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.)
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
My daughter showed me this from the NZ Herald News today. I tried Googling for a link for it but hey, there are some things we can't actually find on the "dububdub" (Kiwi English for www). :-) So, we scanned the article instead. Isn't he sooooo cute? The biggest Easter Bunny ever! God is so amazing - giving us cute surprises like this.
(Note: Click on the scanned item to get a better view, click again to be able to read the print.)
Monday, April 5, 2010
dated 21 March 2010
The LORD just reminded me of a lesson I learned the other day.
My younger daughter kept on pestering me, as usual, being autistic. She had been at home sick since Tuesday and it was already Friday. So, I said, "I will take you to the swing." (That means the park where we usually play swing.) And while I finish my work before I get her ready to go, she kept saying, "I want to go to the swing," again and again, non-stop. So, I would say, "I am the one who told you I will take you to the swing, so, you just wait, I will take you to the swing!" And when I was getting her ready and while we were at it, she asked, "Where am I going?"
"To the swing."
And not even a moment later she would say, "Where am I going?" And she really looks like she forgot but I know she didn't. Because if I ask her, "Where are we going, _____?" She would say, "To the swing."
Or sometimes she would say, "I want to go to the swing." And I would say, "Yes"
"I want to go to the swing."
"I want to go to the swing."
"I already said yes. Why do you have to keep asking?"
"I want to go to the swing."
OR, if it's early morning on a weekday I would be rushing to get her fed, washed and changed into her uniform and each step of the way she would be asking me again and again:
"Where am I going?"
"Where am I going?"
"Where am I going?"
"You don't know? Then why are we rushing every morning doing this?"
Or, sometimes it would be:
"Help me put on my uniform."
"I do that every day, you don't have to tell me!"
"Oh, sorry. "Where am I going?"
"Whoooo, you wear me down, ______(my younger daughter)!"
And whenever we're in that loop of conversation, I would hear God saying, "See, you sound like that when you pray. I already said 'yes' and yet you don't seem to hear and you keep asking me for the same thing. It's time to say 'Thank you' and wait,.. just wait.
And yet, at the same time, the Bible does say we need to pester God when we pray for something, until we get it!
1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'
Bewildered? So am I. Off to my autistic praying now!!
dated 31 Jan 2009
I am a Bible-believing Christian and I know that the most important thing about my religion is having a living and progressive relationship with my God, that is, "walking" with Him daily as Enoch walked with His God. But I also know that my love and faith in God expressed in this daily walk is of little essence if that love is not extended to others. As the Word says, "Love your neighbor as yourself" and "We love because He first loved us."
Whenever we are faced with the challenge of need we often wonder how we should pray and help. Whether we are praying for an ailment in our own bodies, or that of a friend or loved one, or praying for a marriage breaking down, a child going wayward, a friend facing poverty and despair, or a nation facing calamities and / or political upheavals, and / or exploding population ensnared in poverty and want of opportunity, I am reminded of this passage that holds so much wisdom and truth for answers, healing, restoration and triumph for such situations. Though so easy to preach, this passage can be so difficult to practice. But as we ask for supernatural help from God, all things are possible with Him. As we walk with our Heavenly Father, we CAN walk the talk.
True Fasting1 "Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the house of Jacob their sins.
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.
'and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?'
"Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD ?
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
"If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the LORD's holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob."
The mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Monarch butterfly photo from monarch-butterfly.info/
I had a lady friend in Kuala Lumpur who was studying Law in one of the colleges there. She had very fair skin, a sweet face, a heart-warming smile, a friendly and happy personality - a typical Filipino-Spanish mix beauty. Just like most attractive teenagers like her she went through turbulent teens and a colourful, exciting love-life. Finally, after a few heartaches, she found the love of her life, the man of her dreams, someone best-suited for her I would say, and they got married. They had a blissful honeymoon season and patiently they waited for a baby to complete their circle of love. Soon, she conceived and was so bubbly and excited over this beautiful soul growing in her womb. She planned, read up and psyched herself up on continuing work and studies while being pregnant, which included preparing for a final exam soon after the baby’s birth, so that she and her baby would cope through the workload together. Husband and wife celebrated Christmas and New Year with that extra glow brought by the expectations of a beautiful child coming their way very soon. She grew really big and round and her baby’s kicks kept her awake and she got all the more excited over him! She and her husband got a beautiful name for their baby, knowing that it’s a boy, as the doctor had told them. They put up photos of his ultra-sound images in their FB profiles, and friends ogled at his likeness with his dad. Soon my friend was thinking of post-natal care for herself and her precious babe and they held a lovely Baby Shower at the end of her 35th week. And then the news came.... At the Baby Shower something went awfully wrong, my friend was rushed to the hospital and suddenly, Mom and child were gone, swept away to the clouds by angels, leaving behind a shattered and lonely Dad…and loads of devastated friends and loved ones asking, “Why, why, why?” and especially, "Why now?"
I was numbed by the news and my heart was crying, "Why now, just when she was so happy with her life, her husband, her coming baby?" It is times like this that really bring me so humbled, I come face to face with the reality that there is a Sovereign God who holds all things in His hands. We never can take life for granted. We never can take our loved ones for granted. What a lesson this friend’s life teaches me and my family. Her life is like a homily to me, and so are the words she used to describe herself in her
With Easter Sunday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus today, the hope of our resurrection as believers takes center stage, with the departure of my friend and her son. One day, I have this blessed Hope that I will not only see Jesus, "the resurrection and the life," but also my friend and her precious baby. It is the living relationship my friend had with Jesus which gives me the blessed assurance that she too will be resurrected, with her unborn child who’s covered by the grace of God - for being a child and unborn - and I will still be able to see them face to face and rejoice with them in God’s presence in Eternity. Oh, what a blessed Hope indeed!
The forgiveness of sins wrought by Jesus at the cross in our behalf continues to baffle many to this day. Many think that if we ask for forgiveness from God of our sins now, and promise not to sin again, it is of no use for we all know we will sin again, even with exactly the same sin, tomorrow, if not the next moment itself. So, many people think they can just reserve repentance to the last moment before they die, for then that would ensure it erases all their sins of a lifetime and that way they can be with God in Heaven, instead of suffer retribution in Hell for a life of sin. This is the part of the picture of the Resurrection of Jesus which many miss: When we ask for forgiveness of our sins we also need to ask Jesus to give us His Holy Spirit at that very moment, so the Holy Spirit can give us the supernatural power not to sin again. And when we have asked, we must believe by faith that we have been forgiven and have received the Holy Spirit. However, the Holy Spirit’s presence in us cannot survive without being fed spiritually. And that food is the regular time we spend with God. If we do not feed on the Bible every day by reading and meditating on it, we will lose God’s guidance and the Holy Spirit will soon find our carnal and sinful way of life too stifling and He would leave us. So, we need to have that habit of confessing our wrong-doings daily, and communing with the Holy Spirit by reading the Bible and praying, to keep us from sin and keep us in a living relationship with God, which is Eternal Life itself.
Many people think Eternal Life only begins after our bodies die. Actually, Jesus Himself said Eternal Life is knowing God. That means getting to know God by walking with Him daily, listening to Him and communing with Him. It is this daily communion with God by prayer and meditation on His word that brings us a new life, a spiritual rebirth. And this is made possible only by the Resurrection of Jesus. The same power that God the Father used to raise Jesus from the dead is at work to raise us from our life of sin to a life of obedience and peace with Him. This is God’s intention for resurrecting His own Son, that we too might have new life in Him! This is the most important facet of the Resurrection of Jesus which we all must embrace for it gives us the reality of a changed life and also eternal salvation from sin, which we all have, for all men are sinners.
Ponder how a drug addict suddenly turns around when he receives the Gospel of Jesus. Sometimes they become so radically changed they even become pastors, preachers, teachers, workers of healings and miracles, in Jesus name! Ponder how battered wives / mothers are able to rise from their circumstances and live a life of victory and joy despite the pain they have gone through, after they meet Jesus. Ponder how abused children are able to rise above the pain and misery of their childhood and become joyful and hopeful individuals, after they surrender their lives to Jesus. Ponder how broken marriages are healed and families restored, after the couples concerned bring themselves to the feet of Jesus and receive forgiveness, counseling, prayer and healing. Ponder, ponder, ponder. I can go on and on with numerous examples, but in all these changed lives, we must recognize Jesus and the power of His resurrection at work in the lives of these individuals. Such is the power of the Resurrection of Jesus. So, let us not leave for tomorrow what we can do today. For we never can tell how soon we would depart – just like the precious souls of my friend and her beloved son. We need to be ready every moment (and I’m comforted with the thought that my friend was). Let’s ask for the forgiveness of our sins from God, even first for only those we know or can recall (for He will continue to show us the rest later on). Let us also ask God the Father to give us His Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide us, and let us start meditating on the Bible, to feed our minds and spirit, so we can remain in that Eternal Life relationship with the Holy Spirit. Today we celebrate the Resurrection. Today let us begin the life of a resurrected spiritual life in Christ!
A blessed Easter Sunday to all!
25Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
Ephesians 1: 18-21
18I 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, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far 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.
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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