You Are Mine

It is that time of year when Easter has come,

People enjoy it like a normal holiday,

But do you remember what God has done?

He sent his one and only son to take us from captivity,

He broke away the chains and tore the curtain,

That separated the Holy from you and me.

No longer are we to be bound to what the past brought,

The bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, lust, promiscuity,

That’s not what Jesus taught.

Him being on the cross is what brought us peace,

It is a gift freely given to all who want it,

You do not need to sign a lease.

Stop overcomplicating what is to be a gift,

Take it, and embrace it,

Use it to create a life shift.

Easter has become a time to buy tons of chocolate hares,

To have family and friends over for meals,

Has this world forgotten we are heavenly heirs?

Through the waters of baptism by his love and amazing grace,

By participating with him on the cross,

We can now one day see his face.

With a head pierced by a crown of thorns,

A heavy wooden beam on his torn back,

Insulted, ridiculed, he kept going up the hill,

A focus to save our souls he did not lack.

Via Dolorosa a path filled with pain,

For he knew two thousand years later,

We would still remember his name.

Because of his sacrifice and unconditional love,

We can have fellowship with each other,

And with the righteous God above.

Let’s not forget the darkness that covered the earth during that agonizing time,

For if it wasn’t Jesus on the cross and giving himself up for us,

We wouldn’t be able to hear God saying, “You are mine”.

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Woman of Prayer

In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a (woman) of prayer.

-Psalm 109:4

I read this verse for one of my quiet times with God. This was David in the midst of his trials and seeming as things were starting to fall apart. I found this verse profound because in spite of what was happening David knew he had to keep his eyes and his focus on what’s above and who is helping him instead of what’s going wrong and having an ungrateful heart. He said he is a man of Prayer. That’s something I need to work on for sure. Having deep prayers. Not trying to run from prayer because of fear or unbelief that God has the best plans for me which is all Satan’s lies.

Last Friday I was spending time with a friend and I said something that I had thought about during the week, “I don’t know how to cry out to God.” Fair enough, I’d seen scriptures that spoke about crying out to God, grew up hearing different people from all backgrounds praying, listened to worship songs and different scenarios where people in the Bible had “cried out” but still I was stuck. My prayer life had hit a stagnant consistency.  Even though I was being honest in my prayers and speaking to God about things, something was still amiss. I tried having park prayers, early morning prayers, starting prayers off with a song or a psalm but again something just wasn’t clicking. Hidden sin? No, clear conscience… maybe not spiritual enough prayers? No, God doesn’t want pretty clear cut prayers… WHAT IS GOING ON? Then there was a lesson yesterday about crying out to God. I couldn’t help but laugh to myself. God listens to me even when I think he doesn’t. He showed me some practical ways on HOW to cry out. Woah! Just what I was looking for.

1. Repetition – 1 Samuel 1

Year after year, Hannah would go up to Shiloh to ask God. She didn’t give up praying about something specific even though EVERYONE around her where basically shaking their heads at her and she was being taunted by her adversaries. Eventually her prayer was answered with Samuel. I needed to start bugging God with faith on the same request. Recently that has been full funding for university… full funding for university… 

2. Deep distress – Nehemiah 9:9

God heard the Israelites cry at the Red Sea. I have a bad tendency to try to do things in my own strength. Now I can only imagine the destruction it would’ve been if they tried to cross the Red Sea by themselves. I think the times that I have cried out to God in distress is when I’ve reached my limit and finally humble out to ask God to take over. That’s one of the big things I need to change. Are you being proud?

3. Loud and Passionate – 1 Chronicles 4:10

What I got from this was JUST ASK FOR IT! Jabez asked and God answered. Are you having quiet prayers like me? Not being bold in requests and believing God won’t give me or you what we want. That’s a wimpy prayer. I’m sorry but my God is powerful, I have no need to be having quiet prayers. I need to umph up the volume and throw all my requests before him and walk around like they have been already been answered.

4. Help – Psalms 145: 18-19

This just sums it all up really. If I fear God I will pray to him in a righteous boldness that he will hear me and help me. So, I completely believe that He will give me the full funding for university! 😀

 

“Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he HEARS my voice.” Psalms 55:17

Stop Comparing

So, as I’m sitting on the crowded overground train heading across town to see my friends,  I am flipping through the newspaper and I came across an interesting title. It said “I’ve got the power”. It had the picture of a woman flexing her arm staring straight at you with colourful inspirational words written on a chalkboard surrounding her. It had 10 specific points on wellbeing. I find it very interesting that the world is searching for what we already found in the Bible. These are the points: stop comparing yourself to others, you are the boss of your life, you have the power to change your thoughts, improve your confidence, what others think of you is none of your business, don’t waste potential, be less critical, the only person that let’s you get stressed is you, lower your fear, and don’t sabotage success. I actually agree with quite a few of these while others I have to make a few changes in order for it to apply to our Christian lives. I will break it up into parts so I’m not writing a whole essay that even I wouldn’t read.

Stop comparing yourself to others
I grew up feeling very insecure about myself (because of bullying and other factors) so the people I had around me always had an influence on my self esteem. Even though outwardly I knew how to wear the fake smiles, I would constantly compare myself to other girls in my class. Whether it be their grades or what they looked like or how popular they were, I always found something that made them a million times better than me. I’m sure you can relate to that, right? But as per usual, time goes on and you learn about yourself: strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes etc and you become your own person! Then you become a Christian and you learn all of what God wants for you to become and those thoughts can come back. However, they come back in different wording, instead of it being about school grades or promotion at work; it can be “Oh, I don’t share as boldly as her”, “I can’t lead studies as confidently as she can”, the list goes on and on. You fill in the blanks.These thoughts can lead to unnecessary competition between the body of believers.

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ… And so the body is not made up of one part but of many…But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.” 1 Corinthians 12:12-20

Just as the scripture says, we are all different parts of the body therefore we all have different functions. That means we all have different gifts. Why are you busying yourself trying to outdo the other person’s GOD GIVEN talent? Go find what your talent is for the kingdom and make it awesome. Stop trying to compete in preaching if your talent is serving or the other way around, and etc. If we focused on what we know we are good at and master it, that will help lessen the competition because you aren’t focused on trying to be better than the next person but simply trying to be the best you can be so you are able to fully love out God’s calling for you.
Usually, when people are competing (unless it’s a sporting event) it’s because they feel insecure and haven’t found what their gift really is. Keep trying different things until you find it. Then you will be able to excel and be happy with where you are. You are able to do what you are able to do for a reason. Learn to excel in them! People will encourage you to continue in your gift. If they don’t, then maybe it isn’t your gift.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

When you become great at it, don’t become arrogant. Stay humble and do it for God’s glory. His grace was what gave you the gift. Don’t abuse it thinking it’s your own doing! I know people who have obvious gifts such as singing, dancing, poetry, speaking. Others have more subtle gifts such as listening, serving, nurturing, caring. Nonetheless, these are all gifts given for a cause. We can’t all try to be the most eloquent speakers or the greatest dancers because then we can suppress what we were really called to do. I am a reliable person so I use it to be a great friend to those who need it. I am friendly and sociable so I use it to break all those awkward silences between new people. Hi 😉

Young Women: Princess or Pauper?

Those two words automatically makes me think of fairy tales with princesses wearing big puffy dresses and shiny shoes while paupers with plain clothes maybe barefoot in a field… but that is nowhere in the direction where I’m trying to head. The question is do you carry yourself as a princess or a pauper? Do you go about with yourself put together or ratchet?Do you have the characteristics of a princess (God’s daughter) or a pauper (non-believer)? I find the term princess very fitting. Since we share in God’s inheritance and he’s the King along with me being his daughter, I guess that makes me a princess! 🙂

How do princesses carry themselves? Well, they are usually cool, calm and collected. They aren’t rude or rash but rather well spoken and polite… and every once in a while they burst out in song, ha! One thing I can struggle with is how I say things to people. I can come across with an attitude or demanding or plain mean but I have learned how to phrase things in a way that is edifying and uplifting.

“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. ” Proverbs 31:26

I keep thinking about the movie The Princess Diaries with Anne Hathaway. It’s about an ordinary high school girl named Mia who finds out that she is actually from royal blood on her father’s side. She goes to see her grandmother who is still queen to try to make sense of it all. Upon her arrival she is informed that she is the next in line to the throne. From that point on, she has to go through a complete transformation. Changing how she dresses (from tomboy clothes to business attires and ballgowns) and how she speaks (from slang to proper) because she’s no longer representing only herself and who she is but also her royal family and ultimately her country.

When we are baptized into Christ we become a new creation. We go from pauper to princess. As princesses in God’s kingdom we need to act in accordingly in order to show the best possible face of God’s family. Can you imagine if Mia found out she was royal and changed absolutely nothing about herself? Nobody would even believe she was royalty and keep taking it as a joke. Becoming a Christian but keeping to your old ways is the exact same thing. Just because you dress like a princess doesn’t mean your core still isn’t a pauper.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Mia saw that she had to be all in in order to truly be royalty. That was even after she wavered a bit unsure of what she should do but in the end she chose to be in the kingdom. Young women now are trying to live the pauper life with the kingdom blessings. We can’t be doing that. Just because you dress up to go to church on a Sunday (aka dressing up like a princess), doesn’t mean that your heart isn’t still pauper with Saturday night’s craziness. Stop living a double life. Choose one or the other. The choice is really yours. To either be in the kingdom and having a relationship with God or to live as the world does with no purpose.

Princess or pauper: Which one do you choose?

New Year pt2

It has been 18 days into the new year. I know people who have started on an extreme high and others who have started as if it’s all over. For me, I have started content with a vision. Last year I was able to start dating my best friend, travel, start co-leading a Bible discussion group, help women come to know Christ and watched other go onto maturity. It was also the year that I learned a lot about myself. How I can be selfish and loveless but also how much my insecurity can hold me back. I’m not going to write a blog about how this year I will be an insanely different person or that I will conquer the world being as bold as a lion every single day but this is more of a looking back and seeing what I can change for this year.

One thing I can focus more on, for sure, is just this blog itself. I said I would try to blog every month and that didn’t happen but here I go again. I will try to blog at least once a month… but no promises hehe

Young Women: Insecurities

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

Now this is a hot topic that can hit not only young women but older women as well. Insecurity. Did different things pop into your head as you read that? Maybe with your appearance or your personality. There’s always something that we want to change in ourselves to look better or to feel better. We drink the lies that we are sold through social media, friends, co-workers, family and etc that we need to be the finest people to ever roam the earth. It’s not a bad thing to have ambitions and change things about yourself for the best but if your focus is so those surrounding you appreciate you, you’re going to have a bad time.

You may feel more insecure after speaking with them simply because you feel like you can’t measure up to their expectations. The scripture that I quoted at the top is one that I had to memorize from a young age because of my insecurities. I was bullied throughout elementary school which lead to find a false security in parties and seeking attention from all the wrong places. God has made me and you one in a million. You’re a precious gem to him. His works are wonderful! You are no mistake or a cosmic accident (for those who believe we came from nothing). God took his time in creating every one of us with special skills, abilities and appearances. If we all did the same things and looked the same way we may as well be robots. When you are insecure, you believe that God has made a mistake and that he doesn’t want the best for you.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew  you, before you were born I set you apart…” Jeremiah 1:5

“The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4

Insecurities are based on a lack of trust in God yet He still looks at us and loves us. He knew you before the world knew you. His breath gives you life. He gave his only son for you. That’s what we need to have our security and self worth in! On who God says that we are.

Such a Time as This

I have not posted in a long time, sorry! But better late than never for a new post, right? The end of another year is emerging quickly. It’s already the end of November, almost the end of 2014. I still remember 2004. Time is going by so fast! I actually started this blog early this year and I had a goal of writing in it at least once a month but as we can tell by the lack of posts I did not stick to that plan. However, many things have happened. Gained new friends, lost close ones, went abroad, had stay-cations, learned things, changed things, covered my eyes and simply trusted. All in all it has been a fun and interesting year. This has all been in this time

“… And who knows but that you have come to a royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

One of my favorite women in the Bible is Esther. I think that she sets a great example in many different aspects since quiet a lot happened in her life. She was an orphan who grew up under the care of her cousin Mordecai and then got taken into the care of the king as a teen. Long story short, after she becomes queen she has to save her people which were the Jews. That scripture is what her cousin tells her after she confesses that she is scared to go talk to the king (since no one is allowed in the presence of the king unless he summons them). After she speaks with her cousin, Esther turns to prayer to get an answer to her problem and she asks others to pray for her as well. Esther knew that God put her in that position in that kingdom at that time for a reason. She knew that God had a bigger plan for her than she had for herself.

 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are a people of God; once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10

Even though this year has changed constantly the thing that remains the same is that we have been called to a royal position in this time. We became Christians, we are Christians during this time to make a difference. Peter wrote that to a church who was going through persecutions.  He was reminding them of who they are. He is reminding us of who WE are. YOU are a chosen person, YOU are a royal priest, YOU are a holy nation, you are set apart. YOU BELONG TO GOD. When I reflect back on this year I realized that I could have made a bigger impact (I still can because there is still one month left until the year is up). I let my fear of people to become bigger than my fear of God. I’m sure everyone can relate to that. Who doesn’t want to be liked? Nobody wants to be the outcast or reject or in Esther’s case killed. However, we can not use that as an excuse to not be set apart.

I love how the message version puts it: “But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.”

The reason why you live in the 21st century in whatever country is to declare everything amazing he has done in your life and help others get saved. Being chosen by God should put such a gratitude in our hearts that we need to speak about him. I know quiet a few Christians who share their faith and their lives wherever they go in a way that it is appealing. No point in getting into arguments and fights about things just to be right. We need to change people lives and hearts just as God used people in our lives to change ours. Don’t be silent. Shout it at the top of your lungs, serve, love, enjoy being alive and blessed!  We were accepted into God’s family. Now, we need to go and spread the love ❤

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” Matthew 28:18-20