Amazing Grace

The overwhelming love of God for an unworthy being – me.  He initiated the love, and in response, what have I done?  I run towards it, and then shrink away from it with my sins.  I plunge into its amazingness and then withdraw and drown in my own misery.  It’s like that scene in Tangled where Rapunzel was finally out of the tower and she was celebrating her freedom one moment then feeling bad another moment.   Yet for me it’s celebrating how God has freed me and then going back to sinning then feeling bad for sinning.  And all the time, God looks at me with love and mercy, waiting for me to realise what I’ve been doing and return to Him.  That immeasurable patience God has for me, I have no words.

If only letting go and letting God is easily done as it is being said (in a span of few seconds).  Experience has taught me, and most would agree, that it is not the case.  I happened to read on this verse from Romans 3:23-25 last night and dived into the grace of God.  I knew that grace is God’s gift – God’s mercy, my salvation and the promise of eternal life.  Amazing, amazing grace.  However, last night led me deeper into what grace is and I encountered these words telling me to guard this grace, to use it wisely and make it increase.  How?

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Advent 2018

A season of coming.  Expectation.  Longing.  Waiting.  A call to be vigilant and awake, to wake up from slumber and to be on the watch.  And yet the weather just makes you want to cuddle up with someone or with your blanket and take a nice warm sleep.

God is not asking us not to take our naps or sleep physically, obviously.  He created sleep for our bodies to recharge and regenerate.  To stay awake and not to slumber is a call for our hearts to be on the watch and more vigilant than in any other season because God is coming and He will surely come in a time we never expect.  Just so happen, advent is also a season of busy-ness, holiday rush, deadlines at work, ending the fiscal year, decorating homes, attending gatherings and dinners, holiday shopping – there are just too many things to do that our Lord is asking us to guard our hearts, our thoughts and our bodies lest all these to-do take over the yearning of our soul – the longing of the soul to see and recognize our Saviour.  That, for me, is to stay awake, to be vigilant, to be extra watchful.

I struggle in this season – concerns flood my mind and things happening around me affects me easily.    While the Christmas cheer rings around me, my heart moves along a roller-coaster that seems to drop farther than it lifts.  Outside it seems well, inside it’s a battle.  I grapple to hold on to something, anything, to keep my head above the water, to come to terms with events in my life, to understand the unknown (which is insane, I know) and to stay awake and keep watch for the Lord’s coming.

If there is one thing I am grateful to God, it is that He created me with a stubborn heart, very stubborn!  Some may think that is not a positive thing, but in this moment, it is for my good – that I refuse to let evil take over me, that I refuse to accept the lies of the devil in my life – to just drop everything and not fight because it’s futile, lies!  So I fight by surrendering and dying, in silence I fight and hope in the midst of confusion, in this waiting.  All these things I have no strength to do by myself, so I do the only thing I can and am asked to do – PRAY.  Even when at times I don’t understand my prayers anymore or the text I’m reading or what I am even telling God or that I need to rush because I’m running late for work.  In His faithfulness, He keeps me here in the waiting.  In my tears, He listens.  With every breaking of my heart, He picks up the pieces.

Advent is a season of expectation for His coming and this year I see that the Lord also looks at me and waits for me to approach Him in humility and surrender, and meets me in this very situation to walk with me.

I’d Still Take This Road

No regrets.

There are moments that sometimes challenge me, showing me the things that could have been, should have been, if only, what if’s … shoulda, woulda, coulda…  yet, I wouldn’t trade anything for this path I have treaded.

True, there are times I wished life could have been kinder to me, wished that I could have avoided all the tears and heart aches, betrayals and battles, yet those were exactly the things that shaped me, events that put me to the test of faith.  I cannot say I’ve always emerged victorious when it comes to that test – of faith.  Like Peter, I would lose my focus on Jesus and gaze at the waves surrounding me and sink.  Yet by God’s grace, I made it through each storm, and I continue to weather through the storm through His grace.  Not without sinking in tears, not without bending from the wind, not without gasping for air through the waves, yet time and again, He reminds me whenever I call out to Him – trust Me, I got you and I got this.

The future will always scare me, even if when I think I had it figured out.  For one, I know no human can have it all figured out.  Secondly, I’m not someone who really plans so far ahead and I only have this simple vision of a future that I desire.  It still scares me because the simple future I mention requires so much humility and obedience to achieve.  And the devil clearly knows this, when what you desire is contrary to his, he attacks the more.  I read in a book by C. S. Lewis that it is exactly in making you think of the future that the devil will put fear in your heart, for one it is because no one knows the future – not him, not you, so he can suggest to you all scary outcome to attack your peace until fear turns to doubt and chaos.  We all fall prey to this.  Nothing wrong with daydreaming, with wishing for a future, with desiring this future, yet when it starts to scare us, when it starts to scare me – learn to run to the One who has it all figured out and who holds our future.

So looking back, I will still take this road because back then this was the uncertain future that I didn’t expect and it played out beyond what I could imagine.  Though life is hard, it is beautiful.  And what’s next in this wonderful journey, I take it moment by moment with prayer in my heart, entrusting the future I know not and the desires I have to the One who loves me.

I know not what my future holds, but I know who hold my future” ~ Homer

 

The Cross & The Empty Tomb

We speak about the cross, about carrying our crosses, about laying down our worries at the feet of the cross.  The cross – the symbol of His infinite and unfailing love.

I stand beneath Your cross and I look up, I see Love, my sins, my unworthiness, and my redemption.  And then I look at the empty tomb – Love fulfilled.  The tomb of my sins washed clean.  The tomb of my failures, gone.  Your resurrection is my Hope fulfilled.

The cross, Your Love.  The empty tomb, Your victory.
The cross, my salvation.  The empty tomb, my Hope.
The cross, a reminder of the life in this world.  The empty tomb, a reminder of heaven.

Beneath Your feet my tears fall, outside your empty tomb my heart rejoices.  Lord Jesus, my God, unworthy as I am, Your Love overtakes me.  There is nothing more than I want than to rejoice in Your victory.

Help me.

1144 06.18.2018

How often I’ve wandered
And returned when I am wounded.
With arms wide open,
You wait and mend and heal me.

How often have I leapt
Only to fall and hurt myself –
And watched as my broken pieces
Are picked up by the hands that bled for me.

djane
05.15.2018

I will live through all the wrongs with Your Truth.
I will trust through all the wait with Your Word.
I will see through all the pain with Your Love.

•djane•
03.08.2018

Be You

I chanced upon this post by Ann Voskamp in a period where I badly need to hear from someone words to encourage my downcast soul.

Believe in angels, because they are all around us, instruments of God, reaching out and touching lives.

To you who feel you’re too much, you who wants people to see you for who you really are and accept and love you, you who struggle to love yourself and others, you who fear judgements and find yourself sacrificing your identity to please people… this is also for you.

Read: No more apologizing for being you, for being fully you in Christ.

Alone

Previously I have called Lent the “white space”, the “white noise” of God, the period where winter turns to spring and it becomes cold and eerily quiet, it’s beautiful yet eerie.  This time, the battle rages on but our God is ever faithful.

I have been struggling internally with all the emotions and delusions I have – of the deceit and lies the devil feeds my mind.  I am unwanted, I am alone, I am made to be alone in this world, I will not find love, I will forever be left behind – name the lies, the enemy has it.  Yet, God, in His loving mercy and almightiness knew beforehand what will happen and has sent forth the weapons and help for me.  Well, He could have just stopped it but He didn’t, like with Job’s story.  And as for me, I could let the enemy fill me with lies and not use the weapons God has been providing me.

Yet here we are, here I am.  Faced with all these lies and deceit, God has been feeding me with my dose of Daily Bread, with His Word of Truth and Mercy.  It’s not easy, it sounds  Continue reading

La Madrugada

Es en la madrugada
Aquí en el momento
Mi corazón, en silencio
Palpita en Tu gracia
Laté para Ti

© 02.10.2018

Prayer

Never under estimate the power of a prayer.  At times, we need to look outside of ourselves to see how God works His wonders.  We tend to concentrate too much on our needs (humanly speaking) without realising the spiritual need that God is fulfilling in each of us every moment.  We tend to think that our prayers, to be fulfilled, has to be met in our conditions, yet God’s thoughts is not ours to fathom.  And in His great mercy, He doesn’t meet our conditions but always provide us our specific needs.

To be used by God to help others is not a cause for us to boast but it is humbling and unworthy of us to play a part in salvation’s history and what a grace that He finds us to do His will.

Even if we disregard the prompting of the Spirit, the other’s prayer will be answered in His ways beyond what we can imagine. Yet to be able to follow the prompting of the Spirit is not by our own strength but that which the grace that God gives us, the heart that He molds and moves.

All prayers are effective as God hears them and He moves heaven and earth to fulfil His will.

02.10.2018 00:09

 

I go…

Why these words
Why these thoughts
Why such revelations
This mind has to hold
Why stir this heart
Why chosen apart
Why such emotions
Where do I start

What step to take
How far to go
Where forth I don’t know
This road I follow
Swayed by the wind
Lost in the spin
I falter and fall
Yet you gave it your all

Lean on the Wood
Rest on the Rock
Lay on Your feet
Saved by Your blood

© 05.09.2017 23:28

None

Because He lives;
Because He forgives;
Because He is God;
Because He is Almighty;
Because He saves;
Because He loves me.
What reasons do I have
Not to believe, not to trust?
None.
Because there’s none like Jesus,
None like God,
Who will take all of me –
Even the broken, sinful part of me –
To embrace them all and love me.

© May 4, 2017

Living on a Prayer

So you should pray like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts,
as we have forgiven those who are in debts to us.
And do not put us to the test,
but save us from the evil one.”

– Matthew 6:9-13

And this is how we ought to pray.  Not by memorizing the Lord’s prayer but by truly understanding what it meant.

To declare His glory and to make known His love; to submit to His will; to ask not only for the daily provisions of life but for the bread of life as well – the Word of God, the presence of Jesus in our lives; to forgive others and acknowledge that we are sinners and humbly lay down our sins at the feet of the cross; to pray for strength for we know that our flesh is weak; to acknowledge our salvation.

When we find it in our hearts struggling to submit to His will, or to forgive – let us pray for these struggles because we are weak and He is strong.  Let us not depend on our strength but rely on His.  And in times we do not know what to pray, or when we even cannot utter a single word to pray, a tear drop is a prayer that the Lord fully comprehend.  A deep sigh from a tired soul, a silence, a sob from a broken heart – all these and more the Lord sees and hears as our prayers.

The Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness.  For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our heart knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.
– Romans 8:26-27

Pray, and listen.  The Lord delights in speaking to us when we pray.

When we take our time and delay before acting, that can be prudent and wise, but then that can also be plain laziness.  When we consider something over and over, that can be prudent and wise, but then that can also be indecisiveness.  When we hold our tongue when insulted, that can be prudent and wise, but then can also be cowardice in disguise.  The reason behind our actions, the state of our hearts when we decide, is the true indication of wisdom and prudence.

Who is the prudent man?  He is cautious, shows discretion, has discernment, and makes sound judgement.  He does not delay for the sake of delaying or think long because he cannot decide but he is tactful in his considerations, decides with discernment and considers not only the now but what his action or inaction can lead to.

Prudence cannot be without wisdom and vice versa.  In fact, in Proverbs 8:12 (NIV) Continue reading

Just a word, sometimes two. But when it hits you, it penetrates through the walls you build to protect your self and filter the chaos around you. It breaks them down and opens a hole that it yearns to fill. It touches a nerve that sends signals to your brain that even when it tries to reject it cannot reject the truth. Because your Soul knows it’s true. And your Spirit affirms its truth. It awakens them. Love. Mercy. How I am forgiven and loved, that the Lord moved heaven and earth to save this wretched soul of mine. 

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:9‬

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:8‬

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭136:1‬ 

I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.

Ecclesiastes 9:11 

When we view life as a race, we have this tendency to compete and win at all cost, sometimes even forgetting our values and trampling on other people’s worth just to emerge as winners, successful or powerful people. God gave us a life to travel along with Him, to journey and enjoy each moment. When we race through life, we do not stop and smell flowers. That is contrary to what life is about. Learn to slow down, to enjoy each moment, to rest in His love and to trust in His purpose. Learn to trust the journey. ☺

These are the Moments

Lent. Easter. Missions. Election.

Each moment went by, and I’m left to ponder on what I took from each one.  Have I been repentant enough during Lent?  Was I victorious in Easter?  Have I given enough in our Sunday missions?  Did I vote wisely in the election?  What’s next?

Sometimes, we go through life watching moments pass us by.  We live in the moment yet we forget afterwards. And I do not want that.  I want to always have something to go back to and remind me of how it was, whether it was good or bad.  If it was bad, it’s a reminder to change and make it better the next time around.  If it was good, it’s a reminder of victory, a motivation to do better and an encouragement in times of doubt.

I hope we go through life aware and alive, not living like zombies going from one gesture to another, moment to moment, without investing anything and taking anything from it.  Whether we grieve or celebrate, falter or winning, may we always see God’s goodness and faithfulness in every moment we go through.  After all, our lives are made of these moments.