Wednesday, March 30, 2016

WOYWW: Burning Hearts!

 Here is what I've been busy with.
I have stopped my painting for a while,
and have done some packing up.
Art in the Park, an affordable art fair, is this Sunday already,
and I have to prepare what I have to bring.
The next day, a Monday, we are going to El Nido,
and I have to pack for that too!

 Here is one of the paintings I have for sale.
A fish vendor with an extra colorful dress!

 "Were not our hearts burning within us...?" Luke 24:32

Jesus is alive! That's what we shout every Easter. He is risen! But in a very real way, His Word is alive too! "For the Word of God is ALIVE and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires."

When I was in High School, some Gideon missionaries came and distributed Bibles. I still have it, with the date written on the front page. January 27, 1971.  To receive one, we had to make a promise to read it every day. I promised because the Bible was so cute, and I did not have one. So I started reading a chapter a day until I got to John 12. In my little Bible, there is a verse encircled with a question mark. "The one who loves his life will lose it, but the one who hates his life in this world will preserve it to eternal life.". Well, I LOVED my life, and I could not understand why I would lose it because I loved it, so I STOPPED reading the Bible! The Words certainly exposed my innermost thoughts and desires! At that time, I was not willing to even explore further what the verse meant. 

Then when I got older, I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit after a Life in the Spirit Seminar. After that, I would read and read the Bible. I would underline almost all the verses with my yellow highlighter or a ballpen. My old Bible is full of lines and notes all around the margins. I could not get enough of God's Word and it really spoke to me. The Words would jump out of the Bible. 

In the story in Luke 24, two of the followers of Jesus were walking to Emmaus when Jesus joined them. They did not recognize Jesus at first, but while Jesus explained the scriptures to them, their hearts burned. In the same way, if the Spirit of Jesus is with us while we read the Bible, the Word comes alive and full of power. Lord, may Your Word burn within me, and transform the way I think and act. Holy Spirit, teach me and help my faith grow!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

WOYWW: You are Forgiven!

There's something wrong with the formatting function of Blogger today.
Can't fix the font size, the font, and this looks all wrong!
But anyway, this is what I was doing last night.
 am preparing for Art in the Park,an art fair on September 3.

It's still a work in progress but I am soooo happy.
I posted this on Facebook and somebody wants to buy it already!

"How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?" Matthew 26:15Before Holy Thursday and before Good Friday, I usually find a way to go to confession. Tonight is the night for that. I don't like going to confession, although I like the feeling after. I studied in UP (the University of the Philippines) almost my whole life and there's no religion subject there. No requirement that we go to confession like in Catholic schools.  No cathechism. I was baptized both in the Methodist Church (my dad's church) and the Catholic Church (my mom's). And when I was very young, we would go to both the Catholic mass and the Methodist service, until I said I liked daddy's church better because there was juice and games for the kids! My mom then put a stop to that and I did not go to church till I was much much older. And I hardly ever went to confession when I was young.

Confession to me is like looking for the ways I betray Jesus, and giving it to the priest so he can say like Jesus, "You are forgiven. I forgive you seventy times seven." God never gives up on us. After confession, I sometimes have this urge to cry and cry. Even if we sin big, it's not over until God says it's over. Just like the adulterous woman that people wanted to stone. Jesus said in John 8:7: "Whoever is without sin among you, let him be the first to cast a stone at her." Jesus is without sin, and He could be the first to cast a stone, a boulder at us even! But does He? No. He would take the stones for us, and He did, at Calvary.  Lord, thank you so much for Your forgiveness and mercy. Thank you that we can always come to You for that and more! Even when we betray you, deny you, You will always accept us back like Your beloved prodigal daughter or son! 

Joining the lovely Julia Dunnit for a 
peek at desks and projects!

I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:


Monday, March 21, 2016

Extravagant Love!

 "That perfume was worth a small fortune." John 12:5
I like the retelling of the story of Mary of Bethany and her alabaster jar sung by Lillie McCloud. She is able to capture the poignancy of the moment when Mary pours this precious oil, this expensive perfume on Jesus' feet. Mary's offering was worth a year's wages, 300 denarii we are told, and came from far away, a place in Northern India. Was Mary so rich that she could afford to just give this away? But she broke her beautiful container to get every ounce of that ointment to wash Jesus' dirty feet with. And she wiped it with her long unbound hair. Why?

The song goes, "Though she spoke no words, everything she said was heard, as she poured her love for the Master from her box of alabaster. I've come to pour my praise on him, like oil from Mary's alabaster box...I can't forget the way life used to be. I was a prisoner to the sin that had me bound and I spent my days, poured my life without measure into a little treasure box I'd thought I'd found. Until the day Jesus came to me and healed my soul with the wonder of His touch. So now I'm giving back to Him all the praise He's worthy of. I've been forgiven and that's why I love Him so much!" 

Do we realize how much God loves us that we are willing 
to respond to Him with an extravagant love? 
A love that costs us something? 
Are we aware of God's forgiveness and mercy that we desire 
to be wildly generous and give God the best of us, our "first fruits"? 
In John 12:3, it described that the whole house was filled with fragrance. 
Although Mary did not say anything, 
every one who was there (except Judas!) knew that 
Mary was offering a pure worship to Jesus. 

Lord, I am so unworthy, and so lacking in gratitude. 
As the Lenten season comes to a climax this next week, 
help me to see Your face more fully, 
and the sacrifice You offered on the cross for me. 
Help me to love You with a wildly generous love, 
the same love You have for me! I do not deserve this love Lord, 
but You surround me with it! 
Thank you Lord!!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

WOYWW: Even If!

 Here we go- I needed a young boy who looked adamant.
Did not find any picture like that.

 So I just traced this one, and changed his face.

 Now for the lettering.
I am too impatient and too lazy
to do what is needed for real calligraphy.

 So I fake it! 

 I just go over the downstrokes of my ordinary handwriting!

"Even if God whom we serve will not save us, know, O King, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statues which you set up." Daniel 3:18
In the Book of Daniel we encounter a King who decrees that all his people worship his god, and bow down before a 90 ft. tall golden statue. Everyone obeys except three Jewish young men by the name of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The King gets furious and ordered their presence before him. "I will have you thrown into the fiery furnace!!!" The three answer that their God can rescue them, but that, "Even if God whom we serve will not save us, know, O King, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statues which you set up."

How admirable that these young men put no conditions on obeying and loving God! Many people, even long time preachers, have stopped believing in God and obeying Him because God did not fit into a box of their own making. "I'm not going to believe in God anymore because what kind of a god allows people to suffer?" Or, "I'm not going to church anymore because the creation story in Genesis is b****." The excuses can go on and on.
Twenty-one years after Charles "Chuck" Templeton became an evangelist, he declared himself an agnostic and he died an agnostic. He was quite a popular evangelist, and preached with Billy Graham. Many thought that he, not Billy Graham, would become the biggest evangelical preacher in history. Towards the end of his life, he was interviewed by Lee Strobel, the writer of "The Case for the Real Jesus". When asked about Jesus, Templeton became melancholy and said, "I adore Him. I miss Him." How sad that because Templeton couldn't explain everything in the Bible to his satisfaction, he turned away from his best friend! Lord, may I follow and obey even during times of testing, and even when I have doubts!