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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Do not fear their threats

13Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threatsb ; do not be frightened.”c 15But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.18For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

(1 Peter 3: 13-18)

A few proverbs

Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.- Proverbs 13:3

Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding- Pr.17:7

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.-Proverbs 29:11

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.-Proverbs 3:5

Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.-Proverbs 4:23

Passing away

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Lake Baikal, Siberia-credits: Pinterest

What I am saying, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who weep, as if they did not; those who are joyful, as if they were not; those who make a purchase, as if they had nothing; and those who use the things of this world, as if not dependent on them. For this world in its present form is passing away. (1 Corinthians 7:29-31)

Our conference in Vienna !

Hi girls !

I am sitting in our hotel room right now in Vienna and I thought I would share some pictures and happenings in Austria. I’m going back to University next Friday God willing, and I have a lot of things to finish before my internship ends… so now is the perfect time to write before life becomes busy again !

We were blessed to spend a week or so in a Christian conference that started after a fun encounter. My parents and my sister, two years back, spent the New Year’s Eve in Vienna and it was in Church that they met a Christian Arabic family living in Israel. Together, they decided to start a conference that would gather, every summer for a week, Arabic speaking believers. It is the second year I come to the conference and I have been enjoying a lot and, this being the second conference I attend this summer (the other one was in Pennsylvania) I was really blessed by the things I have learned.

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Posing with one of those famous horses in Vienna !

Two preachers/missionaries from Egypt preached during the whole week and one of the topic was the justice and the salvation of God in the book of Romans. A lot of things impacted me. I learned that often, when we talk to people about the Gospel, sometimes out of fear and maybe shame, we tend to hide the name of Jesus under a vague, generic name of God… to make it less scandalous and more “acceptable” to people. But as Romans 1:16 says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” We should never be ashamed to present the gospel as it is because though we are privileged to carry the Word of Life, “we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Cor 4:7). The power comes from the Lord, and there is no salvation apart from Jesus !

 

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The legendary Austrian cakes ! Yum !

I was also deeply, deeply encouraged by the love and the work of some brothers and sisters toward the lost, especially the Muslims. Being Arabic, they have that unique opportunity to help Middle-Eastern people, especially the refugees. Some Muslims attended our services, and it warmed my heart to see the brothers at the conference doing everything in their power to help our Muslim friends to settle in Vienna and to assist them both materially and spiritually with a loving heart. I pray that their heart would be opened to the Gospel and that they will come to know Christ who loved them and died for them. We heard testimonies of how some of our brothers and sisters came to know the Messiah, and, while I was playing with a 14 year old girl, she told me that the Lord knows how to refresh our enthusiasm and rekindle our courage by such testimonies. How true !

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Some sisters singing hymns

Also, the conference was a beautiful occasion to spend time with younger sisters and little girls. I noticed that sometimes, I think I am the only one to not have an assembly or Christians friends in the area where I live. I learned that I was not the only one and that from now on, it was important to encourage one another, even if we are a thousand of kilometers apart. Even as Young women, we have the ability to encourage and nurture younger ones (Titus 2:5) in various areas, and to be a good example to them. As we sat in Subway, I really enjoyed sitting with two 18 year old and one 21 year old as we discussed struggles, thoughts and encouraged one another. Pray that the Lord would help you in the life of another girl !

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That gentleman Lazarus caught all the ladies attention ! Can I have an “aww ?”

The last night of the conference, the same brother who explained the book of Romans wrapped up the week by preaching… on the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation. Everyone was all ears while we heard the Word of Life preached on the things to come. The imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The urgency of making the Lord known. And I want to say a few words about this…

I feel like the Lord Jesus is at the door. We all see it and feel it, in view of the events in the world. Even unbelievers can sense something is going wrong with this world. We have been blessed, we sinners, to hear the saving, Healing, powerful word and Gospel, the GOOD NEWS that Jesus-Christ came to die for sinners, horrible sinners as we were. Let us not faint. Let us not be afraid. Let us spend more time in the Word, and less time in things that would make us afraid of what people might say about us. If we are spending lots of time in social media and trying to look cool and to please people, and not to offend anyone by “watering down” the Gospel of Christ, we are making a great mistake. Let us get on our knees, for we have no power in ourselves. The power comes from the Father. Christ’s return is soon. very soon. Watch and pray. I learned that we are not going to change the world by being conformed to it. If today you lack courage, please- go on your knees and in the Word, and ask the Lord that your will would be aligned with His, and that He would give you what you need in order to honor Him: “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 jn 4:4).

Get ready with me: heaven’s edition

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This picture was not planned, and neither was this post !

Tomorrow, I am going, for the first time, to travel alone. I took the plane alone once but my mom brought me to the Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris and picked me when I returned but so far, I never went through the whole “thing”.

So tomorrow, for the first time, this 23 years old girl who looks 18 without makeup will take two trains and register her bag and wait at the gate for the boarding. ALONE. ALL BY HERSELF.

I WANT MY MOMMY NOW. Continue reading “Get ready with me: heaven’s edition”

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)

How to pray

At a Christian Conference I attended this summer, my mom bought me a bunch of books on various topics, and among them, she picked “How to Pray” by R.A Torrey

 

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So far I had read books on nearly everything, theologically speaking but strangely never on prayer. 

Reading this short book has been a tremendous encouragement to me and makes me want to spend more time in prayer. For a long time, prayer has been one of the areas in which I had most of my spiritual struggles, and this little book, short and really based on the Scriptures, is definitely renewing my vision of prayer.

I wanted to share a quote that really spoke to me and guess what; I copy/pasted it. Because it is available online ! As I said, it’s a really short book and it’s totally worth reading !

“Oftentimes when we come to God in prayer, we do not feel like praying. What shall one do in such a case? cease praying until he does feel like it? Not at all. When we feel least like praying is the time when we most need to pray. We should wait quietly before God and tell Him how cold and prayerless our hearts are, and look up to Him and trust Him and expect Him to send the Holy Spirit to warm our hearts and draw them out in prayer. It will not be long before the glow of the Spirit’s presence will fill our hearts, and we will begin to pray with freedom, directness, earnestness and power. Many of the most blessed seasons of prayer I have ever known have begun with a feeling of utter deadness and prayerlessness, but in my helplessness and coldness I have cast myself upon God, and looked to Him to send His Holy Spirit to teach me to pray, and He has done it.”

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.

An update

I thought I would write a sort of random post about how life is going and where I have been lately !

I finished the exams two weeks ago and I am very thankful the year is over. It will be, God willing, my last year of community pharmacy- my initial plan was to become your typical pharmacist but the Lord has other plans for me. If the Lord wills, I will start, in September, my Master’s degree in immunology, which hopefully will be the last year of my pharmacy program… unless I pursue another Master’s degree… School is so fun and I have always loved learning differents things !

Last week’s conference 

Last week, we went to Houlgate, a beach located in the North of France for a Christian conference in Arabic this time.

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FYI, the crab was dead

 the topic of the preaching was on the short yet powerful book of Malachi and the great lesson I will remember from this weekend is that we ought to aim at honoring the Lord, that so often we honor humans more than we honor Him: “A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty.” (Malachi 1:6). It made a deep impression upon me and recently, I have been feeling more intensely the conviction of the Holy Spirit to seek to honor the Lord, even when I am alone at home, and with my thoughts, because the truth is, He is always here, and is the most Majestic being in the Universe, and deserves all the honor and worship.

We can’t do this on our own. It is because He loved us first that we are enabled to love Him ! But recently, that conviction led me to stop giving God the last crumbs. The last minutes of the day. The occasional thought or prayer when I am bored and I have nothing to do but pray. Sometimes, instead of putting some music on, I feel the conviction, again, to intentionally seek to “integrate”, “include” the Lord while I do my everyday tasks, such as cleaning my appartment, cooking… I thought, no one would talk to a loved one out of boredom, right ? We have to be intentional !

 

Thoughts on being useful as a young single woman

I noticed something interesting during the conference: a lot of young girls, between 11 and 17 years old, wanted to chat with me- the kind of one-on-one talk. About lots of things: school, God, the Bible, guys, and whatnot. And I began to realize that all the struggles I have faced during my life, what the Lord has taught me, sometimes in painful ways, was found to be useful during those conversations. Chance is that if you begin to see those young teens as younger brothers and sisters in the faith, you might become a mentor to them, an older sister, and your experiences might be useful, not to mention that they need to talk to someone who has been there and understands. These moments fill me with gratitude because though the world might portray single as desperate and “waiting on the bench”, God has ways to use ordinary people to encourage others.

 

My new hobby

 

Watercoloring is so fun ! I bought myself a watercolor palette and I have been painting nearly every day since the last week (yep, even at 6 AM in the train, I was wide awake and ready to paint the Eiffel Tower). I hope my mom does not read my blog because the picture on the right, “Tea Time” is a painting I am intending to give her as a mother’s day gift and the first one was a quick sketch I made for a friend who works at the hospital with me- we are both fond of a jumbo lemon-flavored muffin they bake at the cafeteria so I had to paint it 🙂

That was everything for today !

Have a lovely weekend readers !