~~Picture form the beautiful Coronado, San Diego
Did you know that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you? You are more powerful than you can imagine. What is your burden today? What consumes you? What steals your joy? You are filled with so much powerful and you can tell the enemy, "you can't touch me not today, not ever."
~~Picture form the beautiful Coronado, San Diego
You are the best of the best. When was the last time you told that? Well, it's about time you did. God created you in his own image. Need I say more? I don't think so. 😀
~~Silver Creek Country Club
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident at all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil 4:4-7).
As I am writing my paper for my New Testament studies at Fuller Theological seminary. I am reminded that I chose the most awesome scriptural verses quoted above. Paul, while in a Roman jail, which is awful as it is, and awaiting his statement, possible for execution, how was he able to write about joy and mentioning the word 16 times in a short letter? It is because of his deep relationship with the Lord that helped him focus only on the finish line and not on his troubles. Don't lose heart if life seems to be tough at times. Your best days are ahead. Despite your situation, like Paul, I hope you will rejoice everyday because God has created a beautiful world for us to proclaim his everlasting love to us.
~~Hellyer Park, San Jose
This past weekend, I decided to visit "God's country". Some call it Wine country because of the dozens of wineries and vineyards. I am speaking about the beautiful Napa Valley.
Last summer, Napa valley experienced a very bad fire hazard. The fire literally scorched 67,000 acres and dozens of wineries. Today, as you can see in the picture, it is a beautiful sight to behold. The fire's intention is to damage the beauty. What the fire did not know is that the ashes it leaves behind is nutrition to the soil. I could not believe that miles and miles of beautiful mustard flowers were all around as if they were saying, "what doesn't kill us makes us stronger".
I don't know what you are going through today, but I know that our awesome God is going to make something beautiful out of your situation. God does not waste pain. Romans 8:28.
~~Picture - Napa Valley
One of the my favorite holidays is Valentine's Day. The reason is because, in this world, we hear so much about breakups, divorces, and fights. Very seldom, except in movies, TV shows and songs, we hear about love. Even the Bachelorette show star Clare thought she found the one in Dale only in week 4 and everyone was happy for her but only to breakup months later. Yet, Valentine's Day gives us hope. If we are willing be patient, kind and not self-seeking, love will find us. Don't give up; love will find you when you least expect it.
~~Golden Warriors' Stadium, SF
Happy Black History Month!
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that."
~~Martin Luther King, Jr.
It is so easy to return evil for evil. God knows that there are so many people all around us who push us the wrong way. I know that it is not always easy to walk the road less travelled. As the former First Lady Michelle Obama put it, "When they go low, we go high." I have tried this and it is the most liberating feeling. I pray that God would continue to fill our hearts with grace so we can be light to those around us.
~~Photo: Pebble Beach, Carmel
Did you know that you are a gift to this world? When you were born, God wrapped you and put a bow on you and presented you to the world. By the time your journey on this earth ends, this world would be a better place because you were not in it. Like with any journey, this journey starts with a single step. Try to make an impact on one person, a family member, a friend, a neighbor, and before you know it, you would impact the whole world.
It's Time To Say Goodbye to 2020
What a year it has been! The fact that I got to write this newsletter and that you are now reading it means that we are blessed to be alive. We have so much to be thankful for. With all the sad and grim news of 2020, I have seen the hands of God work miraculously. For that, I am deeply grateful.
I would like to share with you two Bible verses that were instrumental to me in sustaining my joy and peace in the midst of this year's calamity. Isaiah 44:10 says, "The mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will NEVER end; I will keep forever my promise of peace." What a promise that is. Regardless of what happens, knowing that his love is eternal and unchanging, can help us stand firm even in the darkest of days.
The second Bible verse is from Psalms 16:8, "I keep my eyes focused on the Lord; with him at my right hand, I will not be shaken." This promise is conditional. In order not to be shaken, we have to do one thing: keep our eyes focused on God. Of course, the enemy would want to steal our joy and distract us. Yet, if we want God's best in our lives, we need to stay focused on God.
Everything that happens in our lives, whether it is good or bad, is there to help us be our best self. Seize each moment and ask God to help you capture the lesson in every situation.
I would like to wish all of you a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year!
Sehin Belew, Former Miss Ethiopia's Smart Guide to Beauty, Health and Fashion (Annotation Press, 2008)