Sunday, April 23, 2017

Our Unbelievable Inheritance!

"Do not persist in your unbelief, but believe!" John 20:27


What do we lose if we do not believe?  In 1st Peter 1:4-7, we read about an imperishable inheritance that won't fade, tarnish or diminish. It is guarded with God's power through faith. Can you imagine going through life with no knowledge or appreciation of what wealth we have as a child of God?! 

Most people set great store on earthly wealth, but once in a while someone lives and dies not knowing he is immensely rich. Such was the case of Timothy Henry Gray. He was a great-nephew of the eccentric Huguette Clark, an heiress who inherited her father's fortune. Her father was the former US Senator William Anderson Clark, founder of Las Vegas, who had investments in banking, railroads, real estate and copper mining. You would think Timothy Henry Gray would have a comfortable life, but he was homeless and would sometimes take shelter in a railway overpass. That was where his body was found, dead from hypothermia. He was entitled to $19 million of her $300 million fortune.

How about us? We are entitled to so much more than that as children of our Father in heaven. Jesus gave us the keys. We need to take it and receive it. Our faith is so much more precious than fire-tried gold (1 Peter 1:7). Father, thank You for our inheritance, gained for us for the immeasurable price of Your Son's blood on the cross! 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Believe it!

"...they refused to believe it." 
Mark 16:11


And who could blame them? "Jesus is risen!" Mary Magdalene and the women revealed to His followers, "I saw Him!" Cleopas and another announced the same thing and they were scoffed at. Finally, when Jesus revealed Himself to the disciples, He took them to task for their disbelief and stubbornness. 

Yesterday I was talking to a buyer from Sydney. He was telling me that in Australia only 16% of the people admitted going to church once or more in the year past. Usually it was for a wedding! He said that statistics show that the people who go to church were either poor, poor in education, sick, old, young enough to be dragged by their parents or migrants. I suppose the filipinos who fill the churches there with song are the migrants! 

He told me of his son who works in Microsoft in the US, making a lot of money. His grandchildren, who play with all the gadgets, have everything. "What else do they need?" he asked me. I said, "God." "Oh, it's a different generation now," he said, "they don't need religion." 

"I wasn't talking about religion," I answered. "They need to have a relationship with God our Father. They need to know Jesus." Of course we couldn't agree, of course our conversation went on and on, and he ended up not ordering a single thing! But the gospel reading today is precisely about people who go about their daily lives not believing even if someone told them the truth. Will they wait for Jesus to come again and rebuke them for their skepticism? Perhaps. But our job is, as Jesus commanded the disciples is to, "Go into all the world and tell everyone that God loves them, that I am alive, their sins can be forgiven, that I want them to get to know Me!" Like Mary Magdalene, we want to proclaim the Good News! But sometimes, they don't believe. We just tell it anyway! 

Lord, I pray for the man I talked to yesterday, and whoever You send to me. May I plant seeds of Your truth in their hearts. May those seeds one day bloom and break free, and enliven their faith. To whom should we go Lord? You have the Words of Spirit and Life! 

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Apostle's Creed

"...it was done in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead." Acts 4:10



When we recite the Apostle's Creed, the statement of what we believe along with other Christians, sometimes we just rattle it off because this is what we've memorized it ever since we were young. But when Peter and the disciples addressed the crowd, declaring that the lame man was healed in the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, the man they crucified, it would have electrified the listeners. How much more when he announced that this same man who had died and was buried, was risen from the dead? That would have been stupendous, mind blowing, eye-widening, teeth chattering news! So why today, when we recite it, do we mouth it like it is nothing extraordinary? Do we really.believe.it?


This season, let us make it a goal to renew our faith in the resurrected Lord, to have an Easter faith, a victorious, life changing faith. Our God is a God of revelation, a God who wants to reveal Himself to us. Let us not miss this opportunity to go through the veil that was torn and into the Holy of Holies (Matthew 27:51). 

Lord God, I do not want to have a mediocre faith, just mouthing platitudes in church. May my faith be vibrant, and bear much fruit. May I abide in You, the God who came down to earth for me, who bled and died for me, and who was raised up again! 

A 13th century illuminated
manuscript of the
Apostle's Creed. 
 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Exciting Times!

"Then He opened their minds to the understanding of scriptures." 
Luke 24:45


What exciting times the disciples lived in. They got to know God in the flesh. They saw Him crucified, maltreated excruciatingly. They fled and hid. Then miracle of miracles, news about Jesus miraculously alive! At first they thought it was pure nonsense, but then Jesus Himself appeared to Cleopas and another follower. Jesus took the time to explain passages throughout scripture that were about Him. 

Then He appeared again to the Eleven and their companions while they were talking about all of this amazing news. There He was, flesh and blood. They could even touch His hands and feet and see for themselves the wounds He bore for them and for us. They stood there amazed, and dumbfounded until He asked, "Do you have anything to eat?" 


After eating, He went through the scriptures once again, painstakingly explaining and opening their minds to understand. "Everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms has to be fulfilled. See here, it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day, rise from the dead." Jesus was probably showing them scripture from Hosea 6, Isaiah, and even Jonah! Imagine Jesus going through the Torah, thumbing through the parchment and scrolls of the Prophets and the Psalms. These are the very same readings we can have in our own hands today! And we can be sure that if we seek through it, with the intention of knowing the truth, seeing Him, we will find. That is His very clear promise in Matthew 7:7. 

Lord, our lives can be just as exciting as Your disciples. We can really get to know You through Your Word. We do not even have enough time to exhaust all the revelation You want to share with us, just as You did with Your disciples. Thank You that we can get to know Your victory, and we can claim Your promises because You sent the Holy Spirit to live and reign in our hearts. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Why are you Crying?

"Why are you crying?" John 20:15


 
It's fascinating to read the narrative of what happened after Christ resurrected from His tomb from all 4 Gospels. It's like trying to piece together the whole story from 4 witnesses who focus on different aspects of the events as they unfold. 

What scholars agree on is that even with other historical events, you can have irreconcilable discrepancies in secondary details, and yet the core of the story is present. What I particularly like in the Gospel accounts is that it was women who discovered the empty tomb, frightened, anxious women who got over their fear in order to serve Jesus at the very crack of dawn. 

It is always emphasized that women were on the lowest level of Jewish society during Jesus' day. Records will show that Josephus, a first-century historian, stated, “Let not the testimony of women be admitted because of the levity and boldness of their sex,” and this is repeated in the Mishnah (a Jewish legal text written in 220 CE)!!!

So why did all accounts put them front and center of the resurrection story? Because that was the truth! If there was any connivance as the Jewish high priests of the day claim, the writers would not have claimed that it was women who found the empty tomb! 

Jesus asked Mary Magdalene, "Why are you crying?" She did not recognize Him. Perhaps we are in a terrible situation right now, someone very close to us is sick, we don't have a job, we have to find a place to stay, whatever it is, we can be sure, Jesus is near. We just don't recognize Him. 

Lord, may we see Your face. I know You will never abandon us, even when it sometimes feels like that. And sometimes, You give us opportunities to be You to others. May we not pass by but be the good Samaritan to others in need. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Witnesses!

"...we are His witnesses." Acts 2:32

 
Peter, the weak-kneed man who denied Jesus three times, was now proclaiming before the crowd of Jews without fear. "God raised this man Jesus to life, and all of us are witnesses to that!" What gave him that hutzpah, that supreme self-confidence? Only that now he knew the truth and he was willing to die for it. Only that he was so filled with the Holy Spirit that people thought he was drunk with new wine. On the contrary, Peter could see clearly now, his eyes unclouded by doubt and uncertainty. His thoughts focused and unerring. So should we desire to be! 

Fredrick Nietzsche, the influential German philosopher, declared "I might believe in the Redeemer if his followers looked more redeemed." It is also said that a Christian's life is the world's Bible. How many times have I heard Christianity derided because of our actions? Too many times! 


 
Lord, yes we are your witnesses and we have failed You many times. Enkindle in us the fire of Your Spirit that we may be more like Peter! Brave and sure, loyal to Your teaching! Unwavering in our mission for You! 


Sunday, April 16, 2017

He is Risen!

"He is risen, exactly as He promised." Matthew 28:6


Yesterday the women were confused,  uncertain, huddling together for comfort, and too afraid to move. This morning was another day, not the same as any other day, certainly, for they would have to confront the reality of the tomb. It was just sunrise, and they decided to be brave together. They took burial spices that they had bought and prepared for Jesus' body. On the way, they were discussing quietly about who would roll the stone away from the tomb's entrance as it was heavy. When they arrived, they saw that the stone, the huge stone had been rolled away. 

They looked at each other, hesitated, then rushed to peer inside. Eyes wide, hearts beating fast, they saw the wrappings, two piles, NO BODY! Where was the body?!! Where could they have put Him?!! 

 
Everything was strange today! There was an angel there, his face shining like lightning, his clothing blindingly white. The guards had ran away in fear when the angel rolled aside the stone. The angel said, "Do not be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus. He is not here. He is risen exactly as He promised. Now go tell His disciples!" 

The women ran quickly. They were frightened certainly, but also filled with great joy and excitement. The story is NOT finished. There is still more to come!

And so it is every Easter! The story continues with us! We too should be filled with fear and trembling at this amazing miracle God has done for us! Because Jesus lives, WE have new life in Him. This is not something to take for granted. We too like the women at the tomb, should be eager to spread the news! 

Lord, use me! To heal the broken hearted, to speak Your Words to those who need it, to bind up wounds, to give strength to the weary, sight to the blind! Anything is possible because You live! 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Alive in Christ!

"We have died with Christ, we believe we shall also live with Him." 
Romans 6:8


There is no Catholic mass on Holy Saturday and no readings either. We just have Jesus' tomb to ponder on. For us, we know that the tomb is empty. That is why, later, when we attend the Easter vigil, there will be an extravagance of 17 readings from Genesis, Exodus, Isaiah, Baruch, Ezekiel, Romans, the Gospel of Matthew and the Psalms. 

But imagine if we were one of the women at the foot of the cross. There was no uncertainty, Jesus, the One we believed was Messiah, the One who forgave me of my Sin, the One who healed lepers, blind men, paralytics, exorcised evil spirits, the One who brought Lazarus to life.....dead. Buried. Sealed inside a tomb. What could be the meaning of that? Was it all a lie? The anguish, the disappointment, and sorrow I feel is so real, it's almost as if a rock was crushing the very breath out of me. We are all cowering in fear right now. It's like all hope is gone, extinguished. We are left alone to face a cloudy future. 

 
Lord, that is the reality if You did not rise from the dead on Easter morning. We would all have no hope, and no future. But because You died, our sinful selves were buried with You in baptism. And just as You were risen from the grave, we also may live new lives! 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Little Details

"...immediately blood and water flowed out." John 19:34


It's the little details that make a true story. When there's a crime investigation, the examiner asks a lot of questions to see if the story adds up. Lee Strobel was a practicing atheist when his wife converted to Christianity. He decided to prove to her that her belief was sitting on a house of cards. First the crucifixion didn't happen, and of course, the resurrection was completely fabricated. He was an awarded investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune so he was quite confident of the outcome. The outrageous claims that Jesus was God, that He allowed Himself to be crucified, and that He rose from the dead, were all just plain, barefaced lies!!! So Lee decided to apply all his training from Yale Law School and all his years of experience as an editor for a prestigious newspaper to get to the truth. 


What he didn't know was that compared to other ancient historical events, the evidence and the proof for Jesus' life and death was so overwhelming, it pointed to the unthinkable! More than 5000 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament are in existence today compared to just handfuls of the writings of the historian Josephus and Tacitus. And in some of those ancient manuscripts are the 4 gospels with its wealth of detail. 

John probably had no idea why he saw blood and water come out of Jesus' side when the soldier pierced it with his spear. But a doctor can tell you that because of so many distressing things happening to Jesus' body before and during the crucifixion, fluid in the membrane around the heart and lungs collected, and this is what came out of Jesus. And that's just one of the many many details in the fascinating record of Jesus' life. 

Lord, we don't have to be an investigative reporter, a phd, a scholar, a doctor, to know who You are and Your story. We just need to long to see Your face. You said, if we seek, we will find, and I know that as long as I keep seeking, and reading more and more of Your Word, I will find the greatest treasure the world has ever known! 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Upon Me

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me..." Luke 4:18


 
Jesus read this in the synagogue of Nazareth, His boyhood home, from the book of Isaiah (61:1-2). Afterwards He claimed, "This scripture has been fulfilled before your very eyes! It has come true in Your hearing!" How can this be, the people wondered, amazed and marveling. This boy grew up amongst them, they knew his relatives, his mother and father. 

Should we not be an amazement to others as well? When they see and hear us, should not our childhood friends think, "There is something different about him!" 

When we follow the Holy Spirit in our life, it should not be like some powdered juice we add to the water of our life. It just adds a bit of color and flavor, and that's it. Usually we pray, Lord, come with me, walk with me, and we go our.own.way. 

Should we not be more like Abraham? He obeyed God not knowing where God would lead him. He didn't know how long his journey would take, what it would cost him, or    what would await him when he got there. He just took one day at a time.  

This year marks our 50th year in the family business. Our tag line is "50 years of miracles!" Because truly, that's the reality of our business. Without God, His guiding Spirit, we would be nowhere! My mom, when she started out, she didn't know what she was doing. She had no money, no business background, no marketing skills, but she had a deep, abiding faith in God, and she would pray, pray, pray. Today we continue to pray,  that God would show us His face, that God would lead us where He wants us to go from here. Step by step. May His Spirit be upon us always! 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

WOYWW: Surely Not I!

This is my desk out in the garden.
It is very pleasant here
with 3 cats to keep me company! 


"Surely it is not I, Rabbi?" Matthew 26:25

So sad. It must have been devastating for Jesus that one of the twelve had chosen to betray Him. "One of you is about to betray me," he said. Imagine that you are among friends, you are all having a good dinner, and one of your oldest and dearest friends declares this out of the blue! One by one, puzzled and distressed, each one asks, "Surely it is not I?! I'm not the one, am I?" This Holy Week, we should ask, "Lord, in what ways do I betray You?" We do not ever want to be Judas, who could have been Saint Judas, and instead chose to be Judas the betrayer!!!!

Yesterday my husband and I watched the movie, "The Case for Christ", which was based on the true story of the writer Lee Strobel. It's such a pity that we were so few inside the theater! When he was younger, Lee was an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune and an adamant atheist. When his wife became a Christian, he became distressed and decided to prove that everything she believed in was based on a lie. He put all his prize-winning efforts into researching on the resurrection, interviewing scholars, medical doctors, psychiatrists, priests, etc. In the end, he said, "God, You win!" He became a Christian and he wrote about his search for the truth. His books have become best sellers, and he even became a Pastor. Jesus' story is so compelling, and there is overwhelming evidence about Jesus' life, death and resurrection. If we deny Him, we would be just like Judas. 

Lord, may I never betray You! But in those times I do, may I be like Peter and not ever be afraid of running back to Your loving arms. 




Joining the lovely Julia Dunnit for a 
peek at desks and projects!

I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:

Blessings!
Patsy  

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Out of My Heart

"I will lay down my life for You!" 
John 13:37



During the Last Supper, we would all like to be Peter and not Judas the betrayer. We would all like to be the one who says to the Lord, "I will lay down my life for You! I am ready to die for You! I will follow till the end!" 

We would all like to see ourselves as coming from the heroic mold and certainly Peter thought he could hack it. But Jesus knew the truth. "Lay down your life for me?" answered Jesus, "Before the cock crows you will have disowned me three times!"  What was the difference between him and Judas who betrayed Jesus willfully? Their hearts. 


"A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." (Luke 6:45, NIV) Peter spoke what his heart was full of, his ardent desire to be there for Jesus. Jesus knew what was in Peter's heart just as He knows what is in ours. 

Lord, may my heart be full of love for You and Your Word. May my heart be full of gratefulness that You chose me. If I let go of You, as Peter did, bring me back. Forgive me of all my sins and show me the path to fullness of life.  

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Pressed into Service!

"This man, Simon of Cyrene, they pressed into service to carry the cross." Matthew 27:32


I learned something very interesting in our recollection yesterday. Most of us know that Simon of Cyrene was forced to help Jesus carry the heavy patibulum or crossbeam. It usually deserves just a short mention, easily forgotten, but if we read Mark 15:21, we will realize that perhaps it was a life changing event in Simon's life. If I was Simon, if I was so close to Jesus, I would have tried to talk to Him. I would have tried to understand why this man with the compassionate eyes and the mouth unhardened by the harsh punishment was on His way to the most excruciating torture. And after it all, when I leave this man Jesus, I would try to find out more about Him, and I would hear of the miracles, and His parables. I would hunger and thirst for more stories, and I would keep repeating this to my children. They would grow up hearing about Jesus and how I was able to carry a little bit of His burden for a short time. 


In Mark 15:21, we read that Simon was not only from Cyrene, but he was the father of Rufus and Alexander. Why did Mark insert that little detail into his story? After Mark travelled with Paul the Apostle, he settled in Rome to write down Peter's recollections of Jesus' life. It is an eyewitness account of what Peter could remember. Most of the time, people in Peter's stories are unnamed, a blind man, a man possessed, even his own mother-in-law! But Rufus and Alexander were mentioned! Many scholars posit that Rufus and Alexander were known to the young Christian community, because they were Christians, they were members, maybe even leaders!

Perhaps at the start we were forced to attend church, a prayer meeting, or some service for God. But when we do it, and try to get to know the Lord of the service, our lives are never the same, and we will be able to reach others and influence them, as Simon did. 

Saturday, April 08, 2017

A Covenant of Peace

"I will make with them a covenant of peace." Ezekiel 37:26


When we are in our comfort zone, we do not feel how important this promise of God is. 

In July 2007, 23 young Korean missionaries were captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Two of them, the Pastor of Saemmul Presbyterian Church and a 29 year old member of the church, were executed before an agreement was reached with the South Korean government. One of the missionaries who was released shared that although they had this horrible experience of being incarcerated, knowing that martyrdom was a real possibility, they also had a very concrete sense of God's presence with them. The last day when all the 16 women and 7 men were all together, before they were divided into groups and brought to farmhouses in remote areas, they had an amazing time of fellowship, surrendering their lives to the Lord, and telling Him they were willing to die for His glory. One of them who had a small Bible, ripped it apart into 23 pieces, so each would have a portion of Scripture to read. 


The most amazing story is that after they were freed and they would get together, some would say, "Don't you wish you were still there?" Many of them were able to experience a deep communion with God, a peace that defies understanding, that they have not felt since. 

Dear Jesus, may I abide in You and Your words abide in me. Thank You for this covenant of peace! 

Friday, April 07, 2017

A Mighty Champion

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


Who does not need a champion? I think we all do! My friend collapsed in the train station yesterday, and had an operation on his brain. Now he is in a coma and all of us who know him are storming heaven with our prayers, being his "champions" in some small way. Please pray for him. We know God is there with him, His mighty champion, the One who will win this battle for him. 

We need to know God as our champion so that we can become winners ourselves. The story of Esther Ahn Kim is a powerful testimony of a person who knew God as her champion and was never defeated even when she was thrown into prison for 6 years. Like the Old Testament heroes, she refused to worship at the shrines to the sun god set up by the Japanese during their occupation of Korea in WWII. She prepared for her impending incarceration by eating decaying food and memorizing the Bible and many hymns. She knew she would be tortured so she prayed so as not to be afraid. “I knew it would be impossible for me to keep my faith in my own power,” Esther wrote later. “God would have to work through me if I was to stand firm. I decided to fast.” 

In prison, she ministered to many people. Murderers, swindlers and other criminals got to know Christ through her witnessing to them and serving them with compassion. After she was freed, her story of faith became the all-time religious bestseller in Korea. 

Indeed Lord, You are always with us. Thank You for answering our prayers, for showing us we can depend on You. May You teach us also to be Your soldiers, Your ambassadors, Your champions where You need us. 

Thursday, April 06, 2017

I AM

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


What was it about Jesus' solemn declaration that elicited such a strong reaction from the Jews? After He said this, they picked up stones to kill Him for being a blasphemer. Implicit in Jesus' statement was His claim to BE GOD. A Jew could not mistake it. "I AM" is the divine name God called Himself when He appeared to Moses in the burning bush in Exodus 3:14. In Hebrew the word "TO BE" is the same as YHWH. It is the big word Tetragrammaton "He who is" or "I am who am", God's name which Jews do not pronounce. 

So here we see clearly that Jesus claims to BE GOD. As C.S. Lewis says, we are faced with a trilemma. We have to decide whether Jesus is who He claims to be, or not. He cannot just be a good man or a prophet. He is either a liar, a lunatic or Lord! 

To me, this is one of the most important decisions we make in life. Bigger than who will I marry, where will I work, or what is my life's purpose. Why? Because if Jesus is God, then He had a very important reason for coming to earth. We better find out what that is! It is a decision that has a big impact in the whole of our life. A wrong decision about Jesus changes the very essence of who we are. Do we live connected to the God who gives us breath or not? Do we just treat him as a great moral teacher and leave Him in the fringe of our life or do we bring Him to the center? 

Lord, I choose You. I choose You because I recognize You as God, King of Kings, Lord of Lords. May I follow where You lead! 

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

WOYWW: Of Idols and Hoarding


I decided to join the #The100DayProject 
on Instagram at the last minute. 
My theme is #100DaysofFavoriteQuotes. 
Let's see if I can sustain it!
It should be something you can do
in a few minutes or you won't be able 
to continue the project for 
a hundred days! 

I keep using this quote in my paintings:
"God found the muddiest parts
of my heart and
planted flowers." 
 

"Even if God whom we serve will not save us, know O King, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue which you set up." Daniel 3:18

 
For each martyr or saint that God saves from death, there are probably hundreds of thousands that He doesn't and prefers to bring home to Him. In this story of Daniel, the King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue 90 feet tall and 9 feet wide, and he commanded that everyone bow down to it at the sound of a musical instrument. Anyone who doesn't would be thrown into a blazing furnace.

When it was found out that some Jews put in charge of Babylon defied this order, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were then called before the King. "Is this true?" the King asked, "I will throw you immediately into the furnace! What god can save you from my power?!"

But the three obstinately refused to bow down, saying, "Our God whom we serve can save us. But even if He doesn't, Your majesty can be sure we will not worship the golden statue you set up." 

Today there are no golden statues we are ordered to bow down to. We will not be thrown into a furnace if we do not follow a King's orders. The ways of the enemy are much more subtle. What are the idols today? Can it be ourselves? If we put ourselves before God than we are our own idol. If we reject God and His commandments, making our own rules and following our own path, if our purpose and goal is self-fulfillment and happiness, can we say that we are not our own god? I am not exempt from this tendency.

I keep hoarding more and more things like the man in the Luke 12 who thought to build bigger storehouses for his crops. But I do not have time enough to make use of all that I have! Jesus ended His parable with the wise instruction: "Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God!"

Lord, may I realize my many follies. Teach me to put You first and to stop doing the things that bring me farther away from You. 

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Serpents on the Journey

"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


In the book of Numbers there is a very strange story of how the people complained against God and Moses. The journey from Egypt to the promised land was arduous and their patience was wearing thin. "Why have you brought us out from Egypt only to die in this desert, where there is no food or water!? We are disgusted with this wretched food!" 

In punishment, the Lord sent serpents which bit them and many died. When the people repented, realizing their sin, the Lord instructed Moses what to do, and Moses obeyed. He made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole and when someone who was bitten by a serpent gazed at it, he was healed. 

We too are on a pilgrim journey. There is much to complain about. After all, God never promised an easy carefree trip. He promised that He would walk with us and bring us to the Promised Land. We need to find God's promises in the Bible and hang on to them. There are too many serpents roaming around waiting to bite us. But just as the Israelites could look to the bronze serpent for healing, we have Jesus to gaze at. 

Jesus tells Nicodemus in John 3:14-15, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.”

Lord, many things in the Bible are mysteries to me. Why choose a saraph serpent as an instrument for healing? But I do not need to understand everything. I just need to believe You and Your Word. I just need to walk with You and follow Your lead. I want to go where You will bring me, no where else! 

Monday, April 03, 2017

No Condemnation

"Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more." John 8:10-11



Every Lent, I go through some guilt trip because of not doing enough. The story of the woman caught in adultery in the 8th chapter of John is my story. If people knew what I do and don't do during Lent, they could bring me before Jesus and accuse me. But what does Jesus do? Does He condemn me? 

He said, "Let the man or woman among you who has no sin be the first to cast a stone at her." Twice Jesus bent down and started tracing on the ground with his finger. What did he write? Only I could see it. Only I could see that He saw my heart, He saw my sin. The second time he bent down, He erased it all so there was no record of it. "I do not condemn you," he said, "but from now on, avoid this sin." 

Thank You Lord, for erasing my sin with Your blood. Thank You that there is no condemnation for I belong to You (Romans 8:1).

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Yes I Believe!

"Yes Lord, I have come to believe that You are the Christ the Son of God." John 11:27


This is what Martha confessed even before Jesus performed His greatest sign of raising her brother Lazarus from the dead. We too should come to Jesus believing before He does signs and wonders for us. We do not have to wait to believe. 

Yesterday, my 90 year old father fell at dawn, when he was all alone. He got out of bed to turn off the air conditioner as the room had become too cold for him. He slipped and fell. Because of that fall, it became excruciating for him to sit up, to stand or even move on the bed. After consultation with my brother-in-law who was a doctor, we brought my dad to the hospital in an ambulance as there was no way we could get him there by car. 

Thankfully, my dad was still joking around with the ambulance nurse and driver, with us, even while he would grimace now and then with pain. All this while, my family were all praying. I also called on my brothers and sisters in our Ligaya and Pathways communities to storm heaven with us for God's favor. Since it took so long before my dad was brought for a CT scan, and longer still for the results to come out, we had so much time to pray and confess healing verses from the Bible. 

Even before the results came out, my dad started to say the pain was getting less. He could lay on his side. Then he could walk to the bathroom. He could move without so much pain! Then finally at about 4 pm, the results came out. No fractures! Oh the relief! "Yes Lord, I believe!" I believe all the prayers worked. I see my brothers and sisters  as prayer warriors breaking down the enemies' fortresses. 

Thank You Lord, I am so grateful, You continue to show us, just like You showed Martha and Mary, that our concerns are Yours as well. Thank You for answering our prayers! Thank You for brothers and sisters who stood in the gap and hemmed us with their prayers!