The first part of 2016 has been one of the most difficult periods of my adult life. From the time the doctors recommended hospice care for my mother until her passing at the end of February, I felt that my emotions were like a dam ready to burst at the prick of a pin. Without a doubt, the only thing that held me together was the grace of God, which was so apparent during this season of my life.
As I spent time daily with my ailing mother, she taught me, directly and indirectly, many things about life. Some she had already been instilling in me since I was a child and others I learned as I listened to and observed her in the last couple of months of her life. These are treasures that I will carry with me in my journey thru life and hopefully pass on to my children because I know they are from God. Continue reading →
I recently had a chance to revisit Jacob’s story in Genesis 27-28 as part of my attempt to read the Bible in a year. I knew Jacob was not one of my favorite people in the Bible but my dislike for him grew even stronger as I read his story for the umpteenth time. Conniving, deceitful, self-promoting…these are a few of the words that come to mind when I think of Jacob. He not only took Esau’s birthright but tricked Isaac into blessing him instead of his brother. Even when God revealed Himself to Jacob in a mighty way thru a dream, he dared to put a condition on his relationship with God! He declares that God will be his God if He watches over him on his journey and provides for all his needs. And yet in Malachi 1:2-3, God says that “I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated. But why??? It doesn’t seem fair! Continue reading →
I had driven by him several times during the summer. With cardboard sign in hand and a grimace on his face, he would stand there for hours with the hot sun shining down on him. I found myself always in a hurry to get somewhere so all I managed to do was to make a mental note to myself to stop by Target to buy him a cap and a cold drink and bring them over to him one of these days. Weeks went by and when I finally made my way back to that intersection, he was no longer there. Another missed opportunity, I thought to myself. Continue reading →
I’ve been trying to write this post for the past couple of weeks and I find myself at a loss for words every time. Nothing I come up with seems to appropriately convey the magnitude of what I’m trying to express. Perhaps I still don’t have a firm grasp of the concept I’m trying to present. Nonetheless, I feel compelled to put it on paper (online) and I hope it helps to remind us of the awesome God we serve.
Is it perplexing to you that the God of the universe, the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God, who made the heavens and the earth and all living things, knows you and me by name, knows the number of hairs on our head and is familiar with all of our ways? Continue reading →
“In the process of sanctification, the Spirit of God will strip me down until there is nothing left but myself, and that is the place of death. Am I willing to be myself and nothing more? Am I willing to have no friends, no father, no brother, and no self-interest— simply to be ready for death? That is the condition required for sanctification.” – My Utmost for His Highest
We live in a world where we are obsessed with our own safety and comfort and the safety and comfort of our loved ones. The size and luxuries of our homes, the conveniences of current technology, our retirement accounts, they’re all about our safety and comfort in the present and in the future. I am the first to admit that when I pray, I pray for the safety and comfort of my family and friends. I pray the same for myself. We all work hard and save as much as we can in order that we can have a safe, secure and comfortable future until we die. We do our best to try to avoid any kind of discomfort or inconvenience as much as we possibly can. Continue reading →
I just finished reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan and it was altogether eye-opening, challenging and convicting. His description of a lukewarm Christian and those that are Christ-obsessed really pushed me to do an introspective examination as well as evaluate how I’m living my life here on earth in light of eternity. Chan states that “the life of a lukewarm Christian wouldn’t look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God.” And if I were to be completely honest with myself, aside from not going to church every Sunday and reading the Bible on a regular basis, not much else would change if I stopped believing in God. He really pushed me to evaluate all aspects of my life, and imagine how different it would look if I surrendered each and every part to God in order to live a life that is truly obedient to the Cross. Continue reading →
I have had moments during service at church, especially during praise time, where I’ve felt touched and moved by the Holy Spirit in a personal way. I’ve shed tears of joy as I felt an overwhelming sense of God’s love for me. I’ve shed tears of gratitude as I’ve experienced God’s grace and mercy reach out to me in my personal struggles. For the first time, last Sunday, I felt moved by the Holy Spirit to feel burdened for my church. For the first time, I found myself weeping over the spiritual state of our congregation. I don’t write this in judgment as I, myself, am included in this body of believers. Continue reading →