Bible book ends…

i did two out of three runs only last week, missing my long run over the weekend.

i missed running because i attended a workshop last Saturday, it’s the BIBLE-IN-A-DAY seminar headed by Rev. Sean Love of St. John’s Richmond Church. it was a whole day affair attended by members of our church and from other congregations as well.

BIAD

(click on image to learn more about Bible in a Day)

truth is, i haven’t read the entire Bible continuously, like in a bible-in-a-year plan. But i did read fragments of it such that if i compile everything, i’d say i have tackled 70% of the entire book… well, it doesnt matter if i read the whole Bible or not,, thing is, how has it become a part of my daily life and of my relationship with God as well as with the people around me?

my bible, my friend as i call it. when i began my journey into knowing the Lord whom i have accepted as my Saviour, i only knew maybe total of 3 verses like the famous John 3:16… or the bible verse that saved my life in college (Romans 8:31 – “If God be for us who can be against us”) or the one that brought me out of depression in 2008 (Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God”). over the years, i have understood what 2Timothy 3:16 meant when it said, “All Scriptures are God-Breathed…”

let me share with you one interesting illustration from the workshop. this part truly amazes me because after you know about this, it’s a rubber stamp seal that the BIBLE is truly GOD BREATHED!

Rev. Sean Love shared this contrasting illustration between Genesis and Revelation, thus, BIBLE BOOK ENDS, about how the events from beginning til the end justify the plan of God for humankind…

bible book ends

it takes guidance from the Holy Spirit to grasp everything, with an open mind and accepting heart, that God truly is our Lord and the only One who can save us…  

have you taken the first step to getting to know the Lord through His words, the Bible? if not, i am inviting you to try it and be filled with the Holy Spirit not only for a day nor for a week, but in your everyday,  until you meet Him on that glorious day..

GLORIOUS DAY

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

M. 

Isaiah 40:28-31

recently watched the movie “Chariots of Fire” and one scene was with Eric Liddell reading the scripture from Isaiah chapter 40.

just a short note on Eric Liddell.. He was a Scotish athlete, a runner and also a missionary. my pastor friend gifted me with a book about his life.. i think she wanted me to read the book because at one time, i was skipping church services when i used to join Sunday run events. Not that she was restraining me to do so, but more on she wanted to remind me to include God in all my activities, and how putting God first in everything, just like Eric Liddell, when he refused to run his 100 meter event at the 1924 Paris Olympics when it was scheduled on a Sunday (Christian Sabbath) and therefore was forced to withdraw from the event (wikipedia – Eric Liddell).

Eric Liddell

i re-read the entire Isaiah 40 and let me share the last few verses:

28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

these are very comforting words to read. whenever i visit the library, i see dozens of self help books, how-to’s and whatever morale boosting, think positive books there is to find. sure these books do help. i do have some of these kinds in my personal library. however, for me, the best encouragement book i ever have and love is my BIBLE. but again, the most important thing is not in the reading only, it is applying what i have read and having the will to change my perspectives and continue on. no matter how many books one reads, or even if he/she read the entire bible, if there is no understanding and change, it will be futile..

i recommend this verse to those feeling weary of treading water, like you feel you have done everything you can but still it is not enough. i always remember that God renews my strength on a daily basis. so at the end of the day, when all is said and done, i surrender everything to Him and face tomorrow with a renewed strength and faith… so can you! 🙂

M.

Sister to Sister…

i was invited to join our Sister to Sister Prayer Team in church. i was hesitant to say yes at first, but i am glad i did accept the invitation and i understood more why God made me become a part of this team.  

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my hesitations came from the thought that i feel i AM the one who needs to be prayed for, and i didn’t think i am capable of praying for others. i know it sounded very selfish of me, no excuses.. but spending more time reflecting on His words, especially now it is Lent Season, God opened my heart and my mind through this verse:

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”

it is now clearer to me that, since i get comforted by the love and promises of God despite going through difficulties, i, too, ought to share the comfort God gives me with those in need. in fact, as they say, experience is the best teacher, do you agree? therefore, since i know what pain is, i know how it is to feel almost losing hope and being disappointed, God gave me the opportunity to uplift another sister undergoing the same,, just to be by her side and tell her that everything will be okay because, i know so.

that being said, i now am praying for my sisters in Christ, who desperately need prayers, that God may give them also the comfort and peace that He abundantly gives me as they face their difficulties, knowing that they are not alone in their life’s battle because GOD is definitely alongside them,, this i know so, too. 🙂

M.

yes, i memo-wise….

have you heard people advising you to memorize bible verses? i did and still do, but the difference is, before, i never understood why the need to do that, now, with my growing personal relationship with God, i am wiser to be doing it.

back in my school days, my teacher told me not to memorize, just understand the lesson then it will be easier to remember. so she meant that understanding what is being taught is better than just memorizing without really understanding.

but how about memorizing with understanding? i call it “memo-wising”.

i choose bible verses that will be most meaningful to me, those which i think i can use to guide me in any good or dire situation i am in. let me tell you, they are very helpful! say, when days i wake up and unsure of what is to be for the whole day, my memory bank is like a rolodex, where i browse and pick up Psalm 139 where it says there, “You know when i sit and when i stand, You perceive my thoughts from afar…. You discern my going out and lying down, You are familiar with all my ways…” it feels just like saying “yes Lord, i hear You and i remember.”

rolo-verse

another instance is, when having disagreements with my husband, sometimes, these are not settled amicably.. instead of harboring anger and frustration, i will quickly scan my “rolo-verse” and mumble Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger..” it is truly pacifying.

how do i do it? i’m sure we all have different ways to memorize verses, but for me, first of all, i pray for the Holy Spirit to direct me which verse to pick, then i ponder on it, try to understand which part of bible story it was said or occurred, then i put each and every word in my heart as if God speaks to me personally. also, writing them down over and over again sure helps… i do utter them while in the shower or while busy in my kitchen.. that way, it will be easier to remember the verses with understanding.

i encourage you to start memo-wising, not only that it’s a good brain exercise, not only it makes one wiser, it also makes difficult situations (even HAPPY situations) easier to comprehend and accept, because the bible indeed contains a lot of good life instructions and believing that it is God-breathed, we are assured that it will lead us to a more righteous life and a life pleasing to Him.

Psalm 119:11
“Your words have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against thee.”

M.

Labor of LOVE…

Generosity should be in our hearts 24/7 or 365/12, in short, all the time. i admit, i am a little tightfisted, not that i am stingy (or so i think), i just feel i don’t have much to share, i only have enough. but, how much is enough? the bible says, “give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.” Deuteronomy 15:10

i have yet to learn to let go of the things i keep (including money) for the sake of just keeping them. sometimes, God does give us precisely just enough to teach us to share to those who are in need.

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LABOR OF LOVE

this is what my sister-in-law does. she, my brother and their son, live a very modest, simple life, but they are very rich in generosity. ten years ago, with her $100.00 extra in her pocket, she started her own ministry of feeding the hungry, about 25 homeless people, until by words of mouth, her ministry, now called “Labor of Love”, slowly grew from 140 to 400 and now to feed 700 with the help of other people’s generosity and selfless hearts. their story can be read at this site  www.laborofloveproject.wordpress.com (Note: this site is still under construction – May 15, 2013)

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photo 1

photo 2

the first part of their giving happened last December 1 in downtown Los Angeles and in Whittier. part two happens on December 14 feeding 200 people in what they’d call the winter shelter through St. Christopher Parish in West Covina, CA. this happens twice a year, during Easter and Christmas. it is a feat what she started, and to make it grow and keep on doing is much more noble. God truly will bless her and her family as well as all those involved… 🙂

Labor of Love’s motto:
“We love because He first loved us.” 1John 4:19
“Love ought to show itself in deeds over and above words.” St Ignatius de Loyola

M.

(for donations or anyone who wants to get involved, please refer to the website to get in touch with the organizer, may God bless you!)

God in my life…

i have been opening my draft page almost each day, attempting to write something… but what?

should i write about my 7km run yesterday? when it started raining halfway to my destination, in the 11 degree “wintry autumn” weather, wearing no jacket, just a thermal shirt underneath my long sleeved running shirt, my capri running pants, my gloves, and my favorite semi-faded neon colored cap (just so i can be seen by the roadside)… i almost ran back home but my husband pushed me to continue (he was cycling), to which i was glad i did, it was a short run, but i had fun running in the cold rain, with Hall and Oates playing on my iPod (I Cant’ Go For That / You make my dreams come true – click titles to listen) i was a bit left hanging as my adrenaline was up but then i had to be home in the next hour to prepare dinner for my friends who are coming for a visit. i finished the run in 51 minutes he he,, had to go slow,, the road gets slippery when wet.

or should i write about how silly i was feeling last week, for the simple reason that i made myself feel that way, allowing my emotions to control me. i found myself being grouchy and all, or even crying while watching a gag show, feeling down and sorry for myself, until i read my daily devotional on “How to Manage Emotions” by Mary Southerland, thanks to Girlfriends in God

Jesus has said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”  (Luke 5:31). i feel i do need a “doctor”, that’s why i had to immerse myself in His words, i know they cure me, spiritually, and emotionally.

or maybe i should tell you about what life was a year ago today? or my being in a church choir? or how Mama is now one to visit during all soul’s day? (she went “home” December 2011)

so many things run through my mind, but life continues to go on and on. it won’t stop and these stories pile up each day on my mind that there’s not enough time and words to share. God is awesome for giving me LIFE, and it does not matter if it’s good or bad, if i run in the rain, or i cry in laughter, what matters is that i am able to see how God works in me and how real He is. nothing is comparable with a life that knows God, and for that, i thank Him everyday that He chose me, and i found Him. 🙂

“Go forth today, by the help of God’s Spirit, vowing and declaring that in life—-come poverty, come wealth, in death—come pain or come what may, you are and ever must be the Lord’s. For this is written on your heart, ‘We love Him because He first loved us.’” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

M.

Just when I need it!

hey it’s October!!! time flies so quickly don’t you think so?

October is another special month for me.
1. it is our wedding month 🙂 we’ll be into our 19th year of being married and that’ll be another story later.
2. my 3 years anniversary of being first-hand-smoke free!! well, er, unfortunately, i get second hand smoke from… people.. but at least, I kicked the habit and am holding on..
3. i am into my 9th month of being a stay at home wifey.. and still enjoying it so far.

so, now let’s get to my subject for today….

iPhone tool

have you seen this small tool used to remove the SIM card from iPhones? my husband recently got himself his new model phone, therefore that makes me the recipient of his older iPhone, and when i was about to get this tiny tool to take off the SIM card, i could not find it where i kept it.. i trust my memory so much that i cannot figure out how and why that now i need it the most, i just could not find it! why oh why???

image from http://legacyccc.com/2011/03/jerry-sharpless-i-found-it-asia/

years ago, i think i was in grade school yet, there was a campaign of sorts going around where they posted bills everywhere or bumper stickers that said “I FOUND IT!” i am not sure who started this campaign, (i read somewhere it was the Campus Crusade for Christ) but what was it all about? it was about finding GOD and the campaign was created to lead people to finding Jesus Christ.  

how do i relate this with my ordinary earthly life? well, it sure feels good to find what we are looking for. it is much harder to keep on looking and never finding.. but what about keeping what we have found? it depends on our priorities and how important the find is.

as for me, i found Jesus in my life and He is for keeps, not just when i need Him.. besides He is always around for me, whether i need Him or not. That is my greatest comfort, and He can never be replaced.

As for that small tool for the iPhone, it will show up one day, when i don’t need it, i’m sure, but for now, the paper clip did the job…

“But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29

M.