Proper Face

There she stood amidst the sea of people going about their daily busyness. “Madam, this here is the best in town!” A man with a funny hat, waved a theater mask in front of her, “Hide that frown with a smile!”. She quickly glanced at him and kept walking.

It began to snow. As the temperature dropped to the negatives, people hurried to warm themselves, rushed inside the local pubs, cafe, anywhere that offered warmth. The cold no longer bothered her, for love had left her heart. Tears fell on her cheeks, she quickly wiped them away. She was always strong and today she will be strong.

Emptiness gnawed her soul. Something was terribly missing. She walked faster. It didn’t matter anymore where she would end up, just keep walking. “You okay, dear?” someone noticed awhile. “I’m fine.” She faked. Keep walking. It’s getting colder. She held tighter to her arms and elbows, breathed out a mist of warm air.

Her mission: to find Him. He said the busyness will not satisfy. He said the masks will not ease the pain. He said the emptiness will not disappear. She bumped into Him, one day, long ago. Her porcelain mask crashed into the hard pavement. She stooped down quickly in a panic, grabbed all the broken pieces, didn’t mind the sharp edges cut through her skin, she needed this face to be fixed. When her mom died, she wore it to hide her sadness. When her relationships failed, she wore it to hide her loneliness. When she didn’t get the job promotion, she wore it to hide her disappointment. When the doctors told her “it” was spreading, she wore it to hide her fears. “Keep busy!” the billboards shone brightly around, there were lights everywhere, people, sounds, noise. Static smiles forging ahead for a brighter busyness.

She looked up, ready to curse the person who bumped her. Surprised, she sees a face, an actual face. Time seemed to pause. Something strange about this Man. Nobody, dared to roam the streets without a proper face placed on. She was curious, didn’t He know about the busyness? He grabbed a handkerchief from his pocket and handed it to her. At that moment, there was a warmth that surged through her. Everyone walked past by them, they stepped on the shattered pieces of the mask, some of the pieces got covered by snow. There she gazed at Him, for once, her face laid bare: wrinkled forehead, tear stained rosy cheeks, and a hollow look inside her eyes. No words were spoken, but so much was said. His eyes were like fire, she felt Him leading her away, to a place where she can escape the busyness. A place where she no longer needs to hide.

She grasped the handkerchief tight as she surveyed the area where it all happened. Will He be here again? She wondered. A huge crowd shoved through the street, people bustling out from the subway stations. She sees Him. Not afar off.

“Sir! I want to know!” She yells, but her voice was drowned out by all the active noise around her. Sirens in the distance, people chatting away, sounds of cabs beeping their way through traffic…

Her fingers were numb, and she no longer had enough strength to keep walking. But she tried. She fumbled through the crowd, until her voice was sore, until it was but a whisper, “Sir, I want to know…”

He stopped. As if He heard something. He turned his head to see.

Their eyes met, “Sir, I want to know…”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(pic from https://www.freeimages.com/photo/venetian-mask-female-1421845 by Nico1)

Sinking

The walls close in as I cry

Because I didn’t get what I wanted

I didn’t understand the things that happened to me

 I wished I could change my past

                                                              Lived a better life, or have a better life

But I couldn’t

Now I breathe in another moment

I’m alive and I’m struggling to know why

Pressure all around me to breathe

To rise above the waters

Even when I don’t know how to swim

I’m slowly drowning and no one hears

The light leaves my eyes

Gravity gently pulls me into the deep

Should I try to fight it?

Or should I just let go?

Then I see You

You grab me by my hand

I feel strength in Your arms

I see Your eyes, something about Your eyes

Trust me…I sense You say

Yes, My Lord.

I opened my eyes and I felt the warmth of the sun

Light shines on my face

New beginning.

 

 

Pic from https://www.freeimages.com/photo/before-the-storm-1521005 by

Adam Ciesielski

It Was You All Along

It was You who I long for…

I toss and turn in my bed at night

                    Thoughts run through my mind

Purpose and meaning, where could I find?

Motivation and healing seem                                                                                 out of my reach

But there You were in the moonlight

But there You were as the calm breeze blew

Nature woos me to You

Maybe it was You all along

My heart wants to hear                                                Your voice

My heart longs to be                                                                  closer to You

To have someone understand                                                               my inner being

Someone who I can confide with

Journeys through life not knowing

Each season brings me                                                closer to You

Faces pass me by,                    nothing                   lasts                   forever.

But my heart longs for something forever

                           It’s because You alone hold eternity in Your hands

                       And those hands I want to hold

Take me into Your embrace

Where peace will drown my doubts

Sorrows have no place in Your smile

It was You along that my spirit needs

                               My One True Love.

 

Pic from https://www.freeimages.com/photo/ornamental-grass-1388171

by Julia Freeman-Woolpert

Dance

For all the brokenhearted…

Teach me to dance, I’ve broken my stance. My heart has split into two and now I don’t know how to love again. Twice, I thought I found love. Twice, I broke it off. The lonely nights visit me. Thoughts of the past twirl in my memory. Please, teach me to dance. I lost my step. The music no longer plays the same happy tune. All I hear is misery.

I fake a smile so I can smile. I say I’m alright so I can be left alone. Love hurts and I want nothing of it. If I can vomit out all the pain inside, I would. Just to empty all the memories, now I don’t know if they are even worth keeping. These memories that were once so meaningful, now seem rubbish.

Maybe I’ve cried so much and there is nothing left to cry. But my heart aches instead. Did I really fall in love or was it all an illusion? Maybe I was selfish. Maybe all I thought was of myself. I didn’t guard my most precious heart. Here, I stand alone.

Can I love again? I’m afraid to touch the fire. It’s warm, it’s bright, but it’s also dangerous. Is there hope? Will the music be soothing to my ears? Will watching lovers walk by melt my heart or will it hurt? Will shadows of the past visit me as I scroll through the happy smiles of families. Alone.

All I want to do is break free from this box. Tie my dance shoes and dance again. Dance like the ballerinas until my feet bleed. Let the music take over and I can dance passionately. Let the lights of the theater flood the stage. No one is watching, but you.

I’ll dance and dance, can you see my tears? But I’m smiling and nobody knows. Yet, you see, don’t you? My heart laid bare in front of you. I’m not happy. I’m so sad. I feel alone. My heart starts to sing a sad melody. You seem to understand.

Come dance with me, because I can’t stop smiling. I want to cry. I want to break, but no one would let me. I want to be honest, but I could not. I’m a ballerina and I dance to the music. My feet hurt.

 

 

Pic from https://www.freeimages.com/photo/pointe-1419205 by

Bina Sveda

 

 

 

Rest With No Guilt

I think in our fast paced society today, we forget the value of rest. There are times I feel as though I have to always be doing something to be of worth. However, our effectiveness in service to others can be affected negatively if we do not give time to recharge.

As a nurse, I know this firsthand. There were times I forget to separate my work life from my home life. I would be at home and start rehashing the stressful happenings at work. Many would call it “venting”. I begin to wonder if it really helps. The more I talk about the day, the more I felt angry and burned out.

Is it a female thing, were we feel like “resting” is for the weak? Should we really be productive 24/7? If so, why did God rested on the seventh day?

God has been dealing this with me. There were moments I wanted to do more things during my day offs. I wanted to be of more value and to me value equates productivity. God showed me that I needed to slow down. I work 3 days straight, 12 hour shifts per day. I thought I could do it, be more “productive” on my days off. I started setting new goals, adding in activities. But to my dismay, I was left more exhausted than ever. Hey, friends, my dear readers, sleep is actually good for all of us. Sleep is a gift from God, don’t be afraid to use it.

Life is actually finding balance most times. Wine is good in moderation. Sleep is good in moderation. I guess, what I’m trying to say is, if you are tired, rest (and don’t feel guilty about it, you are not lazy).

Rest is also actually a sign of trust. Can a worry wart really have a good night’s sleep? I don’t think so (I know, because I used to be a worry wart). When we feel settled in our spirits that we are loved and that God will provide for our needs, I think it is easier for us to enter into rest.

Rest is a time to recharge our love muscles. I totally believe that every time a person does a good deed, energy is actually released from that person and imparted to the other. Just like when Jesus healed the woman with the bleeding disease…

Luke 8:43-48 (KJV)

43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,

44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.

45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.

48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.

I’m fascinated with this piece of Scripture, especially the part where Jesus mentioned that “virtue” has gone out of him. I believe that every time we serve humanity we lose energy. Everything requires energy, there is nothing in the universe that functions without it. God is the giver of energy and He is the main source. When we do good works, we release energy. Therefore, rest is so important. Rest is the means for us to recharge. If we fail to recharge, we end up running on low energy and eventually we burn out.

I encourage you all (including myself) to make rest a priority in your life. No matter what life throws at you, find time to rest. Give yourself a coffee break. Read a book that calms your mind. Take that nap. Read the Word and pray. Treat yourself to a walk in the park. Go for a massage. Take time to pause and think. Go to the beach. Go outside and breathe in the fresh air. Take a break and see the greenery around you. Rest, tired soul, rest.

 

Pic from https://www.freeimages.com/photo/relaxing-view-1442889

by julian leandro irusta

 

School Musings

I had a crazy childhood, partly because both my parents were missionaries. We moved a lot depending on where God was leading them both to minister. I encountered various school settings – public, private, and home-schooling (and a hybrid type of homeschooling).

Below is a timeline of how my education went (I used to live in Asia prior to moving to USA, their education system/levels was different, grade school was only Grade 1 to Grade 6).

Timeline

  • Nursery to Kindergarten 1 – Public School
    • 5 – 6 yrs old
  • Grade 1 – Private School (Hybrid – mixture of self learning but with classmates, a type of home school program called ACE – Accelerated Christian Education)
    • 7 yrs old
  • Grade 2, Grade 4 – Grade 6 – Private School with Hybrid (Skipped Grade 3)
    • 8 – 12 yrs old
  • 1st Yr High School – Public School
    • 13 yrs old
  • 2nd Yr High School to 3rd Yr High School – Home School (During this time, my family and I were waiting for USA immigration/petition approval)
    • 14 -16 yrs old
  • Repeated/Crunched 1st Yr and 2nd Yr High School in 1 yr- Private School with hybrid (had to take a placement exam to enter public school in USA, they wanted to place me back to 8th grade, didn’t wanted to do that so opted to do homeschooling – did Hybrid, but had to repeat 1st and 2nd yr high school).
    • 16 to 17 yrs old
  • Repeated/Crunched 3rd Yr and 4th Yr High School in 1 yr – Home-schooled (unfortunately, the school that offered the Hybrid class was shutting down that year, the last batch of students graduated, I was the last one, they accommodated me and helped me finish my last required school work, I had no classmates basically during this 1 year period).
    • 17 to 18 yrs old
  • Community College
  • University

To be honest, it was rough having to move a lot. I gained friends and lost friends. Recently, I found out that I am an Ambivert, which meant that I have both extrovert and introvert qualities. This made sense to me because there were times that I was extremely lonely when I was home-schooled. I guess it depends on what personality a child has. An extroverted person might thrive better in a more socially active environment, whereas an introverted person in a more conservative one.

As I grew up, I really longed to have a best friend. For some reason, I felt jealous of girls who had a “best friend forever” type of friend. Because of the constant moving, usually every 2-5 yrs, I wasn’t able to develop strong friendships. However, I am thankful to God for all the friends He gave whether they stayed only but for a season.

In terms of learning, I don’t think there was any big difference. It really depends on how a person learns best, some people are more tactile learners, some are visual learners, etc…my struggle with homeschooling was the difficulty for me to retain information. I noticed that I learned best when I touch and experience things rather than just read. Homeschooling has it’s advantages too in that there is less distraction and I felt like I learned to discipline my mind, because it was up to me to set my goals and plan my study tasks.

In a more social setting such as the private and/or public school, being a PK (Pastor’s Kid), affected how my classmates viewed me. I was always treated like I was “naive” or “sheltered”. Bullying seemed to follow me. I excelled in school and I had classmates who got jealous. As a child, I was still developing my sense of self-worth and having constantly bombarded by negative comments really took a toll on me. I was called “stupid” “fat” “white lady” and other derogatory names. What could an 8 yr old do to combat that? Those were dark days, I wished I sought for help though. The bullying lasted for about 2-3 yrs. Anyways, that’s the past. I’ve forgiven my tormentors.

Public and/or private school had it’s advantages too. The biggest advantage is the social aspect of it, being surrounded by diverse personalities and upbringings. It was beautiful to engage conversations and experiences with peers. To be able to run and play tag, hide and seek, catch spiders, tell ghost stories, and just to be young and wild and free. To have crushes, tell secrets, do homework with someone, and have your own group of peculiar friends. The feeling of entering a classroom and having that sense of excitement to see your friend waving at you to sit next to him or her. It’s beautiful. The challenge of competition also exists, you feel as if you’re in the Hunger Games, always striving to get the highest grade.

I am thankful that my parents instilled to me the Word of God. I remember that my dad would always remind me to read my Bible, to pray, and to have daily devotions. My parents always answered questions I had. Had they not instilled that in me, I think I would’ve turned out to  be a mess.

In the future if I ever do become a parent,  I would let my children experience home-schooling first and then gradually introduce them to public school. My parents tried to “shelter” me as much as they could, but life is life. I mean, even I, couldn’t escape bullying. It’s a parent’s responsibility to teach a child about life and how to successfully navigate through it. Schools, no matter the setting is the environment where a child can apply those basic teachings. From there, the basics is the most important, because that’s where the child will draw strength from, build to, and add to depending on what life throws at him/her.

What was your school experiences like? Would love to hear your story. Share in the comments below!

 

pic from https://www.freeimages.com/photo/chalk-1422016 by

kmb43xgame

 

 

 

Luke 19:1-10

Scripture Musings: Luke 19:1-10

Last chapter (Luke 18), we see the story of the rich young ruler. Very interesting that on Luke 19, something similar happens, Jesus encounters another rich person. But the turn of events were different.

Let’s imagine ourselves in Zacchaeus’ shoes…a rich Publican, in fact “chief among the publicans”, he was one bad ass tax collector basically. But he was just as human as us. Could it be that despite all the riches and fame (howbeit he seemed famously hated), lies a soul looking for greater purpose and meaning. Sometimes, I think we forget that even the rich and famous are just people. We envy their lives so much, oh, how life could be greener on the other side. Yet, here was Zacchaeus, there was something about Jesus that tugged on his heart. He secretly became obsessed with this man who claimed to be the “Son of God”.

As I read on, my heart melts how Zacchaeus got it. Unlike the rich young ruler, Zacchaeus’ eyes were opened. He wanted to see Jesus. He believed in the “Son of God”. I bet the crowds rolled their eyes when Zacchaeus tried to get to Jesus. Who wouldn’t, honestly, he was this short Jewish tax collector. Everyone already labeled him as “sinner”. But Zacchaeus, he set his eyes forth, he knew Jesus was no ordinary man. He ran way passed the crowds and saw a sycamore tree, climbed it. Talk about intense curiosity!

sycamore-1630190-640x960

How does it feel to be hated? How does it feel to have everything and yet be hated? This, I believe, was how Zacchaeus felt on a day to day basis.

“Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house.” Jesus said.

Heh, this scenario reminded me of times back in high school during lunch break. Everyone longed to be in their clique. “Come sit with us!” friends would holler. There was a feeling of belonging, of acceptance. Imagine, this was probably how Zacchaeus wanted to feel. Imagine the stress he must’ve been having, being a Jew under Roman rule. He probably was also made fun of his short stature. Maybe he was stuck, no turning back, dealt wrongly with the people, his reputation seared, known now us a crooked tax collector. Basically, no one wanted to sit with him. But on that fateful day, Jesus looked at him (actually maybe peered deep into the crevices of his soul) and said, “…I must abide at thy house.” There’s so much acceptance in that word “must”. He also probably felt surprised, it was Jesus who offered Himself.

I wish there were more words to express what when on in Zacchaeus’ heart when Jesus dined with him…

Love, liberty, acceptance, hope, forgiveness, new life, light, meaning, purpose, grace, happiness, joy, freedom, eternity, rejoicing, clean…

There was great rejoicing in his heart, a change swept over him.

“Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold”.

Radical change because of radical love.

Only Jesus could’ve revealed to this man the glorious meaning of salvation. He came to “seek and to save that which was lost”. My dear reader, this is His message to you.

 

 

Pic from https://www.freeimages.com/photo/sycamore-1630190 by

Robert Linder

 

Luke 18

Lots of hidden gems in this Chapter. This chapter alone could make a whole book on various topics. But let’s delve into it.

In Luke 18:1-8, here we can see that Jesus uses an interesting example of a widow who was incessant in her plea for justice. Sometimes, we are like the widow, in our prayers we approach God, and repeatedly we offer to Him our requests. Now this widow’s request was legitimate and this judge portrayed here seemed to be a man who didn’t genuinely care about his clients’ needs, in his mind he thought -“…I fear not God, nor regard man”. But because this judge wanted some peace and quiet, he would avenge her so she would stop harassing him. There is power in repetition. When you do or say something over and over again, it has the possibility to change. In this case, Jesus is encouraging us to not grow tired of praying. Of course, the prayer Jesus talks of here is not the repetitive prayers of the Pharisees, but the type of prayer that is raw communication to God.

This day and age, prayer sometimes is placed in the back shelf of our spiritual library. I am also guilty of this, thinking that prayer is a passive reaction to things. I find myself acting out on something without consulting God first. Yet, here Jesus educates us that God is not like the heartless judge, “And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily…” I like the word “speedily”. Here is Jesus talking to us, reassuring us that justice will be served! Has the enemy (adversary) taken from you? Has he caused you trouble? Come bring your case to the Father by prayer, do not cease or give up, have faith and you will be avenged.

praying-hands-1179301

Jesus then continuous on with other examples regarding prayer. A story about a Pharisee and a Publican. The Pharisee sounded more like he was bragging to God at how righteous he was and eventually started speaking brash about the Publican. Meanwhile, the Publican was more sincere in his prayer. Basically, humility is key when approaching God. Self righteousness is a no no. As Christians, we have to be very careful with this, especially with our thought life, comparison with others is never right. This is the wrong way to pray. Jesus is very clear when it comes to pride…”for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted”. True righteousness exalts God and not one’s self.

In verse 15 – 17, people brought their infants to Jesus. I haven’t really paid attention to this scripture until just now. Babies where brought to Jesus and Jesus said “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein”. What characterizes a child? It’s their innocence and sponge like faith. These are heavy things to digest in the average human mind. The talk about faith almost sound like nonsense or a fairy tale. We want things that are tangible, things that can be explained by the 5 senses. But can infants grasp the concept of life? Can an infant survive without the help of a parent? So are we in the hands of a mighty God. Let’s be honest, there are mysteries in the universe that even great minds have not yet uncovered. The complexities of everything, requires a certain amount of faith. We have to have that same faith in God as an infant has towards it’s caretakers. Good to know that we are in good hands.

Wooo…so much in just this one chapter!

Moving on…

As Jesus was talking, there was a certain ruler who asked Him “what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”. Jesus told him about the commandments to which the ruler confidently proclaimed that he had kept them ALL from his youth and up to now. You know what, maybe if the ruler had a little bit of humility, could the conversation have been different? I wonder, what if he was like the Publican, what if he approached Jesus differently? “Master, have mercy upon me a sinner. What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Back to the story…Jesus replied to Him and said, “Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.” The thing with Jesus, is that He knows what holds us. There will always be something that He needs to prune from us in order that we can be fruitful for the Kingdom. I’ve learned throughout the years, that our lives here on earth consists of constant surrender to God, one where we need to give our all. Now, take note, at how the ruler addressed Jesus as “Good Master”. He did not believe that Jesus was God. Because if he did, he would have left everything and followed Him. Another very important thing is to hold money and material things loosely. To follow Jesus requires a heavy cost. We must be willing to forsake all to follow Him. It is costly. Believe me, as uncomfortable as it sounds like, it’s the truth. Even I, struggle with this a lot of times. When God speaks to me to give a little bit more or when He tells me to get rid of an idol in my life, I struggle. But there is a promise, Jesus said “Verily, I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake. Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.” Take note, Jesus said, “in this present time, and in the world to come”. He did not say “or”, He said “and”. It’s actually such a relief to know that there will be results, albeit sometimes, it might not be what we expect, but based on His Word, we should rejoice that something good comes out of our surrendering of all into His hands.

All these things Jesus said must’ve been heavy to digest among his listeners, I think that’s why in the rest of the verse where He revealed to them about what was gonna happen in Jerusalem where he would be “delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again”, the disciples had no clue of what he meant. It sounded so surreal, I bet. But maybe if they took notes, He did mention that “he shall rise again”. I guess, they didn’t believe Him?

Wooo…we finally made it to the end of the chapter…the blind man, here again we see the power of repetition. This blind man did not give up, he kept on crying out “Thou son of David, have mercy on me!!!” Despite others rebuking him. Very interesting though, Jesus took notice. There’s something about repetitious perseverance that catches God’s attention. Nowhere in the Bible do I know of God ever turning away someone who stubbornly reaches out to Him. It’s amazing! “Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee”.

After reading this chapter, wow, I just feel a renewed sense of hope. Key things that stuck out in my mind was prayer and faith. Prayer cannot be effective without faith, because it takes faith to please God. These are heavy things to digest, but I do pray that we all continue to seek God and believe in His truths. Always remember that earth is not our home.

 

Burning Desire

burning-heart-1308854

For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. Romans 8:19 (KJV)

I was hesitant to write this blog, but I sensed in my spirit to write anyway. Have you ever felt just this crazy desire to do something that would change the world? As if something inside you needed to be birthed out. You feel restless at night, thinking about things you feel drawn to do, but somehow you feel stuck. I feel this way. Time doesn’t stop though. The clock keeps ticking and I see another white hair peek-a-booing from my scalp. Nowadays, I let it be. It’s a reminder for me to number my days.

So many things I wanted to do, but they reside somewhere in my mind. They lay dormant and quiet, silenced by the “what ifs” and/or it’s “too risky”. But when? When will I make a difference? Does it have to be a big difference? God, give me a sign? It’s hard to describe, all these desires and emotions – wanting to have a life partner, wanting to have more financial stability, wanting to serve more, wanting to have a mentor, wanting to reach out to a friend who doesn’t know Christ, wanting to travel, wanting to rest, wanting to spend more time with God…wanting…wanting…wanting…

And yet as I walk through the hallways where I work, I see rooms filled with people who struggle to stay alive, people who worry about where to go next, people who are desperately lonely and feeling forgotten. 

He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
Matthew 10:39

This Scripture rings loud and true. The very things we hold on to, the pride of life, our ego, our reputation – all encompass our worldly definition of “life”. But God, bless His name, oh, but God, He messes things up! To find life, you must be willing to lose it for His sake. To be first, you must learn to be last. To be great in the Kingdom, you must be a servant of all. What???! To be honest, these things are so easy to say, but honestly, even I struggle to do these things at times. Yeah, sure, it’s easy to be nice to people who are like-minded as you, to people who are kind and generous. It’s easy to be kind to those of higher authority and status, but will you be kind or serve someone who can’t add to your value? Someone who everybody abhors, to the very needy, to the very lonely, to the very angry, to the very hurt, to those with a mean spirit…to the very people Jesus died for? Basically, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done, and God’s kingdom needs you and me.

Heh, I think I’m starting to go all over the place, but bear with me. I’m getting to the point soon.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that, in this lifetime, it’s so important to live for God and His Kingdom. There’s that hunger that worldly pursuits cannot tame or fulfill. It might temporarily ease it, but then the fire burns inside. Do you sense that in your spirit? How temporary things are, and yet we hold on to them so tightly. We spend great amounts of time  with things that have no eternal value. NO ETERNAL VALUE. I’m guilty of this, even till this day, there are days I just let time slip by.

CAUTION: Don’t mistake rest for a waste of time. We all need rest. Do set a time to relax and sleep, read, do things for fun. But what I’m getting at is don’t lose the big picture, may your time of rest be a strategic moment for you to be energized and not drained.

Two things to keep burning for the Lord:

1. FOCUS – God has placed something in your heart and only you know what it is. It might not be clear, but you sort of have a clue. I say, FOCUS. Whatever, it is, maybe you love to serve children, then FOCUS on that, learn more about how you can be effective in your ministry. Maybe you love music, then FOCUS, learn as much as you can, start small, learn instruments, start composing songs. Maybe you have so many things in your head right now, and you feel confused. Pick one that you are most passionate about and just FOCUS on that. God will give you clues. Be inspired and blur out any distractions, FOCUS on that burning desire to serve Him.

And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. Mark 1:17 (KJV)

This passage fascinates me, Jesus was calling these humble fishermen, notice that they were focused on what they were doing, just catching fish, and yet God profoundly uses that talent/skill for something greater. You become effective when you are able to FOCUS on that talent/skill/desire God has placed in your heart. There’s a reason you can’t sleep at night, and that’s because you need to ask God to help you FOCUS.

2. DO – Once you have FOCUSED, next step, the hardest and most challenging one, is to DO. Like a camera, you need to press that trigger button to take a picture. Don’t spend too much time over focusing because you might miss the moment. You need to take the shot. Let God take care of the picture. Simply, go out there and apply your talents/gifts/callings/skills, anything you have decided to FOCUS on that you know is God ordained.

Two things that last forever:

1. THE WORD – “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35 (KJV). Jesus said this. It’s Jesus approved. Never think that it is a waste of time to study the WORD. You will struggle to find what to FOCUS on without instruction. The WORD is something of eternal value. Whenever, you study, speak, share, teach, and believe the WORD, you are investing in something that is worth more than gold (in fact gold is compared to cement in heaven, it’s used as mere pavement).

2. SOULS – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16 (KJV). Hence, we really need to FOCUS on getting souls for the kingdom. Everlasting life awaits them that believe in Jesus. But we must remember that although souls last for eternity, there are 2 kinds of eternities: One in the presence of God (Heaven) and the other away from the presence of God (Hell). That’s why it’s so important to know THE WORD, so we can FOCUS on Jesus and our mission, and be effective in our DOING, so that we can save SOULS, and all these have eternal value.

I’m gonna start now and I pray that you do too. Get out that calendar and start managing time wisely. Remember…

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. – Ephesians 5:16

May the Holy Spirit guide you in all truths. Let’s move mountains for the kingdom! Peace out!

God In The Box

Sorry, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Been busy with work and a bunch of stuff. But today is a new day, today I shall blog!

God in the box.

box-clipart-Kliponius_Cardboard_box_packageSo many times, unknowingly, I limit God. I allowed circumstances to blur my vision of the King of Kings. Recently, my Facebook feed was flooded once again of pictures and posts of engagements, babies, and marriage. It’s as if the whole world is getting married, and I’m getting “singled behind”. In a panic, I immediately signed up on one of those dating sites just to hold on to something tangible (heh, it’s not really “tangible” in any sense). At least, I’m being proactive, I tell myself. After swiping through hundreds of pictures, a blanket of gloom embraced me. It’s not quite the same, being able to meet someone in real life, seeing how they interact with other people. Character is hard to judge through the perfect smiles and seemingly exciting “about me” introductions. But I’ve been here before, I know this feeling. I know that if I allow myself to wallow in self pity, I would miss seeing the blessing.

Singleness is a blessing not a curse.

Took me some time to realize that it’s not wrong to be single. I’ve placed God once more in a box. A box that limits Him. As if I’m saying to Him, “Lord, my life will go nowhere unless I have a husband.” I boxed Him with my selfish, one tracked mind. I believed the lie that unless I get what I felt I deserved at this moment of my life, NOTHING can make me happy. But God was slowly changing my desires. “Take me out of your box.” He says. Then I begin to see how blind I was. Did I just forget that I am greatly loved by the Maker of the Universe, the very Author of Love Himself, the One who understands true happiness? Let that sink in. Maybe, you’ve boxed Him too, “God, this situation I’m in is impossible”, “God, I don’t think You can do anything at this point”, “God, I don’t believe anymore”.

I searched Scriptures, listened to wise counsels, I humbled myself, told God, “I don’t understand my desires. They are very selfish. I want to know You more and may Your desires be mines. Show me true contentment and happiness.”

How do we take Him out of the box?

  1. Realize that His ways are way cooler than ours.
    • “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
      neither are your ways My ways,
      declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth,
      so are My ways higher than your ways
      and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9.
    • This scripture alone is so explanatory at how truly amazing God is. It’s like He owns the whole ocean and our brains are only tiny rain droplets compared to His knowledge. And yet, God is so humble, He allows us to make choices, but can you just imagine how He feels when He has something great for us, and yet we are so engrossed with our own perceptions and false beliefs of what truly can make us happy.
  2.  Have no hoes.
    • “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3
    • Truth is, as children of God, living in this fallen world, it’s so easy to get so fixated on things that are temporal, and we start to elevate it to “Idol” status. Idols can come in many forms, it’s anything basically that you fixate your gaze upon, anything that you put so much value on that it competes with your dedication to God. Desires can be idols. I highly recommend this book Idol Lies by Dee Brestin, very insightful and life changing. But don’t read it, if you are not ready to break your “idols”.
  3. Go through the process of pruning.
    • “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” John 15:1-4
    • Sometimes, I wish we could skip this process all together. Can’t God just give me all the blessings and awesomeness? But…when you allow God out of your box, you are allowing Him to radically change your life. God is so wise that His value system is way different than ours. He knows what can destroy us. He knows our deepest potential and He alone knows how to draw that out from you. The process of pruning, can be painful, but as you allow Him to chop away all those dead unfruitful parts of your life, you will begin to see the “fruits”.
  4. Have faith with legs.
    • For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26
    • God out of the box, will challenge you to walk the talk. God’s gonna tell you to get out of your comfort zone and do some stuff. Obedience is key here. God will be very clear to you on what you need to do. Adventure awaits you the moment you step out in faith. In fact, it is the ultimate expression of taking Him out of the box, in my opinion. It’s when you decide that no matter how you are feeling, you would step out there and DO IT! When God impresses on your heart to give extra, GIVE EXTRA! When God tells you to let go of that sinful relationship, LET GO! When God tells you to apply to that job even when you feel unqualified, but He gives you peace to go for it, GO FOR IT! When He tells you to WAIT, WAIT!
  5. Trust.
    •  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16
    • One of the reasons we doubt God’s goodness, is because we are uninformed of His winning streaks. We blindly follow people’s comments of Him, circumstances, and our own skewed perception of who He is. So who is God? Why should I trust Him? The answer…it’s because He loves you. He loves you so much, I wish I could let you grasp this. It’s hard to say it in words, to type it down, even feelings cannot convey the intensity of the love of God for humanity. Who in their right mind would die on the cross to save people who are filled with selfish desires, hard headed, unmerciful, and yet, Jesus did just that. Therefore, we can trust in His love, knowing that He loves us so much, we can rely that whatever He allows to happen in our lives, we are safe and protected. That even to the point of evil happening, He can turn it to good. But the ultimate prize of trust is the access to eternal life.

I bet there are many other ways too on how to get God out of our boxes. Feel free to mention them in the comments below. But these are the ones that popped in my head as I wrote this piece.

I’m learning day by day on how to trust God, letting Him lose in my life. Allowing Him to tear down the limits I’ve imposed on Him. It’s a struggle, but little by little, step by step, I feel like I’m making progress. I no longer complain as I used to. Now, I look forward to every morning, I ask God, “What do you have in store for me today that I may glorify Your name?” Yes, I still do long for a husband, but now, I’ve come to love the Lord more than that desire. I stopped being fixated on how “single” I felt, and started to fixate my eyes on the grand adventure laid out for me by the great Author of Life. I’m learning how to unbox God and I hope and pray that you too would experience the freedom that comes with it, whether you are single or married.