beloved
Learning to love and be loved from the One who is Love.
  • Story behind "You Make Me Brave" by Amanda Cook

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  • Four Ways You Can Help Christians in Iraq

    Posted on August 13, 2014

    This week hs been absolutely heartbreaking. It’s hard to know where to start responding to everything in the Middle East at the moment, particularly in Iraq.

    Here are four ways you can support those suffering in Iraq and the Middle East.

    1. Pray. 

    Our first (and most important) response to persecution should be to pray. The Bible is full of the prayers of faithful people crying out to God. David encouraged the Israelites to pour out their hearts to Him (Psalm 62:8) because He is our refuge. God’s word is full of verses that can help us pray through these kind of circumstances.

    We are calling for a Day of Prayer for Iraq on the 23rd of August.

    Many meetings are taking place around Australia, and the world! Open Doors Australia Youth are running an all agesevent in Sydney. 

    2. Be informed.

    Having a truthful and genuine understanding of the situation that our brothers and sisters are facing is one of the best ways to love and support them. By knowing what’s really going on, we can pray more specifically, give more thoughtfully and tell their stories with more integrity and passion. By following this blog, you can keep informed and updated.

    3. Give.

    We are currently calling for donations for the Middle East. IS (Islamic State) is operating across Iraq, Syria and beyond, and thousands of people are fleeing to neighbouring countries. We want to be equipped to deal with this tragedy as it affects the whole region, not just one country. You can give online – please specify “Middle East” in the comments section allowing us to use your gift where the need is greatest in the Middle East region. Please also consider giving to global persecution where most needed around the world.

    4. Tell their story.


    Open Doors has designed
     a shirt with the ن symbol on it as a starting point for conversations about Iraq. You can pre-order one of our shirts now with this symbol on it. We pray that it will be a symbol of unity, a conversation starter, a way to turn you into a walking declaration of the gospel and those suffering for it. All profit goes towards Open Doors’ work in the Middle East.In Mosul, Christian homes were sprayed with the Arabic letter ن – the letter representing ‘N’, for Nazarene, or Christian. Social media has gotten behind this symbol with the international #WeAreN campaign, as a sign of solidarity for Christians in Iraq. We want to stand with them, and make sure people know about the suffering they are going through to raise support and prayer. We have also changed our profile picture on social media to ن to show solidarity with Christians in Iraq.

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  • “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:26)

    Stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters suffering in the Middle East.

    Pray for the persecuted. Also, pray for those who are persecuting the Christians; that they would encounter the miraculous, life-transforming love of Christ. 

  • athenagracee:

    i’ve always known about the word, ‘agape,’ the greek word for a selfless, spiritual type of love. but a few months ago i heard a different word for love.

    ahăbâ.

    Set me as a seal on your heart,
    as a seal on your arm.
    For love is as strong as death;
    ardent love is as unrelenting as Sheol.
    Love’s flames are fiery flames —the fiercest of all. 
    {Song of Solomon 8:6}

    ahăbâ is a hebrew word, and here is used to indicate that “ahava” is as strong as death. This type of ahava love is unshakeable and unchanging; it flows straight from the heart of God Himself.

    in marriage, ahava love cannot be broken by anything other than death. it is a type of love that goes beyond circumstance. it remains constant and steady in the valleys and mountains of life. come fire or flood, sickness or health, poverty or wealth, suffering or prosperity, ahava love is changeless. ahava love knows the sin and failing and brokenness of the other, and says, ‘i’ve seen the ugly parts of you, but i’m staying.’

    If I get married, I know I will marry a sinner. He will many times fail to pursue my heart, treat me with respect and holiness, lead me in the word, and love me with this ahăbâ love. but the more God instills within me His ahăbâ love for His church, the more I want to be fiercely, ferociously faithful to my husband all the days of my life. I want to saturate our relationship with ahăbâ.

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  • "This is the gospel, the welcoming heart of God. God cheers when we come to Him with our wobbling, unsteady prayers. Jesus does not say, ‘Come to Me, all you who have learned how to concentrate in prayer, whose minds no longer wander, and I will give you rest." No, Jesus opens His arms to His needy children and says, ‘Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28). The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness.Come overwhelmed with life. Come with your wandering mind. Come messy.”

    A Praying LifePaul E. Miller

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  • Audrey Assad
    Good To Me
  • Because You are good to me

    (Source: inspiringgobbledygooks)

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  • "God is doing a greater work in us, and that can only come as we learn to trust him no matter how dark the days and sleepless the nights. And it is only as we have been through the darkness with him that what we know with our heads slides down into our hearts, and our hearts no longer demand answers. The Why? becomes unimportant when we believe that God can and will redeem the pain for our good and His glory…. When I put the sovereignty of God beside his unfailing love, my heart can rest."
    Verdell Davis
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  • You Are Enough

    "Lord," I asked, "why do women feel as if we’re not enough?"

    It seemed I heard a whisper in response: "Because they’re not."

    For a moment I thought I had some holy static happening.

    "Excuse me, God, it sounded like you said we’re not enough. Could you repeat that, pretty please?"

    Again, gently and firmly, “You are not enough.”

    By then I started thinking perhaps my heart had dialed the wrong number and the devil was on the line. But in that pause it seemed God finished the sentence: “You are not enough … in me you are so much more.”

    We are much more than pretty … we are wonderfully made.

    We are much more than likeable … we are deeply loved.

    We are much more than okay … we are daughters of the King.

    I think the enemy tricks us into believing we are not enough because he knows if we discover the truth, we’ll be unstoppable.

    More than anything else, the lie that we’re not enough is what trips women up when we struggle. I’ve seen it happen again and again as a life coach and counselor as well as in my own life. The reason is that as long as we believe we’re not enough, we also believe we have to make up for it. So instead of running to Jesus, we flee to self-improvement, trying harder, exhausting ourselves. But there is a better way. Receiving. Letting God fill up our “not enough” with his infinite love, grace, and strength until we’re overflowing. “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3).

    In Christ, we have everything we need. We are all we need to be. We are rescued from ourselves and from that question that haunts us, “What’s wrong with me?” Instead, we can ask, “Who’s within me?” The answer is an infinite God who knows no limits, who hung the stars in place, who hears our every prayer and directs our every step. He offers a fullness that can’t be taken away by bad days, weak moments, or even life’s greatest tragedies. Yes, we grieve. Yes, we face loss. Yes, we let people down and let people go. But in all of this, who we are is not diminished because the One within us can’t be diminished. That never changes, no matter what.

    You are enough.

    -Holly Gerth

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  • "The remarkable thing about God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else."
    Oswald Chambers  (via jag24)

    (Source: set-apartgirl, via anardentaffection)

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  • You captivate my heart, O Lord.

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  • (Source: anendlesslabyrinth)

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  • Worth The Wait

    There’s been this lingering sense of yearning in my soul, like a longing for some sort of a change— for things to speed up the way I envision them to be. Which then, at times I find myself in a state of discontent and dissatisfaction at the place where God has placed me here and now.

    Am I willing to wait upon the Lord and trust in Him and His promises to submit and obey to His will?

    It is a spiritual battle within my heart; like two natures – one lower, one higher: the flesh and Spirit. (Galatians 5:17) And more often than not, I tend to listen to the desires of my flesh, succumb, and fail. This is an issue I am actively learning to fight. 

    If keeping Christ at the center is the way I find ultimate joy in Him, I am deeply convicted. I must learn to surrender every area of my being to Christ, so that I will be able to rest in the fact that He is sovereign and that He will lead me in the way He sees I’ll be most sanctified. No matter the unanswered questions and uncertainty I carry within myself, I will wait and trust in the Lord.

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  • "And this is where we need to pause. Because we are starting to redefine Christianity. We are giving in to the dangerous temptation to take the Jesus of the Bible and twist him into a version of Jesus we are more comfortable with.

    A nice, middle-class, American Jesus. A Jesus who doesn’t mind materialism and who would never call us to give away everything we have. A Jesus who would not expect us to forsake our closest relationships so that he receives all our affection. A Jesus who is fine with nominal devotion that does not infringe on our comforts, because, after all, he loves us just the way we are. A Jesus who wants us to be balanced, who wants us to avoid dangerous extremes, and who, for that matter, wants us to avoid danger altogether. A Jesus who brings us comfort and prosperity as we live out our Christian spin on the American dream.

    But do you and I realize what we are doing at this point? We are molding Jesus into our image. He is beginning to look a lot like us because, after all, that is whom we are most comfortable with. And the danger now is that when we gather in our church buildings to sing and lift up our hands in worship, we may not actually be worshiping the Jesus of the Bible. Instead we may be worshiping ourselves.”

    Only on the first chapter and I am already challenged.

    Ready to be wrecked.

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  • "16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self his being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
    2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (ESV)
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