Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Expansively


Does anybody know what these verses are supposed to mean, maybe?

Dear, dear Corinthians, I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn't fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way. I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively! (2 Corinthians 6:11-13 MSG)

Too

You do so well in so many things—you trust God, you're articulate, you're insightful, you're passionate, you love us—now, do your best in this, too. (2 Cor 8:7 MSG)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

5 Rules for Being Human

1. You'll learn lessons.
2. There are no mistakes only lessons.
3. A lesson is repeated until it's learned.
4. If you don't learn easy lessons, it is going to get harder.
5. You'll know when you learn a lesson when your actions change.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Can't wait 'til Sunday

You know when you know you know God is about something to do something great and you can't wait to see what happens. 

I have been preparing for Sunday's Service Praise and Worship and I can't be blessed more than this. I just feel so pumped up that I can't not share this with you, my one and only group of friends online. 

I am a passionate person. I like activities. I like doing things and I don't really like sitting behind laptops and writing blog. No, I am joking, for the latter. But I meant, I usually am an active person. I go out, play basketball or hit some ping pong balls, with no one playing against me -- am unbeatable, what's up y'all. Well, at least I am unbeatable in my family (there you have it, Dad, haha). But please don't come to me in a sudden and challenge me to play with you. I am sure you're gonna kick my ass. 

Anyway, yeah, as how Sunday will go, I am super excited about it because God is so good. He has turned my mourning into dancing. You know, I have been having hard time completing my thesis writing and I still am. But these times I have spent searching for some encouraging songs to be sung on Sunday have already encouraged me a lot. I believe, like He has blessed me today He's gonna bless the ones who attend the service this Sunday. Not because of the songs, but because God is so loving that He wants to bless us with all the richness that He has --caution: it's not just worldly materials that He wants to abundantly pour down on us, but, He's talking healing powers, restoration in relationships, peace of heart and mind, strength to carry on and so on and so on. 

I really hope you would consider going to your home church if you have one this Sunday and if you don't please do pray and look for one, because you will not only have a heap of fun but also witness the awesomeness of God. Jesus Christ.

Be blessed!
Raissa


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Praise You In This Storm

A song by Casting Crown that encourages me today. It is so heart-warming to know that there is someone who is always with me; through the sunny days, the rains, and the storms.

Lyrics: 

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

[Chorus:]
And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

[Chorus]

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

[Chorus x2]



Click to listen to the song.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Remove the Stone

The story of Lazarus normally sounds to me like other miracles that Jesus had done. But today, it played differently in my head.

John 11:38-42 (MSG)38-39 Then Jesus, the anger again welling up within him, arrived at the tomb. It was a simple cave in the hillside with a slab of stone laid against it. Jesus said, "Remove the stone." The sister of the dead man, Martha, said, "Master, by this time there's a stench. He's been dead four days!"40 Jesus looked her in the eye. "Didn't I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"41-42 Then, to the others, "Go ahead, take away the stone." They removed the stone. Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and prayed, "Father, I'm grateful that you have listened to me. I know you always do listen, but on account of this crowd standing here I've spoken so that they might believe that you sent me."


This message for me today is about opening up our grave of failures, dead hopes and dreams, and crushed spirits.
Sometimes, maybe most of the times, I bury my broken hearts, I dig a little grave for my sorrows, I build a tomb for my disappointments, failures, bitter memories, and sickness, and try to put a tombstone and engrave "do not dig out, open, nor remove the stone, it is going to stink".  
However, like what He did before Lazarus' tomb, Jesus said, twice, "Remove the stone. Open the tomb up!" His disciples and the dead man's sister kept saying, "But, Lord.". But Jesus didn't seem to want to know the buts and the disbelief. He commanded. It has to be opened. It needs to be opened. It doesn't matter how many times He needs to order people around. I guess, if no one would slide away the stone, He would have done it Himself. He wanted the grave to be opened so that life comes out of it.
Isn't this powerful? He wants to take a look at my 'graves' of misery, 'tombs' of lost dreams, 'coffins' of my broken hearts. He doesn't care if it stinks like crazy, looks so disgusting and deformed, maybe worms all around it. He just wants to revive the dead soul inside me. He goes and will go all the way to do just this. Ultimately, He wants to be known and glorified through those resurrected parts of our lives.
I love this. I love this message. I hope and pray that you also let Jesus, only Jesus, to resurrect you. It is a blessing that we are still alive today. We are not inside the tomb, we are outside, and we are able to remove the stones that closes the tomb. So Friends, even though, it might stink or look really bad, please be brave and remove that stone in your heart and let the living proof of God's love come out of it. The living proof is you: with your resurrected heart. 

His peace be upon us!