“Mami, When is Our Last Day?”

This morning before Aimee went to school, she asked me this unusual question:

Mami, is today the last day?

Me (perplexed): “Last day of what? What do you mean?

Aimee: “Is there going to be another day tomorrow? When is the last day?

Me (still perplexed): “From where did you know there is an end to our days?

Aimee: “I just think of it by myself”.

Me: “Well, only God knows the end of our days, Aimee. Nobody knows”.

Aimee: “I wish God let me know, I wish God let me know everything He knows”.

Me: “Human cannot understand everything that God knows

(Then change of topic).

Certainly that isn’t our regular morning conversation!

And now that she’s at school and I come to think about it again, I feel uneasy in my heart.

Even a 6-years old child knows there is an end to our days.

That one of these days on this earth gonna be our “last”. And yet I sometimes live my life on earth like I think this’d be “forever”.

Every moment I spend complaining seems like just a waste of time compared to this “eternity” God has prepared for me and our family.

Every impulse decision I make outside of Him, any resentment, any ignorance towards people — these are a waste of time compared to His much greater and bigger plan for my life!

I cried for forgiveness, and for His grace and help to remind me of this truth the next time I don’t have desires to do His wills.

Life is just too short to prioritise myself, my own agenda, my own dream.

The life I live now is not even “Chapter One” YET.

This is just a “preview”. Exactly like the quote from CS Lewis I post above.

I need His grace to live accordingly. Only by His strength.

Thank You Holy Spirit for speaking through my daughter this morning about Your heart desire… 🌾

Advertisements

“How a Busy Mom Can Stay Consistent in the Word”

Another edifying article I read this morning 💁🏻‍♀️ TIPS on “How a #BusyMom Can Stay Consistent in the Word” 💡 by Courtney Reissig – below is the summary points I learn:

1. See The NEED 🌿

If you don’t see the need in knowing God through His words in the Bible, you will always prioritise something else.

You need to see that you will not make it apart from knowing God through his Word (“apart from Me you cannot bear fruits” – John 15).

Ask God to open your eyes to that need and give you a desire for his Word if you haven’t sensed that in your life.

2. Have realistic expectations for yourself 🌿

We all have different capacities and go through different seasons of life. A mom with young children not going to be able to go back to her times of reading the Word for 1-2 hours like she used to, or having an uninterrupted devotional time.

Be realistic, but not lazy/careless/complacent.

10-15 minutes reading is better than nothing at all.

Expect interruptions.

3. Make a Plan 🌿

If I go for some days without His words, I know what effect it would bring to me, to my heart, to people around me (esp to my family – eg. Mommy becomes less patience and easily offended 🙊).

I have seen that I NEED Him and His words regulary.

When I couldn’t open the bible, listening to podcast or online sermons make a difference. “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing the words of God”. It is still nourishing to my soul and spirit rather than listening to the world’s noises all day long instead.

Keep feeding in our spirit MUCH MORE than our flesh.

4. Resist the temptation to compare yourself to others 🌿

Mom with younger kid/s may have less time. Another might have kids spaced out differently. Every mother has different capacities and life circumstances.

Run the race that is set before YOU 🏃🏻‍♀️ God will honor that.

5. Trust that God will do his work 🌿

God has promised that his Word WILL NOT return void in your life.

If you see the need for Scripture in your life,

have realistic expectations for yourself,

make a plan,

and don’t compare yourself to everybody else around you,

all that’s left is to TRUST that the Lord is going to work.

God will give you a desire for his Word, transform & conform you into the image of Christ.

It is all a process, a journey, an everyday walk with Him and His sweet Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 3:5-6

God bless you moms! 🌿

“40 Ways of Decrease”

Skipping meal may be the “easiest” way to do fasting (easy in a way coming up with the idea, not so much with the implementation. We are against our flesh desire to eat anyway, esp if we fast on our favourite meals).

I sometimes also fasting on social media (it has so many distractions if it wasn’t used purposefully).

Reading this book #40DaysofDecrease I learn so much more about “a different kind of hunger, a different kind of fast”. It opens my eyes to see more of who I am, the sinful one, needing God’s grace and forgiveness for every single day.

It shows me how my flesh struggles to do “more of Him and less of me”, because naturally this flesh wants more of me and less of anything spiritual or related with God!

Praise the Lord through it all He also shows me how to live by the Spirit’s power.

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.

The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants.

And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.

These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses”

– Galatians 5:16-18.

.

The #personalfight is there every day. After we receive God’s salvation #Christbeliever and become #Christfollower we are not meant to “sit back and relax”.

We are gladfully (well, maybe not all times, cross = pain), relentlessly, and passionately take up our cross, denying our flesh/own wills, and follow Him (Matthew 16:24), which (sadly) has become the “unpopular truth” nowadays.

.

The book helps me to identify my downfalls, repent, fasting for it, and surrender to God’s wills.

#moreofHimlessofme has become a personal fight for me, and I am grateful He understands.

“The High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do,

yet He did not sin.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.

There we will receive His #mercy, and we will find #grace to help us when we need it most”

– Hebrews 4:15-16

The book is actually for Lent preparation leading to Easter, but it is applicable in any season in life, and I don’t really rigidly do “one devotion for one day for 40 days” (sometimes I can do 2 readings in a day – depending on how the kids behaving #momlife 😄), therefore my title is the “40 ways” instead of “40 days”).

Each chapter is also accompanied with readings from John, and I am amazed every now and then by the way Jesus lived His life until the final moment at the cross.

He could use His “free will” to do what He wanted, He could choose not to die at the cross – but the fact that He DID die at the cross for the sinners – how can our heart not be touched and our life changed by this truth, if we just let Him to.

Just Give Thanks (full stop).

From this portrait alone you wouldn’t know that the little girl I drew was diagnosed with Achondroplasia (a form of dwarfism) at 14 months old, and also suffers early hearing loss.

Now she’s 2.5 years old, but still wearing clothing size 1.

Hospital is a place she routinely visits fornightly for treatments, tests, and therapies.

As today I’ve been tempted more than usual to grumble and complain, I remember how His Spirit gently rebuked me tonight.

Give thanks”, He said.

I stop and think quietly,

and sadly.

How wonderful it would be when #givingthanks is simply in my “DNA”, and #gratitude is just my way of living (and thinking).

How God-pleasing it would be, when giving thanks is done out of heart that not again focusing on my own interests, but on fulfilling His wills.

Because this is what is written in 1 Thessalonians 5:18,

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.

Not “give thanks in some eg. fortunate circumstances, for this is what makes me happy”

(which unconsciously/consciously I often do.

See the significant contrasts: “All” vs “Some”,

“God’s wills in Christ” vs “Me and Happy Me”).

It is my desire to give thanks to God not only when I have the “obvious reasons”. And certainly giving thanks merely out of comparison (to those less fortunate) is not really sincere and genuine.

This is something that only His Spirit can produce through Him who works inside me. Out of my own strength I cannot produce anything good long lastingly.

Thank you for reminding me tonight, Lord.

Your rebuke doesn’t bring condemnation, but it sets me free to see the truth according to Your eyes.

Help me Lord to see the unseen,

Give me wisdom and strength to rejoice in You,

to find my first and foremost reason to give thanks only in You alone 🙏🏻

Good night world.

Follow Jesus for JESUS

When Francis Chan mentioned the above sentence from one of his podcast I listened yesterday, my heart felt heavy.

There’s so much truth to digest, to discuss – moreover, to walk on and live in.

When so many Christians pastors/leaders/churches/friends sending out messages about the comfort we should receive when we believe in Jesus,

and offering more promises of healing and restoration more than the person of Jesus Himself,

and when “Christians” don’t even read the Bible anymore to know what’s written inside and find the real truth,

only hoping for other “more qualified” person to feed them God’s words; truly we are now at the end of time like Timothy wrote in 2 Tim 4:3-4,

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine.

Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths”.

Myth = when you follow Jesus, your life will be full of (earthly) blessings.

There’s nothing wrong with receiving the earthly blessings, but if following Jesus is only about receiving those, He did not need to die at the cross for our sins.

There is fear and worry of the #urgency to remind my own self everyday whether I am the #truedisciple of Jesus, am I only being a #lukewarm Christian, do I really treat Jesus as my LORD (obeying His commands) and not stopping at merely seeing and acting like He is a “good god” (so I can still compromise over so-called “small sins”)…

There after, to instill the truth to my children, to become real living example to them.

Not trying to be perfect,

Because I will never be,

Being weak is good, it is a reminder that we are constantly in need of God’s grace.

There’s so much to ponder indeed, and I pray I didn’t stop only at pondering, but for His Spirit to open my eyes and understand this revelation and ACT on it.

So much of hard truth, but truth is truth. Not comfortable for my flesh, but He won’t change His standard just for the sake of my comfort and leisure.

I don’t even know what’s going on with my mind this evening to babbling over my words on my #onlinejournal here #typingnonstop, but as usual, my head and heart is clearer when I let my feelings out and put them in words.

Now is time to rest, and let His grace speaks and leads.

#crunchynatsjournal

Not Really “Believe in Yourself”

The world encourages one to “follow your heart” and “believe in yourself”, but the Bible contrarily said in Jeremiah 17:5 “This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man,

who draws strength from mere flesh

and whose heart turns away from the Lord”.

Our heart can deceive us, our flesh can fail us.

We are only human, created from dust, afterall.

Our heart needs to be transformed by God’s words, our mind needs to be aligned with the truth.

Just like a sailor needs a compass before sailing to lead him to the right destination, one must commit which kind of compass to follow along: God’s words, or self wisdom.

And from time to time he needs to check it to make sure his in the right current.

Putting feet in two boats may be the most versatile way of living, and lukewarm is safe.

But eventually “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt 7:21).

Hard truth, but God’s grace is even much more abundant to those who humble themselves, hands up, and simply surrender saying wholeheartedly,

“I can’t Lord, but You can.

I don’t know Lord, but You know.

I am glad that You are my God.

I will trust in You, please lead my boat”.

“No Prayer, No Breathing, No Power, No Life”

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing” – Martin Luther King

Imagine prayer is like a two-ways conversations between you and your closest friend, or with your spouse.

There is no definite time and place, no set of rules of “what we should talk about”.

It can be casual over a cup of morning coffee ☕️ or across the miles on road while we commute 🛣

in exasperation as we handle screaming baby or stubborn child 🤯,

in awe as we witness the beauty of nature 💐 and God’s creations 🌌 ,

as we also yearn for that intimate time when we share our deepest heart to nobody else who understands it better than He who created our inner being.

Just us in the hidden space.

Get rid of the image that prayer is only done by (old) church ministers inside church building.

Be transformed for the mental mind that think “we pray when/if we have the time” ⏳ (you’d never have that time unless you choose to use it).

Imagine prayer as a zealous conversation between the Lover and the loved one.

Imagine an invisible grace, love, and patience bestowed upon us when our heart connects with His.

Imagine when we don’t pray, we might as well stop breathing.

Then imagine how many mountains and valleys we would walk through, with the divine power which carries us miraculously along the way.

And imagine how the image of His Son shining brighter day by day through our momentary life on earth,

that this world and everything in it has nothing to compare with His glory in Heaven,

whenever we pray.

Trust in You

The above lyrics is from “Trust in You” song by Lauren Daigle, it is my #songoftheday today 🎶

Sometimes when we commit to trust in God, things don’t turn easier they’ve even become way harder!

Moses had his faith in God and His promise that the Israelites would be freed from slavery in Egypt and to enter the promised land, the Canaan. However, when Moses approached Pharaoh and delivered the message, Pharaoh hardened his heart and made the Israelites worked even harder! (by not providing straws for them which is something necessary in making bricks, something that I’ve just learned this morning when I read Exodus 5).

The Israelites now had extra duties to find their own straws PLUS they still had to meet the daily quota of the bricks making.

Moses complained to God, “why have You brought all this trouble on Your own people, Lord? Why did You send me? Ever since I came to Pharaoh as Your spokesman, he has been even more brutal to Your people. And You have done nothing to rescue them!”.

Oh how I can really relate with Moses!

God once again gave His promise of deliverance, but the Israelites “refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery”.

And how I could relate with this too.

We may become too discouraged too in many times. Seeing the facts and circumstances in front of us are just different with one that God’s promised.

Is there something wrong with me?

What should I do more?

What should I do less?

We’ve lost our focus on Jesus and fix our eyes more on our doubts and worries instead.

We may not be able to find all the answers to our questions.

But today, as I read God’s words and listen to the above #songoffaith I find another courage to trust.

Another step of faith to believe in God’s timing.

God’s delay does not equal to failure of His plans.

Find your strenght, comfort, and peace in God’s words.

And once again, #choose to trust in Him.

Even if He did not move the mountain in our timing,

Even if He did not part the sea,

Even if He did not multiply the bread and the fish,

His ways are way higher than ours.

Choose to trust and keep the joy in our heart.

His deliverance shall come at His perfect timing!

#obedienceabovefeeling

#crunchynatsjournal

“Waiting With God”

For the last couple of days I’ve become weary again, from #waitingonGod

Then yesterday I read two devotionals in my inbox about, guess what, waiting.

First is “While You’re Waiting” by Louie Giglio, then “And What Happens When I Don’t Wait Well?” by Wendy Pope. Coincidence?

I certainly not think so. This is just one of the ways God wonderfully speaks on daily basis for the seeking hearts.

From each of the readings I’ve been reminded and strengthened:

📝 Even when you can’t see what He is doing, God is always orchestrating the events of Heaven and earth to accomplish His purposes for your life (Romans 8:28).

📝 Contradictory with human’s view that waiting is a waste of time, waiting is NEVER wasted when you are waiting on God.

Trust in His unfailing love — love that moved Him to send a Savior from heaven to restore and rescue you. God’s plans for your life will not be thwarted (Romans 8:32, Isaiah 55:11).

📝 Wait WITH God – see the pause as time to experience Him deeper. Waiting with Him is WORTH IT. His plans are the best — more than anything we can ask or imagine.

The God of comfort is able to take away my worry and fear, the “when” and “what ifs” questions, and replace them with deeper intimacy with Him as I continue to choose to trust.

When we give our attention much more on waiting on His promises than on His presence, He is able to shift the focus back on Him and Him alone #presenceoverpromise

Proverbs 3:5

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”

I am simply grateful for He is a Good Shepherd who always leads me back to the right track when I have wandered and relied on my own understanding and expectation.

My prayer for tonight is,

I want this season of waiting to not be wasted with worry, fear, or complains.

I want this season of waiting to be a time to experience Him deeper, a time to see things more from His ETERNAL point of view, a time to rejoice for He will never leave me.

Yes, even in times of waiting in silence.

He never fails me.