Tag Archives: Beautiful

My Beautiful – A Ghazal

The Form for All lesson over at dVerse Poets Pub today is on the ghazal and Samuel Peralta’s ghazal sonnet. I immediately found it to be a very interesting poetry form and decided to try writing one. Mine is not a sonnet because it is more than 14 lines, and I didn’t pay any attention to meter. The refrain I settled on is “my Beautiful,” which refers both to the fact that Jesus is my Beautiful Savior and that I am His Beautiful child (since my first name is Spanish for beautiful).

My Beautiful

In my lost and wandering youth
my soul did flee my Beautiful

During numberless crazy times
I saw only me, my Beautiful

In the darkness of past days
I could nary see my Beautiful

Take this cup of grief from me
I echo Your adamant plea, my Beautiful

With joy I did learn of Your sacrifice
on the cursed tree, my Beautiful

I knew in my heart of hearts
Your grace is the key, my Beautiful

Alive and found by My love
Your soul set free my Beautiful

My greatest desire for all my days
is to glorify thee, my Beautiful

In Your strong and lovely voice
You call me Linda Lee, my Beautiful

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Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

God Knows Me

I could just have easily titled this post God’s Timing Is Perfect, but I want to focus on the real lesson I learned from a recent encounter with God.

Starting about two months ago, every time I would hear the song Beautiful by Mercy Me I would think of a friend and feel a nudge from the Holy Spirit to email a YouTube link to this encouraging song to her. This happened seven or eight times in the course of two months. Each time I didn’t follow through. Until the last time when I replied to God is an exasperated voice (in my head), “Fine, I’ll send her the link.” And I did.

I sent the email on a Friday evening, then worried that maybe I shouldn’t have. I know this person is a Christian, but because of our relationship I wasn’t sure it would be well received. I should have known better with God involved.

On Sunday I received a reply email thanking me for sending the song link and saying that it held a message she needed to hear right then. “Sometimes timing is everything,” she wrote.

This is why I could have titled this little post God’s Timing Is Perfect. But what I learned from this is so much bigger. I learned that God knows me better than I know myself. He knew that I would not follow through on His nudge the first time it came, nor would I do so the second time. In fact, He knew it would take seven or eight nudges before I would throw up my hands in frustration and finally give in.

I believe that God’s hand was in this whole situation. Each time I heard this song it was part of a shuffled playlist on my iPod. My biggest playlist that includes this song has over 450 songs and the smallest has 178, so the odds that this one song would come up so many times were pretty amazing.

I had no idea when would be the right time to share this encouraging song, but God knew exactly when my friend would need it most and what He needed to do to make sure I shared it at that time.

And now I want to share this song with you all today as a reminder that you, too, are beautiful in His eyes.

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Lifting Up Jesus: How to Grow His Church

This past weekend I was listening to Audio Adrenaline in my car. The CD I was listening to has the song “Beautiful” on it twice, and with several trips to various places I managed to hear that song probably 7 or 8 times. The lyrics of this song took my thoughts in 2 entirely different directions, both of which I want to share today. But first, a video of the song:

The first direction this song took my thoughts was based on the lyrics:

Your name is, beautiful
It drips off of my lips like drops of gold

There are so many beautiful names of Jesus in the Bible. Prince of Peace, Son of God, Spotless Lamb of God, Savior, Lord, Son of Man, Immanuel (which means “God with us”), the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, and more. Each of these beautiful names truly does drip off of my lips like drops of gold. As the name of Jesus is on our lips, we become a blessing to others and to those who do not know Him.

Which brings me to the second direction this song took my thoughts in, based on the lyrics:

When I lift You up they come running
When I sing Your song the world’s turning to You
Just the sound of Your name is a beautiful thing
I love You, I love You, I love You

A couple of years ago I was on the leadership team at my old church. We were talking about ways to increase membership in the church, and someone suggested we turn to a consultant who helped churches with church development and growth based on a program called “ABC’s of Natural Church Development.” This program was based on an extensive survey of churches around the world to determine what made people join churches and stay there. It was a pretty good program that identified the 8 characteristics of growing churches as:

  1. Empowering Leadership
  2. Gift-based Ministry
  3. Passionate Spirituality
  4. Effective Structures
  5. Inspiring Worship Service
  6. Holistic Small Groups
  7. Need-oriented Evangelism
  8. Loving Relationships

But as we went though the steps outlined in this program to determine which of these two areas our church was weakest in, I kept thinking that there was something missing, but that it was also more complicated than it needed to be. It seemed to me that 2,000 years ago Jesus told us what was needed for church growth. It was the method He employed and that the apostles employed with great success. After God the Father had spoken from heaven that His name had been glorified and would be again, Jesus said:

“Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”  He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. John 12:31-33 (NIV).

Jesus drew people to Himself through His willing sacrifice for our sins, through His divine love revealed when He was lifted up on the cross. He did not say it was His great teaching or example that would draw people to Him. He did not say it was effective church structures that would draw people to Him. He did not say it was empowering leadership that would draw people to Him. He did not say it was inspiring worship services that would draw people to Him. He did not even say that it was loving relationships that would draw people to Him.

Now don’t get me wrong. I believe the characteristics set forth in the ABC’s program are important for a church. And men and woman who are in love with Jesus, who are truly sold out on His love and sacrifice, should and will work to exhibit these characteristics in their congregations.

But when it comes to church growth, to adding numbers to the church membership roll and Christian souls to the Kingdom of God, the way to do that is to lift up Jesus. We must lift up His name and His sacrifice on the cross, and by doing so we will draw people to Him. They may not join our particular congregation, but that should not necessarily be our aim. Our aim should be to draw people to Jesus Himself. Once drawn to Him, He will do the work necessary to inspire His believers to gift-based ministry and need-oriented evangelism. He must be the center of all that the church does and teaches. We must do as Paul wrote to the church in Corinth:

Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:22-24 (NIV).

When we lift Him up, they will come running. Let us never forget the power of the name of Jesus Christ and Him crucified to draw people to Him for their own salvation.

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Filed under Faith, Family, Jesus, Life, Music, postaday2011, Service

Music Monday Extra – Beautiful

I already posted my article for Music Monday, but then on my way home I was listening to MercyMe. When the song “Beautiful” came on, I felt this prompting from the Holy Spirit to post it as a Music Monday Extra. This is for all of my friends and family who might be having a bad day or feeling down. It’s a reminder that you are BEAUTIFUL to Jesus! :)

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