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2 hours ago

Holy Beautiful

Mary’s Prophetic Song:

And Mary sang this song:
“My soul is ecstatic, overflowing with praises to God!
My spirit bursts with joy over my life-giving God!
For he set his tender gaze upon me, his lowly servant girl.
And from here on, everyone will know
that I have been favored and blessed.
The Mighty One has worked a mighty miracle for me;
holy is his name!
Mercy kisses all his godly lovers,
from one generation to the next.
Mighty power flows from him
to scatter all those who walk in pride.
Powerful princes he tears from their thrones
and he lifts up the lowly to take their place.
Those who hunger for him will always be filled,
but the smug and self-satisfied he will send away empty.
Because he can never forget to show mercy,
he has helped his chosen servant, Israel,
Keeping his promises to Abraham
and to his descendants forever.”

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1 day ago

Holy Beautiful

Holy Beautiful Sunday Selah Advent/Joy

Advent means arrival, or coming. During the Advent season much of the church worldwide meditates on the arrival of Christ in three dimensions: his arrival as an infant (the incarnation); his daily arrival in our hearts; and his future arrival when all things are restored. Advent is a time to get back in touch with the ancient longing for God to arrive, move among us, and restore all that’s lost or broken.

Advent 2019 // Week 3 // Joy

We invite you to join us each day in this simple liturgy for the third week of Advent, which centers on the theme of joy. Before you begin, put away for the moment anything that may distract you (like your phone!) and pray:

For these few minutes, Lord, I release to you all the pressing concerns, responsibilities and demands of my life.
At this moment I choose you and you alone.

After praying, take a mere 60 seconds to be still, silent, relaxed and receptive before beginning the liturgy.

Opening Prayer
Father, Son and Holy Spirit –
Thank you that you welcome me to this advent season once again.
Thank you for the invitation to pause and open myself to your joy.
Renew my mind as I reflect on your goodness.
Refresh my heart as I savor your presence.
Replenish my soul to vigorously follow your ways.
Come Holy Spirit and bring your life-sustaining joy.

Psalm for the Week
You’re my rock, Lord, so I’m praying to you. Don’t turn a deaf ear to me.
If you’re silent and don’t answer, I might as well give up and die.
Hear my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help,
as I lift my hands imploringly toward your holy sanctuary.

[pause]

I praise you, Lord!
You heard my cry for mercy!
You’ve shown yourself to be my strength and shield!
I’ll trust you with all my heart.
You came to my aid, and I’m so elated
that songs of thanksgiving pour from my lips.

(Psalm 28.1-2, 6-7, paraphrased & personalized)

Gospel Reading for the Week
As you read this Advent passage during week three, ask God to illuminate and enliven your imagination so that you can, in a sense, join the shepherds on this night of nights. Sink back and take in the night sky, the stars, the evening air, the soft murmurs of sheep at rest, perhaps a small campfire. Feel the satisfaction of a day of work done, even a mellow onset of drowsiness as sleep approaches … just like every night before for as long as you can remember.

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that’s meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.” At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him

.(Luke 2.8-14, The Message)

Allow yourself time loiter, ponder and meditate on the text through the week. Let the Spirit guide your prayers. But if you need help, here are some prompts and questions you can chew on. Less is more. Pick just one for each day, and feel free to repeat any question.

The arrival of this child is called “a great and joyful event that’s meant for everybody, worldwide.” Reflect for a moment on how this joy showed up for you or was expressed and felt when the news was, in fact, brand new.

Where do you experience joy now, perhaps after many years of following Jesus?

A significant part of the joy, exhilaration and wonder evident in the words of Mary, Elizabeth, Zachariah, Simeon, Anna, the shepherds (and likely many more) was that finally, after centuries of waiting and hoping, God was decisively on the move. This child would be the vessel through which the world order would change and the reign of God would be established. Where do you need (or think you need) God to show up for you? What are your expectations for that in-breaking? Whatever you feel you need, and whatever expectations you have, sit for a moment with the Lord and ask, “How do you intend / want to show up for me, Lord?” What do you hear?

Depression in the Western world is pandemic. Take a moment to think of those around you who are currently depressed and lack a container for joy. As they come to mind, pray for them. Consider sending them a message saying something like, “I was just thinking of you and praying for you. You matter to me.” If the person is within reach, offer an embrace. Express whatever love, encouragement and companionship the Spirit gives you to offer.

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father-in-Heaven,
May you always be enthroned in our hearts and reflected in this world through our lives.
Let your intention for us be realized completely, at the cost of all we falsely love.
May we always rely on you for our true needs, trusting your loving provision.
Forgive us for the ways we’ve fallen short;
and give us the grace to always let others off the hook.
We are weak and prone to wander.
Oh, have mercy, dear Lord!
Find us when we’re lost, and rescue us when we’re trapped.
Protect us from the evil one.

We say here and now that you are
King of the Everlasting Kingdom,
the High and Omnipotent God,
the All-Glorious One.
This is what’s most real, what will always be the truth. Amen.

Closing Prayer
Lord, I so want the greatest source of my joy to be rooted in your arrival and faithful accompaniment. And I so want to see you breaking into this world, shaking things up, liberating your entire creation, causing joy to erupt. And may that begin in me, O Lord. Amen.

Written by Sustainable Faith 2019
Photo @everlinet on Instagram

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2 days ago

Holy Beautiful

Habakkuk 2:3

3 The message I give you waits for the time I have appointed. It speaks about what is going to happen. And all of it will come true. It might take a while. But wait for it. You can be sure it will come. It will happen when I want it to.

As this year is winding down, I find myself looking back and reflecting on all the happenings in my life. Looking at things I have accomplished, ways God has worked in my life, things I have lost and things I have gained.

Which led me to looking through my journals. I sat reading all the thoughts I had written about what I felt God was showing me, prophetic words that I had been given over the past few years.

I looked at things that have been fulfilled and words that still remain and wonder when they will come to pass. I asked myself about the timing and if Gods plan for me has changed but I am was reminded Gods Word is truth and never changes.

I found peace in that moment that no matter what happens or has happened in my life I can count on Gods Word and that He will fulfill His promises as long as I continue to follow after Him.

Oh how comforting it is to know that Gods Word is our guide and when we have been given a prophetic word more fully confirmed, spoken from God, it will be carried along by the Holy Spirit. When you have a Word confirmed cling tight to it, even when those around you insist you lay it down, you hold fast, for God will fulfill that Word or promise.

There will be well meaning people that will try to guide you in the “right” thing to do but God’s Word comes first. Hold fast to truth don’t lay down your passion for fleshly needs because His Word is the light that leads your life and when you make your light a person vs. God’s Word you get off course.

Out of fear, people will try to steer you and even use the Word. When His Word is confirmed and burning in your heart, you pursue it with all the passion you have. Because the moment you let man’s word be your guide you lose your sight, lose your direction, lose your passion, and veer off course.

I just want to encourage you this morning that God is not finished. Life may have happened but Gods Word is truth and His plan for you has not changed. Remember that as your looking back on 2019 and let hope fill your hearts.

At His Feet,

Sheila Millinder
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3 days ago

Holy Beautiful

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4 days ago

Holy Beautiful

Waiting

I'm often guilty of rushing straight from Thanksgiving to Christmas, barely taking time to clear the turkey from the table before I put up our tree and start wrapping gifts. While I know you understand the excitement of Christmas and how it permeates our homes, I want to be more deliberate this year in my Advent experience.

I want to sit with the Waiting.

The Advent season is an intentional time set aside to prepare for the coming Christ child, to clear the clutter of my thoughts and heart and spend time waiting.

I don't enjoy waiting. I'm not always very patient, and I sometimes feel like waiting is a waste of time. Who can honestly say they enjoy waiting in line, waiting for your turn at the DMV, waiting for a package (hello, Amazon Prime? I need my stuff NOW!) or waiting for our teenagers to come home after a school activity. I would rather not sit and be "in" the waiting; I'd rather fill my thoughts and time with busy activities. While that may be acceptable in the situations I've named here, it should not be our practice regarding Advent.

I should not fill my mind and my time with "busy" activities to distract me from the idea of Waiting for the Christ child. I need to practice sitting with the Waiting, being mindful of the Waiting, breathing into the Waiting.

As I focus on the Waiting, I focus on the One we are waiting for. The Child King, the Redeemer of the Nations.

"The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.
In those days and at that time
I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line;
he will do what is just and right in the land.
In those days Judah will be saved
and Jerusalem will live in safety.
This is the name by which it will be called:
The Lord Our Righteous Savior.
---Jeremiah 33: 14-16

Let us sit in the Waiting with expectant hearts,
Shari Finkler
Holy Beautiful Ministry for Women

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4 days ago

Holy Beautiful

#HARMONY
Advent is a season that calls us to learn how to live in harmony with one another as we wait together for the promised coming. In Romans, Paul speaks of the oneness of like-minded believers as a means to accomplish God's will. But this does not mean that we abandon our individuality. We are like the single notes on a musical scale and, when we are played together in Christ, we form a musical chord. But our harmony is impossible apart from Christ who calls us to act with one accord, to speak with one voice, to be in accord with one another.

The Very Rev. Billy Alford (VTS '92) is the rector at Saint Alban's Episcopal Church in Augusta, Georgia.

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5 days ago

Holy Beautiful

Walk His Ways

“How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways.” Psalm 128:1

“Praise the LORD! How blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in His commandments.” Psalm 112:1

“How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD.
How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart?
They also do no unrighteousness. They walk in His ways.” Psalm 119:1-3

Lord,

I’m blessed today. I’m fully alive and in good health.
Help me walk in Your ways today.
I am delighting in all Your precepts.

In Jesus’ name, I boldly pray. Amen

#HolyBeautifulPrayer #HolyBeautifulScriptures #HolyBeautiful
Holy Beautiful Ministries, 2019, Adriana Morales Spokane
Photo Courtesy: Clarissa Meyer @ Unsplash
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5 days ago

Holy Beautiful

“Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men”
Luke 2:14 (KJV)

Lord,
Help us to give You glory during our celebrations and our saddest moments. You charge us to be like Your Son in all that we do. Please help us to remember Your timeless and unchanging goodness at all times, just as He did. Help us to glorify Your name by being kind to all, even if they are unkind to us. Help us to bring peace, even when life is so chaotic around us. We love You. We praise You. We lift up and give glory to Your name in every situation.
We ask this in the Name above all names, the Prince of Peace, and Your Son, Jesus.
Amen

For His Glory,
Melisa

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Written By: Melisa A. Custer
2019 Holy Beautiful Ministry for Women
Photo Credit: Thomas Lipke via UnSplash
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6 days ago

Holy Beautiful

Dominion

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: Psalms 8:3‭-‬6 KJV

Prayer for dominion.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for giving us dominion over all the works of thy hands. We take dominion over every sickness. We take dominion over every infirmity. We take dominion over every contradiction in our lives right in the mighty name of Jesus!

We declare divine breakthroughs. We declare divine favour. We declared divine increase. We declare divine destiny help.
We declare divine peace

Manifest your Glory in our lives Lord.
Manifest your Power in our lives Lord
Manifest your Grace in our lives Lord
In the mighty name of Jesus we pray, Amen

Caroline Atuzarirwe, 2019 Holy Beautiful Women’s International Ministry

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6 days ago

Holy Beautiful

I Hear His Whisper...
Step closer to my eternal flame.

My kingdom is alive. Always growing. It blossoms from deep within you, producing faith, gratitude, and unparalleled beauty. As you lay hold of eternal life, it manifests with undiminished hope. Go forward. Step closer to the eternal flame. Learn the lesson of my servants, Paul and Silas, who found a sanctuary of praise even in a prison cell. Lift up your voice with no thought of the past and set your heart on the joy that is before you. Let nothing silence your songs of praise and let nothing stand in your way, as you pursue the quest for more of my love.

My kingdom is paved with love. Come. Be lost in wonder. Be overwhelmed in my presence. Be tender in heart as you come before me. I will show you things that eyes have never seen nor ears have ever heard. I have given to you the revelation secrets of my kingdom. What wealth is yours! Come, as Moses came to my burning presence, and be overwhelmed in the flames of holiness. What glory you will experience as my eternal flame burns brightly in you.

Song of Songs 8:6
The Passion Translation

Fasten me upon your heart as a seal of fire forevermore. This living, consuming flame will seal you as my prisoner of love. My passion is stronger than the chains of death and the grave, all consuming as the very flashes of fire from the burning heart of God. Place this fierce, unrelenting fire over your entire being.

Whispers written by Brian Simmons and Gretchen Rodriguez

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Holy Beautiful Ministry for Women 2019
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1 week ago

Holy Beautiful

Eternal Peace:

Recently I turned 49. I really enjoyed my birthday this year. I was finally at peace.

However, for almost five years my birthday was a horrible emotional trigger. No matter how hard I tried I could not enjoy it.
Old memories that were extremely painful haunted me and robbed my of any joy on my special day. I had to struggle to smile through each “Happy Birthday” and pretend to be enjoying myself... the whole time secretly begging God to let the time of the day pass so I could reach tomorrow.
Even weeks before my birthday I would start having panic attacks just in the anticipation of being brought back into the memories of that time in my life.
No matter how hard I tried to climb the ladder to reach peace I fell back down in despair.
Until I realized I did not have to try to climb it.
Because the ladder was Peace.

In Genesis 28:10-22 we find Jacob searching for God. However, God came pursuing him.

God came to him in a dream.
He dreamed of a ladder that stretched from heaven and earth and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
God appeared and gave him the promise of Immanuel. God with us.
God would be with him no matter what ... just like God is with you and I always.

Then in John 1:43-51 we get even a fuller understanding of Jacobs dream. Jesus says the angels were ascending and descending not on a ladder, but on the Son of Man.

Jesus IS the ladder.

He is the only thing that is the gap between heaven and earth.

He is PEACE.

He is a God that comes down to His people.
I did not have to fight to climb to find Him.

He has been there the whole time.
In every tragic event of my life. He was there.

The Christ was born and came down for all of us.
Why ?
To bring us eternal PEACE.

I didn’t need to beg... or climb or search.
I had Him all along and so do you.

I pray you open your eyes this Christmas season to the peace that surrounds you.
For He is always there.
Amen

Love
Jennifer

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1 week ago

Holy Beautiful

Holy Beautiful Sunday Selah: Second Sunday in ADVENT : Peace

We encounter Selah seventy-four times in the Bible.
It is often thought of as a pause or break, a “stop and listen” moment, or an opportunity to, “pause, and calmly think of that,” as the Amplified Bible urges.

Every Sunday we will take a moment for Selah. A moment to pause with quiet reflection, prayer and worship.

New beginnings seem to appeal to all of us. A fresh start, a clean slate, a second chance—something about this concept moves a place deep in our spirits.

Please join us here in this space on Sunday’s.

TITLE: EXPERIENCING CHRISTMAS PEACE
December 8-14

In this age of anxiety the world seems filled with a slow but steady uncertainty that things are falling apart and on the verge of collapse. Information gleaned from technology continually bombards us with both personal and global crises. Seven hundred years before Christ, Old Testament prophets proclaimed one who would come to assuage the immobilizing fears of a troubled planet. Their message is as relevant in the 21st century as it was almost three millennia ago. Jesus, “The Prince of Peace,” came to this earth in humble circumstances and lived a life of humility in order to restore mankind’s severed relationship with God. He did this so that we might experience wholeness and peace, a peace that surpasses “all human understanding.” The inner peace that Christ provides is not of this world. It is a rest and tranquility in the midst of turmoil that can be attained only by abiding in the “God of Peace.” As we shall discover this week, peace plays a prominent role in the Advent adventure.

Sunday, December 8
Title: THE PRINCE OF PEACE
Scripture: Isaiah 52: 7, Isaiah 9: 6-7

How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

Poetry:
Descending Theology - The Nativity
By Mary Karr

She bore no more than other women bore,
but in her belly’s globe that desert night the earth’s
full burden swayed.
Maybe she held it in her clasped hands as expecting women often do
or monks in prayer. Maybe at the womb’s first clutch
she briefly felt that star shine

as a blade point, but uttered no curses.
Then in the stable she writhed and heard
beasts stomp in their stalls,
their tails sweeping side to side
and between contractions, her skin flinched
with the thousand animal itches that plague
a standing beast’s sleep.

But in the muted womb-world with its glutinous liquid,
the child knew nothing
of its own fire. (No one ever does, though our names
are said to be writ down before
we come to be.) He came out a sticky grub, flailing
the load of his own limbs

and was bound in cloth, his cheek brushed
with fingertip touch
so his lolling head lurched, and the sloppy mouth
found that first fullness—her milk
spilled along his throat, while his pure being
flooded her. (Each

feeds the other.) Then he was left
in the grain bin. Some animal muzzle
against his swaddling perhaps breathed him warm
till sleep came pouring that first draught
of death, the one he’d wake from
(as we all do) screaming.

THE FEET THAT COME IN PEACE

Feet stink! And they look weird. Missionaries’ feet in particular can be gnarly - toenails deformed by fungus, the contour of the skin reshaped by calluses that form over miles and miles of tough terrain. Yet our passage from Isaiah asserts, “How beautiful are the feet of them who bring glad tidings of peace!” I remember meditating on this passage once when attending a Linguistics Conference with other Wycliffe Bible Translators…and giggling as I pondered this passage while examining the feet in the room.

Feet anchor us to the earth, and therefore they get “earthy”, and dirty and muddy and even feces-coated in many parts of the globe - where sanitation means: “get that XXX out of the house and into the street.” Yet the prophet asserts, “How beautiful are the feet of them who bring glad tidings of peace!”

Jesus’ feet were beautiful once - baby smooth and sweet. Surely Mother Mary kissed them over and over again as she tended and cleaned her baby boy: “Sweet feet, sweet little feet.” But she’d have known the reality of the dirt and splinters that were coming once He started walking in that carpenter’s home. His feet would grow and change, and be changed by the pounding of the earth as He traveled dusty roads proclaiming the Good News of peace.

Jesus cared about feet, too. There are a surprising number of stories about Jesus and feet:

Walking on water, hiking from village to village, disciples listening at His feet, having His feet washed with tears, and of course– Jesus washing the disciples’ feet, knowing that His own feet would soon make their last journey in the dirt, and soon be ripped and shredded by nails on the cross. Our icon shows us the reality of where the nail scars are now permanently present and on display there on His glorified body: Jesus in Heaven, seated at God’s right hand, His work completed. Jesus is still fully God and fully man. Fully human! There in Heaven are His feet, scars and all. There are His beautiful feet that were worn and torn as He proclaimed God’s salvation, and torn open by the nails as He became God’s salvation. There are His wounds that brought and bought our peace.

Think of the incarnation miracle represented by Jesus’ feet! Consider this Advent the action of our great Savior who humbly poured Himself into the body of a Man complete with earthy feet. He literally took on the form of His dirty creation! The Creator joined His creation in order to re-create new life for us through His sacrifice of His body. Ponder the mystery of the molecules of His skin cells and sweat and blood becoming part of the humus and DNA of this world, this cosmos. Bow and worship this Lord.

And remember that His feet will once more walk this Earth. He will return to rule and reign and save all of us who have believed the message carried by those with beautiful feet. Know today, that as you go and tell the Good News of Peace into the dirty street – your feet are beautiful. Our song today provides great walking music, so sing as you go. As you go, you are presenting your body to God just like He presented His body to you: you are being like Jesus. We “image” our Lord Jesus in this way. We are a people of peace with beautiful feet.

Prayer:
Lord, I present myself to you, including my feet. Send me where You want, to proclaim Your peace and Your presence today.
Amen.

Betsy A Barber, PsyD
Associate Director of the Institute for Spiritual Formation
Associate Professor of Spirituality and Psychology
Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

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1 week ago

Holy Beautiful

"And out of God’s great love for us, He sent Jesus. And out of Jesus’ love for God and us, He obeyed… to the point of dying a painful death on the cross.

I am so thankful for this reminder of what Love did for me and for you. This is our model of laying our lives down; real love is actions not words or a feeling.

We cannot miss this truth. Out of God’s great love, it was His will for Jesus to leave heaven, to live a humble life, and to die for our sins."

I am also in awe at the obedience of Mary, Joseph and Jesus. I am reminded that walking out something hard does not always mean it is of the enemy or that we have done something wrong and are in disobedience. Our life in Christ isn't always going to be easy. Do we think it was easy for Jesus as His Father said you must go and die for all my other children so that my will is fulfilled in the earth.

If that was me, in my flesh, I would have felt rejected, unwanted and unloved because my eyes would have been focused on self. But Jesus love was selfless. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” – John 6:38

He knew there was a bigger picture. That it was not about His comfort but ours. He traded His life for ours. He gave up everything so that we could live in the same covenant with the Father that He did.

What a beautiful picture of how we should love.

My friend posted this on her blog...."How often am I willing to take less so that someone else can have more? How often am I willing to give up the seat, to give up the right, to forego that item so money could be spent helping someone instead? How often am I willing to lay my life down in love for someone else? To have less so that others can have more?"

I am stuck right here. Do I look at what He can give me or am I focused on what He can do through me for others.

My heart feels these questions hard. Am I willing to go through the hard things for the sake of obedience? I have been through some hard things and walked them out but not without moments of questioning, "do you really love me?" But it has always worked to my good. Even through it was painful, difficult and hard.

He came down in obedience to do the will of His Father and love made that possible. What does this verse look like in my life? How should I be following this model and walking this out? Ahhh Jesus...the perfect love we need active, alive, and working through us.
So much reflection here. Take some time to pondered how these verses touch your heart. Please share in the comments because we LOVE hearing from you.

At His Feet,

Sheila Millinder

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1 week ago

Holy Beautiful

I am His Beloved Daughter!

"John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." Luke 3:16

"So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed."
John 8:36

"Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter." Matthew 7:21

Lord,

Thanks for baptizing me with the Holy Spirit.
I am free from bondage today. Your will, Lord, not mine.

I am Chosen,
I am Redeemed,
I am Forgiven,
I am forever L-O-V-E-D.

In Jesus' name, I boldly praise,

Amen.
#HolyBeautifulScriptures #HolyBeautifulPrayer
Holy Beautiful Ministries 2019 Adriana Morales-Spokane
Photo: @ Unsplash
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2 weeks ago

Holy Beautiful

Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne

Thou didst leave thy throne and thy kingly crown
when thou camest to earth for me,
but in Bethlehem's home was there found no room
for thy holy nativity:

oh come to my heart, Lord Jesus;
there is room in my heart for thee.

Even foxes found rest, and the birds had their nest
in the shade of the forest tree,
but thy couch was the sod, O thou Son of God,
in the deserts of Galilee:

oh come to my heart, Lord Jesus;
there is room in my heart for thee.

When thou camest, O Lord, with the living word,
'twas to set all thy people free,
but with mocking scorn and with crown of thorn,
then we bore thee to Calvary:

oh come to my heart, Lord Jesus;
now thy cross is my only plea.

Heaven's arches shall ring and its choirs shall sing
at thy coming to victory;
let thy voice call me home, saying, 'Yet there is room,
there is room at my side for thee!'

My heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus,
when thou comest and callest me.
________________________________________________________
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
—-Philippians 2:6-8

Praising my King,
Shari Finkler
Holy Beautiful Ministry for Women

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Take Courage, Do not Be Afraid

"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14

"But, immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying; Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Matthew 14:27

"The angel answered and said to him, I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.” Luke 1:19

Lord,
I will not be alone this Holiday season, I've got Jesus in my heart.
I will not be afraid, I've got Jesus ahead of me.
I will not be shaken this Holiday season, I've got Immanuel who encourages me to take the next step.
I believe, help me with my unbelief.
In Jesus' name I boldly and courageously, I pray. Amen.

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Holy Beautiful Ministries, 2019, Adriana Morales-Spokane
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“For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!”
John 16:33 (TPT)

You will experience pain.

You will experience heartache.

You will see trials in your life that are explosive enough to take your breath away.

You will feel sadness.

You will. The Son of Man declared the truth of this. The trials and tribulations of this life are unavoidable.

There is something else that is unavoidable. There is something more powerful that cannot be changed, altered, or transformed. There is something stronger that is unmoving, constant, and unwavering. There is no devil chasing after you that can stop it. The lies of the enemy cannot shake Him, and His truth, from existence. For every trial in your life, whether past, present, or future, there is the certainty of God.

He is the God that was, is, and is to come.

He is the God that breathed His breath into His creation, and gave life.

He is the God that created time.

He is the God of deliverance.

He is the God of provision.

He is the God of healing.

He is the God of strength.

He is our vindicator.

He is our buckler.

He is our bulwark.

He is our Savior!

He is our Creator!

He is the King of Kings!

He is the Lord of Lords!

He is the great I Am.

HE IS!

HE IS!

HE IS!

Trials and tribulations may be a certainty, but they always “come to pass”. They do not stay.

SO TAKE HEART!!!!! Through Him:

Divorce cannot win!

Illness cannot win!

Arthritis cannot stop you!

Fear has no grip!

Depression is cancelled!

Prostitutes can be made clean!

Alcoholism cannot overtake you!

Suicidal thoughts and ideations are vanquished!

Haters are silenced!

Drug addiction is conquered!

Death has been broken!

All trials, storms, and tribulations are loosed in His everlasting presence!

You name the problem, and He has conquered ALL of it. He is the God of the victory. It is already finished. Praise God!

There is no trial that can ever conquer the greatness of our God!

So, I say, let them come! Let the problems come. Let the world turn its back on you. Let the armies of your haters try to come against you. Let them. Let the storms gather and try to hurt you. Just keep in your heart that, as the storms may gather, He that controls the wind and the waves, is fighting for you. He has promised to never leave you, nor forsake you. He has promised that no weapon formed against you shall prosper. In the verse above, Jesus declares that the weapons will form, but promises that He has already conquered all if it. That’s why you get back up after being knocked down every, single time. That’s why you make it through problems stronger, tougher, and wiser. That’s why you have compassion for people going through trials that you have dealt with already. That’s why the enemy keeps coming after you. He is desperately trying to make you forget that He , who resides within you, is greater than world, and its tribulations ever will be. He is trying to erase the memory of what God has already done in your life!

Let that sink into the very strands of your DNA.

Hurricanes come, but they always go. God is here and never changes. He isn’t going anywhere.

Lean into His presence. The Ancient of Days is with you. Love has already won.

For His Glory,
Melisa

#HolyBeautiful
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Written by: Melisa A. Custer
2019 Holy Beautiful Ministry for Women
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VERSE OF THE DAY
December 4
Job 40:1-2
1 Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said, 2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.

Word of the day:

Help
When we as Christians pray for Jesus to come again soon, we are admitting a truth that flies in the face of our cultural dependence on self-reliance. When it comes down to it, none of us are ‘self-made’ people. We did not choose to come into the world on our own. We did not choose our families of origin, our ethnicity, or our sexuality. While we were born with intelligence and with the capacity for learning, we did not arrive fully assembled nor did we come with instructions. The only instinct we had in the beginning, once our lungs were clear, was to cry out for help as loudly as we could.

-Br. Jim Woodrum
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Advent Devotional:

Wednesday, December 4
Title: CONSOLATION OF ISRAEL & REVELATION TO GENTILES
Scripture: Luke 2: 25-32
And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a Light of revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.”

Poetry:
A Song for Simeon
by T.S. Eliot

Lord, the Roman hyacinths are blooming in bowls and
The winter sun creeps by the snow hills;
The stubborn season has made stand.
My life is light, waiting for the death wind,
Like a feather on the back of my hand.
Dust in sunlight and memory in corners
Wait for the wind that chills towards the dead land.

Grant us thy peace.
I have walked many years in this city,
Kept faith and fast, provided for the poor,
Have taken and given houour and ease.
There went never any rejected from my door.
Who shall remember my house, where shall live my children's children.
When the time of sorrow is come?
They will take to the goat's path, and the fox's home,
Fleeing from the foreign faces and the foreign swords.

Before the time of cords and scourges and lamentation
Grant us thy peace.
Before the stations of the mountain of desolation,
Before the certain hour of maternal sorrow,
Now at this birth season of decease,
Let the Infant, the still unspeaking and unspoken Word,
Grant Israel's consolation
To one who has eighty years and no t-morrow.

According to thy word,
They shall praise Thee and suffer in every generation
With glory and derision,
Light upon light, mounting the saints' stair.
Not for me the martydom, the ecstasy of thought and prayer,
Not for me the ultimate vision.
Grant me thy peace.
(And a sword shall pierce thy heart,
Thine also).
I am tired with my own life and the lives of those after me,
I am dying in my own death and the deaths of those after me,
Let thy servant depart.
Having seen thy salvation.

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Embracing the Blessing

“And Mary sang this song: “My soul is ecstatic, overflowing with praises to God! My spirit bursts with joy over my life-giving God! For he set his tender gaze upon me, his lowly servant girl. And from here on, everyone will know that I have been favored and blessed. The Mighty One has worked a mighty miracle for me; holy is his name! Mercy kisses all his godly lovers, from one generation to the next. Mighty power flows from him to scatter all those who walk in pride. Powerful princes he tears from their thrones and he lifts up the lowly to take their place. Those who hunger for him will always be filled, but the smug and self-satisfied he will send away empty. Because he can never forget to show mercy, he has helped his chosen servant, Israel, Keeping his promises to Abraham and to his descendants forever.””
‭‭Luke‬ ‭1:46-55‬ ‭TPT‬‬

If you think about it, this is an astounding song to sing given Mary’s circumstances. Here she is, finding out that she’s going to get pregnant by immaculate conception (the first and last time in all of history), that she’s going to have to endure the stares and ridicule of friends and family during her pregnancy, that she’s going to have to explain the aforementioned never-happened-before conception to her betrothed Joseph, that she’s been given the responsibility of raising the literal son of God (at the tender age of 14ish), that she’s just had one of the larger spiritual targets of all time put on her back, that she’s... well you get the picture...

This young woman, not even counting what was on her plate before Gabriel’s announcement, just had <several> heaping, steaming piles of stress, drama, blessing, and holy-moly-what-just-happened-here? added to that plate. I can imagine we can all relate just a bit to her emotions at the time. Maybe not all of them, but empathy for what this woman must have been thinking and feeling is not totally unknown to us.

I’m not sure I personally would have embraced the blessing quite so quickly. As a woman and a mom I think I would have counted the cost a little bit more first- if the truth be known.

And yet this woman, this child really- counted it not. Unlike her cousin Elizabeth’s situation, there wasn’t a single question in this young momma’s mind regarding the fantastical story she just learned her part in. None- beyond asking simply how it would happen. What faith! What insight! What vision to embrace the blessing- the endgame- before the game even starts! She saw beyond the obvious issues and problems that this sort of situation would put her through. She didn’t stop to count the cost of the radical life-trajectory change she was just informed of. No. She embraced the blessing.

Mary unapologetically bragged of her elevation in God’s kingdom. She praised His plan and purpose in her life. She proclaimed His glory through her for all generations. She sang His praises, His glory, His faithfulness to all who would hear. She told of His story in her life and even within her body without fear or shame.

Mary did it right. She took God’s work in and though her; taking the ugly, the bad, and the good and lifting His Name on high.

Can we do the same? Can we see the endgame- choosing to not count the cost- and embrace the blessing instead?

Living Intentionally Fearlessly Truthfully
LIFT!
~Bethany

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I Hear His Whisper...
I will bring people to support you.

In your weakness, you discover my strength. You learn that I pour out that strength through the encouragement and counsel of others. Though I always want to be the first one you run to, I also want you to pay attention to those who truly care about your heart without agenda for themselves.

When you are at your lowest, remain before me, and I will bring people to you who carry my heart. I will place them around you to help you. I know exactly who you need in your life at the precise time you need them. Even if you haven’t found them yet, they will come. They may not come in the way you expect. Sometimes their counsel will flow through their teaching, ministry, or through a prophetic encounter. Some you will never meet in person. Some will hold you as a dear friend or spiritual parent. Regardless of how this encouragement and counsel may come, if you are willing to receive, I will bestow. Reach out to receive my strength and ask me to lead you to people who will support you.

Whispers written by Brian Simmons and Gretchen Rodriguez

Proverbs 19:20
The Passion Translation

Listen well to wise counsel
and be willing to learn from correction
so that by the end of your life
you’ll be known for your wisdom.

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Holy Beautiful Ministry for Women 2019
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Holy Beautiful Sunday Selah: First Sunday of Advent:

We encounter Selah seventy-four times in the Bible.
It is often thought of as a pause or break, a “stop and listen” moment, or an opportunity to, “pause, and calmly think of that,” as the Amplified Bible urges.

Every Sunday we will take a moment for Selah. A moment to pause with quiet reflection, prayer and worship.

New beginnings seem to appeal to all of us. A fresh start, a clean slate, a second chance—something about this concept moves a place deep in our spirits.

Please join us here in this space on Sunday’s.

HOPE

“This then is to watch: to be detached from what is present, and to live in the thought of Christ as he came once, and as he will come again; to desire his second coming from our affectionate and grateful remembrance of his first.” ~ John Henry Newman, 19th Century English Bishop

THE CANDLE OF HOPE
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” 1Peter 1:3-6.

PRAYER
“To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27

During this time of remembrance and preparation, O God, as we light the hope candle, we pray that you would help us focus our eyes on you, the light of the world. Lord, we ask that you would cause us to be ready to welcome and receive you. As your word says, that the God of hope himself, would fill us with all joy and peace in believing, abounding in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. That you would make known to us how great are the riches of the glory of your mystery. That we would realize the certainty and the hope of Christ in us, the hope of glory. And as we wait, may we observe the words of the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, constant in prayer.” In Jesus’ precious and holy name we pray.

Written by: Diane Talbot-Schoenhoff

Photo @xmasilove on Instagram

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This spoke to me and I wanted to share it with you.

I hear His whisper... "Remember"

I am the True Friend you have always wanted. So many times, when you called to Me, I answered, and I was with you. Though you are delicate I have made you strong. Remember how I set your heart on fire and gave you grace to love Me and seek Me? I am your Wrap-Around-Shield, your Strong Protector, Your True Friend.

Remember the promises that I have spoken to you and do not let them go. I promised you life, strength, healing, and power. My words will be the armour to empower you when doubts assail. Keep coming to Me and never forget the destiny I have promised you, for your inheritance is received by faith.

Your enemy knows how to wound you. He will come through the voices even of those you love. Be alert to My voice, for I have taught you to follow My voice and not the voice of another. Remember the countless times I directed you, even on a path you had never been on before. I never failed you and I never will. Remember always that I am your True Friend.

These are days of discovery. You will discover Me in hidden places and in previously unknown ways. My voice will comfort you and bring you peace. Remember the comfort I poured out upon you when your heart was broken and you did not know what to do. I was there in that hour to mend your broken soul and restore you to Myself. I am drawn to your weakness, like a river is drawn to the lowest place. I will fill you with a peace to sustain you and My love to empower you. Remember this, My beloved. I am your True Friend.

Proverbs 18:24 The Passion Translation
"Some friendships don’t last for long,
but there is One loving friend
who is joined to your heart
closer than any other!"

The Passion Translation
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Blessing after Blessing!

"Your victory heaps blessing after blessing upon him.
What joy and bliss he tastes, rejoicing before your face!" Psalm 21:6 TPT

"A new song for a new day rises up in me
every time I think about how he breaks through for me!
Ecstatic praise pours out of my mouth until
everyone hears how God has set me free.
Many will see his miracles;
they’ll stand in awe of God and fall in love with him!
Blessing after blessing comes to those who love and trust the Lord.
They will not fall away,
for they refuse to listen to the lies of the proud.
O Lord, our God, no one can compare with you.
Such wonderful works and miracles are all found with you!
And you think of us all the time
with your countless expressions of love—
far exceeding our expectations!"
Psalm 40:3-5 TPT

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“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
-Maya Angelou

For each new morning with its light, for rest and shelter of the night, for health and food, for love and friends, for everything Thy goodness sends. For food in a world where many walk in hunger; For faith in a world where many walk in fear; For friends in a world where many walk alone; We give you thanks, O Lord.

2 Corinthians 9:11: "You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God."

The Holy Beautiful Ministry for Women wishes abundant blessings on you, your loved ones, friends and neighbors.

Happy Thanksgiving

May the Peace of the Lord be with you always.

Amen

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A Song of Praise on Thanksgiving 2019

"Now I’ll worship you passionately and bring to you
my sacrifice of praise, drenched with thanksgiving!" Psalm 116:17 TPT

"It’s time to sing and shout for joy!
Go ahead, all you redeemed ones, do it!
Praise him with all you have,
for praise looks lovely on the lips of God’s lovers.
Play the guitar as you lift your praises loaded with thanksgiving.
Sing and make joyous music with all you’ve got inside.
Compose new melodies that release new praises to the Lord.
Play his praises on instruments
with the anointing and skill, he gives you.
Sing and shout with passion; make a spectacular sound of joy"
Psalm 33:1-3 TPT

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The Fork and the Giant

We have come to it. My family has arrived at a time when we are facing down a giant. We have carefully traversed this giant for six years. I have managed to put off dealing with our present issue with precision gymnastics. Every single time I have seen this train coming, I have managed to move us out of the way. It has almost become a sport to me. Sure, I leaned on the fact that there was so many higher priority things to deal with. Here we are now, though. There can be no more avoidance. I have exhausted all escape possibilities. We have to turn around and face this giant. Our Goliath has cornered us, and there is no way around it. The only path available to us now takes us through the problems. This path takes us through the storm. This path takes us into the very hurricane that I have spent tireless years trying to navigate around.

There is a distinct difference in my demeanor this time. My mood is altered towards this situation. My heart isn’t reflecting the fear of my previous experiences. I feel sharper. I feel like I have planted my sword in the ground and am forcing us to pivot. My choice is laid out before me. We can either turn and face the corner we are in, shutting our eyes in avoidance. We can close our ears to pretend we cannot hear the jabs of the enemy trying to convince us of our weakness. We could choose to cower in fear, if we wanted to. It is what we have done in the past. I have proven my skills at avoidance. I could try any number of things, out of fear, to scrape us out of this situation. As I have stated before, this giant is looming larger than ever before. This time, I believe my attempts at avoidance would lead to failure. This time, I don’t see a last minute escape hatch. This time, any attempt at running away would be futile. This time, we are backed up to the Red Sea.

So this time, I choose to turn around and fight.

This time, I choose to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.

This time, I choose to lean into what I know instead of running away out of fear.

This time I choose to let go of all the rocks, I have picked up in my travels, that are weighing me down.

This time, I am ready to climb this wall.

This time, I am not afraid.

All of the other times I have been afraid.

This time, I choose the harder path.

This time, I choose the healing path from the fork in our road.

Can you relate? Is there something that you are facing down as an individual, or a family?
Is there something that you just know you have to go through in order to move to the next stage of life? Is there something that scares you to face down? Does your giant have you cornered? Have you avoided this, for a long time, out of fear?

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, to stand firm.”
Ephesians 6:13

Stop running. Stand firm.

This time, turn around and stand knowing you have the Almighty God fighting in your corner. Realize who you are. Realize who He made you to be. I am tired of running. I am tired of hiding. Depression, anxiety, guilt, shame, abuse, avoidance, and fear are no longer the cloaks around my family. This time, we are what He says we are. You are not what you are running from, or what you have done. You are who He says you are.

Sister...He made us for such a time as this.

If you are facing down your giant, whatever it may be, you are not alone.

For His Glory,
Melisa
#HolyBeautiful
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Written By: Melisa A. Custer
2019 Holy Beautiful Ministry for Women
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