Sunday, October 31, 2010

Family Crest & Battleshield

I have always been interested in medieval history and symbolism (all throughout history) & of course family heraldry is an integral part of it. A few weeks back I took a stab at designing a family crest, a battle shield and a tapestry design that I plan to pass on to our kids.  Fortunately I also found a armory maker that makes battle shields for hollywood movies who have graciously agreed to make a shield for me based on my design. I also found a tapestry maker in Tennesse who is going to work on a silk & woolen tapestry (4 x 4) that will hang in the family room alongside the battle shield and swords. So here are the design concepts and I welcome any comments. The associated meanings are explained with each concept.

The coat of arms has three animals - the Lion to signify 'strength', the eagle to symbolise 'might' and the horse to signify 'readiness to duty'. The latin phrases in the ribbon below the shield are associated with each animal. "Virtus in Ardus" means Virture of courage in Adversity is associated with the Lion. "Laus Deo" means "Praise be to God". The family praises God because of the redemptive work of Yeshua through His cross and because of that we are grafted into His royalty and hence the might of the eagle. The eagle also reprsents God's promise on my life from:

Isaiah 40:31 ...."but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

The text "Tenax Et Fidelis" stands for "Persevering and faithful" which is linked with readiness of duty that we go out and perfrom what we are called to do faithully and persever even in troubles and challenges. The swords are taken from the crusader era with the meaning that we carry out our faith and duties with the sword of the spirit which is the word of God and signifying that we are ever ready for battle. I turned the coat of arms of concepts into the battle shield with the same elements flowing into the tapestry design.

The symbolic elements of the family's battleshield reminds me of Paul's exultation in Ephesians 6:13–18 that we will raise the shield of faith in Yeshua and be ready for battle.
13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints

Blessings & Shalom,

Sam Kurien

Friday, October 01, 2010

The Lord Is a Warrior; And He also calls us friends!

I was overwhelmed in worship today with a song sung by Kathy Shooster on the album "Garments of Praise" with the song "No One More". I was overwhelmed to know all my springs are found in Him who is both warrior and friend. There is nothing more I want but Him and His embrace. I am reminded of this desperation and the gravity of what Yeshua said in the final days of His life on earth to fullfill our need and His desire to make us close to Him.

John 15:5 says ...."I no longer call you servants, becuase a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, fore everything I have learned from my Father I have made known to you."

This call of embrace, this call of friendship with God is also a call of knowing and learning what the Father teaches. I may not entirely understand the deep emotions tha ran in our savior's heart and mind when He expressed those words, but this is coming from the same Savior who called Himself:

Exodus (15:3) "The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name"
Amen Amen.

The same Lord who shouted out in Isaiah that He will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior stirred up in His zeal with a shout He will rais the battle cray and will triumph victorious over His enemies.

(Ps. 24:7-8 NIV) Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle."
Amen Amen.

Why am I relating these two ideas of Yeshua's call of calling us out as "friends" (though He is Father God and Savior) and that of His character as a Warrior God. The answer is simple and some things are worth repeating and reporting again...The Warrior God has called us and elevated our status to be friends so that we like Him and along with Him will become mighty and strong in battle, an invitation to be intimate in His embrace, under His wings we become strong. Under His teaching and training I become a Warrior and His friend. A friend and brother in Christ master sculptor Mark Patrick who runs Eden productions came out with his new angel sculpture called "Warrior of God" - (see the image on the right). I love this imagery of a warrior angel drawn His sword ready to slay, but if you look closely and also see yourself covered under His wings - "fierce in Battle" ...ready to slay the enemies of God is the picture & idea that I take away home. I will end with Psalm 91:4 says ...

(Ps. 91:4 ESV) "He will cover you with his pinions and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is shield and a buckler

Blessings & Shalom,

Sam Kurien