Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WOYWW: Reflecting God's Radiance!

 Here is my desk this morning.
My laptop is on the right,
and a blank canvas on the left.
I am preparing for an art exhibit in a
prestigious hotel
and I have to start on some canvases soon.

"When the Israelites saw Moses and noticed how radiant the skin of his face had become..." Exodus 34:30
When Moses came down from
Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments inscribed in stone in his hands, his face was radiant, shining, glowing. He had just spoken with the Lord face to face.

After my cousin Susan saw Mother Teresa, she said Mother Teresa was beautiful, as if she was so young. Susan was not the only one who told me about how radiant Mother Teresa was when you saw her in person. When we are in close communion with the Lord, people should see something different in us. But let us not be disappointed if we are not radiant yet. We are a work in progress.

"Whenever anyone turns to the Lord...we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him and reflect His glory even more." 2 Cor. 3:16-18

Joining the lovely Julia Dunnit for a 
peek at desks and projects!
I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Seeing God's Face

 "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field." Matthew 13:36
This is what the disciples asked Jesus to do after He told the story of how a man sowed good seed in his field. While the man was sleeping, an enemy sowed weeds among the wheat. The man told his servants to allow the weeds to grow with the wheat, but during harvest time, they are to be gathered and burned. In this parable, Jesus identifies this weed as Zizania (Greek). This type of weed, known as Darnel, grows in Palestine and resembles wheat, except that it is poisonous. It is almost impossible to tell the two apart except at harvest time. Wheat has brown grain and Zizania has black grain.

 Is it not that when there is a news story about a man or woman who starts shooting people, or who holds someone hostage, or brings a plane down, there are always relatives or neighbors who say, "He was a good man/ woman, a good neighbor/ classmate/ co-worker. I would never think he/she would do that!! No indication at all!" It is only when wheat and the Zizania "bear fruit" that we can identify which is which. In the same way, it is only with our fruit that we know if we are children of God or children of the enemy. What this parable makes certain is there is hell, a place for the weeds, and it is useless to say that God is too good to allow people to burn in it. What kind of fruit are we bearing?

 "There is a lad here with 5 barley loaves and a couple of dried fish..." John 6:9
Isn't it amazing that the little boy was willing to give up the bread and fish? Because of the sacrifice of his nameless boy, we have one of Jesus' most amazing miracles. What if he was too scared to give away the food of his family? Jesus would not have been able to feed more than 5000 people!
I do believe and have had it proven for me many a time, that when we give to Jesus our time, our talent and treasure, He is able to multiply it. But if we do not risk giving it away, we could miss experiencing God's amazing work in our life, and the lives of those around us.

As Christians, we have the most amazing treasure in our hands, the Word of God. Are we able to share this with others, like Tim Tebow, or are we too afraid to be ridiculed, rejected or ignored?

 "The reign of God is like yeast..." Matthew 13:33
One time a friend gave me a little bit of "starter" dough with instructions. Apparently I was supposed to make a new batch of bread with this. It had been passed on from other sisters. In other parts of the world, in Italy for example, starters have been passed on from generation to generation. The yeast from this dough would permeate the new flour and make it grow.
What a wonderful picture for the Kingdom of God! Yesterday we celebrated our covenant community's 40th anniversary and we watched the song and dance performances of the little children, the young adults, the university students, singles, couples and senior citizens. We also witnessed our first coordinator, Father Schneider, give a Bible, the Word of God, to a little child.

 There is an essence of the Christian faith that I have received from others that I need to pass on. The treasure of God's Word and His presence in my life that I have also witnessed in my brothers and sisters needs to permeate the dough of the world. Our faith can bring the Kingdom to life. It can bring healing to a troubled world. We need to allow Jesus to rise up in us and do His work in the world.

 "You do not know what you are asking for." Matthew 20:22
Today we celebrate the feast day of Saint James the Greater today. He was one of the apostles, along with his brother John, chosen by Jesus. They are like bookends, as James was the first to die, and John the last of the apostles to leave this earth. When their mother, traditionally named Salome, asked of Jesus, "Promise me that these sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand, and the other at your left", was she not just like any mother, desiring honor and greatness for her children?
Jesus answered that she did not realize what she was asking!

When we start our journey as Christians, we too do not realize what would be required of us. We just take one step at a time, journeying with Jesus. We don't have a map, but we do have a guide. Today and tomorrow our covenant community celebrates 40 years of walking with God. We started with a motley group of 40 people. One was a young man with a drug problem. There was a rich old lady who came with an entourage of helpers and a driver. There were married couples, single women, a nun and a priest.

God spoke to them and said,"You have asked to see my face. I will show it to you..I will be in your midst. I will give you a name by which you will be proclaimed."Kayo ang aking Ligaya (You are my joy)." We are now known as Ligaya ng Panginoon (The Joy of the Lord). Yes God has shown us His face and His faithfulness for 40 years. Though we do not know what lies ahead, we continue to go forward knowing God walks with us.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Paint Party Friday: Ready to Meet God

 "Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God." Exodus 19:17
Every morning I am excited to discover what God has in store for me from the Bible. Today I am reading the account in Exodus where Moses prepares the Israelites to meet God on Mount Sinai. They are to wash their garments and purify themselves. Moses has to set up boundary lines so the people will know not to cross those lines. On the morning of the third day, there was a powerful lightning and thunderstorm, and a dense cloud came down. Smoke billowed out of the sky and fire covered the top of the mountain.
Traditionally, pilgrims visit Saint Catherine's in Mount Sinai as the place where the Israelites met God. But some say there is more compelling evidence that Jabal 
Musa in Saudi Arabia is where God showed Himself in the form of fire to the people Moses was leading. There is a mountaintop so black it could have been because of the fire sent down by God. There is a huge "altar" of stones filled with "drawings" of a calf, clearly Egyptian in origin. There are rock piles around the mountain that could be the boundary markers. There are stones in a V-shape that could have been where Moses made his sacrifices. There is even a cave where Elijah hid in 1 Kings 19:8-9. There are many theories about where the real Mount Sinai is located because people want to prove that the Exodus really happened.

 I do not think we should need to prove that the events in the Old Testament really happened. All we need to do is be ready to meet God ourselves. Just as God met Moses, and Abraham and Elijah in different ways, He is longing to show His face to us too.

 "The law of the Lord is perfect..." Psalm 19:8

I read in pencilled notes on the margin of my Bible that Raniero Cantalemessa, preacher to the Papal Household, gave an example of how love and grace fulfill the law.  "A pregnant woman was told by her doctor exactly what rules to follow during her pregnancy. The woman was so taken by the miracle of new life growing within her that she lovingly observed all the rules until her baby was born. That's how we should see the commandments. Simply as a means to a far greater end. If we keep them, we will be that much more open to the Holy spirit, as He brings Christ to birth in our lives." (The Word Among Us)

We may not like following rules, but just as we realize when we are older that our parents had the very best in mind for us, we should know that God's commandments are given to us because of His love for us. 


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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

WOYWW: New Creature!

Last week I told you I needed to attach a USB keyboard
to my laptop because ants attacked my laptop and I could not use the keyboard.
I had to change my desk around because it was too difficult
using my laptop on one side of the desk, and the keyboard on the other.

 So this is the space where my laptop used to be.
I am trying to organize it.
Unfortunately I have to make a mess before I can clean it!!!

"Stretch out your hand..." Exodus 14:26
This is one of the most exciting portions of the Bible where the Israelites being led by Moses were hemmed in by the sea in front of them, and Pharoah's army was closing in behind them. Their leader, Moses, did not have very much going for him. I don't know what the people were thinking. "DO something! Anything!" "Don't just stand there!" He had just said, "Don't be afraid. Just stand where you are and WATCH the Lord rescue you." Can you imagine if our President says exactly that,when a power hungry army of Isis marauders suddenly invades our shores?

But what they did not see was God directing Moses, and God can use anything, even the weakest among us. Moses did not have any weapon, so God asked him to use his...hand! "Stretch out your hand over the sea!" And Moses did. The first time he did it, the waters were swept up by a strong east wind and the Israelites marched in its midst. The second time Moses stretched out his hand, the waters flowed back upon the Egyptians and their chariots.

 Sometimes we don't have much going for us. We don't have anything in our hand, no power, no money, no brilliant idea. But if we have God on our side, directing us, we can beat the most evil foe who wants to destroy us! We just need to listen to what God wants us to do. The best position? I will stretch out my hand in prayer and God will part any Red Sea I face.

"If any man is in Christ he is a new creature..." 2 Corinthians 5:17
I like conversion stories that show God's power to change a person, to save someone dwelling in darkness to a person living in God's light. I've never heard of Brian "Head" Welch before because I would never listen to his music. He's the lead guitarist of Korn, a heavy metal band. He used to be addicted to alcohol, and he had to take Meth and Xanax to function. Even if his band had multiplatinum albums, won several grammys, even if he was earning so much, and had women following him all over, he felt like the biggest loser. He loved his daughter so much, but he could not even cook her breakfast without being high. He came home from a tour and his wife had several men with her in their house. He heard his daughter Jennea singing one of their band's songs, "All day I dream about sex."

 One day, one of his partners in his real estate business, Eric the broker, sent him an email because he was a Christian and he felt a nudging from God to do so. It was Matthew 11:28, "Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden." Brian eventually went to church with Eric and the pastor there said, "God is real. Speak with Him. All the bad stuff will fall away." It was exactly what Brian needed to hear. He got a Bible and started reading while he was high. He pleaded with God to help him, to free him from the pain, the addictions. "Please take these drugs from me!" He had been reading the Bible for a week, when he heard, "I love you." It was so real, it took over the high of the drugs. God convicted him of his sin and in 2 weeks, his addiction to drugs and alcohol was gone.

His band was just about to sign a 20 million dollar contract. Only his signature was needed when he walked out to pray. That was 2005, and he left the band in obedience to God who was going to take him on a new road. Now he is able to speak to people about God's love and forgiveness, people who would almost never listen to preachers and priests. He said in one of his interviews that he was put here on earth to have fellowship with God, to get to know Him. And that's what He strives to do every day. His Facebook page is filled with heavy metal lingo, but there are posts about ex-strippers telling their stories, and comments from fans like, "You guys have been one of the most important bands in my life for the last 20 years. And I shared a hard fought battle to Christ through my college years."

 Yes indeed, Brian "Head" Welch, with his numerous tattoos, even one on his knuckles that reads "Jesus", is a new creation!

Joining the lovely Julia Dunnit for a 
peek at desks and projects!
I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here: