Friday, December 30, 2011
What would I do then? If I could climb the tallest clock tower and hold the hour hand still, I would.
It seems we're always running out of time. We are always in need of time. We long for more time.
Tomorrow night is a big one. All eyes will be on the hand of the clock, as it approaches midnight and welcomes a new year. (At least, that is in the USA.)
We all stop and pause as the seconds approach the 12 o clock hour, as if something monumental is taking place, and still the clock continues to tick away.
It holds no favorites. Time never stops for us and our inconveniences. It doesn't respect our sorrows or needs. It just does it's part, and we are to comply.
So much depends on time. People's expectations...their hopes, goals, and dreams. Births, deaths, wedding dates, travel plans, anniversaries, vacations, and other events.
So what if there were no time restraints? No due dates or deadlines.
No limits on time? What then?
Think about it for a second, if you will.
What would you do? How would you live?
I don't think I can honestly come up with a good response. I know that I'd love to be lazy and not worry about time demands. But I don't know that I'd want that every day.
I know I'd want to care for those who are in need... to be there for my mother...spend time with children in hospitals enduring pain, and the elderly who are sick with ailments. I'd want to travel with my favorite people. I'd love to watch my daughter swim and my son climb. I'd call long lost friends. I'd visit with my dad.
And yet, I know that those responses, although they are pure in heart, they are all that my human mind can fathom. My mind is so limited. Just like time is limited.
And still my mind cannot truly process the meaning of a timeless existence.
That is why heaven and eternal life are so mind boggling.
To live eternally... forever.... without and end to time?
Only God could come up with that. And only He can plan it so that it's just right. You see, when I think about eternity with God, I can only imagine it with my human mind. That is why God's plan is for us to be transformed along with time.
1 Corinthians 15:52
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
We will not be as we are now. We will not have the needs of human kind. And so no deadlines, no due dates, no demands.... means that we can truly enjoy eternal life doing that which brings complete fulfillment--- connecting with God.
John 3:15,that whosoever believeth may in him have eternal life.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Blood sister even.
It's the person who believes you and takes you as you are.
She's too young to care about looks, beliefs, and attributes.
No prejudices there, what matters is you.
It's the smile, with the dimples, the one imprinted in your mind.
Fun times, silly times, and simple being close times.
It's the child that never grows up because your memories live on.
It's your wildest dream coming to life, when all fear is gone.
The bike rides down city streets. The walks in a lonely cemetery.
The pranks, the calls, the fights, the talks.
It's a young girl without a name because daddy's gone and mom pushes her away.
It's her shadow in the dark.
It's her cry without words.
It's her courage still suppressed.
By the demands of this world.
It's a girl now turned to woman.
Leaving traces on my heart.
Distance is but a gasp, although we are far apart.
The childhood smile fades away, though it appears from time to time.
There's more to life...
New dreams and hopes.
Our own little ones to raise.
Determining to be there unlike our parents were.
And we've done good.
We've done great.
Best wishes to you, my childhood friend.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Genesis 1:27 states that God made man in His image. Okay, sounds simple enough.
And yet it isn't. You see I'm struggling with seeing God's image in man.
Don't get me wrong, it's easy to see Him in beautiful newborn babies, and in those peaceful looking elderly people, and even in those dear to us and whom we love most. I can see God's image in the faces of my beautiful children, the smile of a friend, and I can even sense Him in the stillness of the night or early dawn.
But I'm finding it really hard to see Him in the faces of those who are less fortunate than me. It's hard to see Him in those that walk on the "broader path"; the rebels, or those who commit heinous acts. It's hard to see Him in the face of the lawbreaker, and the street walker, the prostitute, and the homeless.
Why can't I see Him? Maybe it's because I've always thought it to mean that God created "these men". The ones I'm familiar with. The ones that occupy the church building. The ones that I pray and share praises with.
It wasn't until recently that I began to fathom that maybe the verse was referring to all people. All men. Even the ones I don't acknowledge and the ones I don't consider worthy. Even those "men" carry the image of God.
It's mind boggling to me that "God will use the lowly to humble the lofty"--(paraphrased) but derived from 1 Corinthians 1:28,
"God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are"
And yet that is what He does. I'm humbled at the fact that I have overlooked the face of Christ, who knows how many times.
And yet it is also good to know that the fact that I didn't notice, doesn't change God's word. Thankfully and graciously, it is not up to me, who would be considered or not. Thankfully and ultimately, it is up to God. He is the creator and we are all just a mere fraction of who He truly is.
And sadly but lastly, although I may not appear like it on the outside and exterior, I am just as unworthy and distorted as the other guy.... the one sitting on the sidewalk waiting for a smile.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I haven't seen you in a while
I know times are hard and all, but I guess I'm feeling a bit guilty
Maybe it was something I said, or what I never did say
nevertheless, I miss ya
and I long to see you smile
today's the day which brings new mercies true
i heard it in the Sunday sermon, I read it thinking of you
Lamentations 3: 23 to be exact.
Lamentations.... isn't that where you're at?
Lamenting the past and the hardships of today
Lamenting that you can't make the good times stay
But how ironic! to find...
a glimmer of hope in a book like that
His mercies are new every morning.
I can live with that.
It means that although I sometimes long for it, yesterday has past
and with it, goes the burdens at last
And with it, goes the sorrow
that seems to have you trapped
It means that with tomorrow
you will have found a reason to clap
Yes, clap for joy... and even dance
Rejoice in knowing that today is a new chance
To live the life that no one else might
For in you there is strength... although you may have lost sight
It is in you... He lives in you
And His Spirit is true
He gives you whatever you need
He loves you
it's been a while
and I long to see you smile...
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Now I am certain.
My daughter took a look at my feet and said, "What is that?" I said, "My skin is dry." She said, "Are you broken?"
I guess she's got at point. My skin is broken. And I am broken.
Aren't we all? Our bodies are so limited. When are we ever in a perfect state? Is it when we are first born? So many are born with illnesses and diseases. Is it when we are fearless teenagers? Car accidents change their lives forever. I'm sure it's not when we are elderly; slowly losing our hearing, our vision, our mobility.
My mother announced the other day that she plans to be around for approximately another five years. Five years!!!!! She's only in her sixties! What is she thinking?!
And yet, I can understand exactly why she would say that. Her body is broken. So is mine. And it won't be until we face our maker face to face that we will be made new and perfect. Just imagine a new body that has no malfunctions.
But we aren't just made up of bodies. We have a spirit as well. And unfortunately, our spirits get broken too. More importantly, a broken spirit is much worse than a broken body. If our spirit is broken, we lose hope.
Yet, once again, eternity will make our spirits new!
Tomorrow will be Thanksgiving Day. And I know that around the table there will be many who are feeling broken. What's there to be thankful for? Jobs lost, relationships broken, illnesses, fears, etc.
And yet, brokenness, to me means that I am in need. It means that I am limited and that I need a savior. Without my brokenness, I'd be a self-sufficient very proud person. I'd be very lonely too. And I would not realize my need for a savior. I would not recognize my creator. I would be lost without my Lord.
And so I'm thankful for my brokenness because it keeps me in awe of my maker. It reminds me that I am nothing without Him. And it helps me to live depending on Him.
Hope for eternity. A faithful Heavenly Father. Answered prayers. Perseverance in trials. Strength for tomorrow. Infectious joy. Calming Peace. A humble heart. A Savior who was broken, for me. This is why I'm thankful.
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
In Christ, we have a savior that was truly broken on our behalf---dying on the cross so that we could spend eternity free of pain, free of suffering, free of brokenness.
That's something to be thankful for!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2011!
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
So I was feeling mighty low, when I received mail from my mother. I don't know about you, but I know for me, receiving mail has become a special event. And obviously, I don't mean "junk mail". We get that everyday, and it's always so full of ... junk.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
It's supposed to be an encouraging phrase to redirect your sullen or downcast thoughts to a more positive outlook on life. It goes along the lines of "look at the bright side" and "the cup is half full".
But what about those who are stuck in depressive mode? What do you say to those who are breathing their last breaths? A very good friend of mine was on her dying bed, when she pulled me up close to her face and asked me, "What do you think Lucy? Am I gonna make it?" ...I was speechless. I mustered the words that only God could have given me to try and provide peace for her anxious heart at that moment..
And still I know for certain, that using that most popular phrase, "when life gives you lemons..." would not have be reassuring for my friend.
So what is one to do when the lemonade theme is not enough to get us through the day? What is one to do when everything falls apart? When there is pain and suffering? When there is loneliness and death? You see, life is hard! No one gets a free and smooth ride. No one gets to bypass the demands, the turmoil, the stresses, the sorrows. No one.
And so I say, "when life gives you lemons, look up"! Turn to God for strength. That is the only for sure thing I know that will in turn bring true assurance and encouragement.
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Okay, so to wrap it up in a nutshell, here's the way the story goes. A man had two sons. The younger one claimed his inheritance before it was time because he wanted to venture out into the world and make due with what was rightfully his. And so the father did not deny him the request, and the son went out and splurged on everything and anyone foul. As a result, he foolishly wasted all of his money on "dead-end" things, and ended up with not even a bite to eat. He hit rock bottom, when he finally mustered up the courage to go back home. (Ever been there?)
And so off he went on a venture back home, taking with him his only baggage: guilt and shame, repentance and a humble heart. He had, indeed, learned his lesson the hard way. And it must have been a very long and difficult walk, not knowing what the response from his family would be. He couldn't stop to call or text or facebook dad to give him a heads up that he was on his way. Instead, he made the long walk home. Actually, he didn't make it all the way home, when his father spotted him and ran to him.
His father not only ran to him, but he greeted and embraced him with immense joy. So much so, that he called for a party. He ordered his servants to prepare the best meat in the house and to invite friends and neighbors, so as to throw the biggest bash in honor of his "prodigal son". It was as if they were to celebrate a birthday. In essence, the prodigal son had been reborn and renewed. It was a birthday celebration! --Luke 15:22-24, "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on hi finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate."
The story goes on to say that the older brother was very jealous and bitter about the way the father treated his brother. However, what I find most revealing and moving is the part when the father took back his son. You see, I am in awe of how loving and open this father was toward his "spoiled" son. And as a parent myself, I know of many other ways that I may have handled the same situation. In fact, I think this father had many other options.
He could have gone inside the house and closed the doors, when he spotted the son drawing closer.
He could have asked the son to quietly leave.
He could have drilled the son with questions about his whereabouts. (that would have been my natural choice)
He could have yelled. He could have shouted. He could have turned his back.
Lastly, he could have politely asked his son to go get cleaned up before taking him in. I would have. Wouldn't you?
Isn't that what we do? We want people to act right, before we can consider them acceptable. We want them to clean up their acts and look right, before we can welcome them in.
What's even worse, is that Christians do this, and churches do this as well.
And he could have... but he didn't.
And what's more, God didn't.
When I was a little girl, I remember having great respect for my father. Well, actually it was mostly fear. I revered him at times, but mostly I was just afraid of his response to my wrongful behavior. And there was plenty of wrongful behavior, even at at young age. I specifically remember that my father did not allow me to play outside. He wanted me to be indoor, while I hated the indoors. And so, I'd play outside as long as I could, before noticing him on his way home from work down the road from our home. Even my friends knew to alert me, if they saw my dad coming down the street. Most of the time, I'd be inside, before he'd catch me breaking the rule. Yet, there were those regrettable times, when he'd catch me before I could run inside. And it was on those days, that I'd get my spanking.
And so I learned to either walk a very straight line to impress my father, or to be prepared for the worse if I broke his rules. I received the worse many times.
You see, that is why I am in awe of the father's love for the prodigal son. Hence, it is obviously, an illustration of God's love for us. The truth is that, as much as our earthly fathers may love us, none could compare to our Heavenly Father's affections for us.
I wished my dad had accepted me that way. I wished he'd receive me with open arms, even when I was at fault. I wished...
Fortunately, God did.
And after reading the story today, I could actually visualize God celebrating my return to Him. Celebrating my repentant heart, just like the father in the story did. He celebrated my return, and He celebrates every time another lost child comes back home to Him. He throws a birthday party on our behalf! And He doesn't ask us to take care of the "check list" beforehand. He simply awaits us. He longs for us. He runs to us. He finds us. He embraces us and takes us in. And then, as if that wasn't enough, He celebrates!
Sunday, October 23, 2011
The jailer made sure to do his job well. He knew that it was his duty to jail Paul and Silas for performing miracles and preaching "Jesus", and he was to make sure that they could not move. Yet, when he woke up to the amazement that Paul and Silas were loose, he was so highly disappointed and in despair that he was willing to take his own life. He figured he would lose his life anyway, when his superiors found out.
It is obvious that this jailer did not know the power of God. It is obvious that he didn't realize that Paul and Silas were filled with the spirit of God. And it wasn't until Paul shouted to him, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!" that he began to see God's power at work. He fell before Paul and Silas, and inquired, "what must I do to be saved?" And they lead him to salvation in Christ that very night.
I find it so amazing that God would work this way to save a lost soul. The jailer was lost and without hope, and God was aware. So much so, that He used the suffering of two of His most devoted followers, Paul and Silas, to bring this lost soul to salvation. And not only was he saved, but his family, as well. It says that, "then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God--he and his whole family."
What a night! What a full day/night of work. This man's life was changed unexpectedly. Or so it seems, but God knew. God knew that this man needed a savior, and He came to him... even if it was at a jail cell.
Be encouraged, my friends. God is still aware of lost souls. And He can still work within the most absurd circumstances. He is at work in hospitals rooms, psych wards, jail cells, train stations, supermarkets, restaurants, beauty salons, schools, trucks, and so on.
If you are a lost soul, acknowledge His power today.
If you are like Paul and Silas, claiming to be devoted to Him, be prepared to sing His praises, claim His power, and share the good news of salvation with others at any time.
Every day is an opportunity for salvation for the lost.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
My mother said her first heartfelt prayer, while facing her own death. She nearly drowned as a teenager, as she tried to save her sister from drowning. And in that most turbulent moment, she cried out knowing that only God could save her. And He did. Her sister's fate was different. She passed away with the turbulent waters, leaving my mother with immense loss.
I call my mother a survivor. A feisty woman full of gumption and great spirit. And although she has given in to fears at times, she is fearless.
There's a woman I know. Her graceful smile hides the burdens that she must carry. Her gentle ways never tells about her pain. She pulls herself together instead of pulling covers over her head. She is fearless.
I've fond memories of a woman who'd write her cares away to paper. Not allowing pain to leave its trace on her heart. With each new night, she welcomed new strength... With each new day, new mercies she embraced. She was fearless.
My sister is one of my heroes. Her smile lights up a room. She's giving and meek,and to some she may seem weak. Yet on her knees, she finds the courage to face the cares of the day. She is fearless.
One of my dearest friends passed away several years ago, after a long battle with Lupus. This October 17th, we would have celebrated her birthday. I can't help but think about the great example of strength and courage that she left for me and others. She had the gift of hospitality. And although she lacked physical strength, her words were always uplifting. She drew people in with her soft tone and laughter. Oh, how I miss her! Nancy was fearless.
I know of single mothers, who play the role of mom and dad. I know of widows who pick up where husbands left off. I know of young mothers who spend their days and nights by the hospital beds of sickly children. I know of women who are battling illnesses, not giving up the fight. I know of moms who await their "prodigal" children's return. I know of wives who do not walk away from their marriage, although they have every right to do so. I know a lot of fearless women.
And then there's me.
I get up in the morning because I am able to. I share my life with others because God says I should. I love when it is hard to. I believe, when I can't see. I trust although it's difficult. I move forward, although I feel stuck. I smile, even when I'm hurting. I laugh because it feels so good. I cry because there is hurt. And I pray because only in God do I find strength.
A while back I read a study on what it meant to be a woman of strength versus a strong woman. And the conclusion was that anyone can be strong, but real strength is only found in God. And when you fully rely on God for strength, you become fearless.
Have you ever head the story of Elizabeth Elliot? She won over the men who killed her husband. She witnessed to the violent tribe, and they gave their lives over to Christ.
Have you read the story of Rahab? Although she was a prostitute in Bible times, she protected the men of God who needed a place to hide, and she was saved.
Lastly, have you not heard the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus? She was a young virgin who carried baby Jesus in her womb and gave birth to Him, the savior of mankind.
She was, indeed, fearless.
Nehemiah 8:10b, "for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Psalm 28:7a, "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me."
Isaiah 40:29, "He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak."13
1Peter 3: 13-15, "Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats[b]; do not be frightened.”[c] 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.
2Timothy 1:7, "For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline."
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Truly we live in a such a broken world. And people cope in different ways. Some people choose to live in denial. Sort of like "out of sight out of mind". Well, the reality is that the theory only seems to work on babies, and even babies grow out of it real quick. Yet, denial leads people to some sort of oblivious way of living. They stay away from anything that seems or feels real. They begin relationships, only to break them. And they only engage in things that do not require commitment. Like one night stands.
Then there are people who want to pretty up the messy world we live in. The mentality is "you only live once" and "life is a gift"! They thrive on instant gratification. They feel like they must achieve and enjoy because life will soon be over. And you might wonder where is the wrong in that? There is some truth to it, isn't there? Well, the problem is in thinking that all that there is to enjoy is now... forgetting that there is an afterlife and eternal life with God. And truly this life is but a shadow of our "real life". Think about that... There is nothing here and of this world that will bring everlasting joy or fulfillment.
And while we have some of us "enjoying every moment", the realities of this fallen life persists. The reality is that there are babies who never see their birthday because there isn't someone who will live for them. The reality is that there are elderly people committing suicide because no one ever stops by to visit. Reality is that there are mothers abandoning their children because of drug addictions and sexual addictions. The reality is that there are men who cheat and lie all for the sake of a reputation. There are murderers and rapists, and child molesters in our very own circle of friends and family.
I hope yo don't think I'm speaking out of turn here. I'm speaking from my very own life experience. My grandfather was a child molester and so was my uncle.
And as of lately, I've been getting to know an orphan, and his situation weighs heavy on my heart. And I wish I could undo the pain and suffering that was caused to him. I wish I could undo the pain being caused on other children just like him all over the world.
And sometimes I feel like I am just a woman standing at the center of the world trying to hold the world together. Like I'm trying to bandage up all of the world's hurts and miseries. I'm trying to heal the sickened and mend the broken. Isn't' that what God called me to do? ....I'm trying
And then I read Isaiah 40:31, "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."
And I realize that I am not God.
Only God is God.
The scripture doesn't read, "those who hope in Lucy..."
I am not this world's Superhero. Only God can fix it. Only God can mend and heal it. Only God can rescue and save.
You see the more I am aware of the needs of this world, and the more I try to do my part, I realize that I am limited. I am but a vessel that God will use. God will use....
And we must stop trying to "pretty it up". The world is what it is because the world needs a savior.
And all that I can do is tell others about that savior, with as few words as possible. My life's story should tell others about who God is and what He is able to do. I can tell others about how I was destined to be a single mother walking the streets of Philly selling drugs and my body... but God rewrote my destiny. God came for me! He saved me...
I am not, in any way saying that we, Christians, are not called to do "kingdom works". In the contrary, we should all be involved in things that will bring the lost to Christ. However, we must keep in my mind that the world does not rotate at the palm of our hands, but that it is God who saves it.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Sometimes in life, things happen... unexpected encounters, ironic circumstances, breath-taking exchanges, that literally leave you speechless. And I'm not referring to the very trendy kind of "OMG" moments and expressions.
I'm talking about those very rare humbling experiences that lead you to wonder, "How did I ever think I knew all I needed to know prior to this?"
And it has nothing to do with age, or determination and accomplishments, or anything else that would reflect my own glory. Yet, it has everything to do with how God lines things up at the very perfect moment and time. He leaves us speechless...
I know some of you by now are wondering where I'm going with this, but I will do my best to be clear from this point on. (Now keep in mind, my best sometimes falters.)
You see, I'm talking about moments like when you first see your newborn baby.
And moments like when you're standing at your friend's burial site, (your legs trying their best to hold you up) full of grief; and suddenly you feel a breeze, as if caressing your face, and a dove flies by, and a yellow flower stands out in the crowd. And somehow, though the tears roll down, you experience peace.
And then there was the moment when I received a letter from a dear friend telling me that she was diagnosed with a terminal disease, and doctors could not make any promises for her well-being. And how I traveled miles to meet up with her, only to find that the beautiful young and vibrant woman I once knew, was stricken so that she could barely move. But what a moment it was to see her smile, regardless...
And when I hear the story from an orphan who has lived his entire life without a home, without a family of his own. And yet, he tells me about how he wants to help others, and how he has found hope in God...I am left speechless.
And I wonder... "who am I, Lord?" Who am I that you should highlight my insignificant life with such meaningful moments?! That I may bring you glory? That I may praise your name? That I may claim your power? or that I may be left in surrendered humility... Speechless.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Many mornings I spend time in prayer, asking God to help me live a Godly life, only to find at the end of the day, I've come so short of the goal.
Discouragement puts me to sleep.
There are days,however, when I know exactly what to do. I know exactly how to act and what to say... and then I must choose. Not always making the right choice.
It is on those days, that I am most grateful for the scripture reference that says, "His mercies are new every morning".
For if it wasn't for God's mercies... I'd still be trying but failing.
And then there's that other saying, or is it scripture?... "the heart is willing but the flesh is weak". Sounds like scripture...
Okay, so the point is that many of us have very good intentions and want to follow God's will for our lives, but we fail to do see it through. And we all have our reasons. Or are they excuses? I don't know, but regardless, we fall short.
So this was the topic of discussion last night for my husband and me. And if you are married, you know that topics of discussion usually mean that "we see things differently". It was an awesome discussion, nevertheless.
I was on the side of "God's grace covers all of our mistakes, and so it's okay if we mess up". My loving husband was on the other side with, "We must stop being lukewarm for Christ, and we need to give God our all--- not sitting back with the "God's grace has Me" card--- and limiting our faith from growth because we won't step out or speak out for the Lord."
I told you it was awesome!
And then there's God's word. God's word... which cuts like a knife. It is as powerful as it is soothing. God's word meets our needs, and it meets us right where we are.
It's like Jesus-- Jesus met people where they were. At times, He was just walking by. Other times, he sat with them. And there were times, when He went out to find them.
Okay so going back to how I should live today. Here is my conclusion... I was reading the book of Hosea in the Bible. If you've never read it, you should. It is confusing a bit, but the message of God's love could not be more clear. You see Hosea was a prophet that God called to marry a prostitute. And it describes her (Gomer) as a very lowly person. She was someone that none of us would wish to relate with. And yet, she was Hosea's mission. And not only did He have to marry her, but when she left him and continued with her promiscuous ways, Hosea had to sought her out. He actually paid to have her back. She was being "auctioned" off, and Hosea bought her back.
Hosea represented God, and so you know who we are, right? We are, or were, Gomer the prostitute. You see we are, in our human nature, very lowly people. And we are capable of all inhumane sins. Yet, God sent His son to come and rescue us and give us eternal life in heaven. Yet, He paid a very big price for us. He died for us. And when we mess up, because we will, He buys us back. He brings us back to Him.
And so, as Christians when we go about our day, trying to meet our goals, this we should have in mind:
God gave it all for me---for all of me--present, past, and future. And He loves me anyway. That is not to be taken lightly.
Now, out of gratitude and love for Him, I will give my all in return. I will step out of my comfort zone-- although the zone may be very large-- but I will do it for Christ. Not because He needs it, but because He deserves it.
What exactly shall I do out of my comfort zone? (one may ask) I will love the unlovable. I will serve the ones in need. I will tell others about His love. I will obey His word, when I don't want to. I will ask for forgiveness, when I offend. I will drive away from the place that leads me into temptation. I will not befriend the person that lures me. I will change the radio station... and so on and so on... Can you add to the list of things that we can do to live for Christ? (if so, add it on the comments box below)
And though I may fall short, like I have many times, I will continue to strive to be just like Him, who loved me first.
9 I will not carry out my fierce anger,
nor will I devastate Ephraim again.
For I am God, and not a man—
the Holy One among you.
I will not come against their cities.
10 They will follow the LORD;
he will roar like a lion.
When he roars,
his children will come trembling from the west.
11 They will come from Egypt,
trembling like sparrows,
from Assyria, fluttering like doves.
I will settle them in their homes,”
declares the LORD.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
The heart can hold a lot things. In fact, the heart is like a treasure box. And what you cherish most, resides in it. Some things can take up a lot of room in our hearts, even though they are small. For example, some people's hearts are full of envy. And some people's hearts are full of greed. Some people are full of fear. And then again, some are full of pride. Some carry in it, lust, and others store hate.
Oh how heavy must a heart be, when it's holding such things!
And woe to the person who bears things such as these.
So much to hold in such little space.
The Bible goes on to say that the heart is what determines how a man/woman shall live. And that, which shows through our words and actions, also tells of what is in our hearts. In essence, the heart, and whatever resides in it, demonstrate what we are all about.
So the question is, what's in my heart? And how shall I know? Who would know? If we survey our friends, what would their descriptions of us be? Better yet, let's ask our enemies or strangers. What would they say?
You see, our lifestyle should be one that reflects who we are to all people. And even strangers should sense what's inside our hearts.
Inevitably, it is what is most important to us that will fill our hearts the most. What matters most, will reside most.
And that's when the conviction takes place. You see, if I call myself a Christian, my heart should be full of God's love. And His love should be what determines how I live. For it is His love that saves us and leads us.
It determines how I treat others, friends and strangers.
It determines how I will spend my time. And whom I will spend it with.
It determines my decisions and my plans and every detail of my life.
And so if that is the case, others will know whom God is because of what is in my heart.
And now I ask you, what's in your heart?
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
“Long words bother me.” - Pooh
I don't like long words either. I like short words. So I decided to list my favorite short words. And it just so happens that they are all four to six letter words.
I don't like words like catastrophe and temptations and tribulations and suffering and betrayal and deception and abductions and .... (although I know from experience, there can be real and good purpose in those)
Oh, but what about words like: celebrations and salvation and sanctification and willingness and submission and loyalty and faithfulness and possibilities and miracles and victorious and wholeness and happiness and surrender and deliverance and serenity...
And then there are those little words that we can't live without: pure, joy, holy, God...
Words... Oh what's in a word, anyway?
Words are just words...
Like today, I was DETERMINED. Determined to make the most of opportunities and bring glory to God. Tonight I'm HUMBLED. Humbled by the way God works in and through us according to His will. I am also HOPEFUL. Hopeful for a bright tomorrow because of God's promises.
Now let me go back to my favorite words. His MERCY found me in my lowest state, and because of His mercy, I rose above. His GRACE gave me what I could never earn on my own- eternity in heaven. I seek to live in His PEACE everyday. I am humbled by His LOVE. And I PRAISE Him for my family who leads me closer to Him.
There you have it, my favorite words.
Oh... did I fail to mention? JESUS...
Jesus is my very favorite word. Jesus is the most beautiful and most powerful word. Jesus is the reason I have grace and mercy and peace and love and a family who loves me. Jesus is the reason I'm alive today. Jesus is the reason for my tomorrow. Jesus is everything to me.
Jesus- my most favorite word.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children ofGod! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
But whoever loves God is known by God.
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.