Experiencing love

– ‘He cannot ravish. He can only woo’

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‘The enemy wants cattle to finally become food;  God wants servants who can finally become sons. The enemy wants to suck in; God wants to give out. The enemy and all his ways are empty and would be filled; whilst God is full and overflowing. The aim of the enemy’s war is to draw all  beings into himself, but God wants a world full of people united to Him, but still distinct. -…. He cannot ravish, He can only woo”

– This piece of writing is out of the book The screwtape letters by C.S Lewis that I’m reading at the moment. (Had to change some words, but that’s pretty much how it is in the book)

I was on the verge of knocking out and just as I read that section my energy levels surged from 0-100 real quick haha… I love it, esp. that line ‘…He cannot ravish. He can only woo’ – in other words, God cannot make us love Him, yet He is always trying to gain our love. Gosh, it gives me butterflies thinking about how humbling and amazing that is; the One who is love wants to gain love!?…Wow. I had to share that before I knock out for real, hopefully it had an impact on you as it did me.

Oh, and if you can check out the full book ‘The screwtape letters’ by C.S Lewis. The book is made up of letters written from a senior to a junior devil. It’s definitely a creative and interesting way to get to know the way the devil wants to occupy everyday living, but I have to admit it’s a struggle to read. It’s hard because it’s written from the perspective of the devil, so it takes a while to comprehend what is going on; sort of messes with my head a bit. I was given it to read a couple of months ago but after a read the first few chapters I put it down and left it sitting for a couple of months lol. For some reason, I feel like I need to finish reading it, and I’m glad I am. Even though it’s a bit of a fight to read, I’m starting to appreciate the blessing of it. I mean, it might not be for everyone, it may not even be the way I am describing it, but check it out.  I definitely recommend it.  It’s almost funny as well, so don’t be put off by the way I’m sharing it to be.

The God we serve has everything in the palms of His hands, just remember that today.   Keep remembering that the Creator of the Universe is in Love with you, so you have all you need.

Enjoy the new week! God Bless!

The trade of a Heavenly God.

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It’s been a while since I’ve been captivated this much by poetry.  For a while now, I’ve had Isaiah 61: 3 lingering in and out of thought.  Had a moment with God about this verse, and it was convenient that He lead me to the poem.  (Click here for full length ) I’ve only posted some of the poem that really spoke to me.

“I kept my fist closed in secret, hating those ashes yet unwilling to release them. Not sure if I should.  Not convinced it was worth it. Marring the things I touched and leaving black marks everywhere, or so it seemed.
I tried to undo it all.  But the ashes were always there to remind me that I couldn’t.  I really couldn’t.  But God could.
His sweet Holy Spirit spoke to my heart one night in tearful desperation. He whispered, “I want to give you beauty for your ashes.  The oil of joy for mourning.  And a garment of praise for your spirit of heaviness.”
I had never heard of such a trade as this!  Beauty for ashes?
My sadly stained memory for the healing in His Word? My soot-like dreams for His songs in the night? My helpless and hurting emotions for His ever-constant peace?
How could I be so stubborn as to refuse an offer such as this? So willingly, yet in slow motion, and yes while sobbing, I opened my bent fingers and let the ashes drop to the ground.”

When I think about God’s love, among all the other things God has stepped in to do for me, I also find the most majestic comforting from the verse Isiah 61: 3.  I haven’t quite looked at this verse as raw as I do now after reading that section of poetry.  There is something about the verse that is so refreshing for the soul.

I wanted to feel the captivation the author of the poet felt when they found light in the verse, so I looked into it.  I probably only scratched the surface of the meaning.  The word ashes is defined traditionally as a grayish-black residual left after something is burned.  In parts of the old testament, ashes were a symbol of contrition.  Don’t fully quote me on this, but in some parts of Isaiah it’s as if ‘ashes’ was a sort of simile to worthlessness, or shame.

  1.      “to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes”

I had to really think about the beauty of this verse before I realised why it resonated with me, and all the levels of my experience of Godly, fatherly love.   I think about moments of my past, and the the enemy’s exploit of my vulnerability and openness to harm.  I think of the times I’ve traded His care and mercy for the petty things.  Considering all that, with any type of feeling of unworthiness, and any more slips and falls; it is almost unfathomable that here is a God who readily trades for all of that, in order that I wear this crown of beauty.  To wear and show the world that I am a product of this kind of grace, that nothing would or could ever limit God’s love for me.  There is a healing to this that, with many other things, keeps me in awe of God.

Had to share this, because I know somewhere, someone reading is needing the same sort of comfort or a reminder of what they have gained by allowing love, forgiveness and joy take over life.  The verse is awesome, but so is the poetry piece.

Thankyou Jesus, and thankyou poetry, hehe

Have a good weekend! God Bless xo

Beauty from ashes ♥

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Know your worth

You are precious and God treasures you! You want to know why? He made YOU in His image.  Can you take a minute to grasp that for a bit? – The Creator of Life. The definition of Love. The one whose Glory is defined as a radiation beyond gems, the giver of Life whose majesty transcends creation itself, has said that you are made in His image (Genesis 1: 27)
Wow.
  Let that sink in. because that my friend, put’s a value on your life, your whole being.  Don’t let the world rob you of how magnificently precious You are.  Be you. Don’t pursue your insecurities, because Our God makes no mistakes.
  Comparison is a thief. You lack nothing short of the way God has creatively formed You from birth.
 
You are His dwelling place 🙂

Just a little side note (or maybe a long one, lol). When there is ever I time I feel  like I need a pick-me-up, I ask God to show me something beautiful.  I kid you not, I end up seeing a flower, randomly.  So, when your heart needs it, ask God to show you something beautiful.  I’ll push it to the next level of cliché and ask you to look into the mirror, but then again, I know that doesn’t work for everyone haha, so trust God to show You something. Then put on your faith-glasses (lol), and let whatever that is, engrave.

Have a good weekend!

God + me.

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You have to know something about me to understand why I take random events, or things that appear out of nowhere, really serious.   I struggle to ask for help, and so I have a tendency to solve matters, esp personal to me, myself.  My family and friends over the years have continued to help me open up more, and slowly (…but consistently lol) I am learning to be okay with being vulnerable, and openly weak .  I think God is totally understanding about it, He realises that I need a bit of help so I am convinced that He’s gifted me this ability to see the beauty and significance in the ‘randomness’ of things or insignificance of it.  So when I share something about what someone else has done, what I’ve come across, or experienced, don’t think that I say it just because, lol truly guys, it doesn’t have to be captivating to you, but wow,… it is so captivating to me.  #okayenoughGiovanna  #lol

..I am convinced God knew I’m the worst at investing proper time to watch a sermon, lol but man it’s true when people say that if God needs you, He’ll chase you, haha.  And if you have kept up with the last two posts I did, You’ll see that God is definitely chasing me in terms of helping me appreciate, learn and have engraved on my mind and heart, His love for me, as oppose to mine, for Him..  So I’m going to post this sermon up that found me this morning (lol), right before I was about to go about the day 🙂

It’s just as funny as it is true haha..

Have a good day!

How do you know God loves you?

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The same way I came to know about this song, is how I hope you recieve this post 🙂

.   I remember a couple of weeks ago I was so spiritually weak, I felt frustrated with God.  I saw everything at a stand-still, and I saw nothing moving, no change.  My frustration was in God because I couldn’t see what He was doing with me and what He needed me to do, or even, where He was taking me.  So I asked Him, ‘Lord, I can’t say much to you right now, because I don’t know what to say.  Please reveal to me something…” And right away, I heard a noise at the TV and I turned it on to a pastor who asked His congregation: “Do you, really know, how much God loves you?  When I tried to answer the question, the only way I knew how to, was according to my knowledge of scripture, and to my own understanding.  But, there in my attempt to answer, I realised; I didn’t quite know, and I felt God tell me that in order for my faith to work, I need to focus not on how much I loved God, but on how he loved me.   But in my mind, how was He going to do that!?  …..

I can’t answer that question right now because there’s more to this than I’m understanding.  But ever since I allowed myself to rest in Him, He has shown me;  so far, in the changes I’m seeing, in the peace I’m feeling, what I had posted about in the previous post I wrote, and now, in the confirmation of the song shared by my friend- who probably didn’t know before she shared it that it would inspire me to share this.  It’s amazing, how alive things become when you see God in everything.  Even if You are someone who is going through a rough time right know, and this is the last thing you want to read, I encourage you; without making you sweep your problems under the mat, get on your knees and trust in your struggle! I posted in some earlier posts, that suffering joyfully meant that you believe that God cannot give more than what you can handle.  I still believe He doesn’t, when it’s in His strength that you tackle your suffering.  But, now, after my own fair share of problems lol, I also believe that God gives you more than what you can handle, not because He’s a mean God who demands that you do things a certain way in order to experience His love, but because He needs You at the weakest, in the moments where you are frustrated with Him, or lost, or empty.

So thankful I got to hear this song! Let the words soak you in a bit. If someone asks you why you believe in Jesus, why you believe in the Bible, you tell them the reason that has made you lay your life down.  You tell them about the moment you got on your knees because when you had nothing left, God came and swept you up from any shame, abuse, lies, insecurity, temptation, guilt, confusion or loneliness.  If they ask you, but how can you prove that our God is living?  don’t give them words if you don’t have any, show them through the way you do life or hope to live life according to the gospel.  Whilst you feel you have nothing to show for it, God is soo merciful that even the worst of sinners, He’s allowed into His kingdom!!

(As you can probably tell, this song has really spoken to me, lol, thanks Sonia!!! :D)

Have a good rest of the week! God Bless!

The Letter.

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Welcome to the best month of the year…. not that I’m bias because I was born in this month lol but anyway, going to reblog a post from someone whose eye for the arts and creativity I’ve always admired. The author reminded me in this post that somewhere out there is someone praying and waiting! Just as God is praying and waiting to pour His love abundantly and unconditionally! This is worth the read!

Valentines day.. ;)

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I was curious about Valentines Day and how it all started and interestingly enough, I found out that Valentines Day was first celebrated by Christians.  Back in the Roman days a guy named Valentine was prosecuted and tortured trying to fight for Christian marriages.  He believed in Christian marriage and tried to marry soldiers but the Emperor was angered by this because he felt soldiers who were single were more stronger. Cute though… the emperor must of known that males are weak to the knees to the power of love haha the power of it, oh goodness.

But anyway, Valentines in NZ isn’t celebrated as much as it is celebrated In somewhere like the U.S. Maybe it’s because people out her in NZ aren’t so open about it. or maybe being lovey dovey is private, sensitive thing for the people out here… or maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about so I better stop lol.

Even though I don’t know a whole lot about relationships, I think the celebration of valentines is a beautiful thing.  Sometimes I think it’s more of a celebration for the female counterpart lol but hey, it is what it is.. hehe This year for valentines I randomly found myself spending it with God.  Randomly because, like every year I forget, no joke.. I didn’t plan to be up and reading His word, enjoying some alone time with God, and it wasn’t until I started praying the first thing that came to mind was ‘Happy Valentine’ hahaha sort of funny when I think back now. I kinda delight in realising that I got to spend the first few hours of Valentines with God… even though for my own reasons, I can’t ever say ‘Happy Valentines Jesus’ it doesn’t sit right with me, but I don’t have anything against Christians who say it, honestly lol

Anyways, for the fact that it was Valentines two days ago (NZ time)I wanted to post up this spoken word a friend of mine shared with me a while back.  I want to write about godly relationships one day, but I don’t know if I know enough about it yet to share publicly.  But watch this, it shares so much truth.  Ultimately though, I believe that when it comes to finding ‘the one’, God should be the start and end.  I love that the desire to find ‘him’ or ‘her’ brings people before God.  It’s a special and really important desire God placed in our hearts, and I believe that if any girl or guy seek that type of union, it should be done the proper way… in the hands of God who defines Love 🙂 So tempted to go on another tangent about this but I won’t… lol have an awesome day today! Happy belated Valentines and thanks for reading! (oh and thank you Brent Rice for  the creativity of you have with words that inspire other people to get to know a love like God’s… even though I’m not sure if he’s reading this hahaha thank you)

God Bless x