Friday, 31 July 2009

it's (much!) more than a song

Because He Loves Me by Elyse Fitzpatrick ought to come with a warning label. It should say - Beware that if you read this book while in bed, you may not sleep afterwards, due to the glorious truths contained between these binds! Open at the risk of being changed forever!

I have slept very little these past few nights, and I blame it on the book, and the Holy Spirit who is changing me because of the book! And the funny thing is the effects of this all. I simultaneously feel as though I could sleep (like a baby!) because of His love and run around the world declaring (at the top of my lungs!) His love. And though I am tired today, I am as energized as ever! How is this so? Because He loves me.

'Jesus loves me.' You've heard this. And I bet a million bucks that you sang this every week at Sunday school as a child, and a billion bucks that you even know the hand motions. And speaking of motions, I’m afraid that’s all this song might be to us. A popular Sunday school tune. A sweet message. A nice line from the Bible. A cute song we sang as a child.
But it is so much more!

Those three words offer all the hope, joy, peace, and fulfillment that a person could ever need, let alone want! His love gives me a purpose to live and provides the foundation to fulfill that purpose! His love 'covers a multitude of sins'. His love 'drives out fear' because it is perfect. And "the width and length and depth and height" of His love fulfills "with all the fullness of God." And right there, you can enjoy forgiveness, peace, and satisfaction because He loves you. And that's only the beginning, my friend. R.C. Chapman got it right when he said, “When we would consider the love of God in Christ, we are as one approaching the ocean; he casts a glance on the surface, but the depths he cannot sound.”

I am just astounded, which is only natural when one considers the fact that God decided to love the world. A world rampant with blaspheming, arrogant rebels who belittle His existence daily with their selfish ways and hideous idols. Nevertheless though, 'God is love' and loved us 'while we were still sinners'. And He 'so loved us' that He 'spared not His own Son, but gave Him up for us all', which in doing so satisfied His just wrath. What a love! Undeserved but nevertheless 'lavished upon His children'!

My life was saved and is being changed Because He Loves Me.

P.S. I'm being dead serious about that warning label!

the absurdity of worry

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
Luke 12:6-7

It is foolish for us to worry. In fact, it is downright preposterous! Almost hilarious! Think about it. Can not the God who is currently spinning the planets, keeping their orbits perfectly on track, the God who lights up our day with the sun and our night with the moon, the God who is curtailing the mighty tides of the ocean take care of His children?

If He can count the stars and sand, I wouldn't dare (for one minute!) doubt that He can count the hairs on my head. And if He clothes the lilies of the field and feeds the birds of the air, will He not both clothe and feed me, His loved and adopted child?

Not to mention, God has a perfect track record. That bears repeating - perfect! Let me borrow the words of Amy Carmichael here. "Has He ever failed you yet? Never! Never! Wherefore fret?”

So let's put an end to our anxiety, by putting an end to our unbelief in God's promises to His children. And let's kill worry once and for all, because every time we worry, we are not only being ridiculous, but we are making a mockery of our Heavenly Father's unfailing hand. He has every right to be trusted. And we have every reason to be trusting.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

wake up call!

I am currently reading Because He Loves Me by Elyse Fitzpatrick. It's one of those books that ends up overwhelmingly yellow, from being attacked by the high-lighter! Anyways, this point in particular hit me, like a bag of bricks! It got me to thinking, which has got me to writing.

God's love isn't just important; it's essential! True love on our part can only be initiated and sustained by His true love, and the working of the Holy Spirit. Taking this into consideration, we should be alarmed at the self-help books stalking the shelves at the local Christian book store, and we should be just as weary singing songs to the Lord that declare our determination to follow Him, barely mentioning His determination to cause us to do so. It must always start, and stay with God! It's time to close those books that focus on us. And it's time to open our Bible! For when the focus is on Him (as it rightfully should be!), then and only then can authentic, lasting change happen to us!

It is frightening that we have strayed to take the first part of Philippians 4:13 to heart, that "we can do all things", and lost the second (vital!) part "through Christ who strengthens us". When His Word speaks of the believers' responsibilities and abilities, they are never spoken of separate from the fact of God's empowerment. The phrases "through Christ" and "by the Holy Spirit" are always attached to phrases such as: "I can do all things" and "all things are possible." God makes it crystal clear that it is only with Him and through Him, anything gets done. And just in case you still don't believe it, God rewords this idea for us! "Apart from Me, you can do nothing." Get it now?

Here's a thought...
Our relationship with God is ultimately His doing!

It is only by His mercy and grace that we've been pardoned and adopted. It is only by His power and Spirit that we are able to serve Him. It is only by His kindness that we are able to breathe another day. It is only by His sustaining strength that we are able to persevere.

All this to say, it is impossible for a Christian to walk, even a step, independent of His transforming work of love. We ought to be checking ourselves (constantly!) to see if we are under the arrogant delusion that somehow we are the catalyst of change. I mean, who do we think we are? Last time I checked, we deserve nothing! Have we mistaken His mercy to be merited on our part? If so, it's time for a reality check. Get a dictionary! Get a Bible! Mercy is entirely His gracious choice. It has nothing to do with us, apart that it is given to us. We need to humble and surrender our-pitiful-helpless-hopeless-selves, and realize His essential, life-changing love!

O God, let me not forget this - that is is completely and always God at work, lest for one minute I take pride in myself and fall. The only type of falling I want to do is on my knees, in realization of my weakness if left to myself. And thank God, that He doesn't decide to leave me to myself.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

the five senses

Some people with sight don’t see. Some people with hearing don’t hear. They go through life blind and deaf. They plug their nose, keep their shoes on, and waste their taste buds.

Tonight I got to spend a few minutes alone by the ocean.

I opened my eyes. The sun had already sunk below the water, but its golden hues remained to grace the sky. Colours blended and their shades befriended, leaving a sight that was undoubtedly painted by the great Artist. Creativity at its finest!
I opened my ears. The waves rolled and crashed. The water raced all around my feet. Then bubbles fizzed until the water was sucked back out by the mighty tide of the mighty blue. The noise was constant.
I breathed in the abundance of crisp air. I took of my shoes and let my toes sink into the soggy sand. I let the wind play with my hair. And I tasted the salt.

And let me tell you… tangled hair, sandy feet, and salty skin is worth it! Yes it is!
You know, God gave us all our five senses to use! So, use them! And then praise Him! Join in with the standing ovation of His creation!
{what a world! what a God!!}

Wednesday, 8 July 2009


It’s sad when you wake up in the middle of the night to the sprinklers, thinking it’s raining. Once I remember, however, that I’m in California, and it never rains here, I settle back into my pillow again and just pretend.

In these recent days I came across two phenomenal movies on the tube – Veronica Guerin and Blood Diamond. What the two movies had in common were very brave journalists, fighting to report the truth, who refused to be deterred!
Veronica Guerin was an Irish investigative reporter who spent her life (and gave it in the end!) to revealing the truth about drugs and crime in Ireland! She was beat up and even shot, but that only proved to be more fuel for the fight! ‘Big problems call for big commitment.’ And this Irish lady committed herself to a cause, despite the danger, regardless of the threats. The enormity of the drug problem in Ireland got her writing, and kept her writing!
And the same heroism is starred in Blood Diamond, as there is yet another fearless journalist investigating and reporting in the face of great tragedy and misfortunate reality. She left American ‘bling-bling’ for African ‘bling-bang’ and devoted herself to unveiling huge injustice and deceit! She dodged the bullets. She asked the hard questions. She wrote the hard stories. Amidst political unrest and oppression, she uncovers what we call ‘conflict diamonds’.
Good movies invoke a lot of reflection. And reflect, I have. I have put myself in their shoes, in Ireland and in Africa, and ask myself if I would be so brave, as to stand up to crime and injustice. Or even more importantly, would I be so brave as to stand up for the Gospel? After all, isn’t Jesus Christ of the Gospel most worthy of my life, and death?
And then I remember – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” He says to “not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Something not just to think about folks, but to live about!

The other day at work, an adorable little girl said to me, as she and her mum were leaving the store, “Ok, well have a good night.” I said, “You too!” of course. A minute later she came back and said, “And when you wake up in the morning, have a good morning.”

Well, good night folks. And when you wake up in the morning, good morning!

Saturday, 4 July 2009

impossible is nothing

Sorry, Adidas. Your slogan actually belongs to us.

I love what Adrian Rogers said - "If you realized you were inhabited (by the Holy Spirit!), you would not be inhibited."

And I love even more what Jesus told His disciples! "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

People! it's time to wake up and smell the power! The moment we were saved, God gave us His Holy Spirit! He is with us!

Amen, and amen.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

transportation. tea. toe-tapping. trustworthy.

My work office is right beside an airport, and so there are always planes ascending and descending outside my window. I always wonder where they are going, or where they have come from. And sometimes I wish I could hop on one of them, and go for an adventure.

I am a self-declared tea-addict. I love everything about tea. The smell. The taste. The warmth. But apart from it being absolutely soothing and delicious, I love that tea invites a conversation. Share a cuppa, and have a chat. They go together so wonderfully.

At my work, I spend most the time filing and folding paper, then stuffing and sealing envelopes. (Yes, it's exciting as it sounds!) But thanks to my ipod, the hours pass quite quickly. Today I got back to my roots, and tapped my toe to Gaelic Storm, The Cottars, The Dubliners, Eileen Ivers, and Riverdance. It took everything within me to not stand up and do a jig right in the middle of the office. Instead, I settled for toe-tapping, and dreamt that I was the lead dancer in Riverdance. (Like that will ever happen! But a girl can dream, can't she?) Let music stir your soul.

I used to be obsessed with alliterations. How obsessed? you ask. Well, let me give you an example. I would end my birthday cards to people with this: {and I quote} Have a day bombarded with bliss, packed with perfection, loaded with laughs, stuffed with smiles, and jammed with joy! Now, is that ridiculous or is that ridiculous? Yes, I was a bit weird as a child, but who wasn't? We all had (and have!) our little quirks, whether we admit them or not. And, I confess, alliterations still have a place in my heart. But then again, doesn't take a genius to see that (see title)!

Something to meditate on ...
"Not one of all the LORD's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled." Joshua 21:45
God has never failed, nor does He intend to start. Now, isn't that encouraging!