He Is (at 32:45)

On the Rough Roads of Planet Earth

Old notes taken mostly from my personal time with God. We're moving house again, so, I guess we're back to being, literally, pilgrims on the Rough Roads of Planet Earth. (Photo taken on a road to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, North Auckland, NZ, Dec 2009.)

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Lenten Season Meditations 2018



I know that God's thoughts for me are countless because of the following passages:
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. (Psalm 139)
Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare. (Psalm 40:5)
11 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. (Jeremiah 29)
But it thrills me even more that Jesus had me particularly in mind when He went to the cross. Of course, that means you and me. How do I know that?
Just listen to this song. Whenever I hear it so many Scirpture passages come to mind. They are so appropriate for the Lenten Season that  I listed them down for my meditation. I wonder if you guys would agree with me. Is it too long to read? Just listen to the song then. It’s a fav of mine because it’s so “loaded.”
A blessed Good Friday and Holy  Saturday to all. May the LORD prepare our hearts for the joy of Resurrection Sunday!
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John 1
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

Luke 2
46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.
...
52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Isaiah 11
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him -
The Spirit of the wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD -
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.

Matthew 3
17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

John 1
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’
31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to israel.”
32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.
33 I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”

John 1
50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.”
51 He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Psalm 50
10 for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine.
12 If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.

Isaiah 46
9 Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.
10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.

Hebrews 1
1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,
2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.
3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.

Colossians 2
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,...

John 10
17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life - only to take it up again.
18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

Hebrews 10
5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me;
6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am - it is written about me in the scroll - I have come to do your will, O God.’

Matthew 26
53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?
54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

Philippians 2
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!

John 15
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

Romans 5
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 6
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 14
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 
10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the  Father.
13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.
14 You may ask for anything in my name, and I will do it.

John 18
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

Hebrews 8
26 Such a high priest meets our need - one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.
27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.

Hebrews 9
11 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation.
12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.
13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.
14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
...
24 For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence.
25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own.
26 Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,
28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

2 Corinthians 5
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 John 3
5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.

1 Peter 2
22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

John 8
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 3
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
...
35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.
36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

John 5
24 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

Isaiah 50

4 The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.

5 The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back.

6 I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.
7 Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.
8 He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me!
9 It is the Sovereign LORD who helps me.
Who is he that will condemn me?
They will wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up.

Psalm 22
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
...
6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
8 He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”
...
12 Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.
13 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death,
16 Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.

Isaiah 53
1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Romans 1
17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Romans 3
21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -
9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

Titus 3
4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,
5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Romans 8
9 ... And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

1 John 5
11 And this is the testimony: God has
given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Philippians 2
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Hebrews 12
2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
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All Scripture references are from the 1984 New International Version, unless otherwise specified.
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If you wish to cite this blog, citation is as follows: PureJoyLand. (2018, Mar 31). Lenten Season Meditations 2018 [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://purejoyland.com/2018/03/lenten-season-meditations/

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This is a re-blog. If you wish to read more of my blogs please log on to www.purejoyland.com

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Happy Valentine's 2018!

I got excited when the meager sunshine on my window sill caused my potted rose plant to bud. It's hovering at zero degree Celcius outside. I had hoped the bud would bloom on Valentine's Day but it didn't. Maybe tomorrow, maybe another day. Love always hopes... :)

Eros is commonly known as the god of love and Cupid is that little “angel” or "cherub" who shoots people’s hearts so that they “fall in love”. The most popular “love” I knew growing up was romantic (or “erotic” from “Eros”) love and the rest is just foggy talk on idealized “love” - God’s love, familial love, love for fellowmen, and so on.

However, growing up into adulthood, by reading the Bible, I came to know Jesus Christ as the true and living God, and the Bible says, “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) In that same chapter, 1 John 4, the apostle John explained that we are able to understand God’s love by His act of giving us His own son Jesus Christ who gave up His life in our behalf, so we can be reconciled with God, from whom we have been alienated (Acts 10:36, Romans 5:10, Ephesians 2:14, Colossians 1:20). Quite a lot to digest, that one, hu? But that’s how we get to understand the concept called “unconditional love” - God Himself authored that and expressed it through His supreme sacrifice of giving us His Son Jesus Christ. (John 3:16) In turn, Jesus Himself actualized His own love for us through His ultimate sacrifice of laying down His own life to save us. (Romans 5:7,8, John 15:13) We are loved “unconditionally” by God. He continues to choose to love us, even when we continue in our sin and continue to reject Him. His offer of salvation and love still stands, to our very last breath. (Alas, we must choose to embrace His gift before our time runs out!) Thus, I had found out that the true God of Love is Jesus Christ, for who else can ever love greater than He does?
So, what is “love”? We have all sorts of ideas about it and we may be right, or we may be wrong, or slightly or mostly right, or wrong. Some people would even say there’s no right or wrong definition of it, everything is “relative”.  But God’s definition of love is the “unconditional love” He has for each one of us, expressed in His unfathomable gift of a new life through His Son. “Unconditional” means there’s nothing about us or what we have done that makes God choose to love us. He loves us just as we are, without conditions!
For some of us this may be very strange because we are so used to being loved for how we behave or what we have achieved or how we look. On the other hand, for those of us who are loved unconditionally by our family what might sound absurd is the “new” life in Christ that God offers to those who will love Him back. For those of us who are well-loved and also have everything else in life, why would we think of having a different or “new” kind of life in Christ? Truly, when life is so good, we can’t ask for more!

That might be the reason why some people say Christianity is only for the weak. I guess when they say “weak” that means the poor, lonely, insecure, sick, abandoned, slow, unattractive, unpopular, the lowly, etc.? Actually, the Bible says something similar to that, too. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3 - the first verse of The Beatitudes.) The One New Man Bible version states it as, “Blessed are the repentant, because theirs is the Kingdom of the Heavens.” The footnote in that version says that “poor in spirit” is a Hebrew idiom for “repentant”. I guess we do not reach that state of being repentant, or being humble before God, until we are humbled enough and have become “weak” - i.e. we become poor or sick or abandoned or slow, unpopular, disillusioned,... Well, yes, disillusioned. Sometimes we have everything in life and yet we find that life is empty, but let’s not go into that right now.

Getting back on track, for those of us who have not experienced “unconditional love” from anyone all our lives, we may not even think of it, or we may have an unconscious or conscious yearning for it, but might never even think it exists. Well, here’s a hint we can all make use of: Unconditional love is found in Jesus Christ and He showed it by laying down His own life as a sacrifice in payment for our sins. He took our place of punishment through that sacrifice.

If we are to learn from Jesus on “love”, I guess by now we know any form of “sacrifice” another person does for us to make us happier or feel better is “love” or “kindness”, right? It may be financial, or an effort, a giving of time, a giving up of something sentimentally valuable, just any act that entails “sacrifice”, is a sure expression of love or kindness. The more sacrifice, the more love is communicated. Some may have ulterior motives doing it and that sends a muddled signal to the recipient, but the basic premise is “sacrifice” - some amount of it has to be involved for an act to be seen as “love” or “kindness”.

Well, today is Valentine’s Day, the Day of Love. Let’s do some “sacrifice” for someone we “love.” Or better still, let’s do it everyday! The more we do it, the more we get better at it! Have fun giving / receiving love today! May we also ponder on the unconditional and sacrificial love of God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son for you and me. May we all have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jesus is the God of Love. "We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19

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All Scripture references are from the 1984 New International Version, unless otherwise specified.



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If you wish to cite this blog, citation is as follows: PureJoyLand. (2018, Feb 15). Happy Valentine's 2018 [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://purejoyland.com/2018/02/happy-valentines-2018/                                                                ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This is a re-blog. If you wish to read more of my blogs please log on to www.purejoyland.com


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Morning Glory Talks at Evening Walks




































These photos were taken in early June and I wrote captions in the album. I just took so long to put them together into this post. Procrastinating, as always!
I had my birthday in the past month (07/2017) and the date itself has so many sevens! And my age also has so many 7's and 8's. So, I believe God is really speaking to me about Sabbath rest, the end of the "shemitah" cycle, and new beginnings (the number 8).
 7 is the number of God, in many ways. For instance, there are 7 days in a week. God made the world in 6 days and He rested on the 7th day. It is the day of rest, a Sabbath rest for God and for His people, too. The 7th day is very important to God. The Bible talks about entering God’s rest on the Sabbath Day. Many preachers equate that to coming to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, i.e. having true eternal rest in Christ even before the body finally rests from its labors at the end of its earthly life. But I think there is more to that.
In the Old Testament, the 7th year is known as “shemitah,” the year when debts are reset to zero, the year when farmers rest their farm and themselves by not planting nor harvesting that year. They just eat from whatever grows from the ground (grains or fruit trees) naturally, and they let the poor people harvest those as well, besides the birds and animals that naturally feed on them. It is the year of rest both for the land and the farmers and farm hands. That’s how they naturally allow the land to replenish its nutrients and how their bodies rest from the stresses of life. Also, the jubilee year is on the 50th year, at the end of 7 “shemitah” cycles (7 x 7 years). That’s the year when slaves are allowed to be set free, if they desire to be set free. These are all God’s design!
Also, the Holy Spirit is known as the 7 Spirits of God (Isaiah 11:2) and the rainbow, the sign of God’s Covenant with Noah and all flesh, has 7 colors - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and purple. The lampstand ("menorah") in the Holy Place inside the Tabernacle had seven lamps.
So, was last year a year of rest for me? It was a year of many struggles but it did turn out into rest. Let’s just say I had to fight to get that rest. LOL!
 Well, 7 may seem to be the number of God but 8 is the number of Jesus! According to this site, http://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/meaning-of-numbers-in-bible/8.html “eight is the number of Jesus, whose name in the Greek adds up to 888.”
Every 8th day is the beginning of the new 7-day cycle and every 8th year is a new beginning for the “shemitah” year cycle. The 8th is the time of new beginnings and resurrections! Jesus is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). Thus, Jesus always brings us new life, a new hope, a new beginning - if we want to have those - by believing in Him and following His ways. He said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
So, this month is the first month of the year of new beginnings for me, . Yes, I believe that by faith!
“7th is completion but the 8th is a new beginning!” Even the prophets of our day say so. Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlzlpGFw2OE&t=876s Just pull the toggle to 14:25 to hear what Cindy Jacobs has to say about the year 2017.
 
When I turned into a born-again believer of Christ at age 23 I decided on my life verse which happened to be John 14:21. Whoa, more sevens in there, like 5! And a few years ago I had a dream from God which I didn't understand but as I sought God it became clear to me. Based on that dream my life verse changed to Job 28:28; whoa, that’s 8 sevens in there, and two 8's!
 
John 14:21 He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me and he loves me will be loved by my Father and I will love him and manifest myself to him.
 
Ever wondered what the secret to seeing God's face is? It's in that verse above!
 
Job 28:28 And he said to man, 'The fear of the LORD - that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.' "
 
The more popular verse says, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom..." (Psalm 111:10, Prov. 1:7, Prov. 9:10)
 
Why is Job's version different? Psalms is mostly attributed to King David and Proverbs to his son King Solomon. Whether they were the specific authors of these particular Psalm and Proverbs mentioned above is not really clear from commentaries. For one, Psalm 111 is not listed among those attributed to King David in particular, but just to a "psalmist." But suffice it to say that this was the popular "version" in David's and Solomon's times and those were times of great success and glory in the nation of Israel. Job on the other hand, though I would also consider him a "king" in his own right, materially, was in the "worm" state when he spoke his version: "The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom...," and he was quoting God Himself. I believe we truly get wisdom when God brings us to the "wilderness" of life, to the "between a rock and a hard" kind of places in our journeys; thus, Job was able to crystallize  that for us and strip the scripture to its simplest form: "The fear of the LORD, that is wisdom...." Hence, whenever we lack wisdom, the simple rule of thumb is, "What does the word of God say? Do you tremble at His word? Do you have the fear of the LORD in your heart, right here, right now?" We need to be in that place where we tremble at God's word, then we make the wisest decision.
 
Our special needs child went through a major spiritual attack in March until about end of May. It was a time of great testing for me and my family. But God brought a major victory and it changed all of us spiritually. From that experience we saw "death" of old selves and resurrection in our spiritual lives and our faith in God. We truly need to see death if we are to see new life! It's the way of God. (1 Sam. 2:6) It also opened my eyes and brought me deeper into what the Gospel of Peace / Shalom truly means. It brings order into our lives. God's Covenant of Shalom is for families and households, not just individuals. God is good!
 
"7 is for completion and 8 is for new beginnings!"
 
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All Scripture references are from the 1984 New International Version, unless otherwise specified.
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This is a re-blog. If you wish to cite this blog, citation is as follows: PureJoyLand. (2017, Aug 2). Morning Glory Talks at Evening Walks [Blog Post]. Retrieved from  http://purejoyland.com/2017/08/morning-glory-talks-on-evening-walks/


Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year 2017!

Praise God for Christmas! It reminds us to face the New Year with Hope and Courage!
Isn’t it so apt that just one week before the new year we always have Christmas? Every end of the year we are faced with uncertainties for the future, and especially more so this year! But Christmas reminds us that the One who sits enthroned and rules above all rulers, kings and princes, is the One True Infallible Perfect Ruler. He never makes mistakes, He is in control of everything and He has your back - if you let Him! 

6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end....
Isaiah 9

Governments, kings, presidents and princes. They are all human and fallible, no matter how smart, strong, smooth, shrewd and savvy they may be. But praise God, we have received the One True Perfect Ruler who rules above all fallible governments, world organizations, institutions, leaders, strongmen and straw men alike. We received Him at the very first Christmas, and His name is Jesus!

Isaiah 33:22 For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us.

The year 2016 saw the passing away of entertainment icons Prince, David Bowie, George Michael, Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds. On the other hand, Kim Clement, a Christian prophetic minister, also died in the past year. Clement  is probably the most prominent minister to have uttered prophetic words concerning Donald Trump rising as a leader of the American nation.  Eventually, 2016 ended with the “upset” win by newcomer and philanthropist-businessman Donald Trump over expected winner ex-Senator and ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the American presidential elections. The Obama administration blamed the Russian nation for interfering in the said elections by hacking into Mrs. Clinton’s emails and leaking them, an absurd claim according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, Wikileaks’ Julian Assange  claims his organization only beamed the leaked emails to the world. Then,  just two days before Christmas, on the Sabbath before Hanukkah, the UN Security council passed a resolution for a "two-State solution based on the 1967 lines" concerning the Israeli-Palestine conflict. That implies the division of the city of Jerusalem between the two states of Israel and Palestine. It was carried through because President Obama did not veto it, contrary to what US presidents had done in the past, including himself in September 2015. President-elect Trump had been calling on President Obama to veto the resolution but the latter was defiant, with many citing the deteriorating relations between Bibi and Obama as the main reason for the latter’s actions. 
Now with 19 more days in office left in Obama’s 8th and last year in the White House, Trump’s and Israel’s supporters only wish they could hasten the presidential inauguration slated for Jan. 20, 2017. Trump had promised that America’s stance on Israel’s plight will be different when he takes over the top post.  Meanwhile,  they are also pondering what more parting moves Obama is going to pull off in these crucial final days before he ships out from the Oval Office.
With this backdrop for the year 2017 ahead, we do need assurances of hope and stability from God, and praise God indeed for Christmas, as we already had that certainty of hope and peace in Jesus Christ when we celebrated Christmas a week ago! He rules the world in truth and grace and that truth brings peace to our hearts, at Christmas and New Year, and beyond! Jesus Christ rules now and forever more!

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
John 1:17

18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may  know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.  That power is like the working of his mighty strength,
20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,
23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in  every way.
Ephesians 1

"They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings - and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers."
Revelation 17:14

Desserts at the New Year's Eve party I attended with my family. I made the naked choc cake garnished with fruits. Yup, I should try a new cake recipe for the year ahead, maybe lemon cake!

I am truly happy that Jesus is in my heart and I know He has my back, come what may! How about you? Have you received Jesus in your heart yet? Now, right now, is the best time to do it. Makes one ready for the year ahead like no other! Invite Jesus into your heart now! It's the only way to truly have a happy new year!!!

A Happy and Blessed New Year to one and all!

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References:
 1) Kim Clement. (2016, Nov 14). Untitled [Facebook Update]. Retrieved  Jan 1, 2017 from https://www.facebook.com/ProphetKimClement/?fref=ts
2) Jacobs, B. (2016, Dec 24). Julian Assange gives guarded praise of Trump and blasts Clinton in interview. [Web Log Post]. Retrieved Dec 30, 2016 from https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/dec/24/julian-assange-donald-trump-hillary-clinton-interview
3) Snyder, M. (2016, Dec 26). Obama Betrays Israel At The United Nations - Is America's Reprieve Now Over? [Web Log Post]. Retrieved Dec 26, 2016 from http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=902#j0TslKExkwh4oQZL.99
4) Benjamin Netanyahu. (2016, Dec 28). President-elect Trump, thank you for your warm friendship and your clear-cut support for Israel! 🇮🇱🇺🇸[Facebook Update]. Retrieved Dec 28, 2016 from https://www.facebook.com/Netanyahu/photos/a.376960237075.156823.268108602075/10154241151347076/?type=1&theater
5) childrenlovetosing. (2013, Oct 20). Joy to the World with Lyrics Christmas Carol & Song Kids Love to Sing. [Video file]. Retrieved Jan 1, 2017 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30OaM6b48k8
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All Scripture references are from the 1984 New International Version, unless otherwise specified.
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This is a re-blog. If you wish to cite this blog, citation is as follows: PureJoyLand. (2017, Jan 1). Happy New Year 2017! [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://purejoyland.com/2017/01/happy-new-year-2017/
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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Lazy Esau


Appreciating a long-stemmed rose is just like reading the Bible. You would think the long, boring “introduction” of the Old Testament would amount to nothing but voile! Right at the end of the stem is the lovely, sweet-smelling flower - the New Testament! And that rose is fully alive. It continues to grow into full bloom as history fulfills all the prophesies from the stem, the Old Covenant, and the bloom, the New Covenant! So, take time to smell and appreciate the rose! It’s waxing fragrant right in front of you as you tackle your day!

There was a man who despised his birthright. His name was Esau. He sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for a lunch of bread and lentil stew. (Genesis 25:29-34) He sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son, for a single meal! (Hebrews 12:16)
“Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.” (Hebrews 12:17)
When we believe there is no God and claim to be atheists, we are just like Esau. We disown the God who made us and we toss aside our birthright. Besides, we do not only incur the wrath of a despised father but a despised Father God Himself! 
Let that sink in for a while. That is the true scenario, if indeed there is a Creator God who created you and is your Father. No, it's not Darth Vader telling Luke he is his father. This is the infinitely good GOD telling YOU HE is YOUR Father!

 God owns everything, He is also all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present. Who wouldn’t want to have a father like that? (And who are we to even turn away from Him??) 

 If I’m a son or daughter of His I inherit everything He has and eventually, some of those omni powers, too! Besides, God has a Kingdom, the Kingdom of Light, and His Enemy owns the Kingdom of Darkness. And alas, what sucker fate, when I disown God and my birthright, I am also automatically thrown out of God’s Kingdom and will end up in the Kingdom of Darkness outside - that of His Enemy, the King of the Kingdom of Darkness! (Colossians 1:13; Acts 26:18; Ephesians 2:2,3; John 12:31; 1 Peter 2:9, Matthew 8:12; Luke 13:28)
Yaiks, can’t afford to be an apathetic Esau!
“...the Kingdom of the Heavens is taken by violence, and shares in the heavenly kingdom are sought for with the most ardent zeal and the most intense exertion and violent men are seizing it, each one claiming eagerly for himself.” (Matthew 11:12, The One New Man Bible, emphases mine)
Adam was a son of God. (Luke 3:38) But one disregard for one simple rule took his firstborn birthright away, as well as his standing as a son. Alas, we all are sons and daughters of Adam. And by default we all came into the world in that fallen standing with God our Father. That's pretty much the reason why we have this disowning, abandoned and orphaned spirit that makes us deny there is a God and He is our Father. The spirit of rejection in us keeps reiterating the narrative in our head: "You reject me? I reject YOU!" We can say it was the "separation anxiety" with compounded and multiplied effects handed down to us through our generations, stemming from the banishment of Adam and Eve from Eden!

 But hey, God is infinitely able and resourceful. He emptied Heaven by sending His own Heir, His own Son Jesus Christ, to restore us to our sonship with the Father, through the Blood, the Blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God! God was deeply offended by Adam's (and Esau's) mindless disregard for his birthright but His love and wisdom are infinitely able to fix that up. Although it comes at an infinitely heavy price, too - the life of His one and only begotten Son. For Adam’s sloppy mistake, Esau’s wicked contempt and our apathy or ignorance of God and His instructions, God has one answer. He brings us back to sonship through the Blood -  the Blood of the Perfect Lamb! 


Now this is mind-boggling and deserves our utmost attention. Beyond Jesus, there is no other way back. It's our last and only chance. Disregarding Jesus and His life message incurs the final wrath of God for which there is no Plan B. (Acts 4:12, 1 Timothy  2:5) We must avail of the covering and saving power of the Blood of Jesus by getting to Know Jesus Himself! Now! Asking a friend who believes and reading the Gospels are great ways to start!
Don’t miss out! Look up! Go for it. “Afterward” could be too late.

“The Kingdom of the Heavens is taken by violence...” (Matthew 11:12)
  
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All Scripture references are from the 1984 New International Version, unless otherwise specified.
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If you wish to cite this blog, citation is as follows: PureJoyLand. (2016, Oct 23). Lazy Esau [Blog Post]. Retrieved from  http://purejoyland.com/2016/10/lazy-esau 

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The Many Versions of Love Stories 1. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. They live happily ever after. 2. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. The marriage sours, they part, and live happily ever after. 3. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. Then boy finds out it's more fun to be girl... or girl finds out it's more fun to be boy, they part, change sexes and live happily ever after. 4.Finally, boy or girl meets God. It's love at first sight... The roads went rough, the tides rose high, the strong winds blew and the quake shook the ground... but they truly live happily ever after, forever and ever. 5. Try God's love... it's always happy forever after, and the story never ends. :-D