Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Bible and Facebook

Bored at work while I was waiting for people to assist on chat, I decided to search the internet and stumbled reading articles at ChristianPost website. One article captured me. It is worth sharing. 

May I ask how often do you read your Bible? What about your checking your Facebook?

Those were the ideas or the questions that made me ponder. It was like a lightening that struck straight to my heart. 

Am I reading my Bible more than I get on my Facebook account? Is Facebook a priority more than learning God's word?

After reading the article, I was full of guilt. I felt it was like a slap on my face. I can still even feel it while I am writing this blog post. I feel so ashamed of this occurrence. 

I think there is nothing wrong having a Facebook account. What is wrong is if we drool first hour of the day to check for "Friend Request" or "Notifications". Facebook became our god. We even post our success and failure first on Facebook before we can even thank the Lord. We check our Facebook for hours but we find it boring reading God's word in 15 minutes or less. It is about setting our priorities.

Let us remember that anything that takes your love or your time for Jesus is our idol.

Exodus 20:3-4 "You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on earth beneath or in the waters below."

It is anything that steals our focus in the Lord. It could be money, relationships, car, house, gadgets and even the things we spent time on, like Facebook. This is not just Facebook, it could be Twitter or any social networking sites that pulls you away from the Lord.

I'd be an hypocrite if I will not admit that sometimes I can stay online on Facebook the whole day but sometimes drag by self in reading Bible the last minute before I passed out because of sleepiness.

So this has been my prayer after reading that article.

Lord, please forgive me. Forgive me for being lax in reading your Word, the Bible. I am very sorry that I get on Facebook more often that reading the Bible. I am so embarrassed by this reality. You are so good to me but I failed to please and worship you. Lord, please give me the grace and the joy in reading my Bible more often than checking my Facebook. Please allow me to use Facebook to share your Word and to win souls for you. Please give me the strength to fight the lure of Facebook. Thank you for making me realize I was wrong. I pray for the enlightenment of other Christians that your also guilty of this feat. I ask this and pray in Jesus' name, Amen.

The title of the article is Are You Being Distracted by Facebook?

I am made some progress. I realize that I have not been writing articles for my blog. So instead of spending time staring, liking and commenting on Facebook, I'd rather write blogs about the Lord. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

No Time

I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do,
Must hurry off and get to work,
For bills would soon be due,
And so I said a hurried prayer,
Jumped up off my knees,
My Christian duty now was done,
My soul could be at ease.
All through the day I had no time
To speak a word of cheer,
NO TIME to speak of Christ to friends,
They would laugh at me I feared.
NO TIME, NO TIME, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
NO TIME to give those in need,
At last it was time to die..
And when before the Lord I came,
I stood with downcast eyes,
With His hands lie held a book.
It was the BOOK OF LIFE.
He looked into the book and said,
Your name I can not find,
I once was going to write it down,
But never found the TIME.

Friday, March 16, 2012

180° Change

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. - 2 Corinthians 5:17

I must admit, being a Christian is not easy. People looking at you; observing your next move; and waiting for you to make mistake and fall.

I am not a perfect Christian -nobody is- and I have struggles as well. I feel sad sometimes if people don't see the Christian in me. It is like when two friends meet in a Christian event and the two would say "Oh, you are a Christian?!?" I feel ashamed that I am not being a good example in my actions and words everyday. It could be that I am living in the "safe mode". Church people see me as very faithful person on Sundays but my friends and others do not really see the light in me. I don't smoke. I don't drink nor do drugs. I don't even go to movie theaters nor any night bars or party houses. Still, sometimes they don't see the Christian in me. I know I am missing something.

180°. In mathematics, it is a straight line. It doesn't really portray change. However, in the Bible, it symbolizes a person who was in the dark and now is in the light; a new creature. A person that used to satisfy himself and now cares what others would think and most of all what does the Lord think about it. Hundred eighty degrees is a representation of a new person from darkness to light; a person that was once was lost and now have found and especially sees what's the difference of the old life in sin and a new life in God. It also represents a change in every aspect of your life. Just like a song, "There's a great change since I was saved. It says "The things I used to do, I do them no more. The things I used to say, I say them no more, The books I used to read, I read them no more. "There's a great change since I was saved."

Sometimes it is difficult to show who you really are in a world that is too difficult to please. However, I admire these famous people who took a stand to what they believe is right and what pleases the Lord. They have surrendered their earthly profession for the sake of the calling and for the glory of God.

Lately, the runway has been surprised when the 21 year old, Kylie Bisutti, announced her decision to quit being a Victoria's Secret angel/model for her faith. Many had criticized her for the decision since she was chosen over 10, 000 wannabes. However, convicted of her faith, she chose to honor her husband through not exposing her body and glorify the Lord. Here is a video clip of hers.

A few years back, the same decision was made by Brian Welch better known as "Head" of the rock band Korn. Brian came to know the Lord through his business partners. Brian suffered emotional turmoil as a husband and a father to her daughter. He was a drug addict. After he came to know the Lord, he eventually quit drugs and Korn. People think that drugs got into his brain already but he shows to the world that he made the right decision. Here is his story.

Are you claiming that you are a Christian? Remember your attitude is the aroma of your soul. If your attitude stinks there might be something wrong inside of you. Can others see the change in your life; the light in you? Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Are you still living in the darkness? Why not have a 180° change? Jesus can only make you change. Just like what Brian said, he didn't go to rehab. He surrendered everything to God. God changed him. The Lord is waiting for you. If there is one thing I learned being Christ like is difficult but if our desire is for others to know the Lord let our actions and our words reflects what our Master is. Give your best to Him and what pleases Him. I hope people in the dark can see our light. I hope we will not live in the "safe mode". There are martyrs in the Middle East that would die for their faith. The Lord is not asking us to go to the Middle East and die for him. The Lord needs us to be like Him in our actions and in words that others may came to know the Lord as well.

Surrender to the Lord all the things you have not changed when you were still in the dark now that you are in the light. Only God can change you and only by His grace that change could happen. It is not easy but rewarding.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mercies in Disguise

I HATE failures!!! Who would love failures anyway? Of course, we would love to win in every single competition and examination.

It has been... (counting) 7 months since I have posted an article in my blog. Whoa! That is not good!

More than a year ago, I passed an interview for a nursing job in the United Kingdom. The interviewer gave me an A- in the interview saying I speak good in answering question for a young foreign nurse. I was ecstatic and in several weeks I decided to take the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Without that much review, I took the test. I prayed hard to the Lord that this is the answer to my financial problems and of course, my desire to pursue my nursing career for good.

The exam came and I took the test. Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. I practiced much in reading and in listening as I thought that these were my low points. I had to take all 7 in all tests to pass the UK's standard in English. So in my mind, I thought I will be fine in writing and in speaking as I converse well and I receive good feedback in how I write my articles. So I was a little confident that I focused on the other tests. After the examination, I had this feeling that maybe I didn't make it. My tongue was tied when I had the speaking test and all I said was in one liner answers and puzzles of words for writing but I was still praying hard and hoping that God will answer my prayer.

Few months later, I received an SMS that the result was already available. I went to the center with a very heightened anxiety. Before I opened the envelope, I said, Lord, pass or fail I will still worship you. I open the envelope and in one glanced I see I got a 6.5 overall. I was silent the whole time but I was trying to think of the brighter side of the failure. I will not deny it. I was sad though.

I talked to my pastor and mentioned that I didn't make it. He said, hat it's okay. God has a better plan for you.

In the back of my mind, my lowest was writing!!! Seriously? Then speaking?! That is the reason behind I haven't written any blog articles for several months. I was frustrated that every time I try to think of a good article, there is this idea. Come on! You got your lowest score in writing! I was thinking how can I write good articles if I can't even pass a writing test; the whole English language test.

I was sad but I was still focused in serving the Lord.

A year later with my fellow nurses talking, one of them mentioned an agency that I applied and passed. He said he quit that agency because those who got in the UK went back after several months. They were promised of a 4 year contract for a working visa.

Right there and then, I realized that God indeed has the best plan for me. What if I spent thousands of pesos for the placement fee and other expenses for nothing?

Then, this made me smile.

I ponder this every now and then. God is using our failures to protect us. It may look a downfall on our end, a big failure as other people see, however, we may want to thank God for our failures. As He prepare something big and beautiful for us in the future. He knows better than we do.

You may wonder, of all the days... why did my car stopped working?!, why did it rained?!, why did I fail?! We may not understand it now as how it happened to me, but in due time you will thank the Lord for the failures you had in your life.

In my case it was for my protection and I think lesson as well that I need to review everything and I can't be confident even if I know something already. For you, it could be for you to stay grounded, maybe for you to strive hard or maybe for you to focus on what pleases the Lord.

As the Scripture says, All things work for good to those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28). This means ALL things not just good things.

Indeed, mercies in disguise.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Worthless Treasure (What Money Can't Do)

You can buy a bed; not sleep.
Sure! You can buy the biggest, the most comfortable and the most cozy bed man can ever make but it is useless if you can't sleep naturally.
You can buy a book; not brain.
You might be a son or a daughter of a famous scientist but wasn't able to inherit your dad's brain. Sad to say you can hire the best tutor or purchase a good book and you can't buy a good spongy brain in the hardware.
You can buy food; not appetite.
Jealous how our beyond healthy friends eat the very last crumbs and you can buy all the menus you like but has no appetite for a bite.
You can buy a house; not home.
You can build a great house but sad to say it is useless if you have a broken home.
You can buy medicine; not health.
The ex-president of our country died because of cancer. For sure they have the money to finance the medicine and the operation but money can't buy health.
You can buy amusement; not joy.
You can be in Disneyland all the days of your life but there is always an emptiness inside of you.
You can buy a crucifix; not the Saviour.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:Not of works, lest any man should boast.

We always keep ourselves busy earning money. We toil hard to buy things that we need. My questions is, is this really want we really need or just a lucrative want?

As the Bible says in Matthew 6:19-20 "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal" I am so blessed I am to know the real source of true happiness despite of life's hardships and failure

Have you found the greatest treasure of all? Meditate on God's Word today and know the greatest treasure of all, no other than Jesus Christ.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Eyes of My Beholder

In the eyes of my beholder

I am beautifully and wonderfully made.

In the eyes of my beholder

I have a love that time can’t break.

He has planned each of my days.

Then walks beside me

to guide me in His ways.

I don’t fear abandonment.

Not even in great discouragement.

Nor, times when I have turned from Him.

Sometimes I try to trudge my own path,

but He waits constantly calling me back.

Back to His side where times still can get rough.

But I live in a peace,

and an unwavering trust.

He has seen every blemish,

every mistake, every fault.

He was right beside me

when I was hoping no one was watching at all.

I feel an ache in my heart

that I know is from Him.

Saying, daughter don’t keep coveting this sin.

I drop to my knees

in tears and shame.

He reaches out to me,

and I can clearly see

the scars on His hands.

That reminds me of His great plan.

He lifts me to my feet again,

but I drop back down in front of Him.

This time not in grief or shame,

but in worship to His great name.

In the eyes of my beholder

what He sees in me no single word would suffice.

But He clearly showed me that

I was worth the greatest sacrifice.

By Sarah Misch

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I am a Billionaire!

Do you want to be a billionaire? We all want to. There are a lot of tutelages in forms of seminars, books and publications that teach us how to be a billionaire or even just a millionaire. Forbes Magazine currently released a brand new list of America’s billionaires. Topmost, as usual, is Bill Gates with 54 billion US Dollars. Wow! That’s a lot of money, isn’t? All of us wanted to be a billionaire too. For sure everyone wanted to be Bill Gates’ son or daughter.

All I aim in life is to be debt free and live a simple life. Being a billionaire can’t do really a lot of things that everyone thinks. Well it can buy lots of possessions, and bits and pieces but it can’t buy a cure for AIDS or for cancer. In fact, the late President of the Philippines – Corazon Aquino died of cancer even she has lots of money. Money isn’t the solution. It is not everything.

Money can buy guns or hire security guards but it can never buy you peace of mind and security. It can buy you a cozy comfortable queen size or even the largest bed but can not buy you a sound sleep without any help of pills. It can make you travel the world but doesn’t assure safety while you travel. It can make you buy a nice huge house but never a home.

I am thankful to God that I grew up being poor. If I wasn’t, I might have been astray. I might have been a single mom at an early age or a drug addict. Most of all if I wasn’t poor, I might have been so independent, away from my Creator, thinking my life is my own. Since, I didn’t grow up in a well-off silver spooned family; I learned to be a business minded person at early age. I learned to study hard to get a scholarship because my parents can’t afford to send me to school. Most of all, I realized that being poor with an eternal security is way much better than being rich and hopeless. Anyway, earth is only my temporary residence.

I think I forgot to mention that I am a billionaire myself. Yeah. Seriously, I am. Psalms 10:26 says “For the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof.” It’s more than billions of dollars. Then, Bible says in Galatians 3:26 “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” In view of the fact that I am a child of God, I am more than a billionaire!

So I say to you reader, the Lord our God is the only one who can give your true riches. You might be toiling everyday even on God’s day to earn money but turned out it is not enough. You are stealing/robbing others money for you to have something. Worst, you are selling your body for the sake of money; for you to surpass poverty. My brother/sister in the Lord, I have been through a lot of instances that I want to do those things as well, but I stayed focus on God’s promises. He owns everything in this world. If God owns the everything why worry? The Bible says in Matthew 6: 25-33:

6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? (This verse tells us we are more blessed to have life. How can you eat, how can you drink, what’s the use of clothes and what's the purpose of money if you are dead.)
6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? (If God can feed animals how much more us; created in the image and likeness of God.)
6:27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? (If you worry about this everyday do you think it will make you rich? It will just add freckles to your beautiful face)
6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for
your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

My life is a testimony how God is so good. His grace is sufficient in my life. He never leave me nor has forsaken me. God promised if we seek Him first and trust His word, all things we desire can be ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Why not come to the Lord an ask Him to be a billionaire just like me. Ask for forgiveness and ask Him to come to your life and reign on your heart. Only God can make you rich, if its not now, if its not physical money, you have the billions no one can steal – your eternal security- no insurance company can offer but only true Jesus Christ our Lord.

So I say this, for those like me who have bank accounts with zero deposits. No worries. God never left us empty handed if He closes the windows, He opens the door.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

In a Blink of an Eye

People tend to be delusional when they are in the zenith of their success. They think they are more powerful than their Creator. Being in a good shape, we think we are capable of doing things without dying. With fame, success, money and popularity; we called ourselves "god" and became misguided. I have friends who say they don't need God and they can do it themselves. But whether you admit it or not. There is an empty space in your heart not fame, nor, success, nor money nor popularity. That's the time you search for the truth; experimenting with drugs, sex and other pleasure that you think can complete you - saying you do not need nor believe God.

Death is certain but the Bible speaks about untimely death! Other people think they are too young to die, they are too healthy to die or they are do good to die. Sad to say you are not completely in charge of yourself. Death is inevitable. Are you ready to face your MAKER?

Make a personal reflection about this.

It is written in the Bible "Be not deceived; God is not mocked. For whatsoever a man sow, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7)

Here are some men and women who mocked and Did NOT believe in God :

John Lennon (Singer): Some years before, during his interview with an American Magazine, he said: 'Christianity will end, it will disappear. I do not have to argue about that. I am certain. Jesus was ok, but his subjects were too simple, today we are more famous than Him' (1966). Lennon, after saying that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, was shot six times.

Tancredo Neves (President of Brazil): During the Presidential campaign, he said if he got 500,000 votes from his party, not even God would remove him from Presidency. Sure he got the votes, but he got sick a day before being made President, then he died.

Cazuza (Bi-sexual Brazilian composer, singer and poet): During A show in Canecio (Rio de Janeiro), while smoking his cigarette, he puffed out some smoke into the air and said: 'God, that's for you..' He died at the age of 32 of LUNG CANCER in a horrible manner.

The man who built the Titanic after the construction of Titanic, a reporter asked him how safe the Titanic would be. With an ironic tone he said: 'Not even God can sink it' The result: I think you all know what happened to the Titanic.

Marilyn Monroe (Actress). She was visited by Billy Graham during a presentation of a show. He said the Spirit of God had sent him to preach to her. After hearing what the Preacher had to say, she said: 'I don't need your Jesus'. A week later, she was found dead in her apartment.

Bon Scott (Singer). The ex-vocalist of the AC/DC. On one of his 1979 songs he sang: 'Don't stop me; I'm going down all the way, down the highway to hell'. On the 19th of February 1980, Bon Scott was found dead, he had been choked by his own vomit.

Campinas (In 2005) In Campinas, Brazil, a group of friends, drunk, went to pick up a friend. The mother accompanied her to the car and was so worried about the drunkenness of her friends and she said to the daughter holding her hand, who was already seated in the car: 'My Daughter, Go With God And May He Protect You.' She responded: 'Only If He (God) Travels In The Trunk, Cause Inside Here. .It's Already Full'. Hours later, news came by that they had been involved in a fatal accident, everyone had died, the car could not be recognized what type of car it had been, but surprisingly, the trunk was intact. The police said there was no way the trunk could have remained intact. To their surprise, inside the trunk was a crate of eggs, none was broken.

Christine Hewitt (Jamaican Journalist and entertainer) said the Bible (Word of God) was the worst book ever written. In June 2006 she was found burnt beyond recognition in her motor vehicle.

And, just last month, we had a Bible study at a church member's house. She invited their neighbor across the street. Unfortunately, they refused the invitation and chose to go to the festive activity in my place that night. After the Bible study, we heard an ambulance siren; the church member even said that we should check it so that we can help. I was joking saying I am a oncology nurse and what will I do with them...chemo them and we laughed. The next day a friend of my church member went to say something to the church member that the guy across their street got hit by a "tricycle" (pedicab) together with their househelpers. Drastically, the guy died and one of the helpers' femur cracked. In that tricycle, there are 7 passengers and out of 7 only the 3 of them got hit and got injured. In that junction, the church member told me those are the 3 persons who refused to listen to God's Word.

Many more important people have forgotten that there is no other name that was given so much authority as the name of Jesus. Many have died, but only Jesus died and rose again, and He is still alive.

Jesus Christ is the only person who can vacuum that empty space in your heart. No one can. Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but my ME. John 14:6

Fame, success, money, beauty, and popularity. These I can consider temporal. God is offering us permanent and eternal gift that no one can give. All you have to do is ask Him to be your Saviour and Lord. The Bible says as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. Hebrews 9:27

You can me be an arrogant and smug about what you have and what you can do. But then, death is inevitable. God can take your life in a blink of an eye. TAKE NOTE

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

False HOPE

Accept the teaching of the world
And hopeless you will be,
But trust in God’s eternal plan
If you want life that’s free.

I subscribed for a daily Our Daily Bread article and today's message is very true and clear. I've known people who called themselves "religious" and they do good. They donate their lands for community work, they give their money for social services and they give their time to be with the needy. When you asked them why, they'll say that's the only way we can go to heaven or that pleases the Lord. If this is the case, since, I am not rich financially this means I'm going hell? Good thing this is not what the Bible says. Take time to read the article, I subscribed this in my Facebook page.

The name of a pretty Bavarian town in Germany shares the name of a place of horror—Dachau. A museum on the grounds of this infamous Nazi concentration camp attracts many World War II history buffs.

As you look around, it would be hard to miss the misleading words welded to an iron gate: Arbeit Macht Frei. This phrase—Work Makes You Free—was just a cruel lie to give false hope to those who entered this place of death.

Many people today have false hope that they can earn a place in heaven by working at being good or by doing good things. God’s standard of perfection, however, requires a totally sinless life. There’s no way any of us can ever be “good enough.” It is only through the sacrifice of the sinless Savior that we are made righteous. God made Jesus “who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). Eternal life is given because of God’s gift of grace—not because of our good works (Eph. 2:8-9).

Don’t let Satan trick you by giving you false hope that your good works will save you. It is only through Jesus’ work on the cross that you can have real freedom. — Cindy Hess Kasper

Jesus came to the world not to condemn it but He instead died for our sins at the cross. Examine the faith you have right now. Ask God for forgiveness. Come to Him in prayer.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas the Night Before Jesus

Twas the night before Jesus -and all through the house
not a creature was praying- not one in the house.

Their Bibles were lying all closed on the shelf.
Everyone was just into their own self.
The children were dressing to get into bed -
Not once ever kneeling or bowing their heads,

And mom on the sofa with baby on her lap,
was watching TV while I took a nap.
When outside the house there arose such a clatter
-I got to my feet to see what was the matter.

To the window I flew in a hurried flash,
opened the shutter, threw up the sash,
when to my surprise what should appear,
but angels proclaiming that Jesus was here!

With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray
-I knew in a moment this must be the day!!

The light of His face made me cover my head,
it was Jesus' returning just like he said.
Though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth
- I cr1ed when I saw Him, in spite of myself.

In the Book of Life, which He held in His hand
- was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name,
then He said, “it’s not in there" my head, hung in shame.

The people whose names had been written with love,
He gathered to take to His Father above.
With those who were ready He rose without Sound,
while the rest of us were left standing around.

I fell to my knees, but I was too late,
I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight,
if only I had been ready tonight.

The words of this poem - and the meaning is clear
- the coming of Jesus is drawing near!
We have only one life and when comes the last call,
we’ll find that the Bible was true after all!

- Author Unknown

The Reason for the Season

Marcus and his sister were to spend Christmas at their grandparents farm. Helping to care for the cattle and mend the fences was exacting work. But the reward that Marcus received was well worth it!

“Markus,” his grandfather placed his large hands upon Markus’ shoulder, “I have a present for you. You have proved yourself responsible and capable. So I am giving this to you as an early Christmas present.”

And with that, his grandfather placed into his hands a slingshot. The wood was firm and strong, and the band was supple and snappy. It was the most treasured and wonderful thing he had ever seen!

“Now you must promise me something! You must promise me that you will never aim this at people or animals.”

Markus nodded his head so vigorously that the ruffled hair waved like wheat in a windstorm.

Markus shot an almost everything! He found that he could hit cans and send them flying for yards! Trees, twigs, fence posts… he was fast becoming a crack shot. But as he grew bored with the ‘little stuff’ he began to wonder just how FAR a stone could be propelled.

Looking across the pond, he spied grandma’s duck waddling around the edge of the water.

“I’m going to sink a stone right in front of grandma’s duck and scare it!!!” he chuckled to himself.
So saying, he pulled back upon the band with all his might, and let the rock fly. Fly it did! Such a great distance! Right toward the duck…

… yeah, you guessed it. It hit the duck in the side. It squawked at the first, but flopped around in circles. Marcus was horrified!!! He dashed up as fast as his eight year old legs could carry him!
Before his feet crashed through the weeds at the edge of the pond, his heart told him what he would find. It sank deep down inside as he came upon the still, lifeless form of grandma’s favorite pet.

The blood drained from Marcus face, and he felt weak and sick.

Quickly, he forced himself into action. Seizing the duck, he carried it a few feet over to the wood shed. He buried the carcass in the earth and piled the neatest stack of wood atop you would ever see! It looked picture perfect. But as Marcus stepped back, he spied his sister on the porch watching. She had seen everything.

Rachel held up her finger in judgment and accusation! Then turned and dashed inside.
Marcus wanted to drown himself.

That evening at dinner, Marcus had no appetite. Every time his grandma encouraged him to eat, his conscience would sting and he would flush. Rachel would just look at him and widen her eyes and smile.

After supper, grandma asked Rachel to help clear away the dishes. She looked right at Marcus.

“I’d love to, Grandma… but Marcus told me HE wanted to clear away the dishes and wash them!” she said sweetly, staring daggers of blackmail at her brother. “Didn’t you Marcus?!?”

Marcus jumped to his feet. “Yes! I want to do it, Grandma! Let me get those!” he blurted out and rushed to the task.

The next two days were completely miserable. Christmas was supposed to be a time of joy and celebration. But for Marcus, there was no such thing. He had to skip an ice fishing trip with his grandpa because Rachel decided that he should fold the laundry for Grandma that afternoon. He missed licking the bowl after Grandma made fudge because sister decided that Marcus ‘promised’ to clean the bathroom and mop the floor. And, he missed the decorating of the tree because Rachel had reminded him that he ‘promised’ to chop and stack the wood.

The cold bit into the tears on his cheeks as he stood just feet from where the ‘crime’ had been committed. Marcus could not even make eye contact with Grandma anymore. It was like she was reading him with every gaze. Reluctantly he gathered the broken branches and chopped logs and put them into neat piles.

That was when he noticed Grandma standing beside the shed.

“Grandma!” Marcus cried out, unable to take the guilt anymore, “I killed your duck! Your favorite duck, I killed it!!!” Tears burst forth and regret choked back his words of repentance.

Grandma held him close.

“I know, Marcus. I know,” she said.

Marcus was horrified.

“I watched you from the kitchen window. I saw everything,” she said. Then she hugged him. “Marcus, I wondered how long you were going to let your sister torment you before you would come to me and confess.”

That Christmas, Marcus made an incredible discovery

What do you want for Christmas?!? A laptop or toy? Can it be purchased at a sporting goods store? Is it edible? Does it weigh more than a pound of butter? (IS it a pound of butter?!) Is it World Peace?!? (We’ll never have world peace until everyone just decides to do what I say!!!! Psh! :-P )

In America, Christmas is a huge thing! Its commercialized, packaged, advertized, plagiarized, and publicized! Which… is a good thing, I guess, because it help ensure that it will never go away!
But, what is Christmas really all about? Many song writers will tell you it’s about love and family; happiness and peace to the world. But why limit that to one day?! If the magic and formula was as simple as:

"Setting aside time to do all that on purpose," = "love, joy, peace, and happiness!"

... why not do it EVERYDAY!

That would save a lot of expensive wars, and leave more ammo for the rest of us to shoot! :-P But just ‘choosing’ to be happy isn’t really on option for most people. Christmas is kind of about Love, but it is something more.

Companies and manufacturers tell us that Christmas is about gifts and giving! And THEY know exactly what your loved ones want and need! But they, too, are only partially right.

Christmas is about one very Special Gift of Love… the Ultimate Gift! The one everyone desires to have, one that everyone has the power to give, but one that is the HARDEST to part with. What is this wonderful gift?!


The very first Christmas was centered around a humble manger… a stable. The Biblical ‘parking garage’ for modes of transportation. Imagine if you were traveling home for the holidays and the hotels were all booked. So much so, that you and your pregnant wife were welcome to stay, not in the lobby, but in the parking garage?!

Not a very fitting place for the arrival of the very Son of God! However, arrive, He did. He was born of a virgin, fulfilling the promises of prophecies of old! Born, not to be a King, but rather, to be the Promised Sacrificial Lamb. Man’s disobedience and rebellion, from the Garden of Eden to the present day, broke the heart of God, and caused Him to provide the sacrifice needed to pay for our transgressions. A Good Loving God reaching out to a bad, selfish and rebellious people!!!
Forgiveness available for the asking. So powerful was that Sacrifice of God’s Own Son, that it can wash away the sins of all who will place their faith and hope for heaven in that blood. Who will come to God and ask for forgiveness?! Whosoever will.

You know what forgiveness is? Forgiveness is giving up the right to the hurt you have. It is seeing that all things are brought across your path by God Almighty and with His consent and approval. And that, even though you do not understand it at the time, trusting the Lord to work through the hurt. It is choosing to thank the Lord for the hurt/problem He has sent.

Too often we think we are good people (because we compare ourselves to people worse than us.) but in actuality, we fail to understand just how bad sin is.

Sin is bad because it HURTS other people! There is no such thing as a local sin. One statistician claimed that every person effects at least one hundred others. I have no earthly clue how to even go about getting exact enough numbers to make a statement like that, however I believe, realistically, it would be much higher than that!

In my home state, a mother was arrested for driving to a bridge and slitting the throats of her two children. One was only a few months old, and died immediately. The seven year old son survived. Why? Sin hurts other people. A man in a city near me, a few Christmases back, was accused of embezzlement charges, and went home and shot and killed his wife and kids, and then attempted suicide. The ripple effect of his sin was devastating! Sin hurts other people. Two years ago, and not more than thirty-five miles from my home, a janitor was doing spring maintenance on a college swimming pool. He removed the winter cover of the pool, only to discover the floating body of a student who had committed suicide. His family, who had been searching and hoping for almost 6 months from his ‘disappearance’ were absolutely devastated! Did I mention that sin hurts other people?! God is not 'mean' for labeling ‘drinking’ sin. Putting toxins into your bloodstream not only harms you, but has destroyed families across the WORLD! It is related in almost 80% if the traffic deaths in America! Smoking, drugs, free extramarital sex, gossip, lies, stealing, hate, bigotry, self-centered living, murder, lust, greed… all these things and more PEOPLE do. And if you ask them, they will tell you that they ARE good people!!!

Bitterness is a cancer of the soul. It effects you not only inside, but also outside! One of the greatest travesties of mankind is our self-centered desire to hold grudges! Christ, the Symbol and Standard of forgiveness has forgiven us of so much. But not just forgave sins… but paid the penalty that was owed Himself!

If there are three Christmas gifts that you could give yourself for Christmas, I would ask that it be these!

1.) Accept whatever hurts or wrongs have come your way. Don’t lie to yourself and deny them, or pretend that they didn’t hurt or matter. Or worse, insist that no one understands you or what they did to you! Accept the hardships of life as having been sent to you, personally, by God Almighty for your benefit, and for your growth!

2.) Forgive. Give up the right to be hurt or offended. Give up the desire for revenge. Let it all go. Let the Lord’s grace and forgiveness He extended on the cross shine through your heart to those you feel had wronged you. Understand that all things are done for a very good reason and are allowed by God.

You would be foolish to judge a book by a random sentence on the middle of a random page, how much MORE foolish to judge all of life by one action.

3.) Thank the Lord for bringing those hurts and tragedies across your path. God’s stamp of ‘allowance’ was placed upon those circumstances. Thank the Lord for those things which you have no control over!

In giving yourself these three things, you are also enabling yourself to give to God your depression, your guilt, and your self-defeat!

Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. – I Peter 5:7

But that’s not all! There are TWO parts to forgiveness! There is the FORGIVER, and the RECEIVER!

The FORGIVER has the ‘RESPONSIBILITY’ to forgive. It is NOT an option. It is not a ‘you really should do this thing’ matter. It is something you HAVE to do. If you are a Christian, you are REQUIRED to forgive!

And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” – Luke 17:4

But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive our trespasses.” – Mark 11:26

If you ever want the forgiveness of God for your lousy, second rate, self-righteous act as a Christian, you are going to HAVE to make a regular habit of forgiving those around you! Forgiveness is not forgetting the offense. Forgiveness is giving up the right to harbor a hurt against those who have wronged you. Let go of the hurt. Give it, instead, to the Lord. Forgive.

However, the 2nd half of forgiveness is the ‘receiver.’ The one who has wronged must receive the forgiveness. This requires repentance. God didn’t tell Peter to just ‘forgive and forget.’ Peter was required to extend forgiveness in each case. But the process wasn’t beneficial to the receiver until the receiver came forth with a repentant attitude. The repentant soul gains the ABILITY to be forgiven! The ABILITY to be accepted and restored. They gain unmerited compassion and mercy. In Peter's case, each time the offender came and humbled himself, and apologized.

When a person wakes up to their sinful condition, and instead of comparing themselves to worse people around them, they compare themselves against the Law and Commandments of the Lord, they are in a position to be ‘repentant.’ God is ALWAYS ready to extend forgiveness to the ‘repentant’ soul.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleans us from all unrighteousness.” – I John 1:9

Repentance, however, is what makes the process complete and fulfilling. Non-repentance walks all over compassion, and wipes its filthy feet upon mercy. It kicks justice and blemishes forgiveness. This is why God cannot simply write off and ignore all sin and let everyone into heaven. It’s the same reason that you cannot simply ‘forgive and forget.’ Forgiveness can be offered indefinitely, but unless the transgressor understands that he/she are in the wrong, and are in need of forgiveness, it will be rejected, ignored, and unneeded/unappreciated… in short – of no effect.

A Christian’s responsibility is to forgive. To keep that forgiveness extended. The transgressors responsibility is to be repentant. When this works together, it is a perfect picture of Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary for our transgressions! Since the very first transgression of God’s law in Genesis, God has extended the promise of forgiveness. That promise became a reality when Christ came to earth in the form of a child… that, my friends, was the 1st Christmas.
Christmas is about forgiveness. The greatest, most powerful gift of all!

When are you going to decide that you are NOT going to go through this life without people doing you wrong?! Injustice from imperfect, fallen, and fickle people is unavoidable!” - unknown

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Letter to God for My 23rd Year

Dear Lord,

Today, I am celebrating my 23rd year of existence in this world. Herein, I can never recall a day that you've left me nor you've forsaken me. Your grace and mercy surpassed all my sorrows and troubles I’ve had in my life.

Today, I remember how You have been good and faithful in my life. From how/where I was born, as to the color of my skin, hair, face, personality and my whole being, for the family that you have chosen for me to be with, for the kind of parents and sibling/s I have, for what friends I have around me, as to the schools I’ve been and to whatever accomplishments I’ve had; Lord, it is all because of You.

Today, on my 23rd years in this world, without a doubt I can never deny Your love for me. I might feel empty sometimes, telling myself that nobody loves me; that I am always second best in people’s lives but that’s a big lie. You were and will always be there on my side and will always embrace me when no one is left to hang on.

Your protection. For 23 years in my life You have shown me that you are the greatest Defender and will never put me into danger. You are my source of strength to be brave to go home in the middle of the night or in the break of dawn. You are always my rescue when illicit, immoral creatures attempt to pester on me or take advantage of me. Surely you are my protection and one thing I know, “Vengeance will always be Yours.

You are my God. Your faithfulness is overwhelming. Why? You deal with my shortcomings. I’ve been through a lot of temptations as to wrong decision makings. Still, You welcomed me, open-handed ready to forgive all my trespasses.

Twenty-three years is just as fast as yesterday. All I see is your unfailing love. You have chosen carefully everything to be part of my life. I might not be the most beautiful but You have created me in your own image. I might not be the smartest but I was never dumbest. I was never rich but grace will always be satisfying. I may not a product of a good school but you made me pass my examinations. I might not be the greatest but You chose me to lead groups. My parents may not be the best but You gave them as to what I am supposed to be molded. I might not be working as a nurse full time but unquestionably Your purpose in my life will never be hindered. I don’t know what might happen as I start my 23rd year in this world, all I know is, You will always be faithful, forgiving, loving merciful gracious and protective God to me.

Things may not be so good and perfect in my eyes but definitely Your promises will never failed. I have tendencies to a slack in reading my Bible but then You are using guilt and other people to remind me of the duties and responsibilities as a Christian. Personality-wise, I am inconsistent but for you Lord I’ll try to change my shortcomings and downsides. I can’t change in a day or so but with the help of the Holy Spirit I’ll find myself someday faithfully serving You with boldness in my heart to share and 100% serve you without holding back.

Lord, I know You have prepared a guy for me. A guy who will be with me for the rest of my life; who will honor me as his partner and together we will serve you Lord. He might not come today but bless him. I know someday I’ll get to see him in the right time and place.

Lord, I don’t know what future might bring where I will be a year from now. I surrender to You everything. You have printed a very nice blueprint for me. Mold me Lord for Your glory and honor. Make me a better Christian, a witness for You, use me everywhere I go and always lead me to right decision makings. Thank you for all the blessing You have giving me and for all those to come.

Let this be my prayer; my letter for You.