Friday, October 30, 2015

Where it All Began

If Jesus is just a myth, how come we can stand on His promises?

A man told me today that he didn't believe Jesus ever existed. 

His words took me back decades ago when I was a college freshman. I thought to myself then -now was the time to find out for if God was really real- not to simply believe because my parents believed:

I made a silent prayer. I said "God, if you're real, I will serve You all my life but if You're not, I will be an atheist. Then I started seeking the truth. I attended prayer meetings and went to mass and asked questions. Some people made a significant impact on my" investigation'' because they said things like "God told me" this and that. I realized that these people were so joyful, which I wanted. Then I realized they were really good people to be around.

It was not long after that I started sensing Gods' presence. I felt an inexpressible joy and peace I've never known in my life. In fact l've always had short fingernails due to nail-biting but at that time I was able to grow them long because I wasn't on anxious anymore! 

One desire I had was to hear God speaking to me-like I would hear the other Christians speak about!  It didn't really happen right away. I would have regular times of prayer (and that in itself was grace) but still no booming voice from above.

Then I went to a retreat.  At the start, the retreat master said "Some of you who are here are wounded with scars from the past." as I heard that I thought to myself "Thats' not me. I wonder who that is?".

Then we had time for personal reflection.  We had guide sheets with bible verses to read and think about, but suddenly it seemed like God was right beside me. He spoke in the depths of my heart saying, "You are the one with the master was talking about. You have wounds I want to heal. 

And I said, "Lord, what wounds?  What scars? I am the happiest college kid here!" (with pride) and He said, "Your parents didn't plan you but I planned you."  Once I heard that I started crying.

It all came to me in an instant. Yes, being the youngest in the family, I was an "accident". I was the 5th child to arrive and the 3rd girl, so if ever they wanted another child, they would have wanted a boy.

I didn't know I had an issue but apparently I did - and God showed it to me!  Then God told me not to be sad because He said its even more wonderful if He plans things. He said I had a special mission. So that greatly comforted me.

I felt so loved and amazed at how God was dealing with me so personally and imagine that, I didn't need to pay a shrink!  God did all the work! 

I was a changed person after that retreat.  God showed me that I needed to be healed and restored fully so I could be free to love Him and others better!  This was only one of many instances when I've sensed God speaking to me, expressing His boundless love for me and how He is truly my best friend and Saviour!

He has "fixed me", forgiven me and embraced my heart countless times. He is truly the lover of my soul and I cannot imagine journeying through life without Him, my North Star!  He is a personal God and He wants to give us fullness of life. What else can we ask for?

I sincerely pray that all of you reading this will experience God's love in amazing ways! 

Monday, October 26, 2015

God's Everyday Gifts

Today I was thinking about how we have a God who loves us so much that He blesses us and gives us gifts even when we don't ask for them.

When we wake up in the morning, the new day is a gift we don't always thank Him for.  Our every breath comes from the Lord.  Each family member is a gift from Him, whether we realize it or not.  Our abilities, our fruitfulness, our opportunities are all gifts from Him and He gives these freely whether we thank Him or not, or even if we believe in Him or not.  

Just today I was reading the story of a woman whose body was bent for 18 years.  Just imagine not being able to sit properly or look up at the sky or just look at people you were taking to for such a long time.

But this woman, instead of sulking at home, came out to hear Jesus preach.  When she got there, she didn't call attention to herself and neither did she call out to Jesus. Here's what Jesus did...

"Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, "Woman, you are set free of your infirmity." He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God. .." Luke 13:10

Jesus called out to her.  He gave her the gift she was afraid to ask for or probably even hope for. After all this time she could now stand straight painlessly!  Nothing less than an awesome miracle! 

What does the woman do?  She glorified God!  What do we often do when we get an unexpected blessing?  Do we do the same as she did?  I sure hope I do.  Sometimes I forget that God works 24/7 even when I'm not praying and asking Him for things.  Indeed our whole life is best lived out wholly in gratitude!

I once asked a man in his 70s what he thought was the best way to live and his answer was, "say thank you, thank you, thank You God!"  Simple and yet powerful words to live by!


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