Sunday, July 24, 2016

Ask, Ask, Ask!

"For whoever asks, receives..." Luke 11:10

We all ask things of God. Some would say, "But God is not listening." And many people have become atheists because they ask how can a good God permit so much evil and injustice in the world? Indeed, that is a million dollar question. But another question is, how can a righteous and holy God even look at us, and consider us His children when we are a sinful and rebellious people? How can He forgive us? Is it not when a judge pardons a guilty man and sets him free, we cry out in disgust, "Corrupt!"? How can a righteous God answer our prayers when we repeatedly turn away from Him?

Because He sees Jesus. Jesus who took our sins, our perversities on the cross with Him. It is also Jesus who advises us to persist in our prayers until God sees His Son asking in our place! Oh Lord, how deep is Your mercy and grace! Thank You for sending Your Beloved Son to stand convicted in our place! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Broken Cisterns

"They have dug for themselves broken cisterns that hold no water." Jeremiah 2:13
Imagine being surrounded by fountains of fresh spring water, rejecting that and building a cistern out of rock. At best the well would be full of leaks, the water discolored with a funny taste. What kind of man would do that? And yet many of us prefer 'well water' to the fountain of life that God offers us! Many of us spend our time looking for satisfaction in our jobs, hobbies, friends and parties, organizations, etc. There is nothing wrong with wanting to excel in our work, in sports, in being popular, having a successful business, or getting good grades. But do we put as much time and effort in getting to know the One who made us? Do we make speaking to God, reading the Bible and following Him a priority?

In John 4, Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman at a well and he asks her for water. He tells her, "If you knew who it is who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ perhaps you would have made a request of him, and he would have given you living water. All who drink from this well water will thirst again but whoever shall drink from the water that I will give to him will not thirst for eternity.
Instead, the water that I will give to him will become in him a fountain of water, springing up into eternal life.”

Lord, may I always make the right choice! Your living water and never stale water from a broken cistern made by my own hands! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

WOYWW: Do You Know Saint Apollinaris?

 I cut up an old sweater and used glue to attach it to paper.

 And here are pieces of an old pair of shorts
that I cut up and glued on to paper too.

I am going to make some flowers 
and make a flower canvas 
like the one below.

"A sower went out to sow." Matthew 13:3

Jesus spoke of a farmer sowing seeds on different kinds of soil, until finally the seeds fell on good soil and yielded grain a hundred fold. One saint who was like that farmer was Saint Apollinaris. He was amazing! Saint Peter ordained him Bishop of Ravenna. Many miracles of healing followed where he went and he won many to the Christian faith, but at what price?!

Unbelievers and idolaters were so furious with him that he was beaten cruelly several times until he was half dead. He was captured and forced to walk on burning coals, he was stretched on a rack, and plunged into boiling water. Even if he was driven from Ravenna, he would return and be subjected to all sorts of torture just to get rid of him. He was hacked with knives, imprisoned in a dungeon, left to starve, attacked with stones on his mouth so he would stop preaching! Through all this, Saint Apollinaris was Bishop for 26 years. He is one of the first great martyrs of the Church. Can you imagine how powerful and stirring his homilies would have been?

Thank You Lord for the example and inspiration of the saints and martyrs. Even if today Christians are not tortured, may there be enough evidence to convict us of being Your disciples!

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

I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:


Monday, July 18, 2016

Walking Signs of God's Love!

"No sign will be given it but that of the prophet Jonah." Matthew 12:39

Most of us are intrigued by signs, coincidences, serendipitous events. Some ask for signs from God, like a red rose or a rainbow. The Pharisees asked Jesus, "Teacher, we want to see You work some signs." They were not aware that Jesus Himself was the sign. The Jews had been waiting for the Messiah for hundreds of years, why did they not recognize Him? Why do they still not acknowledge Him?

If we really want to know God, we need only to read the Bible. "Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me…” (John 5:39) Many atheists and agnostics have become believers when confronted with mathematical proof that the prophecies in the Old Testament could only point to one man, Jesus Christ. The odds of one man fulfilling just 8 of the 300+ prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. Completely mind boggling, absurd and impossible. But one man's life fulfilled all the 300+ prophecies in the Old Testament!  No wonder Jesus said He wouldn't give them any more signs! There were more than enough signs. And there would be one more mind boggling sign when, like Jonah, He would be entombed for three days to live again.

We too could be a sign. We can be walking signs of God's love, grace, forgiveness, and peace. Just yesterday I heard an amazing sharing of how one woman with no special talent except that of a listening ear and a willing shoulder to cry on, was able to help save a marriage and bring new life to people who desperately needed to hear about how God can do the impossible. Lord, may I be a sign that You are real and willing to intervene in our lives. May I be sensitive to opportunities around me to bring Your message of love and forgiveness to a world full of pain and confusion. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The One You Feed

"Woe to those who plan iniquity, and work out evil on their couches." 
Micah 2:1

Where does evil come from? This verse in Micah struck me especially because of what happened in Nice yesterday. A man barreled his way through the celebrating crowd in the Promenade des Anglais, zigzagging this way and that to make sure he hurts and kills as many people as he possibly could. What was in that man's heart and mind? 

I do believe that there are seeds of evil in each one of us. There is a parable about a grandfather telling a story to a young boy about two wolves inside us always at war with each other. One of the wolves is good and the other evil. One wolf is brave, honorable, kind, helpful, loving, and the other one is the exact opposite. "Which one wins?" the boy asks. "The one you feed."  

We have to guard our heart very diligently for it determines the course of our life. (Proverbs 4:23) We have to watch for any signs of discontent, covetousness, envy, and ungratefulness in our heart and mind and root it out. Because little seeds germinate, and can grow into big trees of evil deeds. Lust for things we do not have, conceives inside us. If we do not kill it when it is small, we can give birth to adultery, murder, etc. Evil doesn't just happen. It starts small. Lord, show me if there's anything displeasing to you in the way I think, in what I do. Help me to feed the good in me, and destroy what is evil in Your sight. 



Friday, July 15, 2016

Paint Party Friday: I Hear You!

"I have heard your prayer and seen your tears." Isaiah 38:5

Hezekiah was a good king which was amazing because his father Ahaz was wicked! Ahaz closed the Temple in Jerusalem and built many altars around the city for other gods. He sacrificed his own children to Molech! But Hezekiah did not follow King Ahaz' evil ways because his mother taught him well. Hezekiah opened the Temple doors and brought back worship for the one true God. He was consistently committed to spiritual renewal in the land he ruled. 

One day Isaiah the prophet came to tell Hezekiah that he was going to die. Hezekiah prayed and asked God, “I beg you, Lord, I beseech you, to remember how I walked before you in truth and with a whole heart, and that I have done what is good in your sight.” God heard Hezekiah's prayer and gave him 15 more years.

My takeaway from this is that not only does God answer prayers, but that He can change His mind. God is all love and all compassion and He is always searching for ways to bless us! If we cry out to Him, He hears us. If the answer is long in coming, we just have to trust He has our best interest in mind. We are all, each and every one of us, His sons and daughters! Let us remember to wear our crowns and act with the love and compassion towards others that our Father shows us! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

WOYWW: Like a Child

I am starting a new picture 
on my Bible for Mathew 11:25.
As you can see, I traced the picture on the right
directly on to my Bible page with carbon paper.
Here I am painting the flesh parts of the little girl and mother.

 I am using a darker flesh color to shade.

 And here, I am outlining with a dark brown pencil
to give definition to the painting.

 "You have hidden these things from the wise...
and revealed them to the childlike." Matthew 11:25

My husband Luigi is very popular with children. 
When kids see him, they run to him, 
eager to play, wanting to be hugged tight. 
What is it about children that delighted God? 
Jesus said in Luke 18:6, "Let the children come to me, 
do not stop them from approaching me 
for the Kingdom belongs to such as these." 
If only we could be more like little children 
and run to Him who loves us!
Sometimes we hide from Him because we feel guilty, 
or because we disagreed with something we read in the Bible, 
or because we think we have all the time in the world. God can wait.
But children, they don't like waiting, do they? 
Perhaps that's why God wants us to be like kids. 
Children are eager. They are persistent. 
They are teachable. 
They are waiting to be amazed, they want to be amazed. 
When was the last time we were amazed at what God has done? 
When was the last time we read 
something in the Bible and our heart leapt? 
If we are more childlike, less dependent on our own thinking, 
God will reveal the treasures in His Kingdom that 
He hides from those who are wise in their own eyes! 
Lord, may I be like a child, dependent on You! 
Eager to be fed from the Master's hand!

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

I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Do not Fear!

 "Take care that you remain tranquil and do not fear." Isaiah 7:4

Almost everyone fears something. Take the most powerful person in the world, the richest, the most beautiful, the most intelligent, and there's one or more fears lurking around them somewhere. There's the fear of being wrong, of death, of rejection, of failure, of being laughed at, of abandonment, of lack, etc etc. The trouble with fear is it keeps us from God's best. 

Here in this passage, God tells King Ahaz through Isaiah that he should not fear the two neighboring kingdoms threatening to invade his country, but Ahaz trembles. Many kingdoms try to invade our peace. Just yesterday, my son left for Turkey with a friend. They are going to attend World Youth Day in Poland, but before that, they will go see some  of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Germany. If I allow thoughts of what CAN happen while they are away to enter my head like a runaway crazy dog, I will never be able to let my son go and grow up and experience what God has in store for him. We have to CHOOSE to trust God. We have to choose to trust God through cancer, through Isis threats, through losing a job, through any "kingdom" that wants to invade our home, our family, our neighborhood, or country. God is enough if we keep our eyes on Him. If we are able to keep our eyes on God through anything, we can be more than conquerors! 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Not Too Mysterious!

"For this command that I enjoin on you today is not too mysterious and remote for you." Dt. 30:11

The book of Deuteronomy is known as the crown jewel of the Pentateuch, the 5 books of God's Law, where He lays down clearly what He expects of us.  The teachings were given by God to Moses who wrote them down. Although there are portions of the Bible difficult to understand, the verses in the 30th chapter of Deuteronomy shows us that God desired that we understand His laws so that He could bless us. He gives us a glimpse of His sense of humor when He says, "My commandments are not in heaven that you should ask who will get it there. It's not beyond the sea! It is very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it!" 

It seemed as if when His people still could not get it, when they still inexplicably continuously turned away from Him and chose other gods, He sent His Son Jesus, to speak as a man speaks, and act as a man acts. If God's law was very near to us during Moses' time, how much more so now that Jesus came to deliver His message more clearly? 

Lord, may I not miss any part of Your message! You did everything, including sacrificing Your Son, so that we could understand and obey You, and all that, just so You could bless us! May we savor Your Word, plant it in our hearts, and follow Your way! 


Saturday, July 09, 2016

Send Me!

 "Here I am," I said, "send me!" Isaiah 6:8


Am I brave enough to say to God, "Send me!"? Not at all! When I knew God wanted me to go and preach in QC Jail, I cried as if someone died. Eventually I went, and the ministry still goes on even if I do not go anymore. At first Isaiah the great prophet was unwilling to be "sent" claiming he was a man of unclean lips. But after a seraphim touched his lips with an ember from the altar, Isaiah answered God's call and became a great prophet.

Today, July 9, we honor 120 martyrs from China. Their age ranges from 9-72 years. These priests, cathechists, parents, and young kids gave their lives in service of Christ between 1649-1930. 

Saint Augustine Zhao Rong had been a respected highly-ranked Chinese soldier when he witnessed the beheading of French Bishop John Taurun Dufresse of the Paris Foreign Mission Society in 1815. Augustine was soon baptized and became a Diocesan priest because he was so impressed with the Bishop's faith, boldness and inner strength. In the short time that he was a priest, he led many young people to the faith. One of them, 18 year old Chi Zhuzi, was flayed alive in front of him. The captors had cut off Chi Zhuzi's right arm hoping Augustine would renounce his faith. Instead Chi Zhuzi bravely cried out, "Every piece of my flesh, every drop of my blood, will tell you I am a Christian!" Today there are many unknown martyrs in China. 

Lord, may You strengthen the faith of our brothers and sisters in China. And Lord, give us the boldness to obey You even when we are surrounded by unbelievers. May we be bold enough to say, "Here I am, Lord! Send me!"

Friday, July 08, 2016

Baggage named Guilt

" have collapsed through your guilt." Hosea 14:1

Guilt is like a heavy suitcase we carry around with us that we don't need.
We've got everything we need in our handbag,
but we drag this loaded baggage around usually
because we have expectations about ourselves.
Either we did something or we neglected to do something.
Sometimes we feel guilty even if we didn't do or say anything!
Guilt is a very complicated emotion.
It would take a psychiatrist to explain it
and even then I doubt if we would understand the whys and wherefores. 

One thing I believe- guilt is something our enemy delights in.
He loves it if we wallow in it because then it diminishes us, debilitates us, paralyzes us.
Yes we can collapse under the weight of guilt.
But another thing I believe is if we meditate on God's word and get His mind,
we will realize that God never wants us to feel guilty.
There is no condemnation in Christ. (Romans 8:1)
Whatever happened in the past,
we can leave that baggage behind after putting right anything that needs repairing. 

Lord, thank You for teaching us how to live well.
May I have the fullness of life You came to give me!  

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Wish Peace!

"As you enter a house, wish it peace." Matthew 10:12

What a great attitude to have! Every time we visit someone, we go to office, we go to school, or any building, village, or country, we bring peace with us instead of negative vibes. In another Bible translation, it says that we should bless the house.


Wednesday, July 06, 2016

WOYWW: Ever Fresh, Ever New!

I've been cleaning and organizing
for several days now,
and lest you think I've been 
highly successful,
here is a picture of my floor.

My son Josh said, "Mom! I thought
you were cleaning!
How come it's more messy now?!!"
But all crafters know that's just 
par for the course!

 "Break up for yourselves a new field." Hosea 10:12

A plow is an implement used in a field to cut in, 
break up soil and cut furrows into the ground 
in preparation for sowing. 
The upper layer of soil is turned over and a fresh fertile layer 
full of nutrients is brought to the top. 

 A farmer does this several times 
and we too should take time to till the soil of our hearts 
now and again so that new seeds can be planted. 
It's not good to allow weeds to grow, and the soil to harden. 
Plowing breaks up the weed roots and 
disrupts the weeds from growing. 
We know how fast weeds can grow! 

Lord, may I never be complacent 
and allow weeds of discontent, envy, 
or unforgiveness to take root. 
May my heart be ever fresh, ever new 
for You to plant good seeds in it! 

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

I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here: