Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WOYWW: Me? A Prophet?

This morning I was reading from the Prophet Jeremiah.
Jeremiah was called when he was a young boy,
and naturally he became fearful!

But God said to Jeremiah,
"Say not, 'I am too young', ...have no fear...
for I am with you..." Jeremiah 1:1-10

Like Jeremiah, I can imagine God saying the same thing
to me and to you:
"Before I formed you in your mother's womb,
I knew you.
Before you were born, I dedicated you,
I called you.
Say not 'I am too young', 'I am too shy',
'I am too insignificant', 'I am not smart'...

"Wherever I put you- in your office, in your school,
in your neighborhood, go!
Whomever I send you to speak to, speak!
Have no fear, for I am with you...."

 We have unique opportunities, unique talents
and resources. 
Yes, we too are called to be prophets
where we are, with what we have!
To prophecy not only means to predict the future
but also to reveal the message and the will of God.
So when we read God's Word,
and share it with others,
we can be God's prophet!

 Yesterday was the feast day of Saint Mary Magdalene. 
We should take heart because she 
who was saved from 7 demons by Jesus, 
and was not condemned by Him in spite of her many sins, 
is the most unlikely of saints! 
"Woman, why are you weeping?" 
Jesus asked her twice in John chapter 20. 
She didn't recognize him, 
thought he was a gardener, of all people! 
But then, can you blame her 
for not being very observant, or sensitive to God's presence? 
After all, she had just lost the One who loved her most! 
She felt lonely, devastated even. 
When she went to the tomb on that first Easter morning, 
it was still dark, but she could already 
see that the body of Jesus was not there.

When Jesus asked her, "Why are you weeping?", 

she answered in despair, "Please sir, 
if you have carried him away, TELL ME WHERE???"

 How many times are we like this? 
We cry, distraught, fearful, angry even, 
because of seemingly hopeless circumstances. 
We do not see God in our everyday. 
Just like Mary did not even give importance 
to the two angels sitting at the head 
and the foot of where Jesus had been laid. 
This was an allusion to the Ark of the Covenant, 
to the Mercy seat (Ex. 25:22).

When we are at our lowest, if we turn to the Lord, 
it can be the beginning of a new hope. 
The most desperate situation can hide the shining truth, 
that God is alive, and moving in our lives 
to bring us to the place we most want to be!

 "The wicked man boasts
there is no God." Psalm 10:4

 "You have been told, O man, what is good, 
and what The Lord requires of you: 
Only to do right and to love goodness, 
and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8


Friday, July 18, 2014

Paint Party Friday: Learn From Me!

"I desire MERCY, not sacrifice."
Matthew 12:7

It's hard to balance disciplining and mercy
when it comes to children, employees,
students, people who've done wrong,
because we always want to teach a
lesson about consequences of their actions.

If they make a mistake, or are dishonest,
we want to mete out a justifiable punishment.
I sometimes fear if I'm too soft,
they won't learn the lesson 
and they'll do it again.
But how about God?

 "The wages of sin is death," (Romans 6:3)
shows death is what we deserve
for sinning!
And yet the verse continues,
"but the gift of God is eternal life
in Christ Jesus our Lord."
That is pure mercy, pure grace,
and pure sacrifice for us!

And so when deciding on the consequence,
it is always best to temper it with mercy,
to bear witness to the truth of
God's own love and unbelievable mercy!

"Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, 
and I will give you rest. 
Take my yoke upon you and LEARN from me... 
And you will find rest for yourselves..." Matthew 11:28-30

Sometimes I picture God 
shaking His head in frustration. 
He has already given us His 'instruction manual', 
how to live so that we will have peace 
in the midst of confusion, 
joy in spite of sadness and pain, 
wholeness and strength 
in spite of circumstances around us 
 trying to destroy what we have. 
Jesus says LEARN from me. 
Listen to me, follow me. 
Instead we want to live it, "My way!"

Imagine if we didn't know how to drive 
and we bought a really nice car and 
didn't read the manual that the 
manufacturers carefully put together 
so that the car would run at its optimum. 
Could we get far using it? Through trial and error?

That's what we do with our lives when we 
don't read our instruction manual, the Bible! 
I think when we get to Heaven and see 
our 'manufacturer' face to face and talk to Him, 
we're going to say, "If only I took You more seriously! 
It would have saved me a lot of pain and frustration!"

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WOYWW: Like a Child!

Here is my desk this morning. 
Amy Weaver sent me some wonderful gelli plate prints! 
I am so happy as I've never seen what gelli plates can make 
as it is not available for sale here in Manila.

Storm Glenda is battering the Philippines 
and while I was working, the lights went off! 
I am working in the dark using one of those emergency lights! 
Please pray for protection and safety for our country.
We've had so many disasters already!

Still dark.

My reading this morning is from Matthew 11:25- 
"Although you have hidden these things from the wise 
and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike."

In the world's eyes, being wise and learned 
is better than being childlike. 
So why is Jesus saying in this passage 
that those who are 'childlike' or 
'untaught and unskilled' (Amplified Bible) 
will receive revelations from God? 
I think it is because he had just finished teaching his disciples 
and was thanking God that these simple men 
accepted His words in contrast to the 
learned men whom he likened to "wolves" in Matthew 10:16.

 And so it is with us, if we wish to know God and His ways, 
we have to be like sheep following the shepherd, 
like a child obedient to his father, 
like a dove, innocent, harmless, guileless and without falsity. 
(Matthew 10:16)

 Lord, may I be like a child listening to Your words at your feet, 
and may I always be humble and trusting,
so You can mold me and make me and use me!

"Unless your faith is firm, you will not be firm." Isaiah 7:9

Our faith is like a muscle in a way. 
We need to exercise it so it becomes strong and firm. 
We build it up when we use it 
against the weapons of the enemy. 
Our faith is like Israel's Iron Dome, 
our shield, our bulwark. 
Suffering, setbacks, failures, 
embarrassments, disappointments- 
these are all part of the enemy's arsenal against us.

Our biggest trial as a family was when my mom got sick. 
It could have been devastating 
when she lost the battle against cancer and left us, 
but because our faith has been built up through the years, 
we were able to praise God and sing songs of His faithfulness 
while she lay on her deathbed in the hospital.
God never promised that He would save us 
from all difficulty and suffering. 
But He has promised us faith for the journey if we call on Him!


Monday, July 14, 2014

He is No Fool!

"Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground
without your Father's knowledge.
Even all the hairs on your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than
many sparrows."
Matthew 10:29-31

 When I was young, maybe about 11 or 12 years old,
I remember staring at this plaque
on our wall which read, "God is love".
It was crudely made as I had made it myself
from built up cardboard.
While staring at it, God spoke to my heart
saying, "Yes, I am love."
And from then till now, I never doubted it.

I think it was one of my foundational experiences.
Because I knew God loved me, I grew up confident in that love.
It did not matter if people rejected me, hurt me,
judged me, thought me weird (of this, there were many!),
everything was OK, because, Hey! God loved me!

If we are not confident of God's love,
we can search for signs, take note of it, and thank God for it.

  Somebody gave me a gift, yey! God loves me!
Somebody encouraged me, somebody paid me a visit,
God answered a small or a big prayer,
Yey! God loves me!

I found a parking space, a lost thing, I have money
to pay for something I really really want,
Yey!!! God loves me!!!

If we are more conscious of the small things
God does for us, we won't doubt His BIG love!

"My word shall not return to me empty, 
but it will accomplish that which I please 
and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it" Isaiah 55:11.
God's Word is like a seed. 
Plant it in your heart and see it bear fruit.
When Dr. Cindy Trimm was young, 
her family was very poor. 
But when she read the Bible, 
she practiced what she read and confessed it. 
In Mark 11:23, it says, "You will have what you say." 
So from when she was a poor young girl, up to today, 
she confessed good things from Deuteronomy 28 
to come into her life. She did this EVERY MORNING.
Today Dr. Cindy Trimm is a best selling author, 
popular speaker and life coach. 
She became a Senator in Bermuda 
and was named one of Ebony Magazine's 
Top 100 Doers and Influencers in the world!

 There are a lot of paradoxes in the Bible.
To be rich, we have to give.
To live eternally, we are supposed to die to ourselves.
To be first, we should be last.
One of the most confusing is Matthew 10:39-
"Whoever finds his life, will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

 Most people think that if we follow Jesus
we LOSE our life.
That's why many don't want to do it.
But the opposite is true.
If we allow Jesus to take the wheel,
and we go where He leads,
instead of expecting Him to run after us,
we will find fullness of life!
We become the best we can be!

After all, as it says in Matthew 10:30,
"Even the hairs on your head are ALL numbered."
He knows our weaknesses and strengths,
our gifts, talents, and potential.
Jim Elliot, a missionary who lost his life
trying to bring the Word of God
to the Aucas in Ecuador, once said:
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep,
to gain that which he cannot lose."

I don't want to be a fool, do you?