond adequately to all of them. The world’s love is and always will be conditional. As long as I keep looking for my true self in the world of conditional love, I will remain “hooked” to the world-trying, failing,and trying again. It is a world that fosters addictions because what it offers cannot satisfy the deepest craving of my heart.”

“solitude begins with a time and a place for God, and God alone.  If we really believe not only that God exists but also that God is actively present in our lives– healing, teaching and guiding– we need to set aside a time and space to give God our undivided attention.  (Matt 6:6)”

As I continue with the reamining of the 40 days,  I will do what will create more room for goodness and give room for God to come in.

His Truly,

El

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

All I need is Jesus and a good pair of jeans

I’m currently loving and may I say hooked on Susanna Foth Aughtmon ‘s blog Confessions of a tired supergirl and re read her book All i need is Jesus and a good pair of jeans almost three times in one week. It’s that good! She has me laughing and crying at the same time with her honesty and humor.

She will be the guess speaking at Media City Church Arise Women’s Conference next Friday and Saturday. I’m so excited about it as this will my very first Women’s Conference. If you’re in the Burbank area, check out the link for more info and come check her out. You will love it and don’t want to miss it. Arise Women’s Conference

I want to leave you with a little taste of Susanna’s writing from her book All I need is Jesus and a good pair of Jeans.

We tired girls like to have a system. We are looking to make our lives meaningful by the things we do, whereas Jesus’ life was meaningful because of who he was. The things he did, the miracles he performed, the teachings he gave, the love that he poured from him, came from the fact that his whole being was immersed in the presence of God, all day, every day. And the whole process of being, jailed, crucified and resurrected from the dead means that we can also be immersed in the presence of God, all day, every day. Since Jesus took on our sinfulness and gave us his righteousness, there is nothing keeping us from hanging out with God, being available to Him and being who God meant us to be. We no longer have to try to cram him into one neat little section of our day; we can let him overflow into every nook and cranny of the year. We can open ourselves up to his direction, his presence, his peace from Monday in the office through Sunday evening small group. We don’t have to rely on what other people think we should be doing our how much time we should allot to our spiritual upkeep. (101-102)

Time with God is about healing and giving life, not about keeping rules or maintaining others’ expectations.

Grace,

El

 

9,10,11, 12 Thanksgiving

#9 thankful for the city for reconstructing & finally opening the 5N Hollywood Way exit to my parents’ place. Makes my dropping off Emma in the mornings so convenient.

#10 thankful for Facebook for it has reconnected me with my Elementary school girlfriends, helps us stay in touch with our families & friends in Armenia, Russia, Iran, Australia, & other countries. I Love sharing and being connected.

#11 thankful for all of our veterans. Regardless of your views on war, there is no doubt that in our country we are surrounded by brave men and women who have served their country with honor. My heart & gratitude goes out you & your families as well. Thank you.

#12 thankful for God’s Word, The Bible. God’s love letter to us- All scripture is God-breathed, living and active, useful and relevant & has been tested from generation to generation.  I can’t think of anything that the Bible doesn’t cover. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and light to my path” Psalm 119:105

O Lord that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness. ~William Shakespeare

 

Angry Coversations With God

Friday night, I had the privilege of going back as a guest to the Solo Show: Angry Conversations with God at Two Roads Theatre performed by the very funny lady, actress, comedian and writer, Susan Isaacs. I’m so lucky to have become friends with her! I can call her my friend now because she recognizes me and knows me by name and we’ve exchanged tweets back and forth! ha! 🙂

The first time I went with hubby a few weeks ago and then told my friend about it and she wanted to go. I invited my mom to come along with us because I knew she’d love it and she sure did!

They have extended the show because of sold out tickets. For those of you who don’t know about the show, here is some info and strongly recommend it! Go see it!

Susan E. Isaacs’ Angry Conversations with God: The Solo Show, a comedy based on her book “Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir,” premieres at Two Roads Theater in Studio City, CA, Sept. 14.

 

Written and performed by Isaacs (“Seinfeld,” “Parks and Recreation,” “My Name is Earl”), the limited engagement, directed by Matthew Corozine, continues through Oct. 13.

Here’s how the work is described: “When Susan, a 40-something Hollywood actress, finds herself jobless, loveless and living over a garage, she begins to question her faith. After an uptight church friend tells her to think of God as her husband, Susan sarcastically decides takes God to marriage counseling to see if they can keep it together ‘for better or worse.'”

Angry Conversations is based on Isaacs’ personal and professional conflicts as well as her combative history with what she calls “corporate Churchianity.”

 


“I have been testing material for this show in front of religious and secular audiences, and I am excited about its wide appeal,” said Isaacs in a statement. “I ask some significant religious questions, but you don’t have to be spiritual to ask yourself: What’s my purpose? What is my heart’s deepest longing? What do I do with tragedy? Well, in my case, middle-class white-girl’s tragedy.”

 

Angry Conversations with God: The Solo Show will be performed Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM.

The Two Roads Theater is located at 4383 Tujunga Avenue in Studio City, Los Angeles, CA. For more information and tickets, call (626) 789-6590, visit SusanIsaacs.net or click here.

 

 

heaven is real

I believe in heaven because Jesus believed in heaven. Also because C..S. Lewis said it best:

If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.

Just read this fascinating article about a doctor who was in coma, got to see the after life and his reports of it.

Heaven is Real

The Bible talks a lot about heaven. Here are some verses.

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (NIV)

1 Corinthians 15:54-57
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(NLT)

2 Corinthians 5:8
Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.(NLT)

Philippians 1:22-23
But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me.(NLT)

Believers will dwell with God forever.

Psalm 23:6
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.(NIV)

Also:
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Jesus prepares a special place for believers in heaven.

John 14:1-3
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”(NIV)

Philippians 1:21
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (NIV)

Revelation 14:13
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them!” (NLT)

 

Philippians 3:20-21
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (NIV)

After their physical death, believers gain eternal life.

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (NIV)

 

Revelation 21:1-4
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away … I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God … And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (NIV)

 

1 Corinthians 15:50-53
I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. (NIV)

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.