CLICK THIS ARTWORK TO ENTER GALLERY

CLICK THIS ARTWORK TO ENTER GALLERY
CLICK THIS PHOTO TO ENTER GALLERY

Saturday, December 31, 2016

ARE YOU REALLY FORGIVEN?



I must admit, even after God's forgiveness of my sins, I still question whether I was truly forgiven.  My human understanding of God bars me from accepting the true forgiveness of the deep love of God for me.  Perhaps it is also part of my own forgiveness, or lack thereof, to others whom I have said to have "forgiven."  I apply the same lame concept to that of God.  In assessment of such situation, I only minimize the great love of God for us.  It also further minimizes the sacrifice of His only Son and the death of Jesus on the cross which is an insult to both in and of itself.

But how do we truly accept forgiveness?  Well, there are several ways to do so.  For one, we need to make a paradigm shift in our minds about the process of forgiveness.  We need to understand that we are fallible people.  The key is to understand that absolute moral perfection will only be attained in heaven.  The Bible reminds us that "as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him;  for He knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust" (Psalm 103:13-14).  The scum of sin covers us.  We have no control over it.  We were born with it, the original sin.  God understands that about us.  But just like our bodies get sick, we are not in perfect health all the time.  But the body has its way of fighting infection or healing wounds.  The self-repair itself is a sign of life and health.  In the same key, our awareness to sin and our willingness to repent is proof that our spirituality is alive and well.

Jesus Himself went through despair just like we do .  It is imperative for us to understand that we are forgiven because our awareness of God's absolution of our sins will become the catalyst to resist temptation when faced with opportunities to sin.  The more we resist, the stronger we become in fighting it.  Slowly, we will grow in our relationship with God.  The greater the relationship with Him, the more blessings come our way, and the closer we become Christ-like.  We can trust that God will use each of our failures to bring us new growth, with His grace and acceptance supporting us.

Let's practice.  

When do you find it most difficult to accept God's forgiveness?  In your journal, what would you say to another person who does not feel forgiven?  When you finish, read the letter aloud to yourself.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!



Sunday, December 25, 2016

SALVATION IS BORN


Sharing a devotional.  I couldn't have written it better.

Meditation

The angels rejoiced at the beginning of time, reveling in God’s awesome creation, perhaps the most beautiful thing they had ever seen. How sad it must have been, later, for the two of them who were chosen to guard the garden gate against reentry by those two people whose sins we are all now born into. But the angels, because they live in his presence, know the character of God. And so they waited. They longed to look into the mysterious promises that the prophets were bringing, the coming grace of God, but they were mostly silent. They longed for the day of our redemption, yet they were mostly invisible. They sometimes appeared, one or two at a time, throughout the Old Testament when God sent them as messengers or sometimes as heavenly hosts in great spiritual battles. But mostly they waited . . . eagerly.
So when one of them was sent to tell the shepherds that the news of God’s grace had reached them too, that a baby had been born, the Messiah, who would bring great joy to all people, the angels could remain quiet no longer. All heaven broke loose. And for a moment, in that field, the supernatural broke through the barrier of our natural world in a glorious celebration of our salvation.
Before we knew that God was coming for us, the angels knew. And they interrupted our earthly monotony with song: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14). What was so wonderful to the angels that they could not restrain their adoration should be a wonder to us too. This Christmas, let us remember that the miracle of our salvation is truly that, a great and glorious miracle, one that sent angels into glorious raptures of praise. And let us pray that our God will interrupt our lives with the joy of this message, just as he did for those shepherds in the field.

Prayer

Lord God, you are the sovereign, majestic and transcendent ruler of all things, both visible and invisible, past and present. The angelic hosts of heaven serve you continually to accomplish your perfect will. Break into our lives, interrupt our routines, open our blinded eyes and stir our calloused hearts to reveal how amazing your plan truly is. I recognize that in this life I see so little and know only part. Yet the time is coming when I will see you face to face. The joy of my salvation is my strength. In your holy name I pray. Amen.
Taken from Once a Day 25 Days of Advent

Sunday, December 18, 2016

LYING


Lying.  It is a sin that God hates.  Since hate is a strong word, maybe we need to pay attention.

King Solomon names seven things that God hates.  Lying was mentioned twice.
He mentions that God hates a lying tongue and a false witness who pours out lies.

It is important for us to avoid lying of all kinds.  Our lies do nothing for us except hurt us.  Most significantly it hurts God!

Lies lead to more lies to cover up the one before it.  Before you know it you can't keep up with the lies that have snowballed.  It is better to come clean and accept the consequences than continue with the exhaustive process of making up falsehood. 

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!!





Sunday, December 11, 2016

UNFAILING FORGIVENESS



Jesus is indeed the gift that keeps on giving.  No matter how much our sins keep recurring over and over again, God forgives us in the same way, over and over again.  

There are some people, however, who, no matter how many times they have been given a second chance, but, for whatever reason, did not accept such chance.  There are numerous biblical stories of people who have rejected the second chances given by God.

Jezebel rejected her second chance and deliberately disobeyed God. (2Kings 9:30-37).  Bernice heard the gospel message preached by Paul yet there was no indication she accepted it (Acts 25:23; 26: 30-32).

Even though we have temporary consequences in our disobedience, we can still be forgiven and given the assurance of life because our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus.  Even after we sin again, there will still be consequences because God's justice allows consequences for forgiven sins but His forgiveness and mercy continues to offer the protection of a gracious and forgiving heavenly Father.  It is no different than a loving earthly father who takes away privileges after we have disobeyed him but the love never goes away and continues to forgive us no matter how many times we screw up.

Until my next rant....  LOVE ONE ANOTHER!


Saturday, December 3, 2016

THE PEACE CHILD



Deceit in one's innermost circle might be the highest level of betrayal one can ever experience.  When the closest person to you deceives you, the hurt you feel sits so deeply entrenched in your heart and you reel from its impact when discovered.  As difficult as it is to trust once again, God always finds a way to heal and speak to one's heart so we can find peace and comfort.

Consider the story of Don Richardson, an anthropologist/missionary who traveled from America in the hopes of bringing his Christian message to a nearly stone age tribe called the Sawi tribe in New Guinea.  Richardson's message to the tribe was absorbed in a very unusual way.  

Because the highest virtue of this tribe is deceit, Richardson's message of the values of love and forgiveness had no appeal to them.  The only story that they related to from the Bible told to them by Richardson was the story of Judas Iscariot, the story of betrayal.  To the Sawi, Judas was a true hero because he was able to penetrate the trusted inner circle of the disciples before turning against Jesus.

Despite Richardson's unsuccessful attempts to share the message of Jesus Christ, the bloody battle between the Sawi and the Haenam tribes continued right outside his home.  After the fourteenth battle, Richardson then decided to leave New Guinea despite the Sawi's pleas for him to stay.

In a sincere effort to convince Richardson to stay, both tribes staged an elaborate ceremony in front of his home.  It was their final effort to convince Richardson to stay.

In the deafening silence of the entire village watching, the Sawi chief's wife held her six-month old baby in her arms.  She screamed loudly when her husband, the Chief, seized the baby from her arms, held him high in the air and gave him to his enemies.  One member of the tribe explained that the Haenam tribe would rename the baby and raise him as one of its own.

Despite Richardson's distrust of the Sawi, believing that any action by them could be just a part of an elaborate deception, that very act of peace offering could be the exception.  In a flash of understanding, he realized that a Chief's giving of his own son to the enemy was a profound and painful act that would overcome all suspicion.  As mutually agreed between the tribes, as long as the peace child lived, there would be no more wars fought.

This sparked an analogy for Richardson, a parallel story, woven into the Sawi's culture that could impart a message of a forgiving God.  He gathered the tribe members around him and told them of God's peace child.  God sent His own son, Jesus Christ to live among His enemies to make peace with humankind.

"Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.  But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:7-8 NLT

So despite satan's attempts to steal, kill and destroy, God finds a way to make us whole again.  In His own way.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!


Sunday, November 27, 2016

JILTED


You know the feeling.  Most of us do.  But you weren't ready for it.  Suddenly, your life seem discombobulated.  What you used to know, what you were used to is no longer true.  You seek the reasons how it happened.  You blame yourself.  You blame him/her.  If only...

Easier said than done but do it anyway.  It is the only way to get out of the rut.  Visualize yourself coming out from under it.  You deserve better.  You deserve to be loved.  If the most powerful, most high, strongest person in your entire existence can love you, you deserve better than to be jilted by an erroneous and fallible human being.    You see, we are all imperfect beings.  We are also selfish, thinking only of our own happiness.  The farther you are from your relationship with God, the closer you are to heartbreak.  Don't worry about the past, the past has its own issues.  Having a close relationship with God is the first step to your healing.  It is the first step to turning away from sin.  If you continue to do something that fails, you have no one to blame but yourself.  Falling for the same failures and thinking this time it will be better is just a pipe dream.  Happiness is obtained through hard work.  Hard work means turning away from the pleasures of the flesh and turning towards spiritual growth.  Spiritual growth is given through the grace of God.  Without the grace of God, you are just going to wander through life finding no meaning, no matter which way you turn.  Pleasing other human beings will lead you to nothing but pain because human beings are imperfect, even though we seek perfection in a partner.  We ourselves cannot give perfection to another person either.  The only way a relationship can succeed is if God is in the midst. If God is shunned, the relationship fails.  

What does that entail, you ask?  Well, being obedient to God's laws and guidance is what it entails.  As long as we are capable of loving God, fearing God, obeying and trusting that God will work in our lives, nothing can fail.  Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.  Believing satan's lies leads to disaster.  Don't fall for it.  If you have a lover, a spouse, or a mate turn against you, rejoice and ask God to forgive your sins and lead your life.  Trusting in God to give you the right person who will treat you with respect, honesty and love is the better way to go.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!



Sunday, November 20, 2016

WHO ARE YOU?



It may come as no surprise to you that you know yourself better than anyone, right?  But like an onion has layers of skin, how deeply do you really know yourself?

Some of us are fixated on the physical representation so that others will accept us based on how we look.  Billions are spent on plastic surgery yearly because they put on permanent masks to maybe hide the person underneath.  Looking like someone who had plastic surgery does hide the years that they have lived but masking it to try to look youthful yet it fools no one and the attraction is not because they're actually beautiful but because they look pretty much synthetic.

To be able to dig deeper, why do people go through this type of masks?  What is it they're trying to hide?  Moreover, society starts to see this as normal and now everyone thinks that they have to go under the knife as well so they could be accepted to the group.

But what's wrong with aging gracefully?  There is a reason why our looks don't stay intact while the years pass.  It is so we can experience the height of life as a young person with looks that can attract others, body strength to be able to do for ourselves but all to prepare for the weakness and physical aging.  It teaches us that there is more to this world than ourselves and it prepares us for the eternal life that God has prepared for us which has nothing to do with the outward influence of this world.  This is a promise from God.  The promise that in eternity we will regain the youth we had and never change because our souls will live in perfection forever.

You see, no matter how much we tweak our physical looks in this life from whatever we are hiding behind, there is but one person who knows us inside and out, and yes you know it, God!  There is one person we can never hide from.

Until my next rant... LOVE one another!





Saturday, November 5, 2016

GOD'S BEAUTIFUL YOU



Did you know that Americans spend 426 billion dollars a year on beauty products?  As of late, even more for plastic surgery and reconstructive surgeries.  Do you ever stop and wonder what it is that compels someone to physically change themselves only to realize another thing needs to change and then another and then another?  Are they doing it to gain self-confidence?  To impress others, maybe a husband or maybe even to land a rich husband?  Is it because they feel the need to be competitive with others?  These types of insecurities are indications of discontent.  Most of the time our discontent stems from a deep search for God.  We are looking for something to fill the God-sized hole in our hearts that only God can fill.  

The reason why the hole exists is because we were born belonging to a God.  Although He has freely given us our own will, just like a homing pigeon, we will never be fulfilled unless we live in His grace.  The world is not our permanent home by any means, and our home is obtained after we leave this world.

But ya gotta think... why change the way we look when this is really not our forever home.  Why are we changing ourselves so others will accept us when we should impress only God?  Don't get me wrong, I am not against make-up, nice hair, and the like.  Of course we should look clean and neat.  It is our obligation to society.  However, if we do synthetic changes to ourselves to mask a deeper longing to fill that empty space in our hearts, wouldn't it just be easier to fill it with God so we could feel whole again?

This reminds me of a story in Genesis 29:31-35.  Taken a devotional  from The Women's NIV DEVOTIONAL BIBLE

This Time. . .

Leah

Rachel, her sister, had always had something she didn’t. Rachel had beauty, Leah didn’t. Rachel had Jacob’s heart, Leah didn’t. However, with the birth of her first child, she finally had something Rachel didn’t: a son.
“Surely my husband will love me now,” she recalled thinking after Reuben was born. What she desperately wanted would finally belong to her and her alone. She had bargaining power, and she planned to use it.
This is the way that Leah considered each of her children. They served as a strange sort of currency, each one “buying” her a certain level of emotional security and social standing. However, whatever dividends she gained depreciated all too quickly. She had to have another baby, and another, to keep her emotional security afloat.
Unsettled in her own skin for most of her life, Leah longed to feel comfortable around other women. She would never be the prettiest. Never the smartest. Not even the wealthiest. She knew that. But a baby gave women reason to envy. “The women will call me happy,” she recalled fantasizing at the time of yet another son’s birth. She thought every eye would be on her. The odds would finally be in her favor.
After five strapping sons and with one on the way, she imagined herself becoming a queen among her princes. As she contemplated the next birth, she thought that surely her husband would finally look at her with eyes of love. This time, her peers would approve of her. This time, she would earn everyone’s respect.
The last time hadn’t worked out like she’d hoped. And the time before that, well . . . the rewards had been short-lived at best. Every “last time” was, after all, last time. She needed something new in order to feel good about herself today. As she looked up and saw her husband coming in from the fields, she absently stroked her pregnant belly. This time. . .

One more thing that is for sure... God will not disappoint!  Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

LIVING IN THE REALM OF THE HOLY




What is a realm?  It is described as a dominion, a kingdom.  You are your own realm.  You have dominion over yourself.  God gave you the right to your own will.  Only God has dominion over all of us, but yet, He does not impose His Will on anyone's realm.  You alone are the author of your own earthly life.  Whatever you do in this life will dictate the judgment you receive at the end of it from God.

There is, however, another realm that exists within us.  It is the one that you gladly share with God when you become a righteous or God-obedient thinker.  It is the one where your will is in conjunction with God's Will. It is called the spiritual realm.  In this realm, you forget your worldly self.  It is where you have the complete protection of God's armor.  This is where you are able to distinguish in your heart's mind the difference between God's truth and satan's lies.

Let me give you an example.  In this realm, when you think of tithing, you don't try to scrutinize what happens to your 10% after you drop it into the collection box.  That money belongs to God.  Whatever human beings do with it is between them and God.  Your job is to be obedient to God's Word.  Another example is when you cast your one and only ballot.  Living in this spiritual realm you trust God that He is manifesting His plan for this world.  But in your spiritual realm, the act of casting that ballot is not self-serving, it represents your focus outside yourself and into the country as a whole.  You trust that your ballot will land into safe hands, one who will use it for the good of ALL people.  

Living in the spiritual realm means living for others, not for yourself.  Making your actions and your life in sync with God as His true servant whatever His assignment is for you.  Using your talents to further His kingdom.  God wants us to succeed.  God wants us to live with Him in this spiritual realm now, not as a practice stage but to transition into our heavenly self.  God invites us to live in our spiritual realm constantly and daily through compassion.  With true compassion for other human beings, we slowly become transported into the spiritual realm and live our life here on earth with God.  This becomes the beginning of a chain reaction when others witness such compassion and pays it forward, and on and on and on.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!



Friday, October 21, 2016

TRYING TO FIT GOD IN OUR BOX OF HUMAN EXPECTATION



Trying to fit God into our box of human expectations is in and of itself a danger to our existence.  What I mean by this is that our faith and trust in God diminishes when our brains and our hearts are disconnected in that we see God through our sinful and flawed human eyes.

We doubt it even when the Bible says that as long as we believe that we can move mountains when our will is in line with God’s Will.  With God, nothing is impossible.  We hear it over and over again.  We even repeat it to others when we want to help them feel better when a tragic event happens to them.  But the question is, do we believe it ourselves?  Do we actually believe that our words, through God’s intercession can actually move Mt. Shasta over 2 feet?  I believe so.

Gone are the days when I question God’s power and strength.  He is a very personal God to me.  I’m certain most people think how can God help each and every one of the millions of people who believe in Him.  He must be very busy.  Even the movie where God manifested Himself into a man heard several voices in his head from so many people praying.  Sure it is for comedic purposes but this is how most people understand it.  Because we are human.  We think like humans.  We don’t think like God.  No one can possibly think like God.  Instead we need to just understand that we will never ever comprehend how God works.  That is a mystery about Him we should just accept to be true.  

No matter how much we try to shove God into our tiny little box of expectations and understanding, we will never be able to fit Him in there.  God is too awesome, too powerful, too majestic, I can go on and on, but there can never be enough words to describe Him.

God is omnipotent, meaning He has unlimited power.  He is omnipresent which means that He can be in millions of places at one time, at any time, at any unlimited dimension.  That is His power, and then more, much much more.  More than our brains can conceive.  We shouldn’t even try lest our brains explode!  

Just think about this… If God was small enough to figure out, He wouldn’t be big enough to worship.  So quit trying to shove Him in your box of expectations.  Know that no matter how big we can perceive Him to be, He is limitless, ageless, powerful and HUGE!  Never forget that Jesus is God with skin on, and no matter how big and awesome He was, He still sacrificed His earthly life for all of us to benefit from.  

Until my next rant… LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

THE CONFUSION OF THYSELF



Self-deception is a very dangerous and tricky thing.  A wise man once said, "When you stick your hand in a pot of honey, what do you get?"  This phrase resonated with me since.  Whenever I look at something and it smells like a rat, this phrase comes up in my head.  

When we denounce self-analysis according to what God teaches us, it becomes sort of like a drug.  We shrug and dismiss something small in the beginning, but then over time, it becomes a callous in our psyche.  The longer it is ignored, the worse it gets until one day, we find we have been desensitized.  What do I mean?

So pretend you love to sing but singing doesn't really love you.  Most of the time, people's sensitivity to the reaction of the people around them after they sang a song becomes telling on how they did.  If they are not met with enthusiastic and thunderous applause, it is an indication that you probably didn't do too well.   When people shut up about it to spare your feelings, you begin to think well maybe I wasn't that bad.  

You start to believe this and invest everything in you to become a famous singer, only to be told in your face at the American Idol audition that, hey you really should give up singing!  If you have an ounce of sensitivity in you, you will agree and give it up.  However, if you are in the state of "callousness" about yourself, you ignore them and get mad and storm out of the studio.

This is the same as sin.  If you commit a small sin,  and you consider it as such, overtime you will slowly lose that consciousness that sin is wronging God.  You become calloused and desensitized until you have become a full-blown denier of God.  All along the way, satan has coaxed you, telling you it's a small sin, it's not gonna matter.

On a larger scale, we have government politicians who have gotten away with so much that the level of desensitization have reached its fever pitch.  Meaning, they begin to craft their lies and deceit so well, with other little satans assisting them along the way.  They have become so numb to the results of their ways becoming demonic, inhuman and robotic.

We all have to keep our hearts, minds, and bodies focused on God's word.  His word will guide us through this world of evil and disgusting desensitized people.  Let's not be confused about the fact that God is out for our common good.  

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!



Saturday, October 8, 2016

LOSING YOUR MORAL COMPASS



Physical nerve damage is that most difficult to treat, like spinal cord injury and diabetes.  The nerves are the most sensitive part of our physiology and deserves the utmost care.  It is imperative for us to preserve the matters of our physical touch.  When one loses the sense of feeling in certain parts of the body, it becomes a huge problem because pain is no longer felt.  Without the feeling of pain, there would not be an alarm to the brain to correct the condition.  Without such an alarm, bedsores, footsore, and the like will develop because the body no longer has the ability to warn itself of the danger.

In the same token, people can develop a similar kind of moral insensitivity because of our  politically correct society and the presence of those who promote them as if they are what should be the norm.  Acceptance of everything and tolerance of ideals that, even if conflicts with our Christian faith, yet choosing to conform to the world's ways become discombobulated in our hearts and our minds that we can no longer distinguish what is right and what is wrong.  The muddy waters begin to silence our conscience and then harden our hearts.  

This condition can prove fatal because we forget the fundamental righteousness that God has taught us which leads us directly to sin.  The devil is the author of the creation of this mud and he will confuse us to the point of succumbing to such a trap.

Let us not forget that Love is what matters.  Love is how it started by God's love for us and how we have to keep our focus on Him so that we can do the same for each other.  Don't get suckered into the alternative.  There is no alternative to love.

Until my next rant.... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!



Sunday, October 2, 2016

ATONEMENT


Non-believers are quick to point out how God often punished sinners in the Old Testament as if it is still going on today.  If God used the same methods in today’s world, the atheists would not even exist.  There will be real fear in the hearts of men before they even think about committing a sin.  God was being true to His own provision of giving us our own wills, which is why Jesus was sent to us to pay for our sins and lift the veil that separated God and humankind.

Can you just imagine if the Old Testament punishments were still true?  I mean, we would have to have land to tend sheep just to offer blood sacrifice to atone for our sins with God.  We all sin intentionally and unintentionally because it is in our nature.  But God remains the same.  His standard of perfection cannot be attained even by the best of us on our best days.

The ultimate sacrifice is Jesus Christ who foreshadowed the sacrifices of the Old Testament.    He paid the debt of sin in full.  Yes, from the most egregious, to the simplest of lies.  Jesus paid for all of it.  It’s like having a partner that paid for all your basic necessities, Jesus’ treat for the things our souls need is free.  However, we have an obligation to deny sin because we are talking about respecting the fact that He died for us to be forgiven.  The only gift we can give back to Jesus is to live a life that will glorify Him.  We no longer need a sacrificial lamb to cleanse us from the sins we knowingly commit or the sins we unintentionally commit.  No other blood sacrifice will ever be required.

Instead of blood sacrifice, we can make offerings of gratitude:  Repentance, praise and service.  This blog is my service.  God has revealed this feat for me.  It is not easy to come up with messages every week and visualize it in a creative and artistic manner.  That’s always been a challenge for me.  Majority of the weeks God reveals to me what message to impart to you.  But sometimes I feel far removed from God, for maybe a sin that I have not atoned for.  So His presence is also far removed from me.  But the magic happens again when I ask Him to forgive me and I atone for my sin.  This is how our powerful and almighty God is.  He has the power out of all put together but yet acts like a true and loyal best friend when you need Him.  I am in awe of Him, always and forever.  I long to see His face everyday and finally be with Him in the most glorious way!  His love covers over a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). Despair has no place here, only LOVE!


Until my next rant… LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

LEADERS NEED GOD




We, as Americans have the obligation to go out and vote for a leader whose background proves that he/she will lead this country towards what our forefathers have planned for a progressive country.

But within their principles are those based on biblical teachings of Jesus Christ.

In this country's haste to prove that a person of color can do the same job, if not better, than the president before him, a dark-skinned man was voted into the seat.  If 13% of the population is composed of black people, then majority then majority of the rest of the 87% also voted for Obama.  This alone proves that America isn't racist.  If it is, then this man would have never been able to become president.  The problem is, this country seems to be worse off now than we did before him.  The division has widened.

If the country made a mistake, it is time to correct such mistake.  A morally sound, Godly person must take over.  Sure, change won't happen overnight but as long as the country is moving back toward the original goals, then we will at least be headed on the right track.

People in leadership roles need God's help.  Just take David, for instance.  The giant Goliath was very intimidating, obviously because of his size and height and attitude.  Naturally, David, by himself, could never have measure up to Goliath, which only goes to show that size never was a factor.  He was still able to defeat the giant because his God was way bigger than his enemy.

God gives us a great gift, power, instead of fear or timidity.  But in order to deserve such power, we have to affirm it, accept it, and use the boldness of God through trust.  He promises that if we are placed in a position of leadership, He will be with us.   Tackling such a task alone, without God's help, is a recipe for failure.

Until my next rant...  LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

PURE JOY EXPERIENCE



Do you know what joy really feels like?  Have you experienced that pure happiness when you are with your loved ones maybe sitting around the table just shooting the breeze or playing board games, messing around with each other and feeling so comfortable that you want to remember every detail of what is going on so you can store it in your happy memory bank?  I have.  My son and future daughter in law visited from Massachusetts this past two weeks and my daughter and her boyfriend visited from San Jose as well and we just sat around joking, having fun, singing silly songs, etc.  Simple yet very memorable.  

Included in this scenario are pure belly laughs that reach deep down as such deep happiness!  Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit.  Perhaps the reason why it feels so good is because it is a pure feeling from God.  I believe God wants us to feel such joy in our spirits just as a precursor to what He has in store for us in His kingdom.  But I can't help but believe that such joy pales in comparison to the one we will experience with God in heaven.

I am pretty sure true joy from God doesn't come from living a sheltered life but neither does it come from ignorance of the world's paint.  It comes from a deep assurance that God is good and is working for good in all things.

God wants us to know that regardless of the tough situations we are now experiencing in the world don't shake us because we know that He is there to keep us safe.  He wants us to know that we can walk through life in peach and rest knowing that we are trusting in Him.

When God says, "Cast your anxiety on me" 1 Peter 5:7 and "Do not worry about tomorrow" Matthew 6:34, He is directing us back to Him so we can rest in pure joy!

He wants us to to experience true joy, not to be oblivious of the world, but to instill in us His strength to live and love others in the midst of it.  We need to take full advantage of this GIFT FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT!

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!!


Friday, September 9, 2016

DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME



Of all the ways we choose to adopt, God's way is the best way.  Why, you ask?  

For one, wouldn't it be easier if we just had a little pocket speaker that told us what to do?  If there is a decision we need to make, we usually agonize over the right one so we could end up with doing the least work or the least trouble, right?  Some people even ask their parents which path to take because they put stock in their wisdom with life's experiences.  We try to convince our children to choose the way we think is better for them because of a similar experience we may have learned from in the past.

With all the worries, with all the decisions, with all the trials and errors we had to experience, we wonder, is there possibly an easier and less painful way to go through life?  

The answer is a resounding YES!  Most people mock others who say that God has spoken to them.  They ask, what was God's voice like?  Was it booming?  Was it soft?  There is no right way to answer this.  God's voice is that push in your heart, that little tug, followed by a lightbulb moment!  A suggestion that makes the most sense and one that has not occurred to you because you didn't pray about it first.  Pray about it.  That sounds so cliche'.  Well, it is more complicated than that.  Praying about it is not asking God to give instant response.  Sometimes He is instant, but sometimes He takes longer.  Perhaps it is because His plan for you is such that the events leading up to it have not happened yet.  God is not a puppet master.  But He does know how your life will end up and the events that occur leading up to that end.

The best way to stop wasting your time is to really talk with God and ask Him for His input.  In one way or another, He will give you the answer and the answer is such that it will make so much sense that you can only surmise it is His handiwork.

Wouldn't it be so much better to just put your life in God's hands to do His will rather than playing a tug of war with Him?  Where you give Him the charge of your life and then immediately taking it back away from Him.  It's really not that complicated.  Once you have tapped into that priceless flow of grace, you will never use anything else.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!



Saturday, September 3, 2016

YOUR FULL TRANSPARENCY TO GOD




God is the ultimate know-it-all.  No one on this earth can claim that stake and only embarrasses themselves if they do.  

Despite the fact that He is all knowing, His grace is still freely given as a gift to our unworthy selves.  Jesus also paid a high price for it, so we didn't really get it for free, but He wanted to give it to us nonetheless because of His perfect loving nature.

In Ephesians 2:8-9 Paul says "It is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast."

Humans cannot fathom God's grace because in our world, nothing is given to us for free.  There is and always will be a catch when dealing with our fellow human beings.  Just imagine how awkward our feelings are knowing that we cannot offer God anything of enough worth that will match His gift of grace.  Grace is the perfect way of God based on His deep love for us.  This deep love will also never be felt from any human being no matter how much they love us.  It is intense and overwhelming, a love that we can never ever give back no matter how much we try.  That's who God is, He is too good and His love is too much!  He is overwhelming LOVE.

There is, however, a way to be able to give it back to Him.  God does not require much other than when we sin (because He understands we will sin), we need to repent and return.  Remind yourself of what Jesus did in order for you to do so.  Then, no matter how difficult, lift your sin and guilt to God and be prepared to receive that love from Him in exchange.  Sit in the intensity of the moment and don't run from it.

As you experience all the different types of feelings, know that you're experiencing the intensity of God's love.  How lovely and glorious it is too feel His heart?!  Let it sink in to yours of how incredibly good God is.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

WRESTLING WITH GOD


According to a Montana cowboy, the secret to being a good bull rider is that "You've just gotta want to hang on more than the bull wants to throw you off."  

Have you ever found yourself wrestling with God?  I have.  In this latest match, after musing over my year anniversary working as an art instructor for the Michaels Store in town, I began to hear God's instructions telling me it is time to let go.  Although I heard it loud and clear, I tried to chuck it off as maybe it's just a suggestion.  Over and over, my situation with the store worsened.  I could not possibly justify that God was asking me to let go of something He himself offered to me a year ago.  After all, it wasn't the $200/month I was making, it was my students I didn't want to give up on.  To make a long story short, an event happened which pushed me to my limit and forced me to cut ties.

That same night, I received a Facebook message from a Principal of a school in Napa, offering me a part time job teaching children from K-5.  Praise God, what a gift!  

A few days later, I received another message from a company in New York asking me to submit 3 photos of my artwork to be given consideration to exhibit my art in their gallery in San Francisco!  Only God can bring blessings like that!

There are two ways we wrestle with God.  One way is to turn back to Him and our backs to our sins.  The other is after we become Christians and we resist His blessings which are always bigger and better than the ones we refuse to let go of.  

Resist the urge to fight.  Let God be the boss of you!  You will find that your life will be a much happier and fulfilled one.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Friday, August 19, 2016

LOVE OUT OF THIS WORLD



Love takes on different forms.  There is the love of a child to a parent and vice versa, there is a love for friends and family.  But those types of love pales in comparison to a love that your heart seeks throughout life.  That is romantic love.  Love for another person seems to trump all other types of love.  This type of love is something majority of us work for.  It is the one that also breaks our hearts when the love is unrequited.  Weaker people become obsessed and some even weaker feel their world is ending when a spouse of a lover leaves.  It is the most hurtful type of love or betrayal of that love.  

Most of these types of love is conditional.  We expect the other person to love us the way we want to be loved but more often than not, we are disappointed with what we get instead.  Some people are difficult to love perhaps because they don’t really know how to love in return.  

Everything in the media will revert back to love.  Love makes people create movies, write songs, in relation to their own individual experiences that may be no different than what millions of others have been through.  Generation to generation, it stays the same.  Humans like us will always disappoint other humans no matter how careful we are.  

There is but one type of love that never ceases, it is the easiest love to acquire.  People who are so imperfect have many conditions.  The one and only love that is unconditional is God’s love.

How is that even possible?  God, the most powerful being in the entire universe and beyond loves so unconditional and what boggles my mind even more is that it is US that He loves!  Some people are selfish enough to require love 24/7 without giving the same in return but God loves us whether we love Him back or not.

God asks for so little.  A mustard seed-sized faith.  That’s it!  Do you know that a mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds?  He asks for no more than that.  But a mustard seed, as long as it is alive and well in our hearts can’t help but grow bigger and bigger until it consumes our imperfect hearts!  If God can love one person who has a mustard seed sized love and faith for Him, how much bigger can that love from God be for a person who loves Him back with all of their heart and how favored are they?

With this type of love, if given to one another, drama and heartbreak songs would cease to exist and matter less and less.  The Love for God is the most awesome love story you will ever encounter or experience.


“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them.  “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move.  Nothing would be impossible.” Matthew 17:20 NLT 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

SELF-DISCIPLINE - A Dying Trait






Our parents were ordained by God to guide and care for us.  In turn, we do the same for our own kids.  We mirror our parents' teachings to our children which is why most of us stay within the character traits of our family as a whole.

In the beginning, God set the rules of humanity and how we ought to treat each other.  Those rules are good today as they were in biblical times.  When Jesus came to walk the earth and died for us, some of the guidelines changed.  Jesus had one guideline, one rule, one commandment and that is to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.  Loving one another encompasses all of the other commandments before Him.  

Today, discipline has been lost in the translation of humanity.  People became afraid to discipline lest the violation of someone's rights.  Concern for those rights became paramount over our children's future and that is worrisome.

The Lord disciplines us because He loves us.  He slows the granting of prayer to teach us patience.  He teaches this to us so we can teach it to our children as well and so they can pass it on to their own.  In doing so, we show our children that we care.  Children will impose their own wills on us.  If we give in, the chain will keep going until we can no longer control it as parents.  When that happens, the responsibility will unfortunately be passed on to non-parents such as teachers and educators.  As parents, we must embrace and accept this responsibility.  Teachers, neighbors, educators, etc. are just part of the support team.  Good discipline starts at home.

Enforce discipline by establishing structure at home, setting boundaries for your kids.  When boundaries are crossed, have a specific plan of action and have them suffer the consequences.  Make sure that they understand that the consequences go hand in hand with the punishment which are a direct result of their behavior and not your behavior.  This will teach them to develop a sense of responsibility.  It also helps enforce your own continued self-discipline for everyday situations.

If these things are held in place, the future generation will be a more responsible and loving one.  God has to have His place in all parenting and in all households.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!



Saturday, July 30, 2016

HEAD HELD HIGH! Nothing to see here, Live your own life!


During election years, emotions run high.  The party which was not represented during the years in office are always involved in the campaign for their party candidate to win the presidency.  People simply endure what they were dealt with and they just look forward to the next election hoping that their candidate would win.

People become divided.  Politics and religion are two of the sorest subjects that would even sever friendships and I heard, even marriages.  During these times of division, satan runs amok.  He is there waiting, ready to pounce at any and all opportunity to be able to spread hate and ire.

I cannot say I haven't fallen prey to his wiles.  After all, my DNA says human and like it or lump it, I have no choice.  However, I will be the first to say that I am not a staunch anything.  During my years of living in the U.S., I have not labeled myself either a democrat or republican.  When I could vote, I vote for the one who is most likely, in my own view, to be the most qualified.  I never did any research in the past.  I was young and carefree, felt invincible to whatever politics was around me.  I felt I was never a victim of what the government was doing.

As I became more mature, I suddenly realized that my voice does count.  I no longer had the irresponsible attitude in who I was going to vote for.  I began listening to the pulse of our country.  I began to piece the puzzle together, not mired by the agenda pushed or shoved down my throat by the mainstream media.  I looked past the fantasy that hollywood has created as a smokescreen to what goes on behind closed doors.

The media has successfully diverted people's attention to themselves.  Technology did the same thing.  Both are a double-edged sword.  God is no longer the focus, He has been slowly plowed out of the hearts of His own people, His own family.  It saddens me to realize that the time is near.  No longer are the predictions of prophets even sewn into the mix of reality.  This is our reality.  Jesus is coming very very soon.

Does it bother me that former friends break up with me over a post and a back and forth argument?  NO!  Only God's opinion matters to me.  I DO NOT and WILL NOT please others, it doesn't matter who they may be.  I please God.  He may not be pleased with me right now because I fall in satan's traps.  he gets me at my worst, dealing with people who do not and will not even try to understand.  I let people live their lives and I ask they let me live mine.  I am not apologetic to whomever thinks I should shut up, because I will not shut up.  America is in dire need of fresh blood to run this country. I am willing to give a newbie the chance to prove himself.  I think everyone should as well.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!


Saturday, July 16, 2016

EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD





The Bible gives us a glimpse of the God of everything.  Objects such as books are pretty ordinary in our everyday living.  But the Bible is alive.  It contains the word of God.  Words to live by,  THE instructional manual.  Yet, we ignore its importance in the application of our daily movements.  The only real time we pick up this book is when we are in some kind of trouble when it seems like divine intervention is the only untapped source to find our solution.   We think that God is the happiness dispenser, approach only when necessary.

It’s amazing how selfish and whiny we can be.  We indulge in self-pity and whoa-is-me type of mentality.  We forget that in these types of situations, satan is fully aware of our vulnerability and ready to pounce at the chance to sink us even further to the bottom.   However, we don’t have to  wallow in our sorrows and instead rise to the top.  We need to look outside ourselves and into the heart of others in order to find the happiness we truly seek.

When we begin to adopt the ways of God towards others, we begin to experience true happiness. We can pull the strength from God’s love for us, the strength that only comes within his sacrifice for His only Son Jesus Christ.  

We have to remember first and foremost that we are not in control of ANY situation that come our way.  Instead we need to accept that God is in control.  God has promised to do “good work” in us, and to complete it (Philippians 1:6).  When we are stuck in the muck of the moment, we need to focus on what is above us, and keep our eyes on heaven so that we can put the things on earth in correct perspective.

We must strive to turn our own obsession into love for one another.  Let us try to forget ourselves and focus on the beauty of shared life.  In this day and age it is sad to see that everyone is too engrossed in themselves.  We are all selfish.  But we forget that there is beauty in sharing our lives not just with our immediate family but also to others whether friends or foe.  There is real joy in serving others in the form of acceptance, encouragement, forgiveness and submission.

Think about someone you love.  You would do anything for that person just to see them happy.  If only a fraction of that is spread to others, imagine how much the world will change.

It is the responsibility of parents to teach their kids to do so.  As terrible as the world is today, I still have not given up on it, no matter how small I think I am, God thinks otherwise.


Until my next rant… LOVE ONE ANOTHER!