“Intercessor at Home” – reassuring my calling to pray


I made this art couple of months ago, because I admitted that this was true. “A family that PRAYS together, STAYS together”.

However, every now and then I (we) often let ourselves catched off-guard; fence down and weeds reappear. We “forget” every now and then about #UNITY in #marriage.

It is not about our own (too little) kingdom, but it’s about God’s kingdom on earth.

Then when conflict arised, we weren’t prepared. By then it felt like it was “too late”.

 

Yesterday I had a talk with my close friend/cousin/sister #thebest about this topic, I told her I don’t want to pray out of fear as the result. You know, fear that “if I didn’t pray, things will get chaotic“.

I believe this isn’t the right motive and the correct heart condition to pray. And it soothed my soul that she understands! She knows and experiences the same thing (the beauty of sisterhood in Christ).

 

This morning then His Spirit reminds me this verse:

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,

but of POWER, LOVE, and SELF-DISCIPLINE” (2 Tim 1:7).

I can, CAN, pray not out of fear – because His Spirit enables me to!

Praying out of flesh will result in burn out, praying in spirit will take me to higher places with Him.

 

This morning I choose to reject the lies and intimidation,

This morning I choose to listen to the Shepherd’s voice.

He knows my name, and I belong to Him.

I will keep praying and become the “pillar of prayer” for this family #istriadalahtiangdoa

I will not complain and asking God (again), “why me? why do I have to be the one who prays?”. I know now that the Lord is reassuring and reconfirming me once again, to pray is my calling. I am called first and above all as an intercessor. Not in the church, not in my cell group – but firstly at my home! Just between me and Him, beneath the silent walls of my home.

When later I get weary, I shall take rest in Him, again and again.

“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it” – Isaiah 30:15

 

 

 

#crunchynatsjournal

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Lesson From Alabaster Jar

🌿 Alabaster Jar 🌿

This morning when I read the story of the woman with her alabaster jar in Matthew 26, my heart is somehow drawn toward this jar which has taken a significant part in this wonderful story and become a symbol of devotion.

I searched for more information about this particular jar; it was made from precious stone in Israel, resembles marbles in colors and textures.

And interestingly, unlike most of perfume bottles nowadays, the top has to be broken and the perfume inside the jar could only be used once.

Isn’t that just like our life?

The word and principle of living #YOLO is popular in this world, because it is true that we only have ONE life on this earth to live it to the fullest.

However, when God is not at the center, this precious life will be used and dedicated mostly for OUR own pleasures and satisfaction – which will one day also come to an end when our momentary time on this earth runs out.

The truth is, we were created for something that lasts even longer. We are all eternal being.

Life does not end when this one short life on earth ends.

Brokenness in our life is also inevitable. But just like this alabaster jar, the sweetest smell of the perfume can only escape when it is broken. And God is able to turn this brokenness to bless others and bring glory to His name.

Isaiah 61:3

“to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, 

the oil of joy instead of mourning, 

and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor”

For the display of HIS splendor, it is.

#crunchynatsjournal

“The True Grace” – The Awakening Truth 

(Today’s post is quite long, I must say it is one of those significant moments in my journey following Christ).

Going back to the devotional I read on the March 8 this morning, because the truth is awakening and I feel like this is the first time I have my thoughts explained in words so descriptively, and I need to digest it more thoroughly.
Sometimes I have this worry and “fear” that I still don’t get God’s characters right after all the years I follow Him.

It’s so easy for us to be trapped inside our own bubbles of theology.

“Theology” is not something that only priests and church leaders have or get to understand. Every one of us has our own view of who God is, and that is the theology we actually live in, not really what the church or our cell group leaders teach us to believe.
I still often think that as God’s children, I “deserve” easier life. When I experienced difficult circumstances for quite a long period, I pleaded God over and over “Lord I need Your grace”. But still I have to endure the hard situation/s for months, some for many many years. Then where is the GRACE?

Does that mean that I am not experiencing grace when I don’t receive the relief that I need yet?
This is where my eyes been opened. Apparently the “grace” that I was asking is the “grace of relief/grace of release“. Like when Paul asked God three times to set him free from the thorn of flesh, and God answered him instead that His grace is more than enough for him, YET the thorn remained.

Yes, this is the view that I apparently see and live in, my own “incorrect” bubble of theology.
I cannot define God’s grace according to what I want or think right. That way I leave space for disappointment toward God whenever my prayers don’t get answered the way I’d want them to be (regardless how “good” they may be).
When God allows me to endure difficult situation just so I can learn to TRUST Him more, that is GRACE.

When He allows me to endure hard circumstances and people just so I can be TRANSFORMED more into like His Son, that is grace.
When you think of the word of “grace”, what do you really expect from God?

So much to chew on this truth, and so much more to live them in. 

May we be courageous enough to find and to live in the truth, no matter how unpleasant sometimes they can turn out to be. 

“What Did You Expect?”

Happy New Year first of all!

Here’s to my first blog entry in 2017 😄

My Current Reading

Obviously “Just Married” 👰🏻🤵🏻doesn’t apply anymore to me and my husband, BUT that is why I bought this book by Paul David Tripp (adding him to my fave gospel-centered list of authors) – because the moment I thought I had “figured it out”, I was wrong.

I read more of motherhood books since I have my first child, and when I did read a book about marriage my mind thought “this is the ideal, but the reality is so much difficult this sounds just like a ‘nice theory’“.

Either difficult, or indifferent.
Last year I have met some tough situations in my marriage, not that they were the first times, but that season was hard it challenged me how I should “make a move and do something different”. Kinda like, “OK stop it devil, you are no longer allowed to take advantages of this!! 🙅🏻🔥”
For a wedding we need to plan carefully 💍,

Why we have to quit planning for the better in our MARRIAGE?

Why we have to quit to learn about one another and enter the complacency zone?
I’ve just on the second chapter of this book and my heart’s hooked already with so many realities explained (we live in the fallen world, we are sinners, and we marry a sinner! Is there still any questions of why does our marriage often not live up to our expectations?).
The GOOD NEWS God is powerful, faithful, and willing. He has sacrificed Himself at the cross, why wouldn’t He even more pour out His grace and save/turn our marriage to the better? #helpisthere
I’m writing this not because my relationship with my husband is in “danger” in some ways (aka “di ujung tanduk” haha), but I just feel the need to PROTECT this marriage and my husband and ANTICIPATE better of what may come in the future.

My aim is not to reach a perfection, but in a more simple way: so that “we could response better to the things that normally trigger conflicts”.

For me to not take this marriage lightly, for me to not be lazy to stand up to pray for my husband (our husbands NEED our prayers – not only our children just because they are still little).
Thanks for reading this heart-to-heart sharing btw 😊 I’d recommend this book for those singles too (better “theory” preparation is still something than nothing).

God bless! ☺️

“The First One with Me in the Delivery Room” 


As weeks approaching my delivery date getting closer #hellodedeAimee 👶🏻 there are times when worry and anxious thoughts crowd my mind.

Second time pregnancy doesn’t guarantee “I know all” as the experience is still different compared with my first one (eg. physical discomforts that I didn’t have when I was pregnant with Aimee, getting used to the medical shared-care system here in Australia, and what-yet-to-come-next the delivery procedure itself, etc etc). 

Sometime I think it may be better for the first time pregnancy as I didn’t really know much = less expectations. 

However, uncertainty in life is inevitable.

Thankfully my Lord knows all my thoughts and everything in my heart. Couple of days ago when I was awaken at 1.30am and couldn’t get back to sleep, I turned to my pregnancy devotional, and found this promise of God from Deut 31:8.

The devotional itself discussed at first the option we could have to request someone to join the mother in the labor/delivery process (well I didn’t think of this at all, as I did an emergency caesarean with Aimee when I was in Jakarta – I wasn’t given the option to have my husband be with me at that time). But regardless of who we invite to the room, GOD HIMSELF will be in the delivery room with me, as promised at the above verse!

WOW! What a powerful promise and assurance He’s given me!
His promise may not erase my fears all at once, but it makes a GREAT difference whenever I am being attacked with one. I can recall and speak out loud His promise! 

His promise and words always arrive in time. I can only surrender all to Him; that’s what gives me the peace and strength I need. 

#crunchynatsjournal

“The Quiet Impact of One Woman”


I read “The Quiet Impact on One Woman” from @proverbs31ministries daily devotional on May 30th yet the message still speaks strong to myself ’til today.

Ever since I have a daughter I’m not as physically mobile and flexible as I used to in terms of serving the Lord in and outside the church, but I do not regret this.

I believe there is time and season for everything. 

I’m also fully aware that once I give birth to my second, my time will be much more consumed in taking care of the newborn. But I won’t regret it either.

Over and over the Lord reminds and convicts my heart that becoming a mother is a “calling”. It is not just a status, or a duty. The Lord has set a specific purpose for me to nurture these precious souls.

It’s impossible to meet all the needs surrounding me, but through the devotional God reminded me that by investing in another person what I’ve learned from Him, my story expands beyond my lifetime into the eternity

My story becomes God’s story, and isn’t it just wonderful to walk in agreement with Him! 

And I believe our child/children is the priority. If it’s not us the mother teaching them the way of the truth, who else (certainly not the teachers at sunday school). 

You may not be a mother (or yet) as you read this, but there may be a “one woman” out there who needs your encouragement; perhaps your colleague, school friend, or an elderly in your neighbourhood.

I pray that the Lord will show you as you ask, and we’ll never know what kind of an eternal impact we will give to this precious woman soul. It’s not about us and our ability to do well, but it’s about HIS ability to use us well. 

Have a blessed Friday ❤️😘 

#crunchynatsjournal

The Source of All 

  
Last week when I was driving my mind was thinking of some challenges I was facing, and the weariness it brought to my heart as the result. I prayed and could only repeatedly said to God, “I need Your grace, Lord“. 

Then a worship song “Draw Me Close to You” by Michael W. Smith came into my mind and I just sang it through, and how amazingly it lifted up my Spirit. 

Then I heard this still small voice. “Find rest in Me“. It was very comforting, and I straightaway found a renewed strength. 
Days after I was reminded this verse from John 15

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.  
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love.

I find comfort to plainly abide in Him and His love. I do not need to struggle, I only need to surrender to Him, the Source of all. 
“My Priest” – Laura Woodley

Jesus, You are praying for me

Day and night You are interceding

Jesus, You are praying for me

Day and night You are speaking words of life

My priest
You know how I get weak

All of my wonderings

And the places I hide 

when I just can’t find my faith

You say

Father, pour out Your grace

This one is seeking Your face

You know why I died

Father You love this child

Look at my hands and feet

Grant mercy

#gracebeyondmeasure #crunchynatsjournal 

The Power of “Small” 

  
Do you ever wonder, the metaphors that Jesus used in His parable throughout His life of ministry are frequently images of the “SMALL“, which in appearance they look like nothing, yet its impact is way greater? Think of “salt, leaven (yeast), and seed“. 

Then again, Jesus the Son of God was born in Betlehem, SMALL town among Judah, and He came as a baby, SMALL among men. And throughout His life He didn’t aim to be “big” nor “the greatest”. 

He constantly turned to His Father in everything, “walking as the most dependent man who ever lived”. 
Had I not read the book “Simply Tuesday” by Emily P. Freeman yesterday, I wouldn’t connect them all together and give more thoughts about it!
Clearly the world and our culture publicize the opposite: “big is great, big is powerful”. And very often it is hard to swim against the current.

And yet, if we truly believe and have faith in God’s words in Bible, let it change our perspective and the truth will set us free. 

Small does not mean powerless. Small does not mean it’s nothing. 

The “small prayers” you pray everyday for your family/friends/loved ones – they have the power to prevail (James 5:16) and power to fight against the unseen (Eph 6:12). 

The “small seeds” you sow in the lives of your children despite of the sweats and tears fighting against their stubborness and every human tendency to sin – they have the power to establish your children on the right path and when they are old, they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).

And there is still more other things in life that look like small, yet they sum up the big picture of what our life is really about!
That’s the power of the “smallness”. 

Don’t give up, continue on our labour, just be faithful for the “small things” before God entrust us with bigger things, which most often is not the same as what we expected #thinkoutsidethebox #Godsbox 

Matt 17:20b

“… For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there”, and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you”

#crunchynatsjournal #prayerthatmovesmountain #warroom 

“Not Just Believing”

  
This morning my mind is fixed upon a verse that I never paid attention before. It is John 12:42-43.

The story revolved around Jesus’ ministry on earth before He died at the cross, and despite of many signs and wonders He did, some people still had difficulty to believe that He is the Son of God. 

John 12
42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
 43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

It intrigues my mind somehow, that eventhough this people did believe in Jesus yet they did not confess their faith because of fear/shame, and God counted them as seeking/loving man more than Him, and this does not please Him. 

Then I learn to simply stop at the point of “believing” doesn’t make our journey as Christian/Christ-followers complete. There is still more down the road. What does make us stop at this point and not going further to confess our faith to others? Is it fear, shame, peer-pressure, indifference? 
I believe we are not meant to become a “continuous talking machine” regarding our faith either. 

The bible also says, “For everything there is a season… A time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Eccl 3:7). 

But if the reason for us to be buried in silence for our faith because we value man above God, this certainly not glorifying and pleasing Him. 
It is a “hard-reminder”, but I’m glad I find these verses today “by accident”. Very often we fix our mind upon what we see in front of us (man), rather than the unseen (God), hence our life direction can be easily steered by man’s opinion. 

Let’s break out freely from this, and give Holy Spirit the control of our lives. 

#crunchynatsjournal (connect through Instagram)