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
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!


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