Friday, November 30, 2012

Out in the meadow

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1 KJV)

Other translation says "I lack nothing (NIV)" instead of "I shall not want". In my understanding, it means "I have my shepherd, and it is enough."

But how could I, as human, to be in a state of not wanting anything? I mean, it should be very fundamentally human to want something. I want to take a shower, I want to have fun, I want to eat good food, or even I want a tablet and I want a Google Glass.

So, what does it really show in that verse? How could one say that God's enough?

Maybe what David meant after all is that God knows all we want and need, like a shepherd knows the favorite place where his sheep could feed, the freshest water where his sheep could drink from, and the warmest valley where his sheep could grass and safe out of dangers. Maybe David knows that he should not worry about a thing, for he's got the Mighty Shepherd watching his back.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Esau syndrome

Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God's lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God's blessing—but by then it was too late, tears or no tears. (Hebrews 12:16:17 MSG). 
Hebrews 12 is filled with some powerful messages. Before getting to the Esau syndrome, the author, reminds the believer in Hebrews to focus their eyes to the goal and be ready to get through anything that comes in their way. He notes Jesus as the perfect example and encourages believers to follow Jesus' lead. He also stresses out that the hardship the believers are going through are merely training and disciplines so that later they find themselves mature in their relationship with God. Lastly, he also encourages everyone to keep running the race and to not to be stumbling blocks by lazying around. 

Friends, allow me to say that we are here for a very long marathon. Stop for a while, drink something energizing, and take a little rest. It is okay that someone else overtakes us (they might eventually get very tired and need a break, and maybe that's the time that we are going to overtake them). But, don't ever give up; how tired and hopeless we are right now. God's lifelong gift is waiting for us in the finish line. 

I hope we all can make it. Godspeed.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Words of Comfort

Matthew 11 
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV) 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Hebrews 10
39 But we're not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We'll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way. (MSG)
39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. (NIV)
Some says that there is always a thousand convincing excuses to quit but very few rational reasons to keep moving on.

When one is at the end of her rope, should she let go or wait for someone else to come to her rescue?
What would one do if he fought a great battle, but suddenly there was an unprecedented event that turn the situation upside down? In a blink of an eye, he was under attack, wounded, and dying. Should he quit hoping for medics and kill himself? Or should he believe that his troop is winning and he is going to be brought back to the camp safe and sound?

I really love this verse on Psalm 85, NIV.

9Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,that his glory may dwell in our land.

I love how comforting the promise is even though it is built on the bitter truth that men need to be saved, including those who fear God.

At the end of our ropes, at the end of our strength and hope, and at the moment where we are about to quit, Christ will show up and save our day. I believe in that, do you?


P.S. Thanks to Jayesslee for the Taylor Swift's safe and sound cover. Thumbs up to the twin's version.

One day

Psalm 84:10 One day spent in your house, this beautiful place of worship, beats thousands spent on Greek island beaches. (MSG). 
Greek island beaches are very pretty; I have seen them on travel journals and experienced some of them myself. But they do not top a moment spent in presence of God, the Psalmist believed. 
There are some things in life that elevate me. Distilled to three things, it comes: sleeping, eating, and hot shower. O, wait, am I missing something? 
I think, yes, I forget to mention a big fun part of my days. God's presence. 
How come? I can't really explain it with words. If I try to remember them. They were the moments where I would just find the strength to go through my day. They were the moments where I could say to myself, I am loved, I am worthy. They were the moments where I feel no fear and believe that today can be the turning point (where the impossible made possible). They were the moments of joy, of peace, and of divine interventions. 
So, have you met ... God today? 


P.S. He's sitting across the bar and winking at you right now. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Does God make a new plan too?

I extract this part of my bible reading plan, Hebrews 8, because it kinda shows that God does make a new plan. The story was set when Christ was confirming the new covenant and nullifying the old one. What do you think? Does he do that: re-planning?

Hebrews 8 (MSG)6-13But Jesus' priestly work far surpasses what these other priests do, since he's working from a far better plan. If the first plan—the old covenant—had worked out, a second wouldn't have been needed. But we know the first was found wanting, because God said,Heads up! The days are coming when I'll set up a new plan for dealing with Israel and Judah. I'll throw out the old plan I set up with their ancestors when I led them by the hand out of Egypt. They didn't keep their part of the bargain, so I looked away and let it go. This new plan I'm making with Israel isn't going to be written on paper, isn't going to be chiseled in stone; This time I'm writing out the plan in them, carving it on the lining of their hearts. I'll be their God, they'll be my people. They won't go to school to learn about me, or buy a book called God in Five Easy Lessons. They'll all get to know me firsthand, the little and the big, the small and the great. They'll get to know me by being kindly forgiven, with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean. By coming up with a new plan, a new covenant between God and his people, God put the old plan on the shelf. And there it stays, gathering dust.

Reading this, I began to think, that God is indeed a great strategist and an awesome lover. He could have opt not to play with us at all; jeopardizing his love and life just to earn our hearts. Or, he could have made us robot-like faithful human who always adore and worship him. But he didn't. He gave us the ability to choose; to choose him or anything else. By doing so, I see that he really wants us to be free. What love is bigger than the one that always wishes that his loved ones to be happy even if he doesn't own her?

More than a lover, he is also an all-knowing God. Like an ultimate chess master, it doesn't matter how well we and the rest of the world and its forces play our game, God will win.

That's my opinion. Do you agree or disagree? Leave some thoughts, questions, and messages on the comment box below or email me. I'd like to hear from you!


Warrior Princess

Who says a girl can't be a warrior?

Captivating: unveiling the mystery of a woman's soul by John Eldredge and Stasi Eldredge brings up that a woman wants to be a part of a great adventure. At heart, she is both a princess and a warrior.

This post is my reflection of the Warrior (Film). We watched it last night; after a few weeks of busy days and busy weekends that made it quite impossible to spare some three-hour slot for movie night.

So here is what I learn from the movie:
1. Father and son relationship
2. Forgiveness
3. Why are you here?

As for the first and second point, they are very straightforward. No men can be a perfect father but one can be a Godly father. I personally think that this world does not need more perfectionist fathers but loving and humble fathers. Regarding forgiveness, I believe, it is the one and only key towards restoration of relationships. Forgiveness is a young green leaf in the middle of a desert. It is beautiful to behold.

The last point, "Why are you here?" is what speaks the most to me. It excites me so much that I wanted to sit before the desktop right away and write this section down.

In my head, it sounded more like this. Why am I here? Why am I alive right now? Why am I doing what I am doing right now? What is my initial purpose? Why, in the first place, I have come so far?

And the voices inside continued with one and two statements reminding me of the real purpose of why I am here.

I realize that it is very easy to forget the real reason of doing things. I can easily begin doing something out of routines and take no account on the fundamental reason that kept me going in the first place. It is true that purpose changes, shrinks or expands, and multiplies over time and situations. However, I should not forget my main mission.

Friends, do you have those short-term goals that you need to complete but you have been ignoring them for the last few days or maybe weeks or months? Obliviousness does not move you forward -it doesn't move me forward. You maybe are not a person of change or learning, you hate moving forward, but at times, there might not be any other options. We go back, the past would crush us. We stay still, the present rejects us. What's left to do is to strive for the better, for what's ahead.

Here is an excerpt of a song that confirmed what I learn this weekend. Moving forward by Israel Houghton. I pray that we all see our divine purpose and keep holding fast to it until we finally say that we made it. Have a great Sunday, family!
I'm not going back, I'm moving ahead
Here to declare to You my past is over in You
All things are made new, surrendered my life to Christ
I'm moving, moving forward.

Friday, November 16, 2012

My grown-up not-Christmas list

Hebrews 5
Warning against falling away 
11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

I personally say this is no porridge. It is five-course dinner for my spirituality. I almost dropped writing this post today, like I usually do every other day. But as I force myself to write something the truth speaks more loudly to me. I need to face the fact that I am not a baby anymore. Like Britney Spears expresses it, "I am not a girl, not yet a woman". You know what I mean, I have grown, I am supposed to receive more responsibilities, and what I do is to refuse this new identity: an almost woman. Oh my goodness, really, why do I love the idea of Neverland, of not wanting to grow up, of being Peterpan. 

Sooner or later, I realize that I will not be able to escape from the reality. And, instead of waiting for the reality to knock me down all over again, I should better get ready for it. I need to face it. To face my fears of the sad reality and unfairness of life. How am I supposed to do it? 

Based on the scriptures reading above, the way I am supposed to grow is by: 
1. acknowledging that I am no longer a baby (I hope I have done so). A grown-up in many essence has more influence in other people lives than a baby. In this case, I think, we should be willing to embrace the 'grown-up' identity. 
2. eating solid food. Pursue a healthy diet. Make the effort to seek nutritionful intake and avoid junk foods (both for spiritual body and physical one). 
3. constant training. My favorite part (not true, lol): training. Not everyone loves training. It requires a whole lot of dedication, planning, energy, and certain physical fitness. But it is a requirement to be really mature; as the scriptures have said so. It is an active act to get better at something, in this case to get better at understanding a matter or getting wiser. 

I figured, when we were younger, we wanted to grow up so badly, and when we have grown, we want to stay young. With all due respect, I am completely in with being 'young', 'fresh', 'enthusiastic', 'playful', 'cheerful', 
and 'carefree'. Moreover, having faith like children. But in many sense, when we were younger, we were maybe more selfish, naive, witless, reckless, fearful and sometimes foolish. And these are the characters that we should not cultivate as grown-ups.

I think, above all, as we have more Christ-like characters, we will be more ready to step into more of God's promises. In other words, seeing more of 'a whole new worlds'. 

Are you ready for the adventures God is preparing you to take parts in? Embrace the stage of your life right now, make everyday a masterpiece for God, and smile! God is in our side, why fear, why worry?