Friday, December 21, 2007

spiritual sight.

5Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"

36"Who is he, sir?" the man asked. "Tell me so that I may believe in him."

37Jesus said, "You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you."

38Then the man said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him.

I love this dialog between Jesus and the man who was once blind. Even though this man can see, he is still in the dark, in a way. He went to the temple, but the leaders reject him, throwing him out of the place of worship. Nevertheless, he is still very curious, still very in need of God.

Jesus finds him and begins to really open his eyes. The man's eagerness to know Jesus and to know God is amazing! I love this part: Jesus says, "You have now seen him." This is in fact what Jesus has done; He has enable this man to not only see from a physical, human standpoint but also in a spiritual manner as well.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

stone throwing.

"If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8:7)

This is my plea to You, Lord. Help me to not throw stones at others. Help me to be only concern with my own life, and let me strive to be pure before You. Regardless of what they have done, despite their influence on my life, please let me be at peace. Don't allow me to pick up the stones in order to fight back.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

38 years.

14Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you." 15The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. (John 5)

For 38 years he was invalid. For 38 years he longed to be made well. For 38 years he held the hope that he might one day be healed. 38 years is a long time, and finally, after all his yearning and longing, Jesus came to him and changed his life instantly; he was whole and he could walk again.

The amazing part is that Jesus was able to find him again; this time at the temple. I wonder what he was doing there. I wonder whether or not he had faithfully been going to the temple and this was just one of his routine trips or maybe he never had the luxury or ability to go to the temple because of his handicap; so, being now able to walk, he immediately goes to the temple to show his praise and thanksgiving. Either way, this implies that he was a man of faith.

Interestingly, despite his faith, he was still a sinner. Therefore, Jesus tells him to stop sinning. We can learn a lot from this man. The first thing is to never stop praying and hoping for something. It might take 38 years, but God is faithful to answer our prayers. Secondly, we need to show our thanks whenever we can. Lastly, we need to remove the sin from our lives lest something bad should happen.

Monday, December 17, 2007


5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

We should never stop learning, never stop growing, never stop trying to become better. The qualities of goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love are not acquired in one single activation. They require a continual maintenance and a constant striving for improvement and refinement.

If you or I think this current existence is good enough, we are deceiving ourselves. Our life is not meant to reside on a plateau, but rather on an increasing curve whose tail continues upward toward infinity. We can't settle for this meager life. We must want and hope and dream to become better and more like Christ, especially during the times when we are waiting and not fighting. We are must vulnerable during those quiet times..

Thursday, November 29, 2007

falling Asleep.

13Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. (1 Thessalonian 4)

My husband's grandmother passed away this week. Before she left us, we got to see her a month ago. She seemed so normal. We laughed and talked about old times. We planned to visit her on Thanksgiving. However, when we saw her at Thanksgiving, she had already gone into a coma-like state. It was so weird. I kept thinking maybe she would just wake up and everything would be okay.

The concept of life and death are so hard to grasp. Maybe just the death part is difficult to understand; it is entirely final and so completely unknown. However, there is much more to life than this meager existence that we know. Thank God she's in heaven. That is are consolation. Those who pass before us, if they know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, will be resurrected and we will be reunited with them again...pretty soon, if you think about it. :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Do not worry.

33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6)

Every now and then I must remind myself how important it is to seek God and His kingdom first. I get so caught up in this life and I become so entrapped in the worries of the day that my perspective gets blurry. My vision becomes restricted to my cares and wants alone, and I forget the important, eternal matters entirely. Life is not just about this moment or tomorrow's; life transcends into something that will last forever.

I need to stop worrying. I can't worry about petty, trivial things anymore because it is not worth it. And when I do fall into a pattern of daily anxiety, I must realize that such a lifestyle is a salient warning that my priorities are not right. If I am truly seeking God first, then those worries will be abated, my trust will be restored in Him, and I can live life eternally-minded.

Monday, November 12, 2007


4 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?
Tell me, if you understand. (Job 38)

In those moments that we feel as if God just doesn't understand our predicament. In those times that we feel as if God is not there for us. In our doubts, in our apprehensions, in our fears, and nightmares we must remind ourselves that there is one thing we ought to know for sure: we do not know everything but God does. Take comfort in the fact that the worries we hold are only partial pieces of the picture. There is more to the story from the very beginning to the end that we are not exposed to.

We just have to wait, have patience, and believe that God knows what He's doing. He laid the earth's foundation and we weren't there, and yet we live day and day out trusting that those foundations are sound. Likewise, in the little things and the hard things and the things that we want to let go and the things that we have a hard time holding onto, we need to trust that those are also sound in His hands.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

attitude adjustment.

Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. 3But the man who loves God is known by God. (1 Corinthians 8)

I've been in a mess lately about school. I think this verse really speaks to me because it sheds light on my attitude, and urges me to change my disposition. School should not be the focal point of my life; it should not dictate my behavior and actions and it should never justify my cruelty, annoyance, and bad nature. In short, I cannot be cranky in lieu of school.

I need to have an attitude adjustment, and just hoping to be nicer will not work. I need to love unconditionally just like God loves me. No matter what people do or say, I need to really keep in mind that I am a follower of Christ. I want them to know His love, and the only way I can do that is by sharing His love with them.

But before all of that, I need to love God and be known by Him. Otherwise, all my efforts to be cordial are phony. I want to be genuine and not fake.

Friday, November 2, 2007

a penny for thought.

only a fraction of a penny (Mark 12)

That's what the widow offered. That's how much I think my life is worth sometimes; it's not even worth a penny. Maybe that's how much your life is worth, you think. But whatever opinion we have of ourselves, God sees our sacrifice in a different LIGHT. Entirely.

Don't degrade yourself, and make excuses, whimpy ones at that, that God doesn't care whether or not you offer yourself because your life amounts to nothing. On the contrary, the fraction of a penny that you think you're worth is more in value then you could ever dream when it is offered with utter sincerity.

In God's economy, the exchange rate is excellent. :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A job well done!

He has done everything well...(Mark 7:37)

Isn't that the truth? Everything Jesus did was done well. He healed and made whole, and the result was perfect; the outcome was amazing; it was all so miraculous and unbelievable; there was nothing missing or off par. Yet, in my life, I've been seriously questioning certain parts of my existence. I constantly doubt whether or not everything will fall into place. Can Jesus really heal all the damage in my life? Completely? Fully?

I can't let those apprehensions rock my faith because He does a good job in everything He does; records prove it! Let that stir my heart and make me trust Him with my life, even the tattered and torn pieces that don't seem like they could ever be mended. The blind saw; the deaf could hear; the mute talked; the lame walked; and even I, little old me, can be made whole again.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


There are days that I feel like I'm simply suspended; I'm stuck in a state of stagnancy and staleness. Today is one of these days. I have so much to do, but I cannot seem to do it and yesterday's woes still plague me but the pain is so misty, a mere apparition of what was, untouchable, so unreal.


Please help me to feel like Your arms are embracing me even in this state of misery. Even when I feel like nothing happening, as if I will never get to that better day, as if the desires of my heart will never come, as if I will have to settle for this unsettling feeling of unrest, help me to be fully content in Your love even in this moment of suspension...

Thank you for who You are and what You do, even though I don't know how it'll all come together, I know it will and that's all that matters.

Friday, October 5, 2007

believing in the cause.

And if I perish, I perish. (Esther 3:16)

She was so self-sacrificing. She knew the dire situation that the Jews were in, and she knew there was no other solution. Esther had to stand up for her people; she had to risk her life to save the others. She had to be bold and courageous, loving and kind, and above all, she had to believe in the cause.

Often times, we lay our lives down for others. We try to be nice and courteous; sometimes giving up our time and pushing what we really want to the side, so that others will benefit from our sacrifices. But if we are not ready to perish, in a sense, for such an act, I honestly think, we should re-think whether or not we should commit to such a cause. I'm not saying we shouldn't be nice, but if that's the only reason for laying down our lives, it'll only lead to agony.

If our whole disposition is to do nice things to others, we will drain ourselves to the point of depression. But if we do nice things because we are trying to preach the gospel, or we're hoping that our actions will reflect God's glory, then our motives are noble and right. There is reason to do what we do.

Esther had to believe in what she was doing; otherwise, it was in vain. She did, and because of her belief, she was able to save the Jews from genocide.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

one Leper of Ten.

17Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." (Luke 17)

10% of the lepers remembered to give thanks; only one remembered to return and express his gratitude. He didn't have to; the others didn't and they were still healed. Jesus didn't take back the miracle because they were inconsiderate, but the one that returned received more than just a healing. He received something that was beyond a physical miracle. His faith was increased; his healing had meaning; he believed not only in the fact that he was whole again, but that His Savior loved him. There was a healing beyond what people could see. His leper heart was, likewise, restored. I wonder if the 90% of the other lepers still had broken hearts; still had a yearning for something more in this life; were dissatisfied with the emptiness of this life.

When we demonstrate our thanks, it's solely for our own good. Jesus wants us to remember how and why we are blessed the way we have been. He loves us, and if we tie that concept in with the blessing, we'll experience the blessing to another level.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

for the love of MONEY.

13"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."

The love of money comes so naturally. We all love it and want it. We are born being greedy. However, the more we get it, the more we become dictated by it. We begin to work so hard to get our hands on it. We start to sacrifice so much for it. And, we do things we wouldn't have done before because of it.

How do we simplify our lives? How do we get rid of that desire for more earthly riches? It's just stuff, right??? But we crave this stuff to fill our houses, in every nook and cranny, and then in the storage shed and garage, under our beds and throughout our closets, and then shipped off to the good-will or causally tossed in the trash bin. It drives us crazy...It just doesn't make sense.

I need to reorganize my life. I think in so many ways, I've put others before God. I cannot serve more than two masters. And, really, the master I am serving right now sucks.


Please hear my sincere plea: I want You to be my master. Help me to be Your humble servant.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

give careful thought to your ways.

5 Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it." (Haggai 1)

In every aspect of their lives, they were dissatisfied. No matter what they did, they didn't have enough and didn't accomplish as much as they had hoped for. They were living their lives with less than the bare minimums.

Why were their efforts amounting to nothing? Was it because they weren't trying hard enough? Did they not have the right attitude? Did they have the wrong motives? What was causing their failure?

Basically, they did not turn to God for anything. Without God, everything we do will be less than it can be and, likewise, more painful and dissatisfying than it has to be. I like how God reminded them and how He reminds us: "Give careful thought to your ways." Really consider what you're doing. Are your efforts amounting to anything?

Monday, September 24, 2007


2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God. (Psalm 84)

I'm so, very tired. I just want to go home. God, grant me the strength I need to be the person You want me to be and the strength I need to do the things You desire me to accomplish. Don't let me give up. But always instill in me that deep, sincere longing to be with You and to reside with You in Your eternal courts...May that hope inspire me to forge ahead with courage and joy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


37For nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1)

Seriously. Don't doubt it. Even in the hardest circumstances; especially in the hardest circumstances; you know exactly which ones I'm talking need to have faith that God can do the things that we think to be impossible. Maybe not yet. Maybe we have a wait a bit. Still...we need to stop doubting and start trusting.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

homework and chores.

2 You will eat the fruit of your labor;
blessings and prosperity will be yours. (Psalm 128)

I am so lazy, so apathetic, so tired. I'm so worn out. I think about all the things that keep piling up on my list of things to do and I shudder. I get anxious and I get nervous. I dread with a dread that fills my day with despair...and yet, I don't get on the ball. I don't cease my listlessness. I don't halt my procrastination. I don't avoid my distractions. I just fret as if that is somehow producing anything. It's not.

We were meant to work hard, to labor with our hands and minds. If we reject the task at hand, we will ultimately gain nothing. However, if we work with the mentality of persistence and diligence, we will reap bounty. God will honor our labors if we do it with a heart of purity. Even if the task seems so meaningless like homework or chores, God wants us to do it with all our heart unto Him. With that said, I need to start finishing up my homework and chores. :)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

get up.

14 The LORD upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down. (Psalm 145)

In the drudgery of life, we often feel so entirely low that we would rather fall down and never get up. With neither strength or hope, without confidence and determination, we just want to give up. But whether we are down because of our own choosing or whether life has just thrown us in such a desperate position, God is always there to pick us up...cheer us up...if we would just look up.

Looking ahead is oft times hard, especially from the view that is down in the murky mire; however, if we would just gaze our eyes heavenward, we will see a distinguishable glow that would shroud our apprehensions in a light. We won't see like we've been seeing; we will see life in a different way, a more positive way. And, God will take us by the hand and lift us up. We can't give up.

Friday, September 14, 2007


5Then a voice came from the throne, saying:
"Praise our God,
all you his servants,
you who fear him,
both small and great!"

(Revelation 19)

No matter what our status is on this earth, in the end, our purpose is to praise God. We should never be haughty and snobbish in this life; we should never think that we're better than anyone. This is a bad attitude. Likewise, we should never be ashamed of being a peon, either. There will always be people above us. We need to accept their leadership; however, God is the King of kings and Lord of Lords; He is the One whom we should worship and focus all our attention.

Status is such a strange concept. I get frustrated sometimes with people who think they're better than me and put me down. Politics are embedded in every sect of life...but in the end, it means nothing. All of it, titles and roles, and the like will all fade. What matters in this life is how we treat others. We serve. We love. We forgive. We need to live our lives not with a status mentality but with a kind and pure attitude.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


"Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of [b] them. How then can we live?" (Ezekiel 33:10)

Often times I feel so burdened. There's so much that I carry. There are things from the past I can't seem to let go. There are things that haven't even come into fruition that I am so anxious about. And there are simply things I carry that are filled with pain, doubt, and uncertainty that weary me. They make me wonder how I can even live life especially if I dread it so much. If life is as terrible as I live it, is it even worth living? And if I begin to ask myself these kinds of questions, then I really ought to question what I am doing wrong. I know for a fact that the weight I carry is for one, a deliberate choice. And for two, the load I carry is filled with sin. Therefore, I choose to sin and consequently, I choose to
live this wretched life.

God doesn't want us to carry the load of sin. He wants us to give it up, but what is so enticing about a package of hurt and a potential explosive? What is so alluring about becoming exhausted from hauling unnecessary guilt, pain, and anxiety? If it's
not fun, which seems obvious, then why do we partake in such a task? One word: control. We like to carry our own weight. We like the feeling of holding our own, to our own demise.

Controlling something, even if it is our lives, if it leads to failure is clearly the wrong choice. We have a shepherd that wants to take care of us, in every possible way. We just have to allow Him to lead...allow Him to provide...and allow Him to take our burdens, and sometimes even carry us...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

fiery furnaces.

12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up. (Daniel 3)

In such a situation, I really doubt whether or not I could refrain from bowing. The request was simple. All one had to do was bow down to avoid being thrown into the fiery furnace. Didn't these three even stop to try to justify it? Couldn't they have considered that just by bowing down they could continue their ministry? Their lives would help others, truly, so what good would it be them to die in the fiery furnace?

However, the act of bowing down was a demonstration of a lack of faith, a rejection of God's sovereignty, and simply, a compromise...

There are fiery furnaces in my life. Sometimes it seems so easy just to bow down, to perform the simple request, to compromise in order to escape these furnaces, but what would happen if I stood up for what I believe in? How different would life be for those who would witness my declaration of faith?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him. (Daniel 2)

God knows everything; we don't. We might think we do, but we simply do not have all the facts. So when we prematurely guess or make insane assumptions, we end up frustrating ourselves and others. We can only place our hope in the fact that God knows everything, and in time and in His will, all will be revealed that needs to be revealed.

Monday, September 3, 2007

trusting...part what?

7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy. (Psalm 111)

I am feeling kinda crappy, to say the least. Every now and then a recurring issue surfaces, and I just want to shove it down the drain. But I ended up nearly drowning, hardly breathing, never seeing, failing and frailing from the futile tries. I sink and sink, deeper than anything so heavy as my woes. I look up to see them ahead of each movement I take. They hover above me, casting a weary shadow over my future, over my life. What should I do?

If everything God does is faithful and is just, why should I worry? Even if I do worry, nothing's going to improve. Nothing will change with each thought I give. I'll still be stuck in that pitiful puddle of misery. If I cease from caring, where will that leave me? Indifference is not the answer. What should I do?

If His precepts are trustworthy, that means that if I do what He tells me to do, then I will be okay. I can trust His direction. But what is His direction? What if I don't want to go that way? What if that way looks scary and bleak? Should I go anyway? What if that way isn't even His way? How will I know?

When everything's okay, one has a difficult time understanding the distress of a person who is in a state of confusion. For that person who is confused, what should he do? Trusting God is hard. But not trusting God seems a bit harder. The hard situation will not disappear no matter what. But the hard situation can end in two ways. One is hard. The other isn't. Hm...

Sunday, September 2, 2007


23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? (Ezekiel 18)

God does not want to see people suffer or perish. He wants everyone to be saved because He loves everyone. But people do not always want God. There are people who do not like the concept of God being in control of their lives; they want to control their lives even if it's down into the pit. And if this is so, should He force them to love Him back? Should He demand that they repent and live fulfilling lives? Or should He allow them to exercise their free will and die?

God wants us to live, love, and to be free from the bondage of sin...He wants everyone to experience life in abundance. .. . EVERYONE. That does not exclude anyone. Not even that someone...that somebody that you just think God might not love. He even loves them. Pray for them...God wants you to. God wants me to.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


2 May those who seek my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace. (Psalm 70)

No matter how hard I try to be nice to people, there are always those who want me to fall, to stumble, to suffer. I just want to get along with everyone, but their agendas and personal motives cause conflict and needless strife. I can't do anything to prevent it; I am doomed to be attacked, to be taken advantage of, to be humiliated. It's just the way this world operates. You will have enemies, whether or not you make them. They will just be in your life...plain and simple.

I know we are to love our enemies, but I think God wants to protect us from a certain amount of damage our enemies afflict upon our souls. He won't allow them to do harm to our hearts, if we trust in Him. So, venegence is His...and that's not a bad thing.

We just have to give it all to Him. We can never try to fight back. Our weapons are worthless; it'll only do worst damage, probably enraging our opponents even more. Instead, we just lay it all before God and watch Him take care of our wars and battles.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

money's trap.

17You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. (Revelation 3)

Money does not satisfy. Money cannot bring pure happiness to anyone. It may put on the fascade of security, excitement, and peace, but it cannot touch the inner workings of the soul. It's all surface. The sad thing about money though is that one may not even realize he is in deep misery because the money blinds him. It caters to his greed and selfishness, and so the pain is always ignored. The lust is always satiated, or rather attempted to be satiated.

In this generation, we want so much. I want so much. But don't be a fool. It won't supply you with what you need. It won't give you sustenance or substance. It will only make you lust more and more...and eventually get trapped...avoid this.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


21 But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself." (Ezekiel 3)

We have to, we need to, we should all spread the truth of the gospel. It is so hard to approach people with this topic because we're afraid of rejection and overreactions, but God told Ezekiel not to be afraid, and neither should we fear. There are two possible results, both of which are likely. The first is that they do reject us and put us down. It's plausible. It's reasonable. It's very, very likely. However, the second is that they repent.

Either way, our responsibility is to share the good news. It is never promised that we will be received well. It is not expected that everyone we meet should turn from their ways. Regardless of the outcome, we will be successful in our mission because we have been faithful to the comission. We just have to be sensitive to God's plan, and seek wisdom when speaking to non-believers.

Monday, August 27, 2007


8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul. (Psalm 143)

Mornings are terrible for me; I am not a morning person, though I'm not exactly a night person either. However, because my husband happens to be a night person, I end up staying up way past a decent sleeping hour. Then, having to wake up to be at work by 7:30, let's just s may, I'm somewhat cranky. My mind is focused on simple things like coffee, breakfast, getting clothes ready, shower, keys, purse...etc. My mind is not on anything lovely, anything that would remind me of God's love, or at least I don't take the hint well.

If this is the case, I don't know why I should ever expect the day to get better. It seems like it's all downhill from there. However, if I just put forth a little bit of effort in asking God to give me a word of His unfailing love, then my soul will be uplifted. I will have a pleasant day. What a great perspective! (okay, I need a nap :))

Sunday, August 26, 2007


11Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. (3John1)

It cannot be helped. We are imitators. No matter how hard we try to be individualistic, we are simply conforming to be individualistic. We will, regardless of our endeavors, become like others. Like our fathers, like our brothers, like our sisters, like our mothers, like our friends, like our foes, like someone, like everyone. It cannot be helped; that is our nature. We're biters.

Knowing this.. Coming to grip with this.. Facing this reality.. we need to imitate what is good, even though what is bad is normally what is more appealing. We need to surround ourselves with people who are good so that we will naturally become more and more like them. Furthermore, we need to stay in close proximity with God, so we can imitate Him and become more like Him. It sounds so nice and fuzzy, but in truth, it's a reality. We pick up traits, habits, and behaviors of those around us, so we must be careful choosing who we spend time with.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


17 But I will rescue you on that day, declares the LORD; you will not be handed over to those you fear. 18 I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in me, declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 39)

Ebed-Melech, the Cushite, was not forgotten! I love this!!! The risk he made to save Jeremiah was not ignored. Ebed-Melech had trusted God, knowing that it was necessary to speak to king on Jeremiah's behalf; he could not let Jeremiah die in the cistern. He could not consciously allow Jeremiah to starve to death in the sinking mud. No, he had to talk to the king. He had to convince the King to draw Jeremiah out and rescue him.

In all of this, God remembered Ebed-Melech. I'm so glad this portion of history is recorded. Sometimes we risk our lives, in a way, to do something we really feel is necessary, and God will remember. We may do things that jeopardize our lives, in a way, and God will not forget. We must trust God wholly, and God will prevent us from being "handed over to those" we fear...even when the stakes are high...

Friday, August 24, 2007

do not mock God.

10 How long will the enemy mock you, O God?
Will the foe revile your name forever? (Psalm 74)

You see it everywhere; people are blatantly mocking God. They make fun of Him on television, in books, and in music; people are starting to push the limits, the boundaries, and the lines of what's appropriate. They try to look tough by putting down the Almighty God. They try to look intellectual by showing aversion toward faith and believing. They try to look spiritual by rejecting the truth and embracing a pack of lies. But it seems as if God just is sitting back, allowing them all to defile His name??? I think not.

For those who think they're getting away with mocking God, don't be fooled. Judgment is approaching. However, repentence is still an option. God will take back a sinner, who wants to make things right. Just remember, though, God will not be mocked. There will be severe consequences.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


16 This is what the LORD says:
"Restrain your voice from weeping
and your eyes from tears,
for your work will be rewarded," (Jeremiah 31)

We should not grow weary in doing good. Though the labor may appear futile and somewhat in vain, what we reap will be abundantly good if we have sown what is good. If we have poured out of our souls everything pure and holy...everything that is from God, then the rewards will be evident in the end. We just have to be patient.

While we wait, it's only natural for us to sometimes fall under the impression that things won't ever change. To us, a day, a week, a month, a year, a decade seems like a long time. However, when it's all said and done, time passes very quickly. We will one day look back and realize all was not in vain.

So, as we travel this journey, though it be narrow and trying, we need to hold back ours tears and try to resist the temptation to cry. God will reward us, and with that hope, we should live in joy and peace...right now.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

His plans.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. [b] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile." (Jeremiah 29)

We hurt. We cry. We suffer. But pain is only temporary. The tragedy only momentary. What God has in store for us transcends the here and now. He has a specific plan for each one us that includes everything that we could ever hope for.

Because we are just human, it is difficult to understand time. To try to gaze into the distant future is futile because our perspective is marred. We don't see what God's see. We are frightened because we think our pathetic state of existence can never change for the good. We are depressed because we only foresee shadows and gloom up in the road ahead; however, God's plan for us is beyond that. It is marked out completely. There is a goal. There is a trail. It might seem a bit bumpy, but it's there.

If we seek Him and His ways, He will allow us to find Him and His ways. We just have to be persistent. The trials, though many and sometimes overwhelming, will pass and we will one day see His marvelous plans unfold for us.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


25 O LORD, save us;
O LORD, grant us success. (Psalm 118)

It's not a bad thing to ask God for success, for accomplishments, for a job well done. Our faith is not measured by how much we suffer and how much we lose; God wants us to perform with excellence. So when we're faced with a situation, we should pray, wholeheartedly, for success. We should want to surpass all expectations in a job, for any given opportunity, doing it for His glory.

I guess, I've often felt it was somewhat selfish to want to get A's in my classes, to be the cream of the crop, or to be considered a reliable and good worker. If it's not fueled with greed, but rather a godly desire to do well given the task, I think God wants us to want success. We ought to pray, and if our hearts are not right, then He will change our desires. However, we should always want to be successful in the light of what is holy. We should want to represent God as high-achievers and not slackers.

Monday, August 20, 2007

prideful sin.

8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1John 1)

Obviously, everyone makes mistakes. Apparently, everone is flawed. However, there are times in our lives when we deny the fact that we are wrong, in a particular circumstances, at a specific time. We blame others, point the finger at everyone but ourselves. In our pride, we really believe or at least we really try to convince ourselves that we are not at fault. How could we be??

The fact of the matter is that our pride sometimes makes it difficult for us to discern between prideful sin and righteousness. Our pride makes our sin look good. With justifications and explanations and reasons and the rest, we endeavor to cover our tracks, but it never quite goes away. It only gets worst.

In deceiving ourselves, we lack the truth of God. We have to get real. Is what we're doing prideful sin or purity driven? Who does it benefit? Who does it hurt? Who does it glorify?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

giving back.

10Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have just caught." (John 21)

After Jesus' resurrection, Peter and some of the disciples are a bit discouraged, maybe even confused. For three years, they had followed Jesus, and at this point they really don't know what else to do. Therefore, they decide to go back to the sea, and return to their old lifestyles. Interestingly, Peter is the one who leads them.

Jesus, however, has a plan for them. He stands on the shore, tells them where to cast their nets, and then calls them in for breakfast. Already prepared are a couple fish and bread, yet he invites them to offer the fish they just caught. Even though Jesus could have provided completely and abundantly for them, He gives them the opportunity to give of themselves, in a way. Oddly enough, the reason why they even had any fish in the first place was because Jesus had directed them, but now He's allowing them to give it back.

In our lives, there are many things that we have not because we have earned it by our own efforts or we deserve it through our own merit, but rather because God simply loved us enough to direct us to that particular gain. It is with our abundance that we can give back. We should offer it. We should share it. Not because we have to or need to, but rather because Jesus is allowing us to commune and share in His love and grace. There's just something lovely about giving.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


But the LORD had hidden them. Jeremiah 36

Jehoiakim is seeking to kill both Jeremiah and Baruch. Jeremiah dictating the words of the Lord to Baruch, who wrote them on a scroll, had them read to the people, including Jehoiakim's officials. Even though his officials realized the gravity of these words, Jehoiakim rejected them and burned them in the fire, piece by piece. Furthermore, Jehoiakim demonstrates his belligerence by seeking to destroy the prophet and his servant.

Neverthless, God hides them. The terror that envelopes us and surrounds us can never penetrate our hearts if we follow God. He will hide us in the midst of it. I'm almost certain that Jeremiah and Baruch, though they knew God was protecting them, felt a bit panicked. They probably felt a tad anxious. It was not the most comfortable of circumstances. However, God was there keeping them safe.

Likewise, in our lives, even when we feel a bit panicked, anxious, and uncomfortable because of the events that unfold in our lives, we must remember that God is keeping us hidden. We will be safe in His hands.

Friday, August 17, 2007

peer pressure.

8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9and he went back inside the palace. (John 19)

Pilate is conflicted; on one hand, he fears the people and doesn't want to cause an uprising by contradicting them. On the other hand, he's experiencing some sort of conviction, realizing that what they say about Jesus being the Son of God seems true. Deep down inside, he's questioning whether or not there is any possibility of Jesus being deity, and if so, he doesn't want to do anything against a higher power.

His initial response to his conviction is to go directly to Jesus. He begins to ask questions. His belief continues to grow, as from this point on, Pilate is said to have attempted to release Jesus. However, the people's pressure wears him down. he eventually is overpowered by them, and he gives in.

Peer pressure is tough. I don't know why it's so important to look good in the eyes of others, but it is to most people. I don't know why it's so critical that people accept us, but it is to everyone. Whether we like it or not, we all suffer from peer pressure. However, it's vital that we try to live our lives by God's standards and not man's. Yes, we might offend people, we might even make enemies, but God will guide us, and for the most part, there will be people who will accept us because of who we have become through Christ.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

bad attitude.

5 Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely,
who conducts his affairs with justice. (Psalm 112)

It is important for us not to only love God and serve Him, but to also love and serve those around us. Our demonstration of love for Him is through our love for others. Everyone. It's easy to love people who want to be loved, but what about the people who constantly reject us? I don't want to get hurt by their rejection, and I suppose that's when my pride interferes with how I conduct myself, and I end up having a bad attitude.

Without a doubt, there are people out who put up a front that they don't want to be loved. Or at least that's how it feels. They make everything an argument. They can't help but fight and make things harder than they have to be. It's so utterly frustrating.

But God desires for us to be generous and kind. To be just and fair. We shouldn't assume that they're wrong. We should never take that judgment into our own hands. Rather, we need to simply be humble and to be loving regardless of who the person is....

Obviously, this devotion is a stretch for the verse I chose. But I guess it's just on my heart because I had an incident today. I just want to get along with people, but sometimes it's almost impossible. Nevertheless I need to be generous with my patience, with my sympathy, with my love, and with my prayer. They just might be having a bad day...and why should that result in me getting a bad attitude???

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

being honest with our feelings.

18 Why did I ever come out of the womb
to see trouble and sorrow
and to end my days in shame? (Jeremiah 20)

Jeremiah's pain is intense; he hurts so much from all the rejection and feelings of inadequacy. No matter how hard he tries to warn the Israelites, they reject him. No matter how hard he tries to avoid them, the truth springs up out of his mouth and again he is put down. He is in a place of utter sadness, and thus, he begins to wish he was never born. He begins to question his existence.

I think it's important for us to realize that our days on this earth are not guaranteed to be free of failure, rejection or pain. There will be times when we feel so completely forlorn, but it's okay to experience it. We can't just shrug it off. We can't just ignore the reality of these feelings. Jeremiah doesn't conjure up pseudo-confidence and try to make everyone think he's okay. He doesn't put up a front.

Instead, he pours his heart out to God...HONESTLY. He doesn't candy-coat it. He doesn't generalize it. He just tells it like it is. We need to be like Jeremiah, in that even when we're not happy with the situation God has placed us in, instead of pretending we're okay, we need to tell God we're not okay...and perhaps He will help us get through it okay.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

8 He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17

There will be trouble in this world, guaranteed. No amount of precaution or preventative measures can reduce the conflict, hardships, and pain that is bound to occur to us while we're on this earth. It's evitable. Jesus even said it in John chapter 16. So, what do we do when trouble strikes? Actually, it should be rephased to what should we do before trouble strikes? Although we cannot stop anything bad from happening or we cannot even begin to lessen the heavy blows of reality and injustice, we can surely be prepared for the beating.

In Jeremiah we are told that a man whose confidence is in God is like a tree, which is planted strategically by the water. When drought comes, not only does it refrain from fearing or trembling, but it also remains wholly green and healthy. By planting itself so firmly in what is good, nothing can shake it, even when traumatic events do occur! We need to be like that tree; we need to be so rooted in God's grace and love, that WHEN those times arrive and they will, we will not waver. Our confidence is in the fact that Jesus has overcome the world, why should we be afraid?

Monday, August 13, 2007


6 You have rejected me," declares the LORD.
"You keep on backsliding.
So I will lay hands on you and destroy you;
I can no longer show compassion. (Jeremiah 15)

We cannot take God's grace for granted; there will be judgment and consequences for our shame. We can't keep sinning with a confident expectancy that God will pull us out, dust us off, and allow us to fall back into the mire. It doesn't work that way. His grace is without bound, but our hearts are breakable, easily damaged, quickly marred and mutilated. We cannot really believe that we can endure the wounds of sinful behaviors and not grow weak and thin from such a lifestyle. There will come a day when our hearts will fail...a day when God can no longer show us compassion because we have chosen to reject Him fully...completely...and tragically.

We need to bind our hearts, our ways, our will to His heart, His ways, and His will. God will never fail to show those who follow Him compassion. He will even pour His love out on those who don't follow Him right now. He forgives; He shows grace and mercy, but we have to remember that we, as humans, are falliable...corruptible...and powerless to save ourselves. We can depend on Him, but we surely can't depend on ourselves. And to be denied God's compassion because we have chosen that path is a very sad, sad, sad thing.

Friday, August 10, 2007


16 This is what the LORD says:
"Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, 'We will not walk in it.' (Jeremiah 6)

There exist such a path, a path that will lead us to God and to what is good, but it is not one that is easily marked. It is not even one that we can take casually or traversed by accident. No, it takes effort. It requires us to "look", to search and seek it earnestly. It also demands us to "ask" and to inquire, not just aimlessly or blindly walk it, but to know why and how we walk it. Nevertheless it is there, and many have traveled it and found what they were looking for.

Even though it exists, people don't take it. I don't take it sometimes. Lately, I have been so consumed with school that devotional time has taken a backseat. I think it was evident in the way I conducted myself over the past month. I've been terribly miserable and on edge. Worst yet, I just finished my calculus final today, and I feel completely empty...what a waste.

Well, God wants us to find that path that leads us away from the darkness and into His arms...and to find for our souls! Nothing else in the world can guarantee that!

Friday, July 27, 2007

day and night.

1 It is good to praise the LORD
and make music to your name, O Most High,
2 to proclaim your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night, (Psalm 92)

I believe I suffer because I fail to do these two things daily. When I awake, I begin my day thinking how horrible it will be. I think about all the terrible things I have to do. I think about how stupid and undisciplined I am, and I start the day thinking that I will inevitably fall and stumble despite how hard and painfully persistent I try or want to try. Then at night, I think about how terrible my day was. I think about the unfathomable and unrealistic list of things I still have yet to complete. I fall asleep, realizing what I failure I truly am, and just want sleep to swallow me whole.

...My misery is derived from one thing and one thing only: the fact that I think way too much about myself is the source of my woe. I begin the day thinking about me. I end the day thinking about me. I know I am worthless; I need not convince myself otherwise, so why do I spend my waking hours thinking about something worthless???

I need to start thinking about God's love in the morning. When I wake up, knowing that He loves me so, so, so very much, how can I resist enjoying the day that HE made especially for me and you? When I fall into deep, sweet slumber, why cannot I be thinking about all the wonderful things, through His faithfulness, He provided for me??? And in between night and day, I have to simply meditate on HIM and forget little old me, and this will perhaps transform my day into something'll make my life a life worth living.

Friday, July 20, 2007

i am a little vapor.

13Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. (James 4)

I have been struggling with my priorities lately. I've been so absorbed in school and trying to stay motivated to finish well. However, my plans are futile if they don't line up with God's. So why should I make plans without Him?

I am just a little vapor. I am just a mist. When things don't turn out like I want them to, why should I, just a little vapor, expect anything more? I just need to trust in God; He will deliver me.

Dear Lord, I want to be humble. I want to be right before You and You alone...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

walking the way.

21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." (Isaiah 29)

To be confident in what path to take is a result of being in God's hands and will result in being in the ultimate place of peace and joy. No matter how the situation turns out, how it may look, how it currently appears, each step we take in God's plan will consequently lead us on the right path. We have to have faith that the "voice" we hear and listen to is God's, and the only way to be certain of that is to be daily in His presence.

In James 1, we are told that if we lack wisdom, we simply have to ask for more and it will be given to us. There is a condition, however, and the condition is that we believe; we cannot doubt. In this case, we need to live our lives, constantly asking for wisdom- godly, eternal, and undeniably pure wisdom from God. He then will grant it to us, and then help us to take those steps needed to lead us along the path of righteousness.

Dear God,

There are so many uncertainties in my life right now. I just pray that You would instill in me an infinitely, amazingly, deep sense of wisdom. I want to hear Your voice, leading me through those valleys and dark places. Help me to walk the way You have intended me to walk, not wavering or falling to the wayside, but with godly fear and confidence.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The world was not worhty of them.

35Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37They were stoned[f]; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. (Hebrew 11)

Paul describes the people of faith, their history, their hardships, and their triumph. Through faith, these men sought after something that wasn't readily apparent at the time, and they acquired something far better than they could ever imagine: a promise. Further in the chapter, Paul speaks about the women and men of faith who were being persecuted at this time for their faith in Jesus Christ.

He describes the torture they willingly suffered and endured from those in opposition to their faith. He talks about them being ridiculed, flogged, incarcerated, and rejected. They were walking in the footsteps of Jesus, and just like He had been wrongly punished, likewise they were experiencing the same. However, their faith allowed them to forge ahead and not give up.

"The world was not worthy of them." I especially like this verse. The world was hurling the worst at them, but it was not because they were worthless, but rather because they were too worthy. In our lives, when we stand up in faith for what we may believe, it may feel like we're pathetic and without merit, but in reality, we experience persecution or opposition because our worth is honored only in the economy of heaven.

Friday, July 13, 2007

sinners in the hands of an angry God.

31It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrew 10)

This very verse always reminds me of Jonathan Edwards.:)

Even though we should always try to remember the goodness of God, we must also be conscious of the side of God that is just and fair. If we sin and reject Him, there will be consequences; if we are willing to choose other gods before Him, then there's a realistic yet frightening notion that we'll have to face Him one day. This verse tacts on the adjective "living" to describe God. I think it's an emphasis on the fact that God WILL deal with us. Just because He allows us to be evil and commit sin doesn't mean that He is not unaware of our actions or thoughts; the judgment will come from the living God.

It's important to understand the terror of God, in order for us to think twice about doing things that aren't pleasing to Him. It should deter us, but even more so, His love for us should make us want to behave. It is equally important to hold onto the fact that His love has established His throne. God is good; He is merciful. We shouldn't live in fear of Him, but rather love Him as our disciplinary and leader. We should also never take advantage of that fact that He is so forgiving. We should never deliberately choose to reject Him in the things that we do.

We are sinners. God can be angry. We are in His hands. However, these three things are not necessarily simultaneously occurring. If we repent from our wicked ways, He will hold us lovingly in His hands, without anger and without bitterness. If we don't repent and we continue to reject His ways, then perhaps the three events will occur at one time, which is, in short, just dreadful.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

once again.

"once again..." Isaiah 14:1

Second chances are available in God's economy of grace. He offers it willingly for those who want to repent, for those who want to return; He gives it freely to those who want to try again and have another go at it. I am whole-heartedly thankful for His mercy because I need it daily.

I think I'm struggling a bit with taking full advantage of all blessings He does supply; I'm so busy right now with school that I have been trying to organize my time according to my standards, by my needs. I'm taking control of the circumstances; I'm taking the reigns in my own hands . The result of acquirement for independence is probably evident in how I feel right now...lousy.

God's grace is never-ending. He wants us to go back again, and again, and again to replenish and refill our spirits with what is good and pure. Even when we do become so empty that we just want to give up, His arms are open for us to return. It's never too late. It's not "once upon a time" like in the fairy tales, which implies past tense. It's "once again" and this is in real life. He wants us once again.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

fearing God and not Calculus

13 The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy,
he is the one you are to fear,
he is the one you are to dread, (Isaiah 8)

I am so overwhelmed with calculus. I've only had two days of integration, a little over four hours of intense and intimidating instruction, and I am completely, utterly, so, so, so terribly behind. I have not completed or even started any of the homework assignments, not because I don't want to, but because I seriously don't have time. I barely have time to eat or sleep. I'm physically exhausted, and I am emotionally frazzled. This is always on my mind. This is what I fear right now. This is what I dread. How many hours I spend worrying over school? Too much.

God knows calculus. Um. Yeah, to say the least. He understands programming. Hah. Yes, He does. So, if I just trust in Him and try my very hardest, He'll pull me through. I shouldn't waste my time fretting about things I can't change. I just have to be confident that He will give me the wisdom, energy, and ability to do what I have to do. And let's say, I do fail. So what? Maybe I really just have to take a class again to really comprehend the subject matter. That's His will, and I just have to follow it. No matter what though, I have to fear Him and trust Him. It'll all work out in the end...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

trusting others.

5 Do not trust a neighbor;
put no confidence in a friend.
Even with her who lies in your embrace
be careful of your words.

6 For a son dishonors his father,
a daughter rises up against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
a man's enemies are the members of his own household.

7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD,
I wait for God my Savior;
my God will hear me. (Micah 7)

We all go through various phases in our lives. When we're young we are totally vulnerable and dependent on others; we trust people with little reservation not because we choose to but because it's the nature of our survival. Then, during adolescence we become completely cynical to authority. We don't necessary rebel, but we doubt whether or not older people can relate to us or understand us. But it's during this time that we give our unadulterated trust to our peers; we believe what they think, we trust their judgment. But then we become adults. We begin to realize our folly as teenagers, and we begin to shed some of the reservations we had about authority, but we're in an awkward state in our lives, or at least I am.

I want to trust people, really I do, but I can't. So many peole have let down, I have a hard time finding credibility in anything. I think I want to trust people because I want to place my reliance on something tangible, something concrete. But in Micah, we're not asked to trust anyone; our faith is not constructed on something tangible or concrete. We only suppose to trust God, which is hard but it is necessary to remain steady in this life. People will let you down; it's almost guaranteed. God will never, and that is a guarantee.

Monday, July 9, 2007


11We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. 12We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Hebrews 6)

We are exhorted to continue with perseverance until the very end. We should not lose patience, endurance, or hope, even when everything seems so dull, so mundane. We should continue on without wavering and without faltering, even when times appear stagnant. And yet, it is during these calms after the turbulent storms that we have the tendancy to not rest but rather become lazy. Without a battle raging before us, we have difficulty summoning any energy and effort for a cause that seems so far away. So, we become lackadaisical. We become slothful. We become almost useless.

Don't become lazy. Even when there doesn't seem like there's much spiritual warfare happening, there is. There is always something for us to do, even if we're not in the middle of the battle fighting. We can always pray on the sidelines. There are millions who need it. In those moments that we feel restless and simply lazy, perhaps we should get our eyes checked. We should focus them on Jesus, and see what He has for us to do.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

physically fit.

4 My heart is blighted and withered like grass;
I forget to eat my food. (Psalm 102)

This is just like me; in my depression, I lose my appetite. It's almost as if I enjoy the physical pangs of hunger, as if I feel I deserve to endure the weakness and fatigue. Food is normally equated with fun and celebration, and when there is something to mourn about, it falls quickly to the bottom of my list.

Lately, I've been eating heartily, which probably means I'm not as depressed as normal. :) However, there are things in the back of my mind that keep arising, adding pressure to my head. I really shouldn't let them surface though. I should really take it one step at a time.

Dear God,

Thank you for a beautiful weekend :). Please help me to stay joyful but also healthy, especially for when times get tough again. I want to be physically strong and spiritually ready for tribulation. I want to triumph because I have found strength in You.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4)

In sundry places and during various times I dismissed the possibility that anyone could understand my plight and problem. I could not fathom anybody understanding my predicament, my anxiety, or my fears simply because they seemed too great for someone who wasn't in my shoes to grasp. How could they understand?

Yet, Jesus does. As our High Priest, He not only is there to counsel and help, He has experienced the very human sufferings and pains we experience now, even in our present day. Rejection, loneliness, fear, betrayal...He's felt it all, but to the extreme. What He experienced is far greater than anything we could ever experience because He was completely innocent. The question is now, how could we EVER understand what it felt like to be Him and to be in His situation.

However, He doesn't ask us to sympathize with Him; He simply offers His sympathy to us. He really knows and really understands and really wants to help us in our time of sorrow.

Friday, July 6, 2007

sowing wind.

7 "They sow the wind
and reap the whirlwind. (Hosea 8)

What is it that I spend most of time doing? Am I just sowing the wind, of which the seeds are empty, worthless, and void of any value? Because if I am, if I have dedicated any part of my being to something that is as empty as the wind, I will surely reap the whirlwind. Contrary to what I might hope for, opposite of what I may perceive, I will not simply gain nothingess or end up empty handed like the wind, but rather I will experience the destruction and catastrophe of wasting my time and effort...I will be caught in the whirlwind of this world.

I want to sow seeds that have meaning, that will yield abundant crop. The only way I can be productive is by abiding in the Vine, and then the fruit I bear will be of the Spirit.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

returning the love.

2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels [a] of silver and about a homer and a lethek [b] of barley. 3 Then I told her, "You are to live with [c] me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with [d] you."

God's love for us is conditional; there is one thing we must do in return; we must love Him back; we must surrender our whole, entire hearts to Him and Him only; He must be the only one; no questions, no if's, no exceptions. That's the condition.

Hosea understood God's condition. His heart was fully given to God, not Gomer. Perhaps he loved her, but his real love was for God, which then resonanted and spilled over to wife. The only real way he could accept her back was through his faithfulness to God. Without God's love, I'm sure it would be difficult for him to take her back.

Perhaps if we would dedicate our lives to God, wholly and completely, we would be able to do even the hardest tasks we're confronted with daily. Perhaps we would love like we have never loved before.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


2 When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, "Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD." (Hosea 1)

I wonder how Hosea felt about taking Gomer to be his wife, knowing full well that she would leave him. Did he love her from the beginning? Obviously, he was being obedient to God, but I wonder if he really surrendered his heart to her completely. Perhaps, knowing that she would commit adultery, he loved her with reservation.

Is loving someone with reservation sufficient? God doesn't love us with any reservation, even though he knows we will abandon Him and follow others. Even though He knows our hearts, the wickedness and everything we think and feel, He still loves us. I want to love with that kind of love...

I'm so glad we can count on God; there is no need for us to ever hold any reservations. He will not ever be adulterous, so we can love Him fully and completely now...and forever.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


16 But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God (2Chronicles 26)

Even when we think we have all our enemies, vices, and evils in check, we sometimes forget the most dangerous force is within our own souls. Uzziah was a mighty man at one time. He fought against countless opponents, and yet he conquered them and strengthened his nation. He was up against some hard situations, but somehow he managed to get through them. But amid all his ambitions and success, this great man and warrior failed to realize his greatest weakness was himself and his pride.

No man can escape this downfall. All men must bow down. Either you choose to be humble or you become humbled. Not only should we be aware of this in our every day encounters with other people and with God, but we should also be conscious of it when we're dealing with those who have fallen. It's a very painful thing to have such a downfall. We need to show them grace. I'm sure Uzziah was not only reminded daily of his failure, but I'm sure he was filled with an unfathomable amount of shame and regret. For all those Uzziahs out there, you're not alone. Return to God.

Monday, July 2, 2007


7 Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you. (Psalm 116)

The soul is not always at rest; there are times of disturbance; there are moments of wake and tremble; there are feelings of fatigue and weariness. In this life, we cannot expect calm and placid waves upon these corrupt shores. People will inevitably come in and destroy any peace that we were feeling. We will inevitably make mistakes that will cause our own lives to crumble. However, these disturbances, intrusions, and mishaps are only momentarily. God will make restoration if we allow Him to.

Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of restoration is giving up all control and surrending all anxiety and fear. When the calm comes again, when the rest is given once more, we are unfortunate to have the tendancy to be suspicious and paranoid. We cannot enjoy the rest fully because we are so afraid of what might happen next or we are so overwhelmed by what did happen. Instead, like David, we just have to be grateful for the rest we are given and be thankful that God is so, so, so good to us.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


22 Stop trusting in man,
who has but a breath in his nostrils.
Of what account is he? (Isaiah 2)

Much of my woe is derived from trusting in men, and then feeling the disappointment and letdown of their failure. How often I have entrusted my heart to people, how many times have I hoped in mankind, how quickly have I become vulnerable in the hands of family and friends to be hurt because of their inconsideration and negligence?

I believe most of my pain is from trusting people. I'm not saying that we should live our lives cynically. Or that we should just assume the worst in everybody. However, we should NEVER, NEVER, NEVER trust anyone more than we trust God. We should always keep a little part of our heart conscious of the fact that someone, anyone, everyone might hurt us. While we should reserve a big part of our heart in an awareness that God will NEVER hurt us or let us down. If we live with this mentality, I think we would be less vulnerable.

Saturday, June 30, 2007


In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. (Titus 2:7-8)

I want to live my life in such a fashion that I can never be accused or condemned for being mean, rude, or inconsiderate. I want my life to reflect such love that no one can ever point their finger at me and say that I didn't care or I wouldn't help. I want my life to bare the marks of humility and sincerity and integrity. I want to be completely free from self and lust. I want to never ever be an example of a bad christian. I don't ever want there to be evidence of stupidity or wickedness in the things I do. I want my life to be completely separate from anything in this world.

I want to live a life worth living, don't misunderstand me, but I want to live it for the right reasons. I don't ever want to forget who I am living it for. I don't ever want to forget because people are always watching, and I want Him to receive the glory.

Friday, June 29, 2007

undivided heart.

11 Teach me your way, O LORD,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name. (Psalm 86)

An undivided heart is one that is whole and completely devoted to one thing. A broken heart is anything but that. A broken heart is shattered and undecisive. It has no direction and no devotion.

I wonder if God purposely allowed my heart to be broken into a million pieces so that when He pieced it back together it would be whole and undivided. Of course He had a purpose, but I wonder if it was just that.

When one is in excruciating pain, when loneliness is heavy, and when darkness evades, it is time to turn to God. It's really hard to worship Him when we're so completely involved in this world, but when everything is taken away, its worth and its value, then we can return back to Him.

In these vulnerable times, we will surely fear Him in wonder and awe.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

he did it!

7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2Timothy 4)

Paul is so lucky; here he states that he HAS fought the good fight, he HAS finished the race, and he HAS kept the faith. He made it. He did it. He seized the prize.

In our lives, it sometimes seems like it's impossible to continue. In my life, definitely, there are days I try to think about what's going to happen to my family and I despair; there's nothing I can do to change things. I wonder if I can even go on. But it is not as if Paul's life was easier than mine or yours; it's not as if his life was a walk in the park. To get where he got, to finally arrive at his destination, Paul had extreme difficulties, to say the least.

We read these passages forgetting the long waits, the moments of darkness, the times of fear that Paul experienced. Yes, he suffered immensely, but we can skim over these parts in the Bible so quickly that we neglect to realize these events occurred over a sufficient time period. He knew what pain was. He knew what it meant to be lonely. He knew fear and agony and suffering. And he was only like us, a mere mortal. And yet, he DID IT! This should give us supreme hope, knowing that Paul was able to do it with God's help. Surely, we can do it also with God's help.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

weak-willed women

6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. (2 Timothy 3)

This verse is in reference to the people of the last day who have no regard for anyone but themselves. They are also the ones who will deceive and manipulate others into falling away. Interestingly, Paul mentions their ease at swaying women, weak-willed women, to be specific.

In these very last days, our society, I believe would consider or maybe just wishfully think that women are strong and independent. On the surface, they are depicted as free-willed; they can do whatever they want; they can do what men do; they can do more and will do more. Women liberation of the centuries before didn't seem to imply liberation of morals or discretion, but somehow it has been equated to such.

Paul says, "7always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth," which seems like it is a total reflection of certain women today. Does education really make one wiser?

To choose sin does not mean to be strong. To become demoralized does not imply independence. To make education an idol does not translate into enlightenment. On the contrary, these things of the world will only weaken the soul and mind. On the outside, one may seem strong, independent, and wise, but on the inside one is dying. Only God can make us strong! Only through Him can we find freedom! Only by Him can we be wise!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


8 "Those who cling to worthless idols
forfeit the grace that could be theirs." Jonah 2

I think I am sooooooooooooooo much like Jonah. He worships God; He believes God; He respects God; however, within the deepest crevices of his soul, perhaps not even known to him, he secretly doubts God in a very subtle yet dangerous way. He does not understand the compassion of God nor does he want to accept the extent of God's grace. In this verse, Jonah makes it apparent that grace is for those who trust solely in God; however, it doesn't necessarily imply repentence or grace for those who turn away from their sin. In this sense, Jonah doesn't feel it's just or right or even realistic for the Ninevites to repent.

I guess I am like Jonah because I expect the grace of God in my life, so long as I follow Him, but grace for a sinner right now? For someone who has wronged me personally? I despair in thinking the person could repent and be saved. I cringed at the notion that God could have compassion on their soul. Afterall, they have grieved me, and I can't even imagine God being nice to a former enemy of mine!!! (It sounds wicked, but hey, I'm being honest! :))

Well, a further reading of book of Jonah will reveal that Jonah is somewhat immature. Here's a passage from the fourth chapter (After the Ninevites do repent; Jonah is infuriated; God responds):

4 But the LORD replied, "Have you any right to be angry?"

5 Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the LORD God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah's head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, "It would be better for me to die than to live."

9 But God said to Jonah, "Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?"

"I do," he said. "I am angry enough to die."

10 But the LORD said, "You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?"

Jonah is somewhat selfish. He's a little dramatic. He's just like me! :) But God, God is good. He's compassionate, kind, and gracious. I need to stop being like Jonah, and start being more like God. Everyone...and I mean EVERYONE needs God's grace, and I have no right to determine who doesn't!

Monday, June 25, 2007

rending our hearts.

13 Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity. (Joel 2)

In desperate situations, anxiety overwhelms us; we do not know what to do, we do not know what to think. Hope has been extinguished, and the pain filters out any effort we could ever exert to forge ahead, discarding it by the wayside. We feel like we can't move on, and we don't want to look ahead. Our eyes are constantly kept closed, and the darkness evades our souls. When we summons enough courage to open them, we only see what lies behind: the annihilation and destruction of our lives.

In these bleak moments, it is natural to rend our garments, in anxiety, pain, and suffering. Our woe is too much to handle. However, in Joel 2, the prophet proposes that the people stop whining and complaining, feeling utterly sorry for themselves, and instead, to simple feel sorry. He suggests that they rend their hearts rather than their clothes.

In our lives, we need to stop justifying our pity parties by claiming injustice or maltreatment. We just have to consider the state of our hearts; perhaps, there's something there that needs apologizing for. Perhaps pride? selfishness? lack of love? jealosy? Joel says to return to God...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

pursuit of happiness.

6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1Timothy 6)

As the Declaration of Independence states, we are entitled to "life, liberity, and the pursuit of happiness." Sadly, people take this right to heart, their evil, wicked, and defiled heart, to chase after meaningless things in life; they are constantly mistakening the pleasures of sin for happiness. Even Solomon in Ecclesiastes wrote about the futility of searching for contentment in earthly venues, as it all fades away.

Fortunately, in Paul's letter to Timothy, he gives a clear guideline of how to gain this happiness: it's godliness with contentment. It sounds redundant, to be happy is to be content, but those two concepts are wholly different. Contentment is a choice. One chooses to be satisfied by what is allotted to him. Happiness is a feeling, often times fleeting, but surely it is an emotional response. To choose, willingly, to be content, and all the while being full of godliness, will result in bouts of happiness. Realistically, a christian will not always be happy, but a christian should always be content.

11But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. These are the things we are to pursue. No where in here does Paul mention happiness. Happiness is a nice feeling, but it can never exist in a permanent state on this earth. Instead, we are to pursue things that are eternal. Righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness will inevitably lead us to happiness, but they will also help us keep our eyes on the heaven, and subsequently to be fully content.

Friday, June 22, 2007


20 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He passed away, to no one's regret, and was buried in the City of David, but not, in the tombs of the kings. (2Chronicles 21)

What a sad, sad legacy. No one even cared that Jehoram had died; actually they were probably relieved to hear the news. Jehoram was evil, very likely that he was simply young and conceited, selfish and ruthless, and so his death was to "no one's regret". When we pass, how will are legacy be? Will people be relieved at our passing? Or will they care? Will they even notice?

We don't have to do anything famous, outrageous, or newsworthy to have a legacy. We don't have to aspire, fight, or accomplish anything great to gain people's attention. We only have to love and live such a life that is pleasing to our Father, and that will surely establish a legacy that is desirable. How we treat other's is key.

Had Jehoram cared about what God wanted, had he had shed a tear for the poor and down trodden, had he helped those striken with disease and famine, people would miss him. In our lives, we need to care about others, not because we want a great legacy, but because we want to be faithful to our God. Our legacy is simply a reflection of a life's work and worth; if we live our life as we should, our legacy will clearly depict it as so.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

opened eyes.

17 And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2Kings 6)

I am hesitant, reluctant, trembling, and totally frightened by the future, which is contrary to how I was a long time ago. When one is young, the prospect of growing older and becoming more independent seems completely exciting; however, one never really takes into consideration the heartache, pain, and tragedy enfolded in those days ahead. When I look ahead with everything I know and see right this moment, I only see more tears in the near future.

To emphasize again, my fear is distinguished by what I see at the moment right now, presently. If anyone saw what I saw, I am sure they would likewise be shaking in their boots. However, what we often times see is not really what is out there. Our perspective is limited, to say the least.

In 2Kings 6, Elisha and his servants are surrounded by an attacking army. His servant looks at the window and sees the apparent; he sees his life flash before his eyes as the army approaches. Obviously, they are no match for their opponent. However, what the servant sees at that point is not the complete picture. Elisha prays that God would open his servant's eyes, and what he then sees abates his fear.

We are totally foolish if we think what we see is everything. Our eyes are hardly open in this world. If we are for God, who can be against us? If God is on our side, there are armies fighting for us. We just have to trust in Him, just like Elisha, and then the future won't seem so bleak.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

wanting more.

After Naaman had traveled some distance, 20 Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, "My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the LORD lives, I will run after him and get something from him." (2Kings 5)

It is so easy to justify greed; it is so easy to be selfish. Gehazi saw all the gifts Naaman had offered Elisha, and coveted. There was so much of it! Now, as this thought of getting some of the goods was conceived in his mind, his justification was that Elisha was wrong; Elisha was "too easy on Naaman."

Surprisingly, Gehazi didn't ask for much. He only asked for a couple tunics and a couple of shekels; at least he showed some reservation. Or perhaps this was a more convenient way of hiding these items; Elisha would never suspect it. Regardless, Gehazi, the servant, didn't trust Elisha's decision and he was only thinking about his own needs.

It is easy to justify sin, even if it is the smallest, most minute compromise. I sometimes...okay, often times, think that I am entitled to do something questionable because I was mistreated or I didn't get what was fair. Sometimes it's just because I am plain selfish. I want, and therefore, I get. It all starts off in a thought, a justification, which then births itself into sin. And as we all know, sin progresses into worst sin.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

unlimited patience.

15Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. 17Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1Timothy 1)

There is hope for the worst of us. Despite our flaws, our mistakes, and our mishaps, God is able to redeem. We should never consider ourselves unsaveable, unreachable, unredeemable... because of what we are and what we've done, though we should always remember that we are undeserving of anything good. Jesus' very purpose was to save sinners; there is no exception because His patience is unlimited.

I get easily irritated by the reckless mentality of this world; I become annoyed by the blatant selfishness of the people I encounter; I am vexed, angered, and tired of people making stupid choices. However, a clear look in the mirror will show me one of the worst people in the Why am I so bad? I think it's because I know and I still do.

Anyway, I am so glad God isn't like me; He's patient beyond all measure and thus He is able to love me. May our love become more like His, enriched with abundant patience.

Monday, June 18, 2007


"Should you help the wicked and love [a] those who hate the LORD ? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is upon you. 3 There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God." 2Chronicles 19

Jehoshaphat really did seek the Lord; he advised the leaders to seek God's counsel before making any decision; he took measures to rid Judah of certain pagan rituals and devices. Yet, in his life, there were, unfortunately parts that were questionable. There were exceptions. There were anomalies. There were deviations. Jehoshaphat was not perfect. He made mistakes.

His work probably got in the way. He was probably so consumed with the desire for success that he neglected to seek God fully, completely, and wholeheartedly. The relationships he maintained and established in terms of the nation and foreign affairs seemed practical, but in terms of what was righteous and holy, they were nothing short of being compromises. Perpahs he justified what he did. Perhaps he tried to weigh the good and the bad. Perhaps he just overlooked what was questionable.

In my life, there are parts that are in the grey. I can honestly say that I want...I desire...I truly long to seek God and His ways. But like Jehoshaphat, I sometimes make compromises. I think the problem lies in the fact that I fail to see the whole picture; my humanity and stupidity refrain me from seeing the entire situation; I am restricted to the present and immediate. That does not, ,however, entitle me to base my decisions on what I see. I am, rather, asked to trust, believe, and have faith that God will deliver me.

Perhaps Jehoshaphat didn't have enough faith, sufficient faith. When we're in this world, it's hard not to look at every day with human, common eyes. However, in every day situations and especially in tough situations, we're not asked to simply look at the situation, at face value, we're merely asked to look up, and trust God.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

called to peace.

15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3

We are not merely offered peace or suggested to accept it as followers of Christ, but rather we are called to peace. It is not optional. And this is not just a peace with fellow believers but a peace that should resonate within our souls. Yes, it is important that we forgive as Christ forgave, and thus maintain a peaceful relationship with others, but just as imperative, we are to let the peace of Christ dwell within our hearts.

To be thankful, to do everything in the name of Jesus, to let His word abide in us, are steps to allowing this peace to enter in our lives.

Thank you, Jesus, for everything.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


19 "Give me your son," Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20 Then he cried out to the LORD, "O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?" 21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, "O LORD my God, let this boy's life return to him!" 1 Kings 17

Elijah is helped by a widow, and despite her faithfulness, tragedy befalls her family. Elijah feels responsible; the widow finds fault in him; the story seems to be confusing. Elijah even questions why God would even allow the widow to suffer.

Despite any doubt Elijah might have, regardless of any uncertainty he might feel, and overlooking any questions that seem unanswered, Elijah takes a step of faith, sheer, unadulterated, complete, and magnificent faith. He takes the boy and prays that God would resurrect him.

God answers his prayer, and the boy lives...once again. In all the tragedy, the heartache, the pain, and suffering, there was a reason. The purpose was hidden beneath the uncertainty, but it was there all along:

24 Then the woman said to Elijah, "Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth."

Finally, the woman believes, truly. Even though she was obedient to Elijah, even though she accepted him and helped him, even though she had witnessed the miracle of the never-ending oil, God knew that in her heart, she still reserved doubt. Now, through her tears of hurt and then through her tears of joy, she realized who God was and how much she needed Him in her life.

There's always a reason. Always.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philipians 4)

I've been conflicted lately, well actually, for the last couple of years with a certain circumstance that is rather painful. I think I carry the burden of its dismay with me every day, and even though I want to let it go, it seems to hold me down anyway. I walk and stumble; I cry and mumble; I want things to be different; I want change for this day, but it just doesn't work that way. Life is not that clear or easy.

Yesterday, I wrote about forgetting everything in the past, looking ahead, and fixing my eyes on Jesus. Really, it needs to go in that order. But I think I try to mix it up sometimes. For instance, I look ahead and then think about ALL the damage my past is going to cause the future. Looking ahead, therefore, is rather bleak, and oft times it just makes me want to crawl back into bed.

Today, however, Paul discusses the necessity of thinking about true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy things. That definitely excludes things from the past...suffering, betrayal, hurt, jealousy, hate, bitterness, abandonment, fear, anxiety, and all the like. I can't really expect things to look brighter if I keep thinking about such things! Honestly.

And as Paul's finale: "put it into practice." I just have to, got to, really try to think about everything holy and perhaps I can finally let go of everything that is not...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phil 3

It is hard to forget the things that have been done to me. And even when the daily routine of life distracts me momentarily, there is always a tugging pain upon my heart, a distant, but distinct memory of tragedy and destruction. Here, Paul tells us he looks ahead, forgetting everything behind, in order to become perfected.

I will myself to forget. I busy myself. I try to dream and hope for better days. However, Paul doesn't merely forget. He doesn't simply look ahead. He presses toward a goal, meaning his eyes are fixed on the prize of Jesus Christ.

This devotion was important to me because in the depths of my despair, God blessed me with this very verse nearly two years ago. Yesterday night, I went through some definite doubts about whether or not I made the right decision. And lo and behold, this morning He used this verse to remind me that this life is not about the immediate, the present. It is about heaven; it is about Jesus. And, I need to be confident that God will perform His work in me as long as I fix my eyes on Him.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out[c] the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing." Phil 2:14-16

Paul instructs us to do everything, everything, and he means everything without grumbling and complaining. Everything implies a lot; it includes more than one can even fathom. Surely, there has to be some exception. It seems nearly impossible to hold one's tongue in the toughest of situations without letting out even the smallest mumble.

Frankly, complaining is fun. Finding fault, listing gripes, and holding grudges is a sport. We feel vindicated. We feel exonerated. We feel vented. We feel we have the right to do so, especially in the light of injustice. However, complaining will only make us more like the "crooked and depraved generation." To give up one's right to complain will make us more holy, more pure, and more like Jesus.

This life style has been proven to make one shine like the stars. Look at Paul's life, for instance. He was living evidence that circumstances could not deter his joy. But even more recently, consider Corrie Ten Boom. Obviously, even though she was only human, her mentality to not complain caused her to shine in her life time.

To not complain takes practice...even in the most minor instances of our lives, we could just resist the temptation to complain, perhaps we will not only save someone from hearing our pitiful cries but we will also become more joyful and kind.

Monday, June 11, 2007

dust collection.

"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" Phil 1:6

Yesterday morning, my pastor asked us to put up the number of fingers to show how many uncompleted tasks we have awaiting for us at home. Needless to say, some of us had to use our toes as well. There is just so much to do that sometimes, actually most of the time, we neglect to finish what we need to do. Our attention is diverted to other activities, and our projects just sit there collecting dust.

To be quite honest, I feel like my life is just being covered in dust, as I wait. What am I waiting for? Sometimes I don't even remember. I guess, I just want all the pain to go away...but each day I am anticipating change...and when it doesn't happen, disappointment is inevitable.

However, I think I might be waiting for the wrong thing; in this very chapter, Paul is in chains, and he regards these chains as an encouragement to the other disciples. How could Paul still hold such joy in his heart even as he was a prisioner? Here I am wanting and hoping to be free from all that devastation in my life, but I lack that very joy.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that these chains in my life, in your life, have a purpose. We can't continue mourning over them, when we could use them for the glory of God. We just need to be assured that God will finish all the things He has started. The staleness and dust we feel is our fault, really. It's our job to get up and shake it off, in hopes that it affects others. We not only need to be patient, but we need to be willing.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

not ours.

"My brethern, you shall not do so with what the Lord has given us, who has preserved us and delivered into our hand the troop that came against us." 1Samuel 30:23

In this chapter, David and four hundred men are successful at regaining what was taken from them. However, the question arises: should the men who stayed back at camp and refused to help be rewarded with the spoil? Obviously, it was unfair. The men who followed David had risked their lives, and on the flip side, those who did not cooperate with David's plan even wanted him to be stoned for allowing them to lose their wives, daughters, servants, and goods in the first place. Yet, despite their original disdain, regardless of their obstinance and rebellion, David does not want to deprive them of the spoil. It's surprising. It's humbling. Is it something we would do? Is it something we could put into practice? How do we do such a thing?

Well, first, David regarded all blessings as the Lord's. Whatever the Lord placed in his life, he realized it remained the Lord's. This mentality stems from the roots of humility. If we fail to realize all is God's, we will consequently became enraged and frustrated with the passing of those things, those people, those circumstances that we receive. And yet, if we do hold fast to the idea that all belongs to Him, we will be like David, Job, and Jesus, when we lose anything. After all, the Lord gives and the Lord takes away.

Secondly, David was thankful. Instead of comparing himself with the others who refused to fight, he was focused on the fact that God had brought him success. What did it matter how God dealt with the others? It was not for him to inflict judgment; it was entirely up to God. Likewise, we need to always be content, perfectly grateful for what God does in our lives. We need to stop trying to figure out what is fair and what is not. Who cares? Right? Yeah, I know, it's hard, but once we master it with His help, we will live more peacefully, more righteously, and definitely more joyfully.