If You Are Willing


“let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead–by this name this man stands here before you in good health. “He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone.
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

ACTS 4:10-12

And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said,
“Lord if you are willing, You can make me clean.”
Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, I am willing; be cleansed.”
And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Matthew 8:2,3

Dr. Thompson in his famous work, “The Land and the Book,” speaks of lepers in the East and says, “The hair falls from the head and eyebrows; the nails loosen, decay and drop off; joint after joint of the fingers and toes shrink up and slowly fall away. The gums are absorbed, and the teeth disappear. The nose, the eyes, the tongue and the palate are slowly consumed.” The disease turns a man into a mass of loathsomeness. Leprosy is nothing better than a horrible and lingering death.”

The man had as much poison in him as one poor body could contain; and yet he believed that Jesus of Nazareth could make him clean. If you are full of sin, if your propensities and habits have become untamable, I pray the Holy Spirit to give you the faith enough to believe that the Son of God can forgive you and renew you. Jesus can turn your death into life, your corruption into beauty.

Faith must be fixed on Jesus alone, for there is “no other name given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Jesus is God’s ultimatum of salvation: the unique hope of guilty men and women both as to pardon and as to renewal.

Yet, there are some that even love their leprosy – men and women who do not wish to be saved from doing evil. They would like to go to heaven, but they must have their drunken frolics, their fornications and adulteries, their greed and worldly lusts. They would like to be saved but not from the sin that is the cause of it.

None of us can imagine that this leper meant that the Lord Jesus could make him comfortable in remaining a leper. Some came to fancy that Jesus came to let us go on in our sins with a quiet conscience. His salvation is cleansing from sin, and if we love sin, we are not saved from it.

We cannot have justification without sanctification. There must be a radical change, a change of heart, or else we are not saved. Just as this leper needed a thorough physical change, so do you need an entire renewal of your spiritual nature so as to become a new creature in Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is the Living God who can be moved to compassion for those who are forlorn and lost, full of evil and self-condemned, those who are leprous with sin. Not you who are self-righteous! You yield Him no space to display His miraculous force. You who are whole have no need of a physician (Matthew 9:12).

Be hopeful then, those laden with guilt and conscious of their depravity, you furnish the empty vessels into which His grace maybe poured, the sick souls upon whom He may display His matchless power to bless and to save. This leper shall be a picture – I hope a mirror – in whom you will see yourself. May God grant you the faith to fall on your knees, and cry to Him, “Lord if you are willing, You can make me clean.”

(Excerpted from “The Lord and the Leper” by Charles Haddon Spurgeon)

IF YOU ARE WILLING
24” X 36” ACRYLIC ON CANVAS
LYNDEUTSCH2008
ORIGINAL PAINTING AVAILABLE FOR SALE
PRICE: US1200
email: lyndeutsch@gmail.com

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TEEN


I have a painting of my daughter, Vanya, when she was 17 years old. I wanted to share something about teens in this site and I couldn’t think of anybody else to source such but from a friend and parenting expert.

I loved my daughter so much, yet I struggled a lot when she was at this stage, very often searching for somebody who can help me in dealing with teens.

By God’s grace, a lot of prayer, and continuing to express unconditional love, Vanya has grown to be a real wonderful, confident, and loving beautiful woman.

“And now Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in Thee.” Psalm 39:7

TEEN
24″ x 36″ oil on canvas
Lyn Deutsch 2008
Original painting is available for sale.
Price: US$1500

Today, I am very privileged and more than grateful to feature an exclusive article “Raising Teens~ From a Teenager’s Perspective” written with great insight, wisdom and sensitivity by a professional on parenting – Denny Hagel.

I wished I had this connection at that time. You are blessed to be reading this and to have access to Deny Hagel’s articles and books which I consider sine qua non to parents and grandparents and for all of us who are dealing with growing children, and even to you – young boys and girls approaching this somehow exciting yet turbulent life stage.

“Denny Hagel is a child advocate and parenting coach, devoting over 25 years to the success and well being of all children. She is the published author of over 60 articles on parenting, many of which have attracted international attention in over 23 countries.

Denny was blessed with forward thinking parents who raised her with an understanding of her value as an individual, her innate power to choose by way of her thoughts, ideas, opinions and beliefs, thus, instilling in her a strong sense of personal responsibility for what happens in our lives.

She is the founder of Awakened Parenting LLC, a company dedicated to helping parents release parenting paradigms of the past and consciously choose to raise their children to approach life with a positive mindset and strong sense of self. It is Denny’s passion to combine what she learned through her formal education in early childhood education and psychology and what her parents instilled in her and pass this on to all parents.

Denny has created the discussion group “Awakened Parenting Discussion Forum” on Face Book which now has over 600 members. She does on line coaching with parents and teachers who consult her on a regular basis. Denny collaborates with counselors, authors, coaches and others working in the parent coaching field. Denny Hagel is the author of “The Missing Secret To Parenting”, “The C.P.R. Program for Parents & Teens: Conflict Prevention/Resolution Formula”, “Mini-Me Syndrome” and two free e-booklets “Parenting Using the Law of Attraction” and “Becoming an Awakened Parent”.”

 


Raising Teens~ From a Teenager’s Perspective
by Denny Hagel

http://missingsecrettoparenting.com/

How often do you hear yourself saying “I just don’t understand!”? If you are like millions of other parents raising teenagers you are probably nodding in agreement and at the same time realizing you say and feel this way more often than you wish…

Let’s face it, if there was a fail-safe “how to book” on raising teens we would all sleep a whole lot better! Sadly there isn’t. However, as parents, there are things we can do to help our children weather the emotional transitioning storm of the teen years with as little turbulence as possible.

In previous posts I talked about stopping the cycle of destructive actions and reactions in order to restore a connection with your teen based on mutual respect, trust and cooperation. I have also pointed out that you are the most important person in your child’s life and as such are in a position to lead your teen off of the roller coaster ride that rules your relationship. In order to do that it is important to have an understanding of what is happening subconsciously inside your child’s mind…in other words what is behind the emotional outbursts, the irrational reactions, and the attitude that has the ability to cut straight through your heart.

Your children come into this world dependent upon you for their physical survival. In addition you are their source of information, stability, comfort, security and safety. Out of this dependence and love they have developed, they feel an enormous bond. As they travel through their growing up years, they run toward that bond for everything, whether negative or positive, you are the one they want and need.

Remember back when they took their first step…while their little legs were taking the first forward motion steps their eyes were focused on you. Or when they took off riding a two-wheeled bicycle for the first time…and sang out in such enthusiasm, “Watch me!” How about the first time they got a tiny cut or bruise and the only thing that would make it better was for you to kiss away the hurt? Whether it is to share a joyous triumph or a sad mishap, the bond they have with you is their lifeline.

Children are aware as they experience the developmental stages that they are learning. And they are always anxious to show you their accomplishments. It starts with holding their own bottle and never stops…they are dependent yet their goal is to become independent.

Little by little they learn from you, by what you teach them, directly and indirectly another piece of the puzzle that will one day be the picture of their complete and total independence. When they reach their teen years they are experiencing the final stage of becoming their own person, apart from you. At its best this is a confusing and often scary time for them. Nature is pulling them in a direction away from all they have known, all that has given them their security and safety.

What is critical for parents to remember is that this is not of their choosing, it is the design of the Universe, of Nature and they are participants whether they want to be or not. The teen years are a time of transitioning from childhood to becoming a young adult.

Teenagers are testing their wings…
much like a baby bird ready to leave the nest.

They feel like they are ready to fly on their own…but they aren’t sure.
They want to test their wings…but they are afraid.
They feel a great deal of determination and confidence…sometimes.
They want to fly alone but they know that if they don’t succeed, they could crash…so they want you nearby.
They are sure they know all they need to know…yet they feel a sense of fear of the unknown.
They feel invincible…yet they know they need you.
They don’t want to need you…but they do.
They instinctively feel their time has come to fly…as if a force greater than them is drawing them to release their dependence on you.
They want to fly.
The most important thing you can do for your child as they find their way to “who they are”, independent of you, is to understand that they are doing this for them and not to you. Regardless of their actions or attitude (and most often without awareness) what they need most from you is to know that no matter what, you are their source of unconditional love…

I have written The C.P.R. Program for Parents & Teens to provide you with the necessary skills and tools to create and enhance your relationship with your pre-teen and teen. For more information please visit the links below:

http://missingsecrettoparenting.com/

Art Prints

For canvas prints and greeting cards of Lyn Deutsch’ paintings please visit:
http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/lyn-deutsch.html

LIFE TESTIMONY: TUESDAY SORIANO


Someone said, “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.”

I’m taking a break today from my ongoing series entitled, “Painting Inspired By A Photo”, to honor my best friend Tuesday Marie Soriano.

We came to know each other over twenty years ago.  A lot of things happened in our own individual lives, shared and unshared, but the friendship that has grown through the years is a treasure I cherish and thank God for.

With permission, I am honored and privileged to post her life testimony in this site.  It is a  life that has been touched by God,  transformed by His power, and being molded for her good and destined for His glory.

To you dear reader, it is my prayer that God may draw you near and that you may come to a seeking knowledge of His saving grace.   My hope lies not from the freedom of your will but from God’s sovereignty and the freeness of His infinite love and grace.

Mapped Out for Life

I received the Lord out of sheer desperation.

I am the eldest of 5 children. My mom was a public school teacher, my dad, a court stenographer, a baker, a house builder, a jack of all trades. My dad lost his job during my teenage years and my mom’s meager income sustained the family until she retired.

I did well during my primary and high school years. But lacking sufficient funds to send me to college, and hoping I would take over in providing for the family, my dad pulled strings to get me into college under a scholarship program.

But I was too shortsighted, only interested in hanging out with friendly classmates who taught me how to drink and smoke and took me to parties. After a year and a half of college, I dropped out.

My dad was furious and threatened to pull a gun to my head. Fearing for my life, my lola bought me a one way ticket to Manila. I was 19 when I boarded the plane. I felt excited and apprehensive, and unrealistically thought I would easily find work. Fortunately, my mom had called an uncle to pick me up at the airport. Had she not done that, I would have ended wandering the streets.

I lived with my uncle for a few months until I found work at a small American company. On the side, I joined an escort service agency. The job sounded simple and easy enough—accompanying or escorting corporate executives to meetings and events wherever in the world—naively thinking that it was a fun and great way to meet a prospective boyfriend.

I saw that men were interested in me and thought they were sincere in their intentions whenever they said ‘I love you”. I enjoyed their attention and did not realize that they fed my deep desire to be accepted and loved.

One of these men became a steady relationship that lasted a few months. I was reckless and didn’t consider the consequences of my actions. I was 20 when I became pregnant. The father of my baby chose to marry another woman.

Being unmarried and pregnant at that time was unacceptable, seen by society as a disgrace. As a result, I lost my job, most of my so-called friends disappeared, and I soon ended without a single cent in my pocket.

Of course, I couldn’t go home to Cebu and approach my parents for help. My dad had repeatedly said that he’d shoot me if I brought home with me an illegitimate child. So I relied on friends to get by. A former roommate took pity on me and shared her small room with me.

On the 8th month of my pregnancy, friends introduced me to an American missionary couple who were training Filipino students in Manila to be Christian missionaries. The couple shared the gospel with me and sobbing uncontrollably, I accepted Christ as Lord and Savior.

Jim Peck, the mission center administrator, and his wife Nancy, became my foster parents. They took me into their home at the mission center compound in Bulacan. I had my meals with the missionary students and while waiting to give birth, I helped out in the mission center office.

On May 1982, I gave birth at a small local hospital. Nancy Peck later testified that I had given birth lying on newspapers. All I remember was the great discomfort and pain.

Raising a baby on my own was more difficult than I imagined. Deep within me, I vowed I’d never let this happen to me again.

A month later, the Pecks endorsed me to a foster Filipino family who kindly took me and my baby into their home. They treated me like family and as soon as I was able, I went back to work and found a place to rent.

I earned too little to hire a babysitter or helper and without help, I couldn’t leave the baby alone while I worked. A cousin offered to help by taking my son and bringing him to their home in the province where her mom, my aunt, cared for him.

I soon forgot I had a child and did not send support faithfully.

Of course, being “single” once again swept me into the Manila party scene.

In 1985, friends introduced me to a Singaporean who worked at one of the top hotels in Manila then. I didn’t exactly like him at first but somehow, we ended up talking and burning the phone lines with nonsense conversation and dating regularly.

A few months later, he joined a Swedish hotel chain as head of their food and beverage operations in Xian, China. To cut a long story short, we ended up living together.

During the next 10 years, from 1985 to 1994, he moved from being food and beverage manager and became general manager of several hotels.

I lived a pampered life as the general manager’s wife—I didn’t need to wash dirty dishes, I didn’t need to scrub floors, I didn’t need to do the laundry. My business was to look good and play the part of the supportive spouse.

While he worked in hotels, I worked with foreign embassies that hired expatriate wives as staff. We traveled all over the world on holiday breaks.

On our 10th year together, at the peak of his career, he was assigned to manage one of the top hotels in Hong Kong. We planned to get married before moving only because it would be difficult to obtain a resident visa for me. In any case, this never happened.

While waiting, I flew to Cebu to take a short break and visit family. During a routine medical check, I learned I was pregnant. Because we didn’t plan on having a baby, the pregnancy made me feel both excited and apprehensive.

He made room for the baby in the future apartment in HK while I waited it out in Cebu because it was a sensitive pregnancy. I was advised not to travel if I wanted to keep the baby.

On the 8th month of my pregnancy, on his birthday, I called to greet him a happy birthday. And in response, he told me simply that he was confused, that he’d decided to cut off the relationship, and that he wanted out. After 10 years together.. I was shocked.

I was asked not to worry. I was told to be strong, I was told I would do fine—convenient and empty words, utterly irresponsible and under the circumstances, absolutely absurd.

For a split second, I wanted to slice my bulging belly off.

It seemed like God was playing a joke on me. Because the circumstances were, in my view, absurd and abrupt, I thought it was temporary. I thought it was a mood swing. One day he will return, I thought. But then that one day became a week, weeks became months, months became years.

Through the years, I struggled and tried to go through each day without feeling so helpless, hopeless and lonely and down and feeling miserable.

He had shipped all my clothes to me. These were all I got for the 10 years of being together. The parallel wasn’t lost on me. For the second time around, I ended with nothing, with not a single cent, and no job. Only this time, I was with my family.

I bore my child in 1995, a beautiful boy, perfectly carved from head to toe. But the pain of childbirth seemed magnified by the hurt in my heart.

Despite his decision, the father of my baby flew to Cebu for the birth and signed the birth certificate. He stayed until my baby and I were well enough to leave the hospital.

At home after he left, I laid my baby on the bed and said through tears, “Well, kid, it’s just you and me now.” And this little baby looks at me and gave me this most beautiful smile.. I’ll never forget.

Six months later, I went back to work and tried rebuilding my life. I was 34 then. And I was desperate. I recall sitting alone in a huge Catholic church in the city, praying for relief, seeking to be comforted, needing to hear from God and each time, I’d leave still feeling empty.

By divine providence, in God’s perfect timing, an old friend I hadn’t seen in years visited me. We met at the bar in the hotel I worked in. By then, I was drinking and smoking heavily.

For 10 years, she said she faced poverty in the eye, often left with nothing in the cupboard. And on top of it, she had to cope with an adulterous husband and faced insurmountable debts. From practicing sorcery and the occult, she had become a believer in and a follower of Jesus Christ. Broken in spirit and stripped to nothing, she found it easier to yield and accept the Lord as her savior and Lord. She found freedom from fear of anything and anyone. Despite the ordeal she’d been through, she found peace, and best of all, she spoke of being loved.

She looked me in the eye and said, look to Christ, he heals. Let your goal be God himself, not peace, not joy, not religion, not cleansing nor blessings, but God himself.  His terms are quite simple—that you go to Him, not He come to you, for He already has made himself available to you.  It is you who must say, “I want you in my life. You come into my life, Lord.”

She held my hands and said, “God loves you. The Bible says, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.’”

She said that I did not need to do anything or get cleaned up before I approach Him. All I needed to do was accept Christ and his cross and believe that what God says, he will do.

Sobbing my guts out, I gave my life to Christ in total surrender. I recall praying, Lord, if you are indeed real, hear my prayer. I’m sorry for all my sins. I believe Jesus is your son and I believe he died on the cross for me. I now accept your gift of eternal life. From today, do what you wish of my life.

My life since then changed irrevocably. By the grace and power of the Holy Spirit, I quit smoking right there and then. I stopped being irritable and angry at the world. I started reading the bible. I wanted to know more and more about the ways of God. I couldn’t get enough of it, everywhere I went I carried with me a small player and listened to pastors’ preaching whenever I could. My family was surprised at the change in me and asked my friend what she did to me. Of course, it was God at work in me.

Through the years, God has been gracious in providing good jobs that earned more than enough to support my son and me.

From the day my baby was born in 1995 until now, I’ve been a multitasker—juggling between raising my child, at the same time working to earn a living, managing a household, and often fighting discouragement and frustration.

Along the way, I met several men who I thought were potential lifetime partners. But they turned out to be all wrong for me.

In 2007, I met another Christian man whom I thought was God’s will for a lifetime partner for me. But it wasn’t to be. Three times during the 2-year relationship, he would say ‘I love you’ and change his mind.

Somehow, this short obsessive relationship left me with this incredibly deep ache in my heart. It messed me up completely—and left me powerless, not knowing what to do, what to think, and how to stop hurting. The pain literally kept me awake all night and no matter how hard I tried, I just could not shake it off. I didn’t want to close my eyes to sleep because it seemed like this big dark hole was going to suck me into it. I cried desperately to God for help. I didn’t want to stay angry and hurt for the rest of my life.

Help came when I joined the Glorious Hope recovery program of Christ Commission Fellowship in Manila. Through the sessions, God showed me that because I was raised a spoiled brat, my issues were rooted in a fear of rejection and a deep desire to be accepted. And because I was manipulating circumstances toward what I wanted, I was distrusting God and did not believe that He is in control.

God took hold of my thoughts, filtered only those that were from Him, reprogrammed the distorted thoughts I had about Him, and showed me how to process my anger and hurt.

I realized that if God is indeed omniscient over my life, I must believe that He is also omniscient over my relationships. This means that no relationship should affect me more than God’s relationship with me.

Up until now, God has been gracious to show me how he loves me unconditionally. He has shown himself to be a sovereign God who is in control of my life when he led me to LCA as a school for my child and now to LCF as a church.

In this church, I have seen Christian love in action extended to me not just once but many times over. It is here that I’ve learned by faith to put my expectations in God and not in man.

It hasn’t been an easy journey but I found in Christ the source of love. He is my peace, my solace, my comfort, and my love. In him, I see the stark contrast between man’s love which is inconsistent, changing, and unstable, and His that is consistent, constant, and faithful, a love that no man on earth can ever match, a love that does not abandon, a love that has my interests at heart, a love that responds and delivers without fear.

I was an angry and hurt person, sinful in every way, intent only in pleasing myself. But He gave me not just one, but two, three and many more chances and redeemed me at that cross.

Romans 8:1 says that there is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

To God be all the glory.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away,reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

-1 Peter 1:3-5 NASB

NEW CREATION

24″ x 24″ Acrylic on Canvas

Lyn Deutsch 2007

Original Painting is available for sale.

Price: US$450

 

BROKEN


When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
—-Luke 7:37-38

Life on the streets of Nain was hard. As a prostitute, the lifestyle she once embraced as a source of freedom and pleasure, a way to demonstrate her independence, had become bondage and bitterness. Her life was empty and futile, and the future seemed to hold nothing more than a heartache and cynical hatred. Even though she was familiar with acts of love, her heart had never known a love that captivated her with its purity.

Along with her general hopelessness, a gnawing awareness of the futility of her life was growing within her. She was beginning to understand that the choices she had made were not merely wrong because someone disapproved of them; they were wrong because they were sinful. She discovered that the things that used to bring her pleasure – power over men, the pride of being different from other women, and the reassuring jangle of coins in her purse – now seemed so foolish, so meaningless. From deep within her she sensed a mysterious change in her heart. She detected a longing to love and know the God she had heard about all her life, the God of Israel.

As she gazed out over the plain of Carmel to the hills of Nazareth in the distance, she recalled stories she had heard about a certain Nazarene, Jesus. It was He who had raised the grieving widow’s son to life and said, “Do not weep” (Luke7:13). Do not weep. Would He speak these words to her also? Could He change her life too? Was it too late for forgiveness?

As she watched His interaction with the common people from the shadows, she saw that He welcomed them and taught them with loving wisdom. As she saw Him with the religious leaders, she knew He wasn’t like them. It was true that He loved and obeyed the law’ yet He was humble and gentle. He seemed so different from all the other men she had ever known. The desire to get to know Him began to captivate her. Some said that He was the Messiah. She had seen Him befriend and eat with sinners. It seemed as though He loved them. Would He receive her? What would He say to a woman who had been so proud of her sin?

This compelling desire to know and love Him became like a addiction in her heart. How can I get near Him? She felt that it would be wrong to go to Him empty-handed, so she took her most precious possession, an alabaster vial of perfume, and went to seek Him. On the day that she chose to go to Him, she discovered that He was having dinner at Simon’s house. This Pharisee despised and condemned her. In spite of that, she still had to see Him. She had to find a way to show the love she had come to have for the One who said, “Do not weep.” In spite of her fear and shame, in desperation she imposed herself on Him.

The woman brought a heart filled with tears of love and repentance to pour on His feet. Rather than telling her not to weep, Jesus graced her with the ability to weep righteously, to mourn over sin, to love Him. He gave her a warm heart of flesh – one that could receive and embrace His person, His law. He gave her the ability to kiss holiness, to humble herself before a pure man, to use her perfume in worship of the perfect Man who is God.

She who had been so lost in immorality was now lost in sorrow and joy for sins recognized and forgiven. It no longer mattered what anyone else thought. She loved the Lord and humbled herself before Him. Jesus knew that her actions were motivated by love – a love that could ignore disapproval and disdain – a love that was willing to praise Him at the cost of all she had. Jesus recognized this love and said, “Her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much” (Luke 7:47).

Like her, when our eyes are opened to His worth our hearts overflow with worship. As we grow in seeing His love in forgiveness, everything else will fade in value. This woman poured out her perfume because Jesus had given her a new treasure: a cleansed heart and life and a relationship with Him. Once she wept in bitterness for her earthly sorrows; now she wept for her sins. Did she know that God was saving up these cherished tears in an alabaster vial in Heaven? (see Psalm 56:8).

BROKEN
24″ X 36″ OIL ON CANVAS
LYNDEUTSCH2007
ORIGINAL PAINTING IS AVAILABLE FOR SALE
PRICE: US$1500
Buy canvas prints and greeting cards of this painting at:
http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/lyn-deutsch.html