The Instagram Bible

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I won’t be long today as I am getting ready for my exams- yet, I really had to share that really short blog post by Jen Wilkin on her blog The Beginning of Wisdom; her reflection on the tendency lots of people have, because of social media (Instagram but also Facebook, blogs, and whatever app that exists), to get their “spiritual meals” on Instagram was definitely very convicting and worth reading.

It resonated with me in a particular area: I love reading blogs on modesty or scrolling through Pinterest, going from board to board and stealing modest outfits ideas. Sometimes I spend too much time there. But, isn’t modesty something biblical ? Yeah, sure. But you cannot base your whole theology on clothes. Its an element, pointing to something greater, and it can be made an idol under the pretext of godliness, at times.

See you after my exam, ya’ll !

 

 

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Prayer request…

Dear readers,

Would you please join your prayers to mine ? I read the following news this morning and though I never met Nabeel Qureshi, I read his book and I’ve been watching lots of his speeches. God used him as a tremendous influence as a Muslim converted to Christianity. Please pray, and pray for Michelle, his wife, and Ayah, his baby daughter.

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Dear Friends and Family,

This is an announcement that I never expected to make, but God in His infinite and sovereign wisdom has chosen me for this refining, and I pray He will be glorified through my body and my spirit. My family and I have received the news that I have advanced stomach cancer, and the clinical prognosis is quite grim. Nonetheless, we are going to pursue healing aggressively, both medical and miraculous, relying on God and the fact that He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.

In the past few days my spirits have soared and sank as I pursue the Lord’s will and consider what the future might look like, but never once have I doubted this: that Jesus is Lord, His blood has paid my ransom, and by His wounds I am healed. I have firm faith that my soul is saved by the grace and mercy of the Triune God, and not by any accomplishment or merit of my own. I am so thankful that I am a child of the Father, redeemed by the Son, and sealed in the Spirit. No, in the midst of the storm, I do not have to worry about my salvation, and for that I praise you, God.

Unfortunately this means I am no longer able to engage in traveling ministry for the time being. I am canceling almost all my speaking events, with a few exceptions. From this point on until such a time as the Lord might choose to heal me, I intend to blog or vlog about my journey with cancer, transparently offering my heart, thoughts, and struggles in case they might encourage others and glorify God. I will no longer be with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, though it has been an absolute privilege to be on the team for the past 3 years. My third book, No God But One: Allah or Jesus?, launched today, and I still intend to write my next book, 20 Questions Muslims Ask and the Answers that Convert Them. Beyond that, the Lord knows.

Friends and family, may I ask you to fast and pray fervently for my healing? I do not profess to know the will of the Lord, but many of my close friends and confidants are convinced that this is a trial through which the Lord intends to bring me alive and refined. May His will be done, and may I invite you to seek Him in earnest, on your knees, fasting on my behalf, asking our Yahweh Rapha for healing in Jesus’ name.

And as you pray and fast, “I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.” (Philippians 1:18-20)

For His Glory,
-Nabeel

Contentment

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I just found this acronym in a pdf on the topic of singleness. I found it helpful not only in the area of singleness per se but also in others ! 

Confess the difficulty- it is hard to give up the desires of your heart (“I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.” Jeremiah 10:23)

Overcome the « greener grass » mentality- don’t assume that the grass is greener on the other side (“But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that“1 Corinthians 7:28)

Nourish a hear of gratefulness (Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Treasure your identity in Christ (For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3)

Expect God to give you a ministry- God desires to use you in the lives of others (Humm… This one is too long to post lol ! Read it for yourself) (Romans 12:4-17)

Nurture a family of friends (A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity- Proverbs 17:17)

Trust your future to God (But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you-Matthew 6:33)

Self-realization vs knowing Jesus-Christ ?

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…that I may know Him… —Philippians 3:10

 

A saint is not to take the initiative toward self-realization, but toward knowing Jesus Christ. A spiritually vigorous saint never believes that his circumstances simply happen at random, nor does he ever think of his life as being divided into the secular and the sacred. He sees every situation in which he finds himself as the means of obtaining a greater knowledge of Jesus Christ, and he has an attitude of unrestrained abandon and total surrender about him. The Holy Spirit is determined that we will have the realization of Jesus Christ in every area of our lives, and He will bring us back to the same point over and over again until we do. Self-realization only leads to the glorification of good works, whereas a saint of God glorifies Jesus Christ through his good works. Whatever we may be doing— even eating, drinking, or washing disciples’ feet— we have to take the initiative of realizing and recognizing Jesus Christ in it. Every phase of our life has its counterpart in the life of Jesus. Our Lord realized His relationship to the Father even in the most menial task. “Jesus, knowing…that He had come from God and was going to God,…took a towel…and began to wash the disciples’ feet…” (John 13:3-5).

The aim of a spiritually vigorous saint is “that I may know Him…” Do I know Him where I am today? If not, I am failing Him. I am not here for self-realization, but to know Jesus Christ. In Christian work our initiative and motivation are too often simply the result of realizing that there is work to be done and that we must do it. Yet that is never the attitude of a spiritually vigorous saint. His aim is to achieve the realization of Jesus Christ in every set of circumstances. -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

An interview with the former Victoria Secret model Kylie Bisutti

Note: This short interview was published in 2013 on my former blog, and was translated to French. Three years after deleting my blog, I just rediscovered this interview with the former Victoria Secret’s model Kylie Bisutti, who left her career to follow Christ. She is such a humble, kind mom of two and I enjoy following her on social media, and seeing her grow more and more spiritually. I hope you enjoy this (short) interview and if you are interested in knowing Kylie’s story-more in depth this time, I’ve read her book and I think it would be a great, great encouragement and testimony for young teens… and older ladies.
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1) Hi Kylie ! Thank you for having accepted this interview. First, can you describe your family and faith backround, before you became a model ?

I wasn’t raised in a Christian home so I was not a believer when I started modeling at the age of 14. The first time I attended church was when I was almost 16 and then I got baptized shortly after that!

 2) What really motivated you to get into the modeling industry, at 14 ? What was your parents stance on this ?

My parents were very open to letting me pursue my dream of becoming a model. I was motivated by worldly things though. I wanted attention. Fame. Acceptance. Value. I thought that modeling would fulfill me… I wanted to prove to people that I was worthy. God showed me though that there is no happiness in trying to find value in worldly things. He is the only way to true happiness and a fulfilled life.

3) How was your relationship with the Lord, what did you knew about Him at this time ?

I didn’t know anything about The Lord when I started modeling. Even after I started going to church I didn’t have the right view of Christ and what it means to live for Him. I just believed that his desire for me was to have health wealth and prosperity and that he was here to bless me with it. He has changed my view of him and my heart so much though from the vain place it used to be!

 4) The pinnacle of your career was when, of course, you became a VS model. How did it all happened ?

When I was 19 I auditioned for the Victoria’s Secret 2009 runway angel competition along with 10000 other girls. I ended up being a top ten finalist to compete for the spot and ended up being voted the winner by America!

 5) Thousands of girls are looking at VS runaways and wondering, how does it feel to be a model of that level. How does it really feel ?

Lonely. Empty. Vain. Truly insecure. The night I was named the vs runway angel was one of the most insecure nights of my life. It’s the opposite of what most girls think and I talk about all of the details and emotions in my book, I’m No Angel.

 

6) When you got married, what was your husband stance on your job as a model ?

He didn’t really know much about the modeling industry. He had no clue who Heidi Klum was and what the VS fashion show was. So in the beginning he didn’t think much of it. He didn’t really become aware of it all until I started working for VS.

 7) One day, you announced that you were leaving VS. What happened, in your life so after having worked all your life to reach such a coveted position in the modeling world ?

God changed my heart. He showed me that I was on a downward spiral of insecurity and loneliness. He showed me that I wasn’t honoring my marriage by posing in provocative lingerie. He showed me that I wasn’t promoting a healthy body image to young girls and most importantly he showed me that I was not living my life for Him.

8) Looking at your Twitter, I was greatly encouraged by your walk with the Lord Jesus, and so are a lot of people, the way you seek to be a Proverbs 31 woman. Can you describe us how’s your relationship with the Lord ? How he changed your life ?
 

I am so much closer with The Lord now. I no longer look at him as a “magic genie” who desires to bless me with money and prosperity but as a gracious savior who died for my sins and who longs to give me love and promises to guide my life for His purposes. I am way more secure and confident now and so much more fulfilled in my life!

 9) You recently launched your book, “I’m no angel”, in which you tell your story, your past insecurities. A lot of girls feel so insecure because of what they see in the modeling industry, what would you say to them ?

Please read the book! I was insecure too. Super insecure. But I found hope and I found confidence and I talk about that in the entire book!!

  10) Do you have a word to say to the male readers who might read this interview ? 

The pictures you see in magazines are FAKE. They are airbrushed, photoshopped, and look way different than the model who came in to the shoot with no makeup, hair extensions, and a magic computer program that can give her a smaller waist, a bigger bust, and perfect lips.

Giving God the crumbs…

Today, I received in the mail a copy of A.W Tozer’s book, Experiencing the Presence of God, and, as Randy Alcorn, who prefaced it, be prepared to be pierced by the Holy Spirit’s conviction. 

I read the first chapter, and, quickly looking at the second, stumbled on the title Giving God the crumbs. Reading those words alone appealed to my conscience and I went on reading.

“The simple fact is that God gets the leftovers, never the main meal. God never gets anything new. He gets the hand-me-downs. We give to God that which we do not need instead of giving to Him that which we need, and thus earning a crown for ourselves. If we were concerned with our spiritual condition as we are with our homes and our businesses and our income, we would go forward spiritually at a great rate. The beautiful thing about it is that we would not neglect our homes to do it, and we would not neglect our businesses to do it. You do not have to choose between making a living and going forward with God. You can do both. There is time to do both. You do not have to choose between keeping your house decent and cooking your meals for your husband, and going on with God. You can do both”.

Saturday fun: of hats and calligraphy !

Hello ladies !

As much as I enjoy blogging, with my new internship starting on Monday, I will have to post less often… It’s almost the end of the year (it’s March already, time flies so fast it’s unbelievable), so that calls for more study time ! Anyway, it’s break time now and I wanted to write a bit.

 

Outfit of the (other) day ! 

 

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A quick outfit I wore last week. Spring is starting to come around and I am glad that except for a few rainy days here and there, heavy coats will no longer needed ! In this outfit I am wearing a passe-partout knee-lenght black skirt, a champagne shirt and a white wool jacket along with a black hat, and long mustard earrings. I just love how hats add a final touch to an outfit; you can find those wool felt hats at H and M.

 

Calligraphy !

As I am starting to look for practical, beautiful yet inexpensive ways to make my appartement more homey and cosy, I am considering starting calligraphy ! In a way, I already do it on a daily basis since in France, when we were little, writing beautifully (often with a fountain pen and in cursive script) was something we were taught from the beginning of our elementary years.

I often saw on pinterest and blogs wall decors of quotes and verses and I thought that it was inexpensive and that with a bit of creativity, a frame or two, arranged on a desk, a kitchen counter or the living room, could add a lot of that unique touch to a room. One sweet lady, Jen, whose blog I have been following for years (it’s such a delight to read !), has started a her own calligraphy business, Arabella Calligraphy. Here are some of her works:

 

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How lovely is that ? Here are some other works from Pinterest. I find that not only they enhance a room, but they could be good reminders of God’s Word throughout the days.

 

Have an amazing weekend,

Stéphanie

The Love of Christ

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We love because of loveliness apprehended and perceived, but Christ loved because He would impart His own loveliness to the object of His choice. Even the best of men, doubtless, love in some measure from selfish motives. There is some mixture of self-interest in all human love, but Christ had nothing to gain by loving His Church. He was very God of very God, the adored of angels and the Beloved of the Father, yet He fixed the eyes of His love—mark you, not of His pity, merely, but of His love—upon those whom He had chosen out of the race of men! He loved them, not for anything that He could ever gain from them, for He had all things in Himself, but because of what He would impart to them! They had nothing of good in themselves and were only fit to be loved by Christ because, like empty vessels, their very emptiness fits them to be receivers of His fullness.“- Charles Spurgeon, Christ’s love to His Spouse

Man regarded but God despised

I am in the train right now so typing a long post on my phone will probably be hard to do, but I thought I would share a text by Robert Murray McCheyne, “man regarded but God despised” which was deeply convicting- I mean it. Here is the link.

Have a blessed week my dear friends !

Killing sin

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This very encouraging article on the topic of fighting sin was published on Desiring God.

We are commanded to constantly kill the sin that remains in our lives. This is not optional. This is mortal combat: Sin dies or we die. Not that we ever become perfect in this age, but we go on killing sins as they attack us daily. How do we kill sin? Here are thirteen tactical steps in the battle (…) – John Piper