Friday, March 23, 2018

Mighty Champion

“The Lord is with me, like a mighty champion...” Jeremiah 20:11

The difference of Christianity from other religions is grace. In Islam, I think you get to Paradise according to your good character and the good deeds you do (Quran, 16:97). In Buddhism, if you follow the Noble Eight Fold Path, you will attain Nirvana. Hinduism believes in reincarnation based on karma, which seems to be a force in a person’s present that affects what happens in future lives. 

None of these belief systems seem to have a mighty champion who does all the work for us. One of my favorite verses is from Exodus 14:13, when Moses tells the people to just stand firm when they were being pursued by Pharaoh’s mighty army with 600 of Pharaoh’s best chariots and charioteers. The Jews were caught beside the shore with nowhere to hide. 

Moses reassured, “Fear not! Stand your ground and you will see the victory the Lord will win for you today...The Lord Himself will fight for you, you only have to keep still.” We know what happened. The waters parted, the Israelites went through, and the chariots drowned when the waters closed in on them. Indeed when Jesus became a man and was crucified, He took all our sins with Him. He is our mighty champion. All we need to do is repent, believe in Him, accept His saving work for us and receive His Holy Spirit. Pure grace. Pure gift. 

Thank You Lord for grace, a way out of sin and a way into Your family. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018


“I solemnly declare it; before Abraham came to be, I AM.” John 8:58

After arguing with Jesus, the Jews picked up stones to kill Him. They were aghast that He claimed the divine name of YAHWEH. This name, frequently translated as “I AM THAT I AM”, was the answer God gave Moses when he asked, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

In the “Cathechism of the Catholic Church”, this is what is written in verses 203 ff:

“God revealed himself to his people of Israel by making his name known to them. A name expresses one's essential identity and the meaning of one's life. God has a name; he is not an anonymous force. To disclose one's name is to make oneself known to others; in a way it is to hand oneself over by becoming accessible, capable of being known more intimately and addressed personally.
In revealing his mysterious name, YHWH ("I AM HE WHO IS", "I AM WHO AM" or "I AM WHO I AM"), God says who he is and by what name he is to be called. This divine name is mysterious just as God is mystery. It is at once a name revealed and something like the refusal of a name, and hence it better expresses God as what he is - infinitely above everything that we can understand or say: he is the "hidden God", his name is ineffable, and he is the God who makes himself close to men.
God, who reveals his name as "I AM", reveals himself as the God who is always there, present to his people in order to save them.”

Father, I thank You that You reveal Yourself to Your people. You did not hide Yourself from us, but You have revealed Your name, Your character, Your love and faithfulness for us, Your people. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

WOYWW: Truth

Started with this. 

Made more of a mess with mark makers. 

Drew a garden in pencil, then painted the background white. 

Embellished the flowers and leaves. Below is the finished work with one if my favorite quotes: “Jesus found the muddiest parts of my heart and planted flowers.” 

“...the truth will set you free.” 
John 8:32

Lawyer Abdu Murray, who was an earnest Muslim, converted to Christianity after researching for several years about Jesus and Islam. As a Muslim, Abdu knew that one of the 99 names for God was “Al Wadûd”, “full of loving kindness”. He said if the greatest ethic we are capable of is love, and the greatest possible way to express love is through self-sacrifice, would not the greatest possible being, Al Wadûd, do the greatest possible act of self-sacrifice? “You can only find that God in the Gospels,” Abdu concluded. “You can find Him in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and in Paul’s writings and the other epistles.” 

Jesus said, “You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying My teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Abdu Murray wrote a book entitled “Saving Truth: Finding Meaning and Clarity in a Post-Truth World”. Abdu found the truth after a serious 9 year investigation into the “historical, philosophical, and scientific underpinnings of the major world religions and views. He discovered that the historic Christian faith can answer the questions of the mind and the longings of the heart.” (RZIM Ministries)

Yes Lord, You are the truth and You set us free! 

Joining the lovely Julia Dunnit for a 
peek at desks and projects!
I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

God’s Friend

“Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he recovered.” Numbers 21:9

This is a very strange event and shows us how important it is to pray to the one true God. The Jews had been complaining about their food. They said it was disgusting. This was after they had experienced many miracles from God, their freedom from slavery, their escape through the Red Sea, manna and quail from heaven, water from the rock, God thundering His words for all to hear, the pillar of fire by night and the cloud over the Tabernacle to show where they should go. One would think that the Jews who knew God personally would stop complaining but they were not grateful for God’s provision. It reminds me of the times I am ungrateful even with God’s gifts. Like when I am having a hard time with our business and it becomes a burden. 

In punishment God sent saraph serpents which bit people and many of them died. The people then realized their sin in complaining against God and also against Moses who was leading them. Moses, who bore no ill will against the people, prayed and God instructed him what to do. 

“Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and whoever looks at it after being bitten will live.” And so it was, anyone who was bitten, looked at the bronze serpent and recovered. Today, a bronze serpent will not save us. But Moses knew God, had a close intimate relationship with Him. In Exodus 33:11, we can read that Moses spoke to God as a man speaks to his friend. In Exodus 33:17, God says to Moses, “You have found favor with Me, and you are my friend.” Do we want to be God’s friend? I know He wants to be ours.

That’s why He sent Jesus who was mounted on the cross so we could be saved, like the Jews in the desert. This Lent, let’s spend more time conversing with the Lord so we can understand and love Him more. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Secret

“...the promise made to Abraham and his descendants that they would inherit the world...” Romans 4:13

There are many treasures in the Bible, and many keys to unlock those treasures. “Inherit the world”? What can that mean if I can’t even pay my rent, or find a better job? 

God promised to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants, but according to verse 13, it’s not based on obedience to the law, but through the righteousness that comes from faith. Abraham is our example as a believer, and he is intensely alive today. More than 3 billion people, Christians, Muslims and Jews, venerate him. He is our spiritual father, our patriarch. 

In verse 16-17, Saint Paul writes that faith is the key! God’s promise is given to us as a free gift if we have faith like our father Abraham. Abraham believed in a God who brings the dead to life, and who calls into being what does not exist. That is the secret to faith. If God says it, we believe it and we can receive it.  The key is finding a verse in the Bible we can claim, believe and receive. We, like Abraham, should be absolutely convinced that God is able to do anything He promised! (v. 21)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Clean Heart

“Create in me a clean heart, O God.” Psalm 51:10

In Jeremiah 17:9, the Lord despairs of His people, if that can be said of God. He says the human heart is more tortuous than all else, deceitful and desperately wicked. I can indeed see evidence of this in what is happening around me, in my country, in the world. In Jeremiah 17:4, the Lord says, “The wonderful inheritance I have reserved for you will slip out of your hands, and I will send you away as captives to a foreign land. For you have kindled my anger into a roaring fire that will burn forever.” 

This morning I was watching a Youtube video of one of Mother Teresa’s interviews. What I read in the comment section totally shocked me. People were saying she was a monster, she was no saint, she had millions hidden in bank accounts, she wanted the sick to suffer, etc etc! In the political arena, it is no different. The comments on Facebook posts seem to come from sick, deranged minds. I learned yesterday that a fake news post on a fake news site was shared 10,000 times and the real news post on the real news site was shared 50 times! Why do we prefer to share sensational stories that are untrue? 

Be gracious to us, O God, according to Your lovingkindness. According to the greatness of Your compassion, blot out the stain of our sin. Purify us from our transgressions. Create in us clean hearts, O God. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018


“Have you also been deceived?” 
John 7:47

The Pharisees asked this question of the guards who were supposed to bring Jesus to them. The chief priests and the Pharisees already made up their minds about Jesus without investigating. God wants us to know the truth and He has put so much evidence for us, especially in this age of the internet. So many scholars have done the work for us. 

Some people still believe Jesus did not exist, but there is so much amazing substantiation that proves not only that Jesus existed and was crucified. It is an established historical fact. Even atheist and arch-skeptic historian Gerd Lüdemann admitted that Jesus’ death as a consequence of execution is indisputable. He noted that the elements in the tradition, including the empty tomb, are to be dated to the first 2 years after Jesus’ death on the cross, and certainly not later than 3 years. That is one reason why the empty tomb is not legend or myth. It takes 2 generations before a legend develops. The Christian Creed was put together, and distributed early after Jesus died, was buried and was seen by several eyewitnesses after He rose from the dead. St. Paul was the first to put it in writing about 22 years after the death and resurrection of Christ. The earliest account of Alexander the Great was written 400 years after he died. 

Lüdemann himself decided, “It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’s death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.” This is because of an overwhelming preponderance of sources inside and outside of the New Testament compared to other historical events. So why would an atheist like Lüdemann, who concluded that it may be taken as historically certain that Jesus appeared as the risen Christ, still stands by his unbelief? 

Lüdemann believes they all were having hallucinations! But psychologists who study the brain say that hallucinations like dreams are individual events happening in individual minds. One psychologist noted that for 500 people to have the same hallucination would be a bigger miracle than the resurrection of Christ!   

So let us not be like Pharisees and skeptics and atheists. The truth can be found if we want to know it. It is awesome to know that God wants us to get to know Him! 

Friday, March 16, 2018


“The Lord is close to the broken hearted...” Psalm 34:18

“...those who are crushed in spirit He saves.” Just yesterday I saw a post on Facebook that I shared. It was about a man who has been missing since Friday, March 9. A week ago.  I am sure it seems so much longer to his family. How many missing people are there in the world? How many children were killed in schools in the past year? How many kidnapped women and children are sold into sexual slavery? How many deal with recurring depression? There is so much heartache in our world, so much sadness and pain. 

What can we do about it? Saint Teresa of Avila wrote this poignant poem: “Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good, Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, Yours are the eyes, you are his body... Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

We have to look around with Christ’s eyes and love with His love so we can see the broken people around us. We need not be pessimistic or hopeless because God will always make a way where there is no way. God never wastes anything, much less pain. Let us always pray with hope, and do good, remembering that what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed in us (Romans 8:18). 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Go Ye!

“Go down at once...” Exodus 32:7

Some of the Bible stories are amazing in that men and women like Moses hear God’s instructions. Some people, like a prominent talk show host, think that if you hear God, you are mentally ill!

Just like Moses, the Irish missionary Amy Carmichael heard God tell her, “Go ye!” I suppose it was because ever since she was very young, she would say her prayers before sleeping, she would make a space for the Lord, and ask him to sit beside her. If we do that every day, talk to Jesus, for sure He will converse with us! 

On January 13, 1892, while Amy was praying, she heard the two words, “Go ye!” as clearly as if she heard her mother’s voice. Those instructions from God started her on her missionary journey that took her to India. There, wearing a sari, dyeing her skin brown with coffee, and speaking Tamil, she was unlike any other missionary. She started her own mission house, trusting God for the funds. She saved young girls from what was essentially sex trafficking sanctioned by the parents who would sacrifice the children to the temple, trusting God to keep her out of jail for kidnapping. 

Amy stayed in India for 55 years. Her retreat home for the children and women grew larger and included a school, hospital, and orphanage. Her work in South India continues today, and it all started with Amy’s obedience to God’s Word. 

Lord, here I am! I long to hear Your voice! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

WOYWW: The Eternal Truth

I am making a card for a friend who will be leaving for Japan.

I put a quote by Corrie Ten Boom as I have been watching videos about her life and listening to her teachings. Such a remarkable woman!

“I will never forget you!” Isaiah 49:15

“Never!” the Lord says, “Can a mother forget her nursing child, be without tenderness for the child in her womb? Even if that was possible, I would not forget you!” 

When Korea was in the throes of a civil war in 1952, a pregnant young woman struggled through the snow. Poignantly, it was Christmas eve, and no one stopped to help. When she could walk no longer as the contractions became severe, she sheltered under a bridge to give birth to her baby. Then she removed all her clothes to wrap around him, and kept him warm in her arms. 

The next day, a missionary walking in the snow to deliver Christmas packages found her frozen to death, the crying baby in her arms. 10 years later, the boy was told by his adoptive father what happened that night, how his mother gave her life that he might live. 

During Lent, we journey with Jesus to Calvary, where He gave His life that we might live. Because of His blood sacrifice on the Cross, we have a real hope, a real peace, real love, not the counterfeits the world offers. In a world where change is inevitable, let us be sure we know the eternal truth, that God our Father loves us! 

Joining the lovely Julia Dunnit for a 
peek at desks and projects!
I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Open My Eyes

“Do you want to be healed?” John 5:6

Crowds of sick people lay on the porches and Jesus asked one man who had been lying there lame for 38 years, “Do you want to be healed?” Instead of shouting yes eagerly, the man complained, “I can’t, sir. I have no one to help me into the pool of water.” This man had an idea already of how God will heal him. He was not open to other possibilities. He lay there, probably in self-pity, thinking he needed someone to help him into the water first when an angel stirred it. 

Lord, help me to open my eyes to the many ways You can bless me. Help me to seek You in circumstances, and in people, that do not seem pleasing to me. Help me to accept everything from You with trust that You always want to best for me! 

Monday, March 12, 2018

City of Joy

“I create Jerusalem to be a joy...” 
Isaiah 65:18

L'Shana Haba'ah B'Yerushalayim“, the Jews pray after Passover or Yom Kippur. It means, “Next year in Jerusalem!” Before, the Jews of the Diaspora would pray this with longing to return to their very own country after having been dispersed. Now “Jerusalem” in this prayer refers to the future city and the Temple that will be rebuilt when the Messiah comes. 

I have been listening to Corrie Ten Boom’s preaching, her stories about Betsie her sister, and the horrors of Ravensbrück. At 85 years old, she needed a pacemaker. She said she would have wanted to go to heaven but apparently God had other plans. After traveling all continents of the world, preaching the good news, starting when she was in her mid-50s, she was able to settle in her very own home with a garden in Placentia, California. God promised her that she would be able to reach more people than she did going from place to place. On April 15, 1983, Corrie Ten Boom passed away on her 91st birthday. Jews believe that only very special, blessed people are given the honor of dying on their birthday.

She is now in Jerusalem, city of joy, city of the living God. One day we may be able to meet her and see her smiling face. But not yet. Right now, we still have work to do- God’s work, just like Corrie, that He has prepared for us to do. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Everlasting Arms

“God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.” John 3:17

Many atheists have judged God and found Him wanting, and thus declare He does not exist. There is no God because there is so much suffering in the world. They do not look into their hearts and see that it is us who is wanting. 

Malcolm Muggeridge, a British journalist and Christian convert who wrote some of the most profound books of the 20th C, said, “The depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable reality but at the same time the most intellectually resisted fact.” He just echoed what God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah centuries ago, “The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable–who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Muggeridge wrote of his life changing experience in his book, “The Green Stick: A Chronicle of Wasted Years”. One day when he was a journalist on assignment in India, he decided to take a swim in the river. He noticed a woman upriver remove her clothes and submerge herself to bathe in the water. After deciding to forget his marriage vows, he furiously swam towards her with the intent of seducing her. When he reached about 2 or 3 feet away from her, and emerged from the water, he was horrified to find this creature grinning at him.  “She was old and hideous...and her skin was wrinkled and, worst of all, she was a leper....This creature grinned at me, showing a toothless mask.” He thought trembling with disgust, “What a dirty lecherous woman!” And then he realized with a shock- it was not the woman who was lecherous; it was his own heart! 

How merciful is our Father that He loves us so much that He sent His Son not to condemn us for this lecherous, treacherous, disobedient heart, but to save us for His everlasting arms! 

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Walk in My Way

“Walk in the ways I command you, so that you may prosper.” Jeremiah 7:23

If we read the whole 7th chapter of Jeremiah, we will see how frustrated God was with the disobedience of the Jews. “Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and worship other gods, and then come here and stand before Me in My Temple, ...only to go right back to all those evils again?” (V.9-10)

God said, “Obey me and I will be Your God and You will be my people. Walk in all the ways that I command you, so that you may prosper.” But His people did not listen to Him then and it is clear we are not listening now. 

“My people do not listen to me. You keep doing whatever you want , following the stubborn desires of your evil hearts. You turn your backs, not your faces to me. I have sent you untiringly all my servants, the prophets, but you have not heeded their words....This is a nation that does not listen to Me or take correction. Faithfulness has disappeared. Truth itself has banished from your speech.” (V.24-28)

Although this was written in the 6th century B.C., it seems to me as if God is speaking to us today. Jeremiah is one of the well-known prophets of the Old Testament. He lived during the crisis days of Judah when they were being invaded by Babylon, people were being deported, the inhabitants of Jerusalem were being slaughtered, and the Temple was destroyed. The main message was that God was disciplining the people for their disobedience. 

God continues to speak to us today. If we do not turn to Him, we will have crisis after crisis. More people will be slaughtered, more people will have to find work abroad, China will continue to have the temerity to invade our sovereignty, and the Church will continue to be attacked. Lord, forgive us. May we obey You and may the truth be on our lips always. 

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Best Inheritance

“Teach them to your children and your children’s children.” 
Deuteronomy 4:9

What is the greatest legacy we can leave our children and grandchildren? When we speak of legacy, we think inheritance, a bequest of money or property. When I think of what my mom left us, I thank her for the business she started. Our family business is a wonderful gift with many possibilities, and if we take care of it, her grandchildren will benefit from it as well. But the more valuable gift, the more precious inheritance she gave each of us is the gift of faith. She was an example of a woman of faith. My mother made sure we knew our Father, we knew Jesus, that we ran after His promises, and obeyed His laws. 

I remember her bringing us to prayer meetings, rallies, and each time we would line up to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. We would attend Life in the Spirit Seminars, as many as it took to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. She read her Bible from cover to cover I do not know how many times. We went to Mass every single day, and after we would spend an hour in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. 

Even when she was weak from her sickness, she would go to mass and receive communion, hanging on to my arm. Finally, she collapsed during mass, and I insisted she could not go to mass anymore because I could not possibly manage to support her. 

I was listening to Corrie Ten Boom trying to evangelize a woman who said she went to Church every Sunday. “Yes, but a mouse born in a biscuit tin will never be a biscuit.” The woman then added, “My parents are good Christians.” Corrie then replied, “God does not have grandchildren!” God has sons and daughters who have a personal relationship with Him. We cannot get to heaven clutching the dress or the shirt or our parents! 

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Huge Debt!

“But His creditor wouldn’t wait.” Matthew 18:30

I know that having a huge credit card debt can be such a heavy burden. Imagine the debt being erased by the credit card company just by the signature of the President of the bank! Whew! What a relief! Jesus compared the Kingdom of heaven to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date. In the accounting, it was discovered that a servant owed him millions! Obviously the servant bowing low and pleading before the king would have no means of repaying such a colossal amount. The King took pity and forgave him his debt! 

This same servant, instead of being grateful and understanding, went to a fellow servant who owed him a hundred days wages. He grabbed him by the throat, and demanded instant payment, even if the man was pleading and asking for more time. He had the man arrested and thrown in jail. What did the king do when he heard about it? He got angry and threw the first servant in jail. “Shouldn’t you have shown mercy to your fellow servant just as I had mercy on you?” the king asked. 

Are there people we have not forgiven? Is there someone we resent for his or her actions or words that we cannot forget? Marianne Williamson, a teacher and author, says that unforgiveness is like drinking poison ourselves and waiting for the other person to die! 

Let us rid ourself of any poison of bitterness, anger and resentment. Hard? Yes! Impossible? No. By God’s grace Corrie Ten Boom put out her reluctant hand to forgive the Nazi guard in Ravensbrück Concentration Camp when he came to ask her forgiveness. She remembered walking naked past this same man in his uniform with a leather crop hanging from his belt. She remembered how thin they all were, her sister Betsie in front of her in a line of naked women. And there he was again, in front of her, asking forgiveness. Only by God’s grace was Corrie Ten Boom able to hold up her hand to shake the former guard’s hand. Only by God’s grace will we be able to forgive as God has forgiven us our many sins!

Monday, March 05, 2018

Good Advice

“His flesh becomes like the flesh of a little child.” 2 Kings 5:14

The story of Naaman the leper is certainly one of the more intriguing stories in the Bible, and brings up more questions than answers. Like Jesus said in the Gospel reading for today (Luke 4:24-30), “There were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, only Naaman the Syrian.” 

When the little servant girl tells this valiant, battle-hardened army commander of the King of Aram that there is a prophet in Samaria who could heal him of his leprosy, Naaman asks permission of his King to find him. He appears at the door of the prophet Elisha’s house and the prophet does not bother to come out. Elisha merely sent word that Naaman should wash 7 times in the Jordan and he would be healed. Peeved, Naaman storms off angry. Are not the rivers of Damascus better than all the rivers of Israel???  

Naaman’s officers managed to prevail upon him to do as the prophet advised. Naaman went to the Jordan, dipped himself 7 times in the water, and his flesh became healthy as a young child’s. Now if only we had a prophet like Elisha to consult!!!

I think the problem today is we have too much good advice and too many excuses not to follow. When it comes to our health, perhaps we do not need Elisha. Saint Paul tells the Corinthians, “Whether you eat, drink or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31) He also tells us we have to take care of our bodies because our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

If we go back to the diet of Jesus, we could be healthier and stronger. We have to learn to say no to processed foods, no to sugar, no to foods with excess fat and bad cholesterol. We have to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. People back in Jesus’ time ate mostly a plant-based diet. They did not have refrigerators so they would have eaten food right away, or ate it raw. 

One of my friends who had a lot of health issues, started a plant-based diet some months ago. Today her medical tests have shown she does not need her medication anymore! If we study and obey the instructions in the Bible, we will truly have fullness of life in every way. We will be more physically and spiritually healthy!