Sunday, June 1, 2014

Despite Doubt


Every day our minds are a playground for a whole variety of thoughts.  We have good thoughts and not so good ones.  Sometimes a day is going so well and then doubt creeps in and takes over.

It was the same for Jesus disciples.  They were fishermen, craftsmen, businessmen, ordinary men who thought ordinary thoughts.

Their leader, their hero had fallen and though reports of Him being raised from the dead circulated, followers were walking away.  They were discouraged, fearful and doubt reigned supreme.

Jerusalem was where it all happened.  They started walking away.

But Jesus was alive and He told them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for something big that was coming their way. (Acts 1:1-11)

How many times have we tried to be patient and wait yet only to let doubts tell us to just move on and to flee from desperate, seemingly impossible situations?

Or how many times have we felt unworthy of good things and let them slip away from us?  How many times have we run away from God thinking of how we've messed up and how He couldn't possibly want us back now?

If we choose to walk away from God and our experiences of Him, giving way to fear and doubt, we miss out on what He desires to give us.

The disciples who stayed received the power of the Holy Spirit.  They had changed minds and hearts that enabled them to change the course of the whole world.

Do we want everything God wants to give us or are we fearful of it?  

During the times we are waiting, we don't sense His nearness to us.  We think He isn't coming or He isn't going to do something - I need to.

But these times of waiting are essential to prepare us for His coming.  We grow in faith with waiting. 

The 11 disciples went up on a mountain and saw the Risen Lord.  Despite the unbelievable of a man coming to life again and their seeing Him face to face, the still doubted. (Matthew 28:16-20)

Even when good things happen, we doubt. 

Despite doubt, go with God.  Despite fear, go with God. Despite sin, go with God. He will bring us from glory to the next.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Singing Songwriting Spree

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CALEJ

Do you see the dust on the street?  Under your feet!!!  Well I wrote a song about that.  READ ON...


I received some good news and I'm so excited to share it with you!

Just about a week or so ago, I entered some of my original compositions in a songwriting contest.  Then I got an e-mail last night telling me that one of my songs was chosen to be included in an album yeyyyyy!

Together with 14 other songs it will actually be published AND HEARD. This is huge for me.  I don't really care about the honor of being selected. It's the fact that someone will hear it and the message it has.

I am not by any means a professional.  In fact I can't play a lot of the chord flats but what little chords I can play, you can already make a little song.

The recording is really brutally raw (I mean listen hard enough and you'll probably hear the dogs singing / barking with me).   It's just me and a guitar.  Hopefully the singing is soulful enough and the message is something you will like to hear.

This song was born out of prayer and I guess it's just an expression of how overwhelmed I am at who God is and how much He loves us!  Thank you Lord!

Curious enough?  Here's the Sound Cloud link https://soundcloud.com/calej/dust-before-you



So what do you think???

Here are the words...



Please do let me know your thoughts about the song in the comment box below.  I will accept ALL your comments and won't get offended.  Promise!

Thank you for reading my post today!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Give Your All

The Lord can turn nothing into something, turn lack into abundance.  He can make the desires of your heart be filled and your needs fulfilled.  

What it takes for us to see his work is generosity of spirit.  We need to give him all we have no matter how little so he can use it felt others in need.  That little boy was for sure, also hungry but he gave it up for God.  God used his life offering for others.  

Therefore, give your all to God so He may bless you and others as well.



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Look up

These days I've been trying to memorize wisdom from scripture.  These words from the psalms charmed my heart softly so it was a delight to know that this is an easy verse to remember.  Psalm 34:5. Just count the numbers and you've got the verse!

This will be one of my "life verses"!


I like drawing something to remember life verses.

This woman represents my desire to keep looking at God.  

To look on His love is a gift.  To look on the gift of His life is to experience His mercy.  To look on His mercy is a divine grace.  To look on the His grace is to have hope.  To look on the eternal hope He gives us is joy.  To look on the joy of every moment in His presence is to grow in loving Him.

"Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.  Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways." - Proverbs 4:25-26

We cannot see what is before us unless we look forward.  We cannot see what lies ahead without the light of Christ in this darkened world.  We are more likely to stumble without the wisdom that comes from His Word.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Seek First


Happy Easter season everyone!

It is a time to celebrate Christ's victory over sin and death!  His sacrifice saved us!   We can now enter into the Holy of Holies, into God's presence, because Jesus' precious blood has washed us clean! 

In Jesus we can look to our future with hope!  Whatever circumstances we have in our earthly life, whether trial or comfort, it is nothing compared to heaven.

Sometimes we think that this life is all there is!  We get caught up in the busyness and forget to have an eternal perspective on things.

Here i am (in my drawing below), trying to seek first God's Kingdom and His righteousness.



Seek What is Above



Happy Easter! 

God certainly works in mysterious ways. 

Jesus exceeded the people's expectations. They were only thinking of the here and now - a Messiah who would reign over Israel and free them from Roman rule. 

But God is God and He was thinking eternal salvation for all peoples. 

Isn't that the best? It may not be what you were "planning" but it is God's plan that is by far the best.

Why My Mom is So Wonderful



Today I am posting my honoring for Mommy.  The best mom in the world.  She passed on to heaven 5 days ago.  But I want to share some stories from her life with the world.



Here is a sketch I made when my mom was in the hospital with my mom.






My mom's name "Socorro" is from Perpetual Succor,
which also means "perpetual help". In looking at your life,
I could see how you have been a help to our family and to
so many in a multitude of ways.
 
 
To illustrate this, let me share some stories about her.
 
 
During the war, my mom was still very young and one day,
enemy forces started ransacking homes, killing people,
terrorizing the whole village.  
 
 
My mom's oldest sister, who was a young woman was cooking
in one room.  A soldier, seeing her, went inside the room and shut
the door behind him.  My lola seeing the danger that was about to
happen to her eldest daughter looked up at the heavens and went
inside the room.
 
 
My mom told me that she saw all this and felt that my lola was
willing to die at that time in saving her daughter from the soldier.
My mom followed my lola inside and saw that the bayonet was already
at my lola's stomach. 
 
 
At that moment, my mom let out a loud scream.  The soldier paused
and looked at the little girl (who was my mom) and let out a sigh of
exasperation and left.  My mom saved the day. 
 
 
Even when she was still so small, she helped save the life of her mother
and sister. 
 
 
I have learned from my mother that one can always do something,
one can always help, even when all seems hopeless. 
 
 
One time a friend of mine came to me for help.  She was in a desperate
financial need.  She had a lot of children and no source of income.
I didn't know how to help her.  I told my mom and she said for me not to
worry but instead, develop a product she can sell in the store.  That's
what we did and she had one of the best selling product lines and
is now doing very well with her family.
 
 
My mom helped a lot of people this way and we would just find out
later on when these people would come forward to thank her for it.
My mom inspired me to be someone who helps others too in whatever
way I possibly can.
 
 
One of the things I deeply admire about my mom is that she is
a strong woman. She is someone who is set apart from the crowd.
 
 
One time the city mayor had a meeting with all the business people. 
The mayor said something to the effect that they know all business
people don't pay the correct taxes.  My mom stood up in that
big crowd and said that she does. Not to judge anyone but she
just had to say something - that not everyone cheats. 
 
 
There were countless times that we would reason with
people who were trying to bribe us.  It was an opportunity
for my mom to witness to them about how fleeting life is
saying "our life is only a blink of an eye compared to eternity".
 
 
My mom taught us to put God first, not just through her words
but through her life.  When I was still in grade school she would
bring the whole family to prayer meetings and I learned how to
worship God at a young age, to have Him as my best friend.
Even when I didn't want to go, she would bring me just the same
and for that I really thank you Mom.
 
 
She was always a help to me.  I remember that as a child, I was
in and out of the hospital because I had asthma.  My mom would
be by my side every single time.  But one day, she prayed for me
powerfully and her faith healed me.  After that there was no asthma
anymore.
 
 
My mom loved the bible.  Early on, my brother and I would always
fight like cats and dogs.  We were constantly trying to find ways to
torture the other.  My mom sat us down and read a passage - if you
don't love your brother who you see, how can love a God you don't see?
God's words pierced through my heart and my brother is now one of my
best friends along with my whole family.
 
 
When the family was in hard times, my mom would gather us all in
a circle, hold hands and pray.  We would always get an answer.  I have
witnessed many miracles in our family life. God has been so present to
us because of the way my mom and my dad have raised us up.
The saying that when there is great love, there are always miracles
is very true in our family.
 
 
When my mom was very young, my lolo told her that she was
the sunshine in their home.  She is also sunshine to me and I'm 
sure she will shine down upon us, all the love and the prayers that
she has always done. 
 
 
Thank you Mommy for your example, for always the first one to reconcile,
to say sorry.  Thank you for always telling me everything, even the heart-
breaking things, for sharing everything with me.  Thank you for helping so
many people, not just the people we work with but also the countless
others who have been touched by the things they buy from the shop, the
people who write back to me how they have felt God's love just from something
they read in the store. 
 
 
Thank you that in the last days you would still find a way to show me that
you love me, holding my face, gripping my hand so tightly, showing me that
your love is stronger even then any illness or even your death.  I know your
love lives on even now, in heaven and in our hearts.  I will miss you every single
day.  I love you.

Obedience and Blessing


God made the heavens and the earth, the sun and the moon and the stars.  

He made the universe and yet he is concerned with what we do day to day.

He was concerned about whether or not Abraham would follow His command to go up Mt. Moriah to kill his beloved son Isaac.

When Abraham proved to be obedient, God ordered him to stop the killing, telling him it was only a test.  

He said to Abraham "...because you acted as you did in not withholding from your beloved son I will bless you abundantly and make your descendants is countless stars of the sky and a sense of the seashore; your descendants to take possession of the gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing all this because you made my command.  - Genesis 22:17-18

Abraham's obedience there on top of a lonely mountain, an event seemingly inconsequential to all other people had a huge significance to God.  His obedience brought upon a blessing not just to him but also to his people and generations after him.

He is moved by our response to Him whether it is a yes or a no.  Sometimes we don't understand why things happen and why God would allow tragedy to strike.  But I am convinced that nothing God allows to happen is without an eternal purpose, and maybe an eternal consequence.

May God remind us this Easter season of how He who was rich in all things and yet poor in only one thing, that He only had one son - did not spare Him to die for us - out of His great love for us!  May He find us faithfull!  Thank You Lord!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Seder Meal: a Christian Passover Ceremony

Every year, our family commemorates the Passover on Maundy Thursday.  We know that Passover is originally observed by Jews but we are Christians and we remember when Christ, our Passover Lamb sacrificed His life for us so we can share eternal life with Him!

The Jewish commemorate the Israelites journey from the land of Egypt to the promised land. Due to their hard labor and oppression, God heard their cries and brought upon 7 plagues upon the Egyptians just so they would let the Jews go free.

Each Israelite family was to have the blood of a lamb spread over the doors so that the angel of death would "pass over" that home.  True enough they were not harmed.  

Christians have also "passed" from death to life because Jesus' death has washed clean all our sins!

Take a look at our Jewish plates!


During the meal, we recall how the Israelites fled from Egypt and see their journey symbolized in food!

We dip the bitter herbs (parsley) in salt water to remember the bitter lives of the Israelites in Egypt.  We eat haroseth that is a symbol for the mortar for building they needed to make themselves and the unleavened bread the Israelites ate in haste (no time to leaven).


Our prayer leader, Charlie even won the tallit (shawl) and yarmulke (beanie)!


We sang songs of worship and clapped our hands in thanksgiving!  

Jesus' death won a great victory for us.  His death is our bridge to heaven.  It is the only way for us to experience heaven on earth. - To be free from sin and suffering, fear, despair and death (eternal death).  Jesus came that we may "pass over" from death to life.  Eternal death to eternal life.

Would you want to know more about the Seder meal?  Click to http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Spring_Holidays/Pesach/H4C_Passover_Seder.pdf



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sufficient Grace


Have you ever stood at the edge of the ocean and marveled at its depth and vastness?  I have.  

"My grace is sufficient for you for my strength is made perfect in weakness."  2 Corinthians 12:19

When we are weak, we rejoice in His strength.  If sin was a drop on the ocean, think of God's grace as the whole depth and vastness of the sea.  It is incomparable.  Therefore His grace is more than enough  for us to remove sin from our lives.  

It is a time to rejoice for Jesus has conquered sin and death for us.


Peter said, "Master, why can I not follow you now?  I will lay down my life for you."  Jesus answered, "Will you lay your life down for me?  Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times."  John 13:37-38 

Peter loved Jesus so much and yet he denied Him three times.  We may have often denied Christ when selfishness puts ourselves before Him, not just three times but many times.  We can take comfort in the fact that despite Peter's failures, God chose him to head His church.  

This is a great encouragement to us who have stumbled in our walk with Him but deeply desire to get back up again to live for His glory.

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