Thursday, November 20, 2014

Adventure and Inconvenience

So true! 

International Childrens Day

Happy International Childrens Day today!  November 20, 2014

Let's leave a good influential mark on all children everywhere! 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Not One But Two

Given the chance, would you want one treat or two?   It seems like a silly question.  But today's liturgy shows us that God desires to give us not one grace but two.

"Jesus told his disciples a parable
about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.
He said, “There was a judge in a certain town
who neither feared God nor respected any human being.
And a widow in that town used to come to him and say,
‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’
For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought,
‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being,
because this widow keeps bothering me
I shall deliver a just decision for her
lest she finally come and strike me.’”
The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.
Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones
who call out to him day and night?
Will he be slow to answer them?
I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.
But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Luke 18:1-8

As we look at this passage, we see that faith grows whenever we wait.  And faith ceases to grow whenever we give up.

We all know that God answers prayer.  We also know that He has given us everything.  In fact,  He didn't even withhold the most precious possession that He has only one of, his Son.  

"He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" Romas 8:32 

What does that God desire to give us when we pray?  Not one but two "treats".  One is that He wants to answer our prayer.  The second is that He desires we grow in faith.  If He gives us what we ask the minute we ask for it, we lose out in the opportunity to grow in faith.  Where there is waiting, there is growth.  Just as a seed grows through time, so does out faith.  Our faith is what will bring us to heaven so it is definitely worth growing!  It's worth the wait! 

So let's not miss out on the grace of waiting for God's answers.  Yes, let's keep praying and waiting and be confident that as we wait, we not only will receive one but two graces; the answer to our prayer and the maturity in faith.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Forever She Thought

Doodle of the Day

I thought I'd write some poignant nonsense...

The sound of the sigh rushed through the curtain
Her iris narrowed in to find meaning in the day
She looked with awe and wonder, willowing and sweet
Forever she thought.  Forever.

Honestly those words don't mean a thing but I just liked how poetic it all sounded.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ask and it Will Be Given You

Our deepest wants we mask
When we just ought to ask
No fray, no worry, none to solve.
All He's taken care of! 
- calej 

Love Will Find You

This pairs nicely with the song "Hold On" by Nicole Nordemann.  Love will always find you.

Light Reflections


Who wouldn't want to be a new creation?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Korea Street Art

It was my second time in Korea but Seoul has never impressed me as this time has.  It has been a longer trip than our usual but in a word I can say this place is impressive.

The weather is cool and surprisingly very pleasant.
Graphic design is advanced and had global appeal while retaining it's unique identity and culture.

There is always something exciting happening.  There is something for everyone.  The crowd is young, hip and artsy.  Most everyone is well dressed.  The senior members of society retain their elegance and bearing.

A mix of the old and new always incites wonder.  Here is a lotus flower and street sign in an urban collage.

The image above was taken from a park verdant and fresh where wisdom abounds.  

All the color and vibrance of this city will stay with me as I fly back to manila.  I wish I could bring home the weather as well.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Alabaster Jar

I once encountered a little boy selling precious stones.  I had never seen alabaster before so I bought an egg shaped one.  It reminded me of a woman (of ill repute) who gave her all to Jesus.

This woman didn't care how people thought of her.  How they whispered behind her back.  How they gossiped about her mistakes and failures.  She was bold enough to go uninvited to the home of a prominent man.  

She had probably heard Jesus speak about love, forgiveness, and to cast one's burdens on Him.

She knew how out of place she was and she humbled herself, kissing Jesus' feet and wiping them with her tears and hair.  

She was judged for it even by Jesus'  own apostles.  They said what she did was a waste.

As low as she saw herself, Jesus exalted her deeds. 

"Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7

"Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lift Up the Cross

"And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him. " John 3:13-17

The Israelites were tired, hot and angry at God and Moses for bringing them out into the desert with only scarce food and drink.  They started to complain. (Nm21)

Sometimes we see only a minuscule part of the story.  God had a grand plan to save the chosen people from slavery in Egypt, but some were looking back.  The mere fact they had food and water was already a miracle.  It was unbelievable enough to survive in the harsh wasteland they traveled in.  But they wanted what was familiar, what they've been used to all these years.

When the going gets rough, we often complain.  We have everything we need BUT... If only we had this, life would be perfect.  We are in the middle of God's provisions, whether it be that job you worked hard to get, or the house you paid for, or the relationship you're in, or the children you have, or the government.

Sometimes we don't appreciate that where we are is already so much more than what so many have in their lives.  

"In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents,
which bit the people so that many of them died.
Then the people came to Moses and said,
“We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you.
Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us.”

Complaining is a call to crisis.  Our complaints draw us away from the Lord.  When we complain, we see more and more things to complain about and discouragement sets in.

On the same day this was part of the church readings, I spent some time watching the Asian Food Channel.  Anthony Bourdain went to Vietnam (where I quite recently was) and sampled cobra's heart (still beating), and eventually he ate all the other parts of the snake.  He felt quite strong afterwards.  Eeeeewww.

I thought that was interesting that in church there was a bronze serpent raised up and then I saw a show about snakes.

Snakes usually represent evil, sin, rebellion, fear, danger.  For me it speaks of temptation.  

"So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses,
“Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live.”
Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole,
and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent
looked at the bronze serpent, he lived."

The Israelites were made aware that their complaining brought on the snakes.  They were told to look up at the snake and they would be healed and survive.

What does it mean for us today?  

People's hearts are full of evil, sin, rebellion, fear, danger and temptation.  Maybe we need to look at these things so we can be free of them.  Blindness to these things can be our downfall.

Someone wise and wonderful once said...

"Jesus took our sins to the cross and accepted crucifixion to save us from those sins.  We need to look to His glory on the cross and acknowledge that it is our sins which He bore there. Why is He there?  Because of our hardened, complaining hearts.  Because of our sloth, our anger--because of all of our sins.  Let us look at them and know that the price of those sins was Jesus' life.  At the same time, let us look at Him who "loved us to the end" in order to free us and in awe-filled gratitude determine to leave those sins at the cross for good and for all!"

We can be free to receive God's promises just like the Israelites who were able to reach the promised land.  So long as we lift up the cross of Christ our Saviour!


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