Life in a dead hope

5613310391490960143She was his only daughter

A child like no other

On the verge of death

He left her to seek the Healer

“Don’t bother Him” they said

“She’s already gone” they cried

But Jesus increased his faith

Talita was raised from the dead

 

He was on the way to the grave

Her only son, her future now tainted

He is wrapped ready to be buried

When Jesus stopped the mourners

“Arise!” He lifted the boy’s hands

Helping him to his feet on the ground

 

The corpse stunk after 4 days

Death entered the house of Jesus’ friends

Lazarus was much loved until Jesus wept

Then He shouted, “Lazarus come out!”

Wrapped in grave clothes, he emerged to the light

 

Now here are these dry bones

Could there be hope for them?

Their flesh eaten by the ground

Their bones dried by desert sun

“Could these bones live?” He asked

“Only YOU know” I replied

So He spoke the word

Then these very dry bones rattled and joined

Tendons, muscles and skin

Then He spoke another word

A breath of life entered into the slain

 

Yes my God is Sovereign

Giving life to all His children

I choose to put my trust in Him!  

 

Just my heart

A few days ago, while I was doing some shopping, I happened to listen to a line in a song that was on the radio. The guy was singing something along the lines, “I’m in love with what you can give me”.  The world and all its associates are just interested in what they can take from us, as the Bible calls them, they are “ravenous beasts” (Psalm.57:4)

Our mindset sometimes follows that worldly pattern where we think that Christ is after what we can offer, so we run around making all sorts of sin, burnt, peace and praise offerings. We think that we have to do something to please Him. 

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” – Isaiah.64:6

“But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” – 1 Samuel.15:22

Here’s God saying, “I’m not interested in all the stuff you do, I just want your heart, your devotion…” and us thinking there’s got to be more than that… 

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord replied, “you are worried and upset about many things. But only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke.10:42

Mary chose to sit at the foot of Jesus, while Martha run around trying to juggle many things. 

He simply just wants our heart, then everything else will fall in to place. 

This song by Casting Crowns summarises it well…

zero without JESUS

As I begin a new chapter of entering the world of work, this is a subject that the Holy Spirit has been constantly reminding me these past couple of weeks. Whatever I have, whatever I achieved is all from God. As Job once said, empty we come from our mother’s womb and we return to the earth empty; nothing that we have gained through our lifetime on this world will stick with us for the after life. The writer of the Ecclesiastes understood this and called it vanity. All is vanity without Christ!

Paul said, “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” – (2 Corinthians.3:5) Whatever was gain to him, he counted as loss, because he realised that all these are a gift from God and he has nothing that he can boast about.

So what is it that we think we have? What gifts have we received from the Lord? Knowledge, wealth, energy… lets put Jesus before them and confess our nothingness. Then, only then can we utilise those gifts properly and save ourselves from vanity.

For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.” – Romans.11:36

This video explains it perfectly:

God’s beautiful art work

Our life is a blank canvas upon which God can pnew_flowers_small_daisies_copy_wmaint a picture as only He sees fit. 14 years ago today, I accepted Jesus in to my heart and not a day has passed where I regretted that decision. That day, I received the most beautiful gift I could ever have and joy unspeakable filled my heart.

Today, as I pondered upon the Lord’s work in my life, it was orchestrated in such a way that only He could have done it. I noticed God’s hand at work in every step of my life. Before I was born and even before the world begun, He called me by my name and said that His Son should die for me that I may find this beautiful life that’s found in Him. When it was finally time for me to enter the world, God rejoiced over my birth and was so patient to wait for me until the day when I said, “YES!” (by the grace of the Holy Spirit) to His calling of salvation. Yes there were some dark shades on that picture and at the time, but God used those to beautify and brighten up even more the lovely  flowers that He was painting. He is the greatest Artist, giving beauty for ashes and a faithful God.

16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.  ~ Psalm.139:16-18

Now an artist requires the canvas to remain still so he can paint the picture properly. There were times when this canvas of my life moved about and shook, distorting the painting that He’d started, yet God being the patient Artist that He is, He made sure these little smudges were turned into little leaves that support the beautiful petals. He has a way for everything and He is faithful.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” ~ Psalm.46:10

This little art work is not yet complete but seeing what’s been painted so far, makes me want to see what it will look like in the end, but I have to remain still. Yet, I know God is faithful and He will finish this beautiful thing He has started.  

 

LOVE

During one of the many days that we discussed deep life matters with a friend, she asked me to define ‘love’. In this modern world, love has taken so many faces and meanings, often associated with romantic love. I replied to my friend with a Bible verse, quoting Paul from 1st Corinthians.13

“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Yet  today, I thought more about the origin and life of love and here is what I have meditated on:

Love was born in the lowliest cot

When Love deserved a king’s court

Love came not to be served

From birth Love was servant hearted

 

Love was obedient to lay down the crown

To step aside from the throne, for the sake of man

Love didn’t argue, Love was full of trust

Love was very much aware of the Father’s heart

 

Love grew, in grace and height

Love learnt to speak, read and write

Love’s language was a beautiful sight

 

Love was humble and meek

Cared for the poor on the street

Hugged the outcast and destitute

 

Love didn’t have a home

Love dwelled in the hearts of the congregation

Love faced hardship and rejection

But never gave up, love had strong conviction

 

Love was not afraid

Love confronted the evil and wicked

Yet love was full of compassion

Love renewed the broken hearted

 

Love was betrayed and denied

As the Father turned His face aside

Love was alone for the first time

 

Love cried for alternative plan

But knew the deal only Love could suffice

Love chose in the Father’s arms to abide

 

Love took the lashes

Love faced the shame

Love was rejected

Love had to pay the ultimate price

 

Love didn’t see the bleed in His hands

Love was still chasing your lost heart

As the thorns pierced through His skull

Love called you by name and said “it is done!”

 

At the end of ME

“Give it a try, you got nothing to lose” a phrase we hear quite often. Yet it is in those moments that the true feelings of our hearts are revealed. Why don’t we try? Because we are afraid of failure. I absolutely detest that word, as I know everyone does. Failure reveals that we are weak, that we haven’t got it all together, that we are somewhat unable and inadequate. It’s not a great place to be, because it’s uncomfortable and because we are not in control.

We like structure, organised schedules and chaos is something we try to avoid, because we lose control. But that’s what we are, chaotic people. Even to the most organised people who think they are in control, there’s times when things just get out of hand. That’s the world we live in. 

Nevertheless, we can dance in the rain, we can glory in our weaknesses, because, His word says:

 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.” – Matthew.5:3

Again Paul says in his writings:

“I take pleasure in weaknesses, in reproaches, in hardships, in persecutions, and in distresses for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” because Christ told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” – 2nd Corinthians.12:9-10

When we haven’t got it all together, when we feel lost of a plan and which way to turn, He is faithful to show up and do the leading. We may not like it cause we are only led one day at a time, we don’t see the end from here, but all we need is FAITH as small as a mustard seed. 

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
 nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
 so are My ways higher than your ways,
 and My thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah.55:8-9

WE CAN TRUST HIM. 

So here at the end of me, where all my knowledge and my plans can’t help me, i can trust in HIS great wisdom. Amen. 

The Joy of Light!

DSC04178Having been finishing work quite late, I have learnt to acquaint myself with getting home in the dark. I never really liked darkness, somehow it masks and veils what is there and limits your view.  Today I finished early and the sun was shining, everything looked beautiful!

I have discovered that people’s mood are completely different in the cold, dark days of winter compared to the bright, warm summer days. 

Likewise, life without Jesus is like a dark room. No matter how much stuff is in it, you will never know what exactly is in there and what to do with it. Lets take the example of surprises. When we want to surprise people, we hide their gifts in a dark room and once they put the light on, voilà! 

Surprisingly, one of the major issues we face as young people is the freedom of choice. We have many options but we lack direction as to which road we ought to take. We worry because we are uncertain of what each path has on its way and what would be the outcome. We become gripped by fear of failure that we don’t dare to even try. Trying becomes risky and foolishness. 

The truth is, we are not omniscient. We will never know the consequence of our choices before we get there and so we might have to just poke around in that dark room as though we were blind and try to figure out what stuff we have and how best to use them to make our living. 

The wise readers might think, why don’t you just turn the light on? Then surely you will know what you have in that room, the value of each item and how best to use them. Well that in itself requires a choice. Many young people walk around in that dark room thinking that they’ve got what it takes to face life with out the need for a light bulb. 

Jesus said,  “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John.8:12

Accepting Jesus, the Light will give us a clear direction of who, where we are and what we are ought to do with these valuables that we have been entrusted with in our rooms. 

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” – Psalm.119:105

With Him, there are no nasty surprises, He leads and never disappoints! What an assurance! 

So today, you have to choose – will you give your life to the One who knows it well and live it to the full, or are you going to keep poking in the dark hoping things just workout?

I CHOOSE JESUS ❤ 

Called by name!

So… one thing upset me recently and considering that it was small it really made me think as to why it bothered me a lot. It’s been almost 2 months since I started working, a colleague still doesn’t call me by my name. I noticed this last time when she shouted “Excuse me! Excuse me!” pointing towards me and later on referred to me as “this lady”. Such things don’t usually bother me, but I only understood why when I came across this verse today:

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.” – Isaiah.43:1b

Name is your unique identity that says a lot about you. And if someone calls you by your name it shows that they care about your identity, who you are as a person. I think that’s why it hurt when this lady I worked with for almost 2 months didn’t refer to me by my name.

The beautiful thing is, the Bible tells me that the God who flung the stars in the universe, the One who created the world we live in with all it’s beauty, the One created our most delicate and complicated body also knows me not just as a physical being with motion, but as a person, calling me by my name.

Psalm.139, one of my favourite chapters in the Bible puts it beautifully:

“You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.” – Psalm.139:1-4

Inside of you…

I found this song that I used to listen to ages ago, and as I pondered upon it, I thought of how true the words are. So many lies are thrown at us “you can’t do this or that”, but we were made to shine! May God help us to be the people He made us to be. Amen!

 

INSIDE OF YOU

As a child you used to dream
There wasn’t anything that you couldn’t do
Learn to fly on paper wings
But somebody told you dreams don’t come true
Some settle for a lie and take it
And try to keep their hearts from breakin’
But you defy the odds
And make it worth the going through

Oh, inside of you there’s a heart full of dreams
Like the gold in a stream to be uncovered
Inside of you lies a soul made to shine
Yes, a child meant to fly and discover
All the wonders God can do
Inside of you

Every day you face the fear
With a measure of faith that you need
And even now all heaven cheers
For the miracle you’re destined to be
True bravery is bought with sorrow
Life is but a gift we borrow
And all the promise of tomorrow waits to be revealed

Where dreams can still come true
All the wonders God can do
Inside of you

 

http://www.lyricstime.com/john-schlitt-inside-of-you-lyrics.html

Grace

Grace and mercyShe was bathed in the stench of ungodliness, she can hardly stand herself. She wondered where things went wrong, but she couldn’t trace their roots. Yet it was there all along creeping and growing with every inch of height she gained.

He saw her first cry, so beautiful and tender in her mother’s arms. Yes, He was the type of King who engaged with His people; from the poor old woman down the road to the rich business man on the high street. From the day she was born, He saw the troubles this girl would face, so He made a plan, for His land was governed by truth and justice. His only Son to take her punishment that she may be freed from those heavy chains she carried around.

Soon she was invited for a visit to the King’s court and was told to come through the front door and that there will be One who will lead her on. She didn’t feel good enough or worthy to enter that way, clearly that’s only for those who are up there, princes and princesses not for a muddy, poor criminal like her. She wasn’t even sure why she should be there, it was not where she belongs. Thus she decided to enter through a lesser gate and asked the guard there if she could go in. He replied, “Sorry Miss but this is not the way to see the King, go through the front door, He is expecting you there.” The girl stepped her foot on the door step and started marching across the shiny, whistle clean aisle. She approached the King on the throne, with the One who loved her by her side. The King couldn’t help but look at her with compassion and mercy. If His Son thought she was worth dying for, she was precious indeed (though at the moment she may not look like it). He rebuked her for insulting Him, as she attempted to evade the invitation by trying to enter through the side door. She thought she was not worth the honour and the truth is- she wasn’t, but there is something called Grace! What mercy? What love?!

“14 Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrew.4:14-16