Friday, November 2, 2012

The Hurt in His Eyes

November 2, 2012  **Friday. Starbucks. 9:06am**

Ezekiel 5:8-9

But I will let a few of my people escape destruction, and they will be scattered among the nations of the world.  Then when they are exiled among the nations, they will remember me.  They will recognize how hurt I am by their unfaithful hearts and lustful eyes that long for their idols.  Then at last they will hate themselves for all their detestable sins.

Ezekiel was a Hebrew prophet of God during the times of exile.  During the days of Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian empire had exiled the people of Israel.  God had a message for the people who turned away from him and Ezekiel was the guy for the job.  In this passage God gives the reason for their destruction, the very reason for his wrath.  "[H]ow hurt I am by their unfaithful hearts and lustful eyes that long for their idols."  At the core, God created people for relationships and from the beginning they have and continue to hurt God by their sins.

It's been a while since I've done my devotions in the morning because I've been going through a rough patch of time.  I stopped doing them daily because I had started to think and doubt that the reading of the bible daily, had become somewhat of a ritual and just something I did just because it's the "Christian thing to do".  In this time, I've gone back to certain bad habits and was in a "funk" and I know now it was because I started starving myself spiritually.  Neglecting the intimacy of any relationship creates a wedge and does damage to it.  Daily devotions are the intimacy in this bond between a person and God.  It's the daily hug or touch that slowly disappears and causes one another to feel like strangers. Danny, a friend of mine said this about daily devotions, "sometimes there are days when I feel good and don't feel the need to do my devotion that day; but I realized that although I feel full, I do them to feed someone else.  You never know when someone needs to hear what God said that day."  He went on to tell me a story about the devotion he did that day when he thought this and the next moment after he was done, a friend had called him and that devotion had been for her.  In application to this verse is very significant for me.  I've been seeking God in purity for myself, and as I failed this past few months, this verse shows me the hurt I've caused God.  Like a husband jealous for his wife, God has that same passion for us.  I am his, and when I stray and fall again and again, his wrath for me is great because of the hurt he has in his eyes.

Lord, I'm sorry I fail.  This is something that I continue to do, like the season of falling leaves; I fall when I walk away from you.  Help me though this and give me the strength to persevere. You are the reason I am here.

The hurt in your eyes are to great for me to bear, forgive me so eventually that hurt will evolve into love in your eyes again.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

The Heritage of the Lord's Servant

September 28, 2012  **Friday. NHCC Library. 9:40am**

Isaiah 54:1-3

"Sing, O childless woman, you who have never given birth! Break into loud and joyful song, O Jerusalem, you who have never been in labor.  For the desolate woman now has more children than the woman who lives with her husband," says the Lord.  "Enlarge your house; build an addition.  Spread out your home, and spare no expense!  For you will soon be bursting at the seams.  Your descendants will occupy other nations and resettle the ruined cities."

The prophet Isaiah foretold of the issues and visions concerning Judah and Jerusalem.  It was during the times of Uzziah {9th king of Judah}, Jotham {11th king of Judah}, Ahaz {son of Jotham}, and Hezekiah {son of Ahaz and 13th king of Judah}.  These kings ruled the land and served the people who repeatedly persisted in idolatry.  They often heeded to the words of Isaiah and some of the kings became very prosperous but as pride took over their hearts, they fell away from the words of the Lord.  As Isaiah continued to seek after God, chapter 54 continues the saga of the servant's absolute triumph after his cruel death. This is the foretelling of the coming Messiah, Jesus.  In these verses, Isaiah speaks of the redemption opportunity to be fulfilled.  The "desolate woman [will now have] more children than the woman [with a] husband".  This is the redemption theme that the bible tells and tells again.  A chance to be redeemed!  The prophets cry out but the people of Israel turn their backs away from a loving God.

As an application to these verses, I believe that this is what I am called to do.  My heart's desire is to occupy and purchase my father's house and use it for God's glory to be able to transform it into "Jovie's Home for Girls".  A safe haven for those little girls who are broken-hearted, abandoned, and alone. "Your descendants will occupy other nations and resettle the ruined cities."  It's my missions heart, where God has placed me into, and this is what I seek after: to give God the glory minus my prideful and selfish heart.

Lord, it is ultimately you, who I seek after.  You who should get the glory.  Humble my heart, scrub my heart, clean out my heart that it is filled with you.  Decrease me that they see you in a version that looks like me.  Open up these doors and remove the cobwebs, cockroaches, and filth that needs to leave for you to reside in my life.  I allow you and give you permission to do what you need to do through and in me for your glory to shine, even though I say it with a scared but open hands.  My feet are ready to go.

If this the the heritage of your servant, Lord, send me.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Words of the Wise

September 4, 2012  **Tuesday. Starbucks. 10:08am**

Proverbs 22:17-19

Listen to the words of the wise; apply your heart to my instruction.  For it is good to keep these saying in your heart and always ready on your lips. I am teaching you today -- yes, you -- so you will trust the Lord.

Solomon was a very wise man.  The fact that he asked for wisdom over anything else was very wise.  The book of Proverbs has a bunch of wise words.  This book is for the wise, many useful advice that we should follow, some are common sense but others are very convicting.  God was about loving him and loving others.  Proverbs is a book filled with words of advice on how to do these very things, especially how to love others, to be kind, and treat others with respect.  Pastor Wayne talks about how many of the people in the bible are "Divine Mentors".  These people were written about to teach us ways of life, to teach us about how they lived, and what to do and what not to do.  This weekend at Camp Agape, Gabe did a spoken word and I love how said that the people of the bible were homeless men and women who teaches us the ways of the world.  His spoken word was very powerful--straight from the heart.

As I go to school and learn from my professors, I want to not only listen to the words but to APPLY these to my heart and life.  Pastor Mike Ward says that this is the most important thing of learning about God.  To Apply the facts and use it towards giving God glory.  To make him famous and let his light shine through us.

Lord, help me to hear your words, listen to the wise, and apply them to my heart and life.  I pray that this prayer is not in vain but that I will truly be transformed into the person that you want me to be but at the same time, be the same person -- one who is passionate about your people, one who seeks your ways, the one who will not neglect or be rude to those who I can be irritated at.  Teach me to "scrub my heart" daily, teach me to pray, and teach me to love.

The words of the wise is priceless.  It's the cost of listening to those wise words that I will value.

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

See Forever

August 31, 2012  **Friday. Starbucks-Mililani. 10:18pm**

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

For our present troubles are small and won't last very long.  Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.  For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Many people tend to look at their current troubles or issues as long term.  Some may not have hope that it will ever pass, so they become doubtful and lose faith.  Paul and his co-workers of the faith contiunued and pressed on in their journey to proclaim the faith for the very reason that others will not doubt or lose faith.  They knew that God's glory to shine through is the most important, the most vital for the life of those around him.  When people become grateful and appreciate what God has done for them, it is at that moment that God really appears.  This is what I call the "awe factor".

The "awe factor" is something I personally pray for.  It's that moment when I'm in doubt of things and the times I may lose faith; this moment of "awe-ness" that I long for.  I was just talking to a classmate as I had a chance to give him a ride to the dorms about this very thing.  Times when we go through struggles and rough patches of our lives that we become hesitant, doubtful, and sad.  He told me that it comes with a mature character to know that things are going to be okay, to not run away.

Lord, let your glory always and constantly shine so brightly.  Remind me that our present problems will not last long but to endure in what we are going through.  It is in the preserverance that will produce the character that you want in us and for us.  Thank you for your unfailing love.  I love you.

Some times I can't see past my problems but with you, Oh Lord, you show me how to see forever.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Rescue

August 29, 2012  **Wednesday. Starbucks. 8:06am**


A long time ago, my teacher had told us a story about a river that flowed through a town.  

One day, the few of the people were found dead down river.  The police and other authorities immediately arrived at the scene. Soon thereafter, there were many other deaths. No one was able to figure out why this was happening.  The deaths were multiplying daily. They built a morgue and filled it with various personnel and opened up a large lot to bury the dead down river.  No one ever thought to travel upriver until a life guard happened to be hiking near the woods in that area.  This life saver noticed something strange and questioned why it was so.  It was then their efforts was redirected up stream to find the reason for their deaths instead of just burying the dead.  This simple observation saved many lives. 

See, I strive to become a World Changer when I grow up.  I want to be a part of the life saving rescue efforts.  By finding out the initial causes and creating ways of prevention; I can help change and make an impact in the world by learning how to save lives.  

My journey through NHCC will be a part of what will enable me to become the world changer, life saver, redirector of traffic, and just shine the light in the darkness that I strive to be.  This is impossible but with God, He makes things happen! 

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

God's Friendship

August 28, 2012  **Tuesday. Starbucks. 8:22am**

Job 29:2-4

"I long for the years gone by when God took care of me, when he lit up the way before me and I walked safely through the darkness.  When I was in my prime, God's friendship was felt in my home."

When people go through rough patches in their lives, it is natural that they speak of times past.  They all dwell on the "good ole days" and "way back when".  These days are the highlight of many people's lives. Some view it as good memories and move on in a healthy way; others see it as good times but have not moved on, causing them to constantly look back with regret.  Job's circumstances were very dire and seemed hopeless.  He had friends who surrounded him, who spoke life and encouragement to him, and a times, did the "smack in the face" with words.  It trips me out that after Job's series of unfortunate events that Job and his friends could not utter words to console him for seven days!

I know that when I hit bumps on the road or even when I'm hanging out with a bunch of friends, they constantly talk about the past.  In light of their conversations, they often laugh or wonder why things happened the way they did.  When I look a my past, at this moment, I see and remember mostly those tough and trying moments of my life where I struggled with issues and bad choices.  During this time, I don't recall being God's friend.  I had no concept of what that was--sure, I knew what a friend was, but to really have a heart knowledge-to really live out how a good friend is, I never understood it, so in turn, I was a bad friend.  God is always have been and will always be our friend.  Sometimes we hang out with him as our best friend. We wear BFF T-shirts and necklaces to prove that we are best friends. How many of those times in our lives do we treat God as that guy in the background--the one in our outer circle, the guy we put our back to, the guy that we sometimes are embarrassed to be around, the guy who is there but we are hanging out with "cooler" friends?  I know I do, sometimes very often.

Lord, I wanna be your friend.  I wanna hang out with you as you stand next to me.  Not on the outskirts, behind the circle of friends, the one who is ignored.  I wanna hang out with you; like in Psalms 51:12b says, "...make me willing to obey you".  Help my heart to want to have you next to me, that I know who you really are-your character, your unfailing love, and your faithfulness.  Teach me to be cool like you, to hear your intimate voice, to really know you.

I love Facebook but I wish I could visually see God's friendship via his wall and see our postings and messages by this type of social media. Seeing it this way would be cool and all but truly, I want and deeply desire the intimacy of God's friendship felt at my home, my heart, as my dear close friend not just to add to my friend list.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Breath

August 25, 2012  **Saturday. Starbucks. 8:01am**



Secret Revealed

August 24, 2012  **Friday. Starbucks. 6:56am**

1 Corinthians 15:51

But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret.  We will not all die, but we will all be transformed!

In this passage, Paul speaks to the Corinthian church about the first Adam and the last Adam, which is Christ; about death and baptism. In verse 46 says, "what comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later."  He goes on to say in verse 50, "What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.  These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever."  Throughout history people will always be concerned with death.  This passage assures the followers of Christ that we all die but there is a promise in living for the Holy God.

To me, death is just a necessary evil we all face.  We all will die one day.  I've heard it said that there are only two guarantees in life: death and taxes.  Sure, we can avoid taxes--until it finds us, but death is one thing we cannot avoid.  No matter how hard we hide.  Knowing this truth that Paul reveals is so wonderful that it enables me to keep doing what I'm doing for Christ.  I am a bond-servant and knowing that i will one day be transformed into a heavenly creature, one only God can create, is beyond imaginable!

Lord, You alone are amazing.  You are the very thing I cling to daily.  Every morning I listen to Rebecca St. James's song, "Breath", and I can not help but to use that song as my everyday theme.  You are the one I am so desperate for.  You are the air that I breath.  You are the only one I strive to live for.  Today, as I start my first day of my 2nd year, the year we "Develop" I pray that you will not only go before me, but walk along side of me.  Remind me that you direct my steps, my path, my ways.  Let them be your ways.  Remind me not to hang out with those creepers at the Pity Party, or the complainers of the Complaint Corner.  Show me those who love you, who serve you, who have the overwhelming joy to just be with you.  I love you so much.  Remind me of this day, the day that I start my development process in my journey with you at NHCC.  Thank you for being God.

The Secret is Revealed.  Those who love and follow Christ will be forevermore transformed.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Pity Party

August 23, 2012  **Thursday. Starbucks-Village Park. 9:47pm**

Job 10:1-2

I am disgusted with my life.  Let me complain freely.  My bitter soul must complain.  I will say to God, "Don't simply condemn me--tell me the charge you are bringing against me.

According to Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary: 10:1-7 Job, being weary of his life, resolves to complain, but he will not charge God with unrighteousness. Here is a prayer that he might be delivered from the sting of his afflictions, which is sin. When God afflicts us, he contends with us; when he contends with us, there is always a reason; and it is desirable to know the reason, that we may repent of and forsake the sin for which God has a controversy with us. But when, like Job, we speak in the bitterness of our souls, we increase guilt and vexation. Let us harbour no hard thoughts of God; we shall hereafter see there was no cause for them. Job is sure that God does not discover things, nor judge of them, as men do; therefore he thinks it strange that God continues him under affliction, as if he must take time to inquire into his sin.

This is hard core, man.  "If anguish on earth renders the grave a desirable refuge, what will be their condition who are condemned to the blackness of darkness for ever?" Whoa, so those times when I wanted to end my own life and craved death, my condition would have a greater sense of despair?  That's super deep and crazy to even fathom.

Lord God, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SAVING ME!!! Saving me from myself, saving me from this unfathomable depth of despair, saving me from eternal damnation, saving me from the weeping and gnashing of teeth.  WHOA, I am an utter failure without you; BUT YOU GOD, loved me so much that you saved me those times when I was on the brink of death; those darkened nights as I heavily contemplated the benefits of death and the ease of becoming you, one who decides to take death into her own hands. These benefits--leaving my loved ones, no more heartaches or heavy burdens to bare, or the benefit of releasing my unknown dreams into the grave--or so I thought as benefits, were really just a pile of poopy lies. You knew, at those times that these were not benefits of death but the very things that will lift my spirits higher; the very things that will cause me to excel in this life, the very things that, out of the overflow of my heart for you, will cause me to become the very world changer that I now strive to become. All I can say is: Thank you.

Most days the Pity Party hangs out across town. Some days they cruz on by the neighborhood.  I know they're there, they exist only to wait for an invitation. Not Today, guys I get to hang out with the cool kids--Those who love and serve God.  Keep your Pity Party on your side of town....

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Complain, Complain, Complain

August 22, 2012  **Wednesday. Starbucks. 10:00am**

Job 6:5-6

Don't I have a right to complain?  don't wild donkeys bray when they find no grass, and oxen bellow when they have no food? Don't people complain about unsalted food?  Does anyone want the tasteless white of an egg?

Wild donkeys and oxen do not cry out or make a fuss if they have enough to eat.  They will, though, if they are in areas where the food supply is sparse.  Job had a lot to complain about.  His children were killed, fields and animals were destroyed, and he had boils all over his body.  These are complaints that are worthy of complaining about.

I was reminded of a scene in a movie, Ever After with Drew Barrymore where her step sister throws a tantrum when she finds out Drew's character is the one the Prince is in love with.  There are so many times where I am in her shoes.  Where I just need a few minutes to complain, throw a mini temper tantrum, be selfish, or cry.  I've complained about so many things that may have not gone my way, where I have not received something I truly wanted or desired; simply complained.  We have a right to complain--it's where our heart is, our heart's condition after the fact that matters.  I hope that after "wearing and spoiling my baby girl chonies" I can get over it and move on with my adult life wearing clean big girl panties.

Lord, help me to remember to keep my big girl chonies on; that you are ultimately in control.  If things do not go my way, remind me that my plans/ways/wants are not really what you have for me.  Teach me to have patience, understanding, and love during my spoiled little girl times.  I only want what you want, and not to complain for things that I want.

Complain, complain, complain and throw your tantrum all you want, but it really isn't gonna get you anywhere, you'll just have dried tears and snot all over your face, rumpled clothes and a swift kick in the butt from Daddy.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

January 28, 1978

August 21, 2012  **Tuesday. Starbucks. 8:53am**

Job 3:1-26

At last Job spoke, and he cursed the day of his birth.  He said: 

"Let the day of my birth be erased, and the night I was conceived. 

Let that day be turned to darkness. Let it be lost even to God on high, and let no light shine on it. 

Let the darkness and utter gloom claim that day for its own.  Let a black cloud overshadow it, and let the darkness terrify it.  

Let that night be blotted off the calendar, never again to be counted among the days of the year, never again to appear among the months.  

Let that night be childless.  Let it have no joy. 

Let those who are experts at cursing--whose cursing could rouse Leviathan--curse that day.  

Let its morning stars remain dark.  Let it hope for light, but in vain; may it never see the morning light.  

Curse that day for failing to shut my mother's womb, for letting me be born to see all this trouble.  

Why wasn't I born dead? why didn't I die as I came from the womb?

Why was I laid on my mother's lap? Why did she nurse me at her breasts? 

Had I died at birth, I would now be at peace.  I would be asleep and at rest. 

I would rest with the world's kings and prime ministers, whose great building now lie in ruins.  

I would rest with princes, rich in gold, whose palaces were filled with silver. 

Why wasn't I buried like a stillborn child, like a baby who never lives to see the light?  

For in death the wicked cause no trouble, and the weary are at rest.  

Even captives are at ease in death, with no guards to curse them.  

Rich and poor are both there, and the slave is free from his master.  

Oh, why give light to those in misery, and live to those who are bitter? 

They long for death, and it won't come. They search for death more eagerly than for hidden treasure.  

They're filled with joy when the finally die, and rejoice when they find the grave.  

Why is the life given to those with no future, those God has surrounded with difficulties?  

I cannot eat for sighing; my groans pour out like water.  

What I always feared has happened to me.  What I dreaded has come true.  

I have no peace, no quietness.  I have no rest; only trouble comes.  

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High Five For Jesus

August 20, 2012  **Monday. Starbucks. 11:31p**



This is my friend, Jay from my HSE days in San Diego.  I love his approach to witnessing and he is super cool!

Enjoy!

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Beauty Treatments

August 18, 2012  **Saturday. Starbucks. 10:08am**

Esther 2:12

Before each young woman was taken to the kin's bed, she was given the prescribed twelve months of beauty treatments--six months with oil of myrrh, followed by six months with special perfumes and ointments.

Esther was a Jew by birth and chosen by the king after Queen Vashti refused him.  These beauty treatments that she went through were very extensive.  Twelve months of spas, manicures, pedicures, make up, the works can be very special but rigorous.  Esther was special enough and blessed to have become chosen to be a representative of the Jewish people for such a time as this!

To have the chance to spend a year with beauticians would be heaven for me!  I can imagine just the things that I would be immersed in.  So cool!  This verse spoke to me because the women who when through these treatments were virgins and hand picked by the king--so no ordinary girl would imagine going through this regimental treatment.  In the year she spent beautifying herself, I would like to think that this time is my time of preparation for my future husband.  There may not be twelve months of oil or myrrh but in purity, holiness, and righteousness; I can be like these virgins waiting for the king.

Lord, as I seek purity in mind, spirit, and body; I pray that I can focus on at least twelve months of beauty treatments with you.  Show me what that looks like, how it feels and means to be immersed in oil and myrrh.  I want to wait and spend time with you, as you prepare my future husband.  But Lord, selfishly, right now I don't want to be in the shadow of any man.  I want your light to shine through me, and pridefully I want to be the face that represents you that others see.  Thank you for being that beautiful savior who I love so dearly.

The beauty treatments I seek after is you.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Your Love - Casting Crowns

August 15, 2012. **Wednesday. Starbucks. 10:51am.**


Your love is extravagant
Your friendship, it is intimate
I feel like moving to the rhythm of Your grace 
Your fragrance is intoxicating in our secret place
Your love is extravagant

Spread wide in the arms of Christ is the love that covers sin
No greater love have I ever known You considered me a friend
Capture my heart again

Spread wide in the arms of Christ is the love that covers sin
No greater love have I ever known; You considered me a friend

Capture my heart again
Your love is extravagant
Your friendship, it is intimate

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Can Handle

August 14, 2012 **Tuesday. Starbucks. 12:59pm**

1 Corinthians 10:13

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.  And God s faithful.  He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.  When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

In the beginning of chapter 10, Paul teaches the Corinthian church about Israel's idolatry away from God.  The beauty of this verse is that Paul reassures the church about God's faithfulness.  He continues in verse 14, encouraging them to flee from worshiping other gods or things.

Earlier today, as I had coffee with my best friend; she reminded me of what I told her when we were 17.  We were discussing life in general and she said, "yeah, like you told me long ago-'God will not give us anything we can't handle' and this held true ever since then."  I'm amazed that she actually listens to me and something I said to her over a decade ago is something she holds dear to her heart!  I had a chance to point her back to this scripture and I love how God's word is so sharp that it cuts to straight to the heart!

Lord, thank you for your faithfulness.  Thank you for my best friend.  Thank you for Starbucks and coffee and hanging out.  You are awesome.  Thank you for not allowing us to go through things that we can't handle.  Thank you for pushing us in ways where you know we can handle, but thank you most of all, that in the dark times; when we think we can't handle things, Thank you for the knowledge that you are still there with us!  I love you so much, more everyday!

I can handle things because you said in your word that I can!

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Off to a {very} Late Start

August 11, 2012  **Saturday. Starbucks. 2:58pm**

1 Corinthians 7:20-23

Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you.  Are you a slave?  Don't let that worry you--but you get a chance to be free, take it.  And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ.  God paid a high price for you, so don't e enslaved by the world.

Dictionary.com had two definitions of a slave:


"(1) a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; a bond servant. (2) a person entirely under the domination of the some influence or person: a slave to a drug.  

If you were to apply this definition to the verse above, when asked, "are you a slave?" a person who is fits the definition should not worry but take any chances to be free.  Jesus died for our freedom on the cross.  We are no longer property of and neither are we subject to another.  

To me, a bond servant was one who serve his or her master with out being paid but in back in the bible days, they had a time frame to when they could be free men/women.  I don't remember what the details were but It was like a time where you could work your way out of bondage.  Correct me if I'm wrong but to me, I consider myself more of a bond servant to Christ since He paid for my freedom.  Event tho I'm a free woman, I take these words to me to serve Christ as such.  I know I may not be explaining it correctly, it is because i have not really processed it in a way that I can fully explain it.  The statement that I do make at this point is that "I am a bond servant to Christ."  

Lord, I know that these words can not fully explain what I actually mean or feel.  I don't even know if it seems like I'm the one making the sacrifice to serve you, sometimes I always think that people may look at my service/me being helpful/me being nice as something that I just do...but I GET TO DO IT.  You don't need me, you ALLOW me to be a part of the work that you are doing in and through my life.  The freedoms that I receive living in Hawaii, in America, to have the freedoms, the ability, the capacity to do all that I've done, want to do, and what you will bring in my life is something that I DO NOT want to take ADVANTAGE OF.  Help me in keeping me grounded.  To not take advantage of being here.  i <3 font="font" nbsp="nbsp" you.="you.">

Today I'm Off to a very late start but as I have the freedom in Christ, I am not a slave, but a bond servant for Christ.  

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Must be Faithful

August 09, 2012   **Thursday. Starbucks. 12:02pm**

1 Corinthians 4:2

Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful.

Paul's letter to the Corinthian church is very bold in every aspect.  This ancient city of Greece was very prosperous and was well known for it's worship of the Greek goddess: Aphrodite.  Here in the beginning verses of chapter 4, Paul explains to the Christian Corinthian church that he and Apollos are "mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God's mysteries."  In Luke 16:1-12, the story unfolds of the shrewd manager who blew away his boss's money.  Christians are put on a higher pedestal and are judged more because of what we believe in.  Whenever Christians or those who proclaim the faith, they are extremely examined and closely watched.

Someone once told me, "you are the only version of the bible someone will read".  That really changed my view of being a Christian.  I sometimes have a hard time claiming my Christianity.  I have a hard time because of those ahead of me who gave Christianity a bad name.  Those who are on the pulpit or in church, who are either hypocritical or sin to the point where there is no repentance.  I fell away from the church at 18, for this very reason.  As I strive to become a leader in the church, I strive for being above reproach and making sure that my character and heart is always in check.  Verse 3 and 4 says, "As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority.  I don't even trust my own judgement on this point.  My conscience is clear, but that doesn't prove I'm right.  It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide."

Lord, keep me in check.  Keep me in line with your word, your truth, your ways.  I know I'm not afraid of what others say but I want to be held above reproach to those who see me.  Since being a Christian means to be like Christ; when others see me, I only want them to see you.  I give you permission to take out the whip if necessary...help me to "scrub my heart" daily.

As any manager or follower of Christ, One Must BE FAITHFUL.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What's Important

August 07, 2012  **Tuesday. Starbucks. 11:06am**

1 Corinthians 3:7-9

It's not important who does the planting, or who does the watering.  What's important is that God makes the seed grow.  The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose.  And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.  For we are both God's workers.  And you are God's field.  You are God's building.

The bible has told this story about the seed, the field, the workers, the watering, planting, the whole process of gardening of people many times.  If you look at agriculture itself, there are so many steps that take place in the growth of a plant.   Just like people tho, there are millions of millions types of plants, methods of growth, but not very many farmers.  This process of gardening is how the bible talks about in the story of unreached believers.  See, they are believers--people are just unreached.  God instilled himself in others from the very beginning.  He created us that way.  Why do you think so many people long for, look for, and search the world for something they do not know what they are longing, looking, or searching for?  The field is just filled with lost individuals who has a part of God in them, they just don't know what that is.  We, as followers of Christ, it is our duty to first learn the way of the farmer, experience the work of the farmer, and ultimately--LIVE the way of the farmer.  The gospel also mentions the life/career of the fisherman to be similar.  We are to be farmers and fishers of men.

In Mark 2:3-5, the story says, "four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat.  They couldn't bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head.  Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus.  Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "My child, your sins are forgiven." {emphasis mine}.  I want to apply both scriptures in my life by living the way of the farmer/fisherman and those who helped the paralyzed man down to Jesus.  You see, sometimes we are only in someone's life for a few minutes.  Those few minutes can matter dramatically in an unreached believer's life.  Aaron Nunez, my professor says, "You matter for Eternity".  In the few long minutes it took the guys to dig a hole in the roof and lower the guy down mattered because the paralyzed man not only received forgiveness of sins, he was also healed!!!  I emphasized "seeing their faith" because it wasn't the faith of the paralyzed man that Jesus noticed, but the four dudes....  We can have faith for the unreached that can bring others to healing and salvation!  I don't know about you, but that is pretty bad ass!!!

Lord, I hope that my faith in you, my hope in you, my belief in you is great enough that others are not only healed but receive forgiveness of sins!  You always find ways to trip me out and I am constantly blown away by your goodness and faithfulness.  I love that.  Thanks for being God.  You are a pretty cool dude.  ;p

What's important is God.  God is the one who grows the seed.  God is the one who heals.  God is the one who saves.  What is important is God, NOT ME.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Splendor Reveal Yourself

August 06, 2012  **Monday. Starbucks-Pearl City. 9:35am**

1 Corinthians 2:10 

But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit.  For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God's deep secrets.  

The dictionary defines Splendor as, (1) "brilliant or gorgeous appearance, coloring"; (2) "an instance or display of imposing pomp or grandeur"; (3) "grandeur; glory; brilliant distinction"; (3) great brightness; brilliant light or luster".  The bible often speaks of God's glory and how bright it is. The sun is the closest thing that is bright that I can see, other than man-made lighting. This brightness is hard to imagine when we only have the sun to compare in light.  If God created the sun, but he is brighter than that; I would go blind!  Acts 9:3-4 illustrates how bright the light is; "...a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him.  He fell to the ground...."  During Paul's conversion, God shone a light so bright that he was blind for 3 days! Oh geez...crazy bright light.  

This video is a Spoken Word that was recorded at 3rd Cup Cafe & Venue in the Royal Kunia area of Waipahu.  As soon as I have the words, I'll post them up.  @ :43 Arnel Data says, "Who am I?...Splendor Reveal Yourself..." I love those chosen words. Awesomeness. <3 nbsp="nbsp" p="p">

video

Lord, reveal your splendor but in a way that I see clarity and courage to truly see you.  Your beauty is so great, so grand, so unfailing, so extravagant, my human self can not truly begin to fathom the wonders of it.  It changes every moment, second, every time...but you still stay the same.  I love you.  Those words is all that my frail human language can ever speak. I love that your love is never failing.  I love that you love me.  I love that you love those who I love.  I love that those who love you also knows and loves me.  Because of that everlasting love, I love you.

Splendor reveal yourself, but please don't let me go blind!

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Foolish Preaching

August 05, 2012  **Sunday. Starbucks-Ward. 8:02pm**

1 Corinthians 1:21

Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.

Paul begins to speak to the church in Corinth about divisions of the church.  He pleads to the church in vs. 10, "...live in harmony with each other. Let there be no division in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose."  See, God is so smart, he dumbs it down for us.  Then he uses that foolish thinking to bring others to Him.  I love how vs. 18 says, "the message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction!  But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God."  Wowzers!  People reject the story of Jesus's death because they are headed to a very bad place but those who know the truth know the POWER behind it!  It's funny how Paul says in vs 25, "this foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God's weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength."  He goes on in vs. 27-29, "God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise.  And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.  God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can boast in the presence of God."

I always wonder where thoughts come from.  My thoughts, my best friend's thoughts, thoughts that are verbally spoken from others.  Where do they come from?  Some of these thoughts becomes someone's way of living, things they turn to when they need them, or some are just plain silly.  Today, as I promoted my school at a High School, I had a chance to talk to a teenage girl, about 16 years old.  When I asked her "how I can pray for her," she said, "please pray to help God to show me where to go in life."  So cute.  What she said, the words she chose, is the very reason I want to teach English to these kids of Hawaii.  I asked her, "Do you think God needs help?" She gave me a puzzled look and I had to repeat what she said to me.  She then corrected herself by saying she was the one who needed help.  Sometimes our foolish thinking gets us in trouble, thankfully God brings us back, gives us fresh perspective.

Lord, sometimes our thoughts creates Foolish Preaching in our heads and sometimes it is reguritated out and looks eactly like gross crap.  Thank you that you are so smart.  It took you only 6 days to create the universe.  The universe that is so magnificent, so wonderous, so amazingly beautiful, that we as humans will never comprehend how unfathomable it truly is.  In one week, you spoke it out into exsistence.  No biggie.  Not a big deal.  What trips me out, God, {as I spoke with Laura during Dr. Randy's message at church yesterday} is that it took you 9 months (10 according to Laura) to create us.  To intricately knit our human bodies together in our mother's womb (psalms 139:13) and to be so initmate with us you know our very thoughts (psalms 139:4).  OMG, you are super good.

Foolish Preaching can lead to destruction but the POWER of the Holy Spirit brings out salvation to those who are not so foolish.

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Weight of the Ark of the Covanent

August 04, 2012  **Saturday. Starbucks. 10:27am**

2 Chronicles 35:2-4

Josiah also assigned the priests to their duties and encouraged them in their work at the Temple of the Lord.  He issued this order to the Levites, who were to teach all Israel and who had been set apart to serve the Lord: "Put the holy Ark in the Temple that was built by Solomon son of David, the king of Israel.  You no longer need to carry it back and forth on your shoulders.  Now spend your time serving the Lord your God and his people Israel.  Report for duty acccording to the family divisions of your ancestors, following the directions of King David of Israel and the directions of his son Solomon."

The Holy Ark of the Covanent was something that was super cool.  This container held the very stones that held God's handwritings of the Ten Commandments.  Pardon my french, but this box was pretty bad ass.  Yeah, those words are not very "Christian like" but you have to admit that the Ark of the Lord is something to really be amazed at.  It is said that it also held Aarons' rod, a jar of manna, Moses's first Torah, as well as the Holy stones.  Just the jar of manna trips me out since Genesis says that manna will not be good past the first day--it would be gross and moldy.  But there is something else that I observed with this scripture.  See, Josiah said to "put the holy Ark in the Temple...You no longer need to carry it back and forth on your shoulders.  Now spend your time serving the Lord our God and his people of Israel."  What I see is that since the people during these bible days were literally putting God's good news on their shoulders and carrying this burden back and forth whereever they would go.  Can you imagine how heavy that would be?  That's hard work! Okay, Wikipedia says, "It is to be 2½ cubits in length, 1½ in breadth, and 1½ in height (as 212×112×112 royal cubits or 1.31×0.79×0.79 m, or 4.29 × 2.59 × 2.59 feet"  and on top of that, it is to covered in gold.  Dude, gold is heavy and I've seen pictures of this thing!  OMG!! 

How do I apply this scripture to my life?  Easy.  Put God's law, His word, His ways in my heart {the Temple of God--my heart, my mind, my life} put God where He belongs so I can love and serve not only God but His people.  Psalms 119:11 says, I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." (NLT)  I don't want to work extra or too hard if I don't have to.  I'm a pretty lazy, selfish, conceited, and prideful human being.  A professor at my school has this saying, "I want to make Jesus famous".  Many has applied this to their way of their Christian life.  This has kinda rubbed me the wrong way.  (1) Some famous people can sometimes make a bad name of themselves.  (2) Some Christians have given Christianity a bad name.  (3) Jesus doesn't need us.  We get to be apart of His work.  And lastly because of the fact that I'm all those things listed above, (4) I wanna make Jesus so famous that the Heavenly Angels becomes my fans...now that's being so self-centered.  ;p hahaha!!! but i still love God and He still loves me. 

Lord, I know I'm a very lazy, selfish, self-centered, conceited, and prideful.  I want to only make you famous so I can be famous among your heavenly angels.  I want your angels to know me, to help me, to fight with me.  You said that "we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against might powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places."  You are God and the winner of this battle.  Although the fight is not over, knowing you are the victor, I can be confident that as you teach me, train me, and work alongside of me, I can learn, have endurance, and preservere to become a strong mighty warrior.  Help me to put your Ark of the Covenant into my heart, so I don't get weary in the everyday-ness of life.  I want your yoke around me, as you are the strong one beside me.  I love you so much, I become so lost and dependant on you.  Your love is extravant.  Your friendship is intimate.  

It is not necessary to carry the weight of the Ark of the Covanent on my shoulders anymore.  Life is so much more lighter. 

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Who art thou, woman?

August 02, 2012   **Thursday. Starbucks. 9:03a**

Romans 16:1-2

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a deacon in the church in Cenchrea.  Welcome her in the Lord as one who is worthy of honor among God's people.  Help her in whatever she needs, for she has been helpful to many, and especially to me.

Chapter 16 is a shout out to Paul's dear friends who have helped him out throught his time.  Back in these bible days, women were rated as less than second class citizens.  It was only fairly recently when Woman's Rights were established that women were treated somewhat fairly.  There are some instances where some women in many places of this world where this unequality still happens to this day.

An important aspect that I see in this scripture is that Phoebe, no not my sister-in-law, but this Phoebe was a deacon of the church.  I see her as my Auntie Pina at my family's church.  My auntie Pina has established herself as a very strong Christian woman.  She has helped so many people, she runs a food bank out of her house, and the mother of two outstanding grown sons who are very dependable at the church.  As a grandma, she teaches her two grandkids to love the Lord and to be good kids.  I hope to see myself in likeness of her--an example of what a true servant to Christ looks like.

Lord, you have placed auntie Pina in my life for so many reasons but I love this reason the most: because you love the both of us.  In the Message it says, "His love was not cautious but extravagant.  he didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everthing of himself to us.  Love like that." Ephesians 5:1-2.  You are very intentional with us and I hope to be intentional too.

Who art thou, woman?  You are a woman loved by the very God who CREATED and LOVES you!

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Selfish or Selfless?

August 01, 2012  **Wednesday. Starbucks. 7:17p**

Romans 15:13

I pray that God, the soure of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him.  Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Paul is addressing the context of the people who only want to please themselves. Verse 2 says, "we should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord", he is encouraging them to not only be selfish, but selfless.

I love how Paul is so encouraging and prays for others.  God is the source of hope and sometimes I forget this.  I tend to look inward (at myself) and try to find some kind of hope there.  There is only one hope, the hope that is in God.  Having His hope and looking towards Him, causes an overflow in ourselves that we become selfless.

Lord, there are so many times I become selfish and only trust in things that I can do. Things I can accomplish.  Things I find hope in myself.  Help me, show me, guide me daily to your hope.  The hope in you.

To be selfish or selfless, that is the question.  I want to be overflowing with the Holy Spirit, which is hope.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Is there something wrong with what I did?

July 31, 2012  **Tuesday. Starbucks. 9:17a**

Romans 14:22-23

You may believe there's nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God.  Blessed are those who don't feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right.  But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it.  For you are not following your convictions.  If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.

The context for Romans 14 is based on the fact that men are responsible creatures.  The human race are the only organisms who have the ability to think or have emotions.  Thus people are ultimately personally responsible for their actions.  First and Foremost, we are responsible and accountable to God, our creator.  God has given us the beautiful and wondrous gift of choice.  Freedom of individuality.  We chose and make decisions every moment of the day, sometimes multiple ones in a second!  There are so many people who, when asked why they don't go to church or believe in God, they respond with: "I feel judged and condemned by the very people who are supposed to be Christians--they are not supposed to judge me".  I believe that there is a difference between the "church" judging you and you "feeling" guilty by your own actions.  What you do is ultimately between you and God.  Personal Responsibility.

I know that in my life I make decisions constantly that affect my relationships with others.  For example, today I'm dealing with an incident that happened during my work-study at my school library.  I feel that I can justify my actions because the person I had an altercation with technically {based on what I think--it is not confirmed that this person is a student} should not have been there.  I view myself and my stance on the situation as being the correct one and I fought hard to prove this to this particular person.  In the end, I spitefully asked if my apology was accepted and if I was forgiven.  I manipulated that forgiveness because I knew as a "Christian person" they "have to" forgive me.  I know in my heart that he only said the words and true forgiveness was not given.  My heart has been hardened because I still feel that I am right but I am extremely sorry that I manipulated it.  I know I am wrong.  Personal responsibility looks like this:

Lord, forgive me for being rude yesterday.  I really am sorry that the situation had escalated to that point and there should have been ways that I could have avoided it all together.  I was not being respectful, I was angry, irritated, frustrated, and very rude.  I wanted to punch this person in the face!!!  Forgive me for manipulating the accepted apology, for forcing forgiveness.  I hope and pray that you soften my heart and help me to be NICE to this person.

Is there something wrong with what I did?  On the surface, maybe not but what was my heart condition?

<3

Monday, July 30, 2012

Your Actions, my dear son....

July 30, 2012  **Monday. NHCC Library.  11:19a**

Proverbs 20:11

Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.

The book of Proverbs is very interesting to me.  I love that Solomon, the wisest guy who ever lived, wrote these very smart and God inspired stuff.  The thing that trips me out, about this book is that {to me} it's like a bunch of random things that is placed in an unconventional way--I mean like it doesn't read like a normal book does.  The verse before vs 11 says, "Differeing weights and differeing measures--the Lord detests them both" and then vs 13 reads, "Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare".  (the student bible. NIV)  I know {since I am a bible college student} that I will learn the very reasons why this book is the way it is. As I searched a few commentaries, in one of them, The Old Testament Library reference book, it was listed in a way that was not in a specific numerial order.  Lol, sorry about my mini wierd rant.  Anyways...so about this verse:  I've been babysitting for a really good friend of mine and this verse reminded me of the little man, Gabe {the cutest 4 year old I know}.  He is pure in heart and very obedient to his father.  Sometimes, there are times when he gets wild and riley but because he has an amazing father, Gabe is truly a good boy.  The NIV Application Commentary explains that in this verse, the theme is on how to recognize a person's character.  It states that, "The 'child' is most likely the young man who does not fare well in this book.  While some take the proverb to mean that a person's character is revealed in early childhood or adolescence and that this makes a case for careful teaching (true as each thought may be), the point is that whether old or young, actions reveal character to those who have learned the wise art of discernment."  A person's true character always comes out in time.

Sometimes, I can act like a child.  In those times, they say my true colors are showing.  As I walk in my journey of life, I want people to see the true me.  I want character that shows people that although there may be tough and good times, it reveals that I trust a God that is good.  I don't want an ugly character that can tarnish or cause others to fall from God.

Lord, let my true colors shine.  Help me to have preserverance to keep trusting you, strength to push forward--one step at time, and encourage me to keep on keeping on.

Your actions, my dear son, is showing...are they positive or negative colors?

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sweet Words

July 29, 2012   **Sunday. Starbucks. 8:27a**

Psalms 119:103

How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey.

I love desserts or any thing sweet.  I love to try new things, I love the way cupcakes look.  I love the fact that desserts are so super cool looking and I especially love how they taste.  But I can only have a little bit of it because they can be so fattening!  My old boss used to say, {about desserts or anything that could add fat to our bodies} "it's fat free, you don't pay for the fat, it is already included."  God's words are so good and fattening that it is fat free, I don't pay for it in monetary terms or have to worry about getting physically fat!

God's words are super sweet.  There have been times in my life where either I've read something sweet in the bible or have had a super sweet prayer meeting that I crave ice cream or cake.  Or both.  I love that He literally puts sweetness into my mouth as I dive deeper in love with Him.

Lord, you are so amazing and so wonderful that you are super sweet!  ;p

Your sweet words are so wonderful to my lips, give me more!!!

<3

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Grafted In

July 28, 2012   **Saturday. Starbucks. 9:24am**

Romans 11:17-18

But some of these branches from Abraham's tree -- some of the people of Israel -- have been broken off.  And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in.  So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God's special olive tree.  But you must not brag about being grafted in to replace the branches that were broken off.  You are just a branch, not the root.

Wikipedia states that "grafting" is, "horticultural technique whereby tissues from one plant are inserted into those of another so that the two sets of vascular tissues may join together." 
File:Neadle.jpg

The above picture is an example of a grafted "Circus Tree" by Axel Erlandson.

There are many reasons why grafting is important such as: Precocity (bypassing the juvenile stage of fruit growth), Dwarfing (producing smaller trees for safety and more growth per area of land), Ease of Propagation (cost-efficient ways of raising certain plants), Hybrids (creation of mixed varieties of plants), Hardiness and Sturdiness (to build strength in certain plants), Repair (repairing unhealthy plants or trees), Maintaining Consistencies (keeping the same type of fruit, i.e. apples) and Curiosities (see above picture and link).  Paul states that in these verses that the Gentiles were grafted into the kingdom of God because His chosen people, the Jews, refused to obey, follow, or rejected God as their God.  We, the Gentiles, are fortunate enough that we have become grafted in, and looking at the list of the reasoning for "grafting" many of them do apply to us!  It's awesome that being grafted in means that we are "fused" together with God, He who is truly unfathomable, so wonderful, so amazing that I can not even describe to it's full capacity what it actually means!

These verses in Romans are not only words that I want to apply in my life.  I want to be able to truly grasp the meaning...What does it really look like to be grafted in?  I know that I am truly grateful that God gave this option to the Gentiles.  Back in the Old Testament days, only the Jews were considered His people.  He despised all others but it was the Jewish people He held as His own.

Lord, Thank you for allowing me to be grafted into you.  I am but a weak, ugly, juvenile plant of a person that you decided to choose me, to love me, and saw something great in me.  Help me to really know and live like a plant, a person truly grafted into you.  As you are the vine and I am just merely a branch, I know that with you, you produce the fruits.  Please don't let me leave you, for without you, I AM NOTHING.

Being grafted in is a big deal.  God, you are a big deal.

<3

You are Good



You are Good.  Kari Jobe (Gateway Worship)

your kindness leads me to repentance
your goodness draws me to your side
your mercy calls me to be like you
your favor is my delight
everyday I've awaken my praise and poured out a song from 
my heart

You are good, you are good
you are good and your mercy is forever
You are good, you are good
you are good, and your mercy is forever


your kindness leads me to repentance
your goodness draws me to your side
your mercy calls me to be like you
your favor is my delight
everyday I've awaken my praise and poured out a song from 
my heart

Friday, July 27, 2012

Some Good in You

July 27, 2012    **Friday. Starbucks. 7:54a**

2 Chronicles 19:1-3

When King Jehoshaphat of Judah arrived safely home in Jerusalem, Jehu son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him.  "Why should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord?"  he asked the king.  "Because of what you have done, the Lord is very angry with you.  Even so, there is some good in you, for you have removed the Asherah poles throughout the land, and you have committed yourself to seeking God."

Jehoshaphat was the Kingdom of Judah's fourth king, a descendant of David.  He was known to be one of the most successful and prosperous ruler because of his commitment to God.  He removed Asherah poles and demanded that his people also follow God.  His only fault or failure is in his choice of alliances.  He kept sketchy friends.  In these verses, his alliance was the king of Israel, King Ahab, who the led both their armies into war where he met his death.

Since the bible is a book of stories, this story teaches me a valuable lesson about wisely choosing your friends.  King Jehoshaphat did really well during his kingship but he chose the wrong set of friends.  In life we all have our various sets of friends that we associate with.  During my life, I know I've chosen the wrong ones and have kept one really good friend.  Those wrong friends and the choices I've made during our friendships have caused me to face consequences where at times they may have been minor but more often than not, they were life altering.  

Lord, Thank you for your book of stories that is alive and true.  Help me to recognize principles, truth, and correction in the words that are written.  There are so many times where I don't know what to do and I know that your instructions for living life are breathed into the very ink of this wonderful masterpiece.  I love you for giving us the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, our holy BIBLE.  Amen.

Just like King Jehoshaphat, there may be times where God is mad at us, but since there is some good in us, we are able to know, have, and experience God's GRACE.

<3

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Not just in the Early Years

July 26, 2012   **Thursday. Starbucks. 10:05am**

2 Chronicles 17:3-6

The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the example of his father's early years and did not worship the images of Baal.  He sought his father's God and obeyed his commands instead of following the evil practices of the kingdom of Israel.  So the Lord established Jehoshaphat's control over the kingdom of Judah.  All the people of Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so he became very wealthy and highly esteemed.  He was deeply committed to the ways of the Lord.  He removed the pagan shrines and Asherah Poles from Judah.

Jehoshaphat was David's great-great-great grandson.  King Asa was his father. Asa followed God in the early years, but as success reached him, he became self-reliant and fell away from God. At the final years of his reign, it was prophesied that he was going to be continually in war with other and eventually died with a foot disease.  Jehoshaphat must have saw his father's history and learned from his mistakes.  This lesson made him a very successful and wise king.  

We should all learn these lessons, to follow God not just in the early years but throughout our lives.  I want to seek God and obey all the commands that He tells me.  I hope and pray that I will do just this, not just in the early years, the honeymoon stages of any relationship, but throughout all of my life.

Lord, please keep me aware of those early years.  The early years of goodness, the romance, the love, the salvation days when I first decided to follow you, the good ole days of yonder....When I forget or things get me distracted, I will give you permission NOW to do whatever it takes for me to look to you once again, but I PRAY that I will ALWAYS follow you.  Please teach and help me to not want or to become like the Israelite wanderers who circled the mountain so many times for 40 years!

I want to follow you, not just in the Early Years.

<3

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Safe Travels

July 25, 2012                     **Wednesday. Starbucks. 7:51am**

 2 Chronicles 15:5-7

"During those dark times it was not safe to travel. Problems trouble the people of every land. Nation fought against nation, and city against city, for God was troubling them with every kind of problem. But for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded."

 In these bible days, The king was King Asa who was Abijah's son, grandson of Rehoboam, great grandson of Solomon, and great great grandson of David. This above conversation was between King Asa and Azariah, son of Oded-a prophet of God. The prophet was telling King Aza stay with God. After Azariah informed the king of God's good news, he removed idols and repaired the altar of Lord. He became so passionate about not straying from God that he had his people killed if they did not seek the Lord and it didn't even matter if you were a man or woman, young or old. When his grandma had made an Asherah pole, he removed her from her royal position! The thing is, is that as I read on about King Asa, at this time of his kingship, he did follow God but something happened that he fell away from the ways of the Lord. In verses 7-9, Hanani, the seer, came up to the king and tried to refocus his eyes back to God. Verse 9 says, "For the eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to stregthen those whose heart are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war." Wow, harsh.

 Throughout my "spiritual schooling" -- Horizon School of Evangelism and New Hope Christian College, when we approach the end of term or semester, we are advised to "Finish Well". I love that but what about "Keep Your Hand to the Plow"? Sure there will be ups and downs in life but sometimes when I do finish well I start to boast at veer off track -- into myself. I start to pat myself on the back, tend to look back at my accomplishment, and sometimes, I've taken my hands off the plow. These are the moments that I pray about -- the moments where I want to "learn how to jump after being on my knees". I think about the Bruce Lee moves as he's in a squat and all of a sudden he jumps, using his body strength to lift himself off into a standing position. I want to become "strong and courageous" and "keep on going" without loosing sight of what is truly important. I want to learn this Bruce Lee move. To remember that my Lord God is EVERYTHING.

Lord, Help me to keep my eyes on you, not to stray or become so distracted that it takes every effort to go back on the right track. Thank you for keeping your eyes on me. Teach me to have a FULLY COMMITTED heart to you.

 In these days, sometimes it is not safe to travel -- the things we see, hear, touch, and do can affect our lives. As long as I walk alongside of Jesus, he keeps my travels safe.

<3


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Abandoning Ship

July 24, 2012  **Tuesday. Starbucks. 8:42am**

2 Chronicles 12:1

But when Rehoboam was firmly established and strong, he abandoned the Law of the Lord, and all Israel followed him in this sin.

Rehoboam was the king of the Kingdom of Judah.  Chapter 11 discusses all this road to kingship and his triumphs of the cities he took over.  Being the son of Solomon, grandson of David, he had a linage that followed God.  He was 41 years old when he became king and ruled for 17 more.  In verse 17, the bible says that, "he was an evil king, for he did not seek the Lord with all his heart."  For 58 years, King Rehoboam must have had the knowledge of how good God was, because he was successful in all he did, but I believe that because he did not follow God "with ALL his heart" evil was allowed in to his life.  Being in David's lineage and having the knowledge of God did not protect Rehoboam from evil.  Somewhere along the line of his life, he allowed things to slowly creep in and harden his heart against God.

I inherited my Christianity.  I was born into a Christian home.  Growing up, I attended church services regularly and was heavily involved in Sunday school.  This did not mean I was a Christ follower.  I was a fan of Church.  The difference between being a fan versus being a follower is that as a fan, a person watches from afar, where as a follower is right there in the mix of things, lives, breathes, and walks in step with what he or she is following.  A follower truly engulfs themselves in their passion, sometimes they begin to look like what or who they are following.  A follower of Christ truly begins to look like Christ in character, action, speech, and the way they treat others.  I hope to apply this fact to my life, for I want to follow Christ-whatever that looks like-I don't want to just be a fan and "like" Him.

Lord, thank you for being God.  You truly are amazing and awesome.  Help me to follow you, to be in step with you, to allow and give you permission to change, transform my life to imitate you.  I want others to see you, not me.  Show me my selfish ways, my ungrateful heart, my ugly side and mold my life to how you want it to be.  Thank you for the truth that NOTHING can separate you from us.  I can only do life with you by my side and I want to follow you not only be your fan.

Abandoning ship means to drown among with the fishes, but God walked on water and that's where I want to be...doing the impossible right along with Him.

<3


Monday, July 23, 2012

Organized Life

July 23, 2012   **Monday. Starbucks. 9:50am**

2 Chronicles 8:14-16

In assigning the priests to their duties, Solomon followed the regulations of his father, David.  He also assigned the Levites to lead the people in praise and to assist the priests in their daily duties.  And he assigned the gatekeepers to their gates by their divisions, following the commands of David, the man of God.  Solomon did not deviate in any way from David's commands concerning the priests and Levites and the treasuries.  So Solomon made sure that all the work related to building the Temple of the Lord was carried out, from the day its foundation was laid to the day of its completion.

Solomon was a wise man.  His decisions to "not deviate in any way" in regards to the work of God's Temple is extremely important.  I don't know the details of what this enormous task involved because of how grand the temple was, but I do know that it must have been a very daunting task!  Imagine being in charge of the Temple of the Lord!  Just reading how much detail, how many rooms, the complexity of this building!  Not only is it just an amazingly piece of architecture, but God's Holy place!  The responsibility of managing this place is HUGE!!  Solomon must of been a really good manager.  I can imagine being a Levite working for this guy.  He was the original CEO, the OG Chief Executive Officer running God's first business.  He must have been tough but what a great leader he must of been!

I would love to be this kind of leader, who "goes by the book" and does not cut corners.  When I was following the path of a business degree, I've always wanted to be a CEO, but it never really mattered what company I worked for, just as long as I got my own parking space.  That was my goal in my career: to have my own personal parking space.  It's amazing to where God has brought me through in this journey for my own parking space.  I know that God has allowed me to become a successful CEO at Permanent Vacation and although my parking space may not be personalized it is personal, even though it changes spots on a daily basis.  I want to apply Solomon's character of being a good leader by not deviating from God's law and not to take corners.

Lord, You are good.  You are an amazing God.  Thank you for being God.  Help me to know your ways, to not deviate from your path, to go by the book, and not cut corners.  I know that as I organize and straighten my life, you will bring the success that you want for me, the fruits of my labor will not go in vain.  I know that with you by my side, with you as my teacher, my divine mentor; as you are strict and discipline me, I know that I will succeed in all that I do.

Organizing my life means to follow His rules, His laws, and His path.

<3