Disappointments

I had the urge to bake this favorite cookie of mine, which recipe was shared by my best friend. After getting the ingredients I needed, I called my son and asked him if he wanted to join in, in baking a batch. He got excited and volunteered to apply the icing when the freshly-baked pistachio cookies came out of the oven! When he saw how delicate the cookies were, he got afraid of messing up in putting the icing. I told him, this batch was our cookies and that, he didn't need to be afraid as I wanted him to have fun instead, whether the icing would be looking nice or not, I guaranteed, the icing wouldn't change the taste. I saw a tremendous sigh of relief on his face and this was what he did the first time he applied the icing:



He goes, "Mom! It doesn't look nice! Sorry..." I said, "It's okay, just keep trying...To me, it looks nice for the first time you did it..." So the more he tried. After applying the white or milk chocolate icing on 5 0r 6 cookies, with 5 or 6 times getting disappointed, his skill got more adept, until I saw the frustration and disappointment vanished into thin air. Much to my surprise, he started enjoying his task and showed he was having a great time as he began applying the icing with a more precise pattern.


The best part was the tasting part. The cookies were so deliciously soft and the icing made it more appealing to be bitten. We decided to try to put them in my cellophane wrappers, before we ended up devouring everything. They looked so good that we both knew that we had made a special gift, to be given as "homemade gifts" to families and friends:







Our lives do not come in great looking packages such as these cookies. We all go through frustrations and disappointments also as we meet life's challenges. But God is always there encouraging us the whole time. He is always there going through all these trials with us. He is always coaching us, as we try to perfect our "icing techniques" on different cookies [trials] of life. We should never get tired trying and trying, doing good, no matter how many times we fail and get disappointed, with ourselves and with others. We should accept the risks of life but before we tackle each and every risk, let us put our trust first in God.

May you enjoy the sweet taste of success as you listen first to the One Who is the true Baker, the Encourager of this fragile life!

Psalm 34:2 - "I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are discouraged take heart."

Galatians 6:9 - "Don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time."

Galatians 6:4 -"Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well, and you won't need to compare yourself to anyone else."

Psalm 55:22 -"Give your burdens to the Lord and He will take care of you."

Top Priority

With Christmas drawing near, there are so many things bombarding my brain; a "to-do-list" in my head. I was trying not to panic and not get overwhelmed with the thought of missing one errand after another. Though this special holiday is enjoyable, it can become stressful even when it comes to picking the right gifts for the ones we love, family or friends. Like a rabbit, I was hopping from one store to another today, to get more ideas in what to get for a particular person. I was making my way in and out of a cluttered freeway, thank God I didn't have any mishap. Like Santa, I was checking my list twice...

By the time I glanced at my watch, it was time to pick up my child at school. I picked up a coffee frappuccino to cool me off and finally, as I waited for him to come out of the school's gate, there I was slumped on the driver's seat, being energized by the caffeine-laden icy, cold drink!

It was supposed to be winter but the temperature was surely warm as I waited. I happened to look up and got fascinated staring at the clear, blue skies.

That was when something hit me! I had been busy with errands for today and actually didn't have a plan to set my priorities straight. The Lord spoke to my heart, "what should be your highest priority today, My child?"

I bowed my head and in prayer answered, "Lord, my highest priority should be You."

The top priority is to love and seek Him. The rest gets easier. No wonder, we get excited about December! It's because we think of our loved ones. But we forget sometimes the One Who had loved us first.

Not only this Christmas, but in every day that passes by, let us put Christ as our "top priority" in everything that we do.

Mark 12:30,31 -Jesus said,"And you must love the Lord, your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is this: you must love your neighbor as yourself."

Colossians 3:2 -"Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth."

Proverbs 3:5, 6 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths."

Luke 12:34 - "Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be."



Mary Did You Know - Mark Lowery

Thanks to the Most Deserving One

It was raining last night and today, too, was another gloomy day right on Thanksgiving! Yesterday, amid the throng of people buying all the ingredients for a traditional feast, I went directly to the aisles where I could get all the stuff I only needed. Yams? Check! Pumpkin pie? Check! Turkey? Check! Marshmallows? Not!!! I got home after that mad dash and felt so proud of how fast it took me to get everything. The sudden elation didn't last. I was disgusted to notice I was missing a couple of organic pizza I had bought. So, after verifying with the cashier, back to the store I drove! ["I wouldn't let this bother me because of Thanksgiving," I said to myself].

So, today was "cooking time!". I thought of how tired my brother and sis-in-law must be, caring for their new born baby. Since they preferred to rest at this time, I thought of making something with soup and had my hubby deliver it to them. Suppose the recipe I knew would only need 3-4 cloves of minced garlic, what would I do if I had this "elephant garlic"sitting in my pantry, which 1 clove looked like it was equivalent to a whole head of garlic?

My husband and child were cracking up when I showed them the garlic! For dinner, I'd rather make things simple. So, I shoved the turkey breast [just the right size for the 3 of us] and my child wrapped the yams in foil so we could bake them at the same time.

It was nice to hear that my brother and sis-in-law enjoyed the beef with soup and were able to rest as they hadn't cook anything yet for lunch. And we had a great supper, too!







Before this becomes a novel, let me ask you, what are you thankful for in your life? Families? Friends? House? Car? Good jobs? James 1:17 -"Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, Who created all heaven's lights."


Whatever it is, let us not forget to thank the One Who truly deserves it! Though the weather was rainy and gloomy, I thanked the Lord for we desperately needed that rain! And that my brother-in-law & his family enjoyed the soup. They felt great about it and so did I! Like that "elephant garlic", the Lord does give us "elephant-size blessings" sometimes that we don't deserve. But that is His nature. an unconditional Giver, for He loves us all. And as we receive His blessings, only then we are able to share them with others unconditionally. That's how His blessings work. They are meant to be shared, not stored for our selfish desires. But it's amazing when we share, everything becomes more and more, instead of lesser - especially when we give them with love. Jesus said, "I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you." - John 15:12.


Miracle of Birth

How exciting! My husband's sis-in-law just had a baby yesterday! It was so wonderful to be able to hold a tiny little creature, so fragile but so adorable at the same time, unmindful of the hustle and bustle of daily life. The tiny, innocent face looked like his dad, no! wait! some from the mom...lots of hair, so small fingers but with long nails! And those ten wiggly little toes that would be kicking footballs maybe in the future or soccer balls? Bundled tightly with the blanket, those pairs of eyes were shut in a peaceful sleep, not aware with the noises surrounding him.

How intricate human beings are, created by God with love! We are all loved by the One and true God! If we place our hearts and trust in Jesus, we can also grow in His likeness. We have hands and feet we can use, along with the talent He had given us, for His glory! If we allow Him to envelop us with His love, we can also be in a peaceful state despite the storms of life.

Psalm 139:13-16 - "For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be."

Escape!


It was a holiday last Tuesday, so my husband and child didn't have work and school. We wanted to just relax and escape from the rut of everyday tasks. So, off we went driving around, without any direction and place to go to at first. Then, we decided to visit the lake nearby. What an awesome view it was! A great escape from the mundane affairs of life! The surroundings were so peaceful, visited by avid fishermen, young and old, hoping for a great catch that day! The ripples from the water could lull you to sleep! Talking about God-made "spa".


God is doing the same thing for us when we are traveling on the wrong paths of life. He provides an "escape" to help us turn to and go toward the right way. He is faithful and has loved us all from the start. All you need to do is open up your heart and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. "He is the only way, the truth and the life" - John 14:6






























Life's Mirror

I always remind my son to pay a particular attention to his teeth whenever he is cleaning them. Having the brace now for a few months, he needs to closely look in front of the mirror and make sure that all the spaces in between are clean and free of plaques. I told him that it's such no use to be lazy as he has the mirror and the light to help him see his teeth when he brushes them.

James reminds us also regarding the message that God has planted into our hearts when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. From [James 1:22-25], "And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don't obey, you are only fooling yourself. For if you listen and don't obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you keep looking steadily into God's perfect law, the law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it."

Next time we look into a mirror, let us pay a close attention to the image we see. Let us make sure that we will wash our face and get rid of the dirt that otherwise, we would not notice. Let us look intently to our life's mirror [the Bible] and make the Words point to the unseen dirt [sins] in our lives.

Hebrews 4:12 - "The word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are."

Psalm 119:105 - "Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path."

Let Us Vote!

Voters are all excited to participate in this important Presidential election come the 4th of November. Harsh words are exchanged and that attitude of "I'm better than you" are rampant. Rumors fly. Legitimate questions are not answered. Voters who comment in different websites have hurtful words to say. The presidential candidates may have a lot of plans to help the people and our failing economy but the steps to achieve them are all not clear. So many sweet promises are delivered but people won't know the outcome not until they are elected.

We forget that we are all humans. We are all sinners. We are all biased. We are not wise when we step on others, when we lie, when we assume and not discern who is speaking the truth from their hearts. People may think that they are wise but all of our wisdom is just foolishness to God.

Jesus had shown what it meant to be gentle...He pitied the crowds of hurting people, lifted their heavy burdens, healed some from their physical infirmities, and became the sacrifice for us all, sinners. He said, "Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle and you will find rest for your souls." [Matthew 11:28-29.

Not until we surrender our lives to only one God, we will never understand what it means to be gentle, to be humble, to have a quiet spirit. James 3:17 says, "The wisdom that comes from heaven is...peace, loving, gentle at all times."

In this election, may God install the godly leader we desperately need at this hurtful times. Please go out and vote!!!

Ezekiel 18:21 -"But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all My decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die."

Isaiah 55:9 - "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts."

Proverbs 3:5 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."

Psalm 25:12 -"Who are those who fear the Lord? He will show them the path they should choose."

He Found Me First

I remember when my son was still in his toddler years, he liked playing "hide and seek." I would pretend that I didn't know where he hid since he liked going into the closet under the stairs. During one of those playful times, I started knocking on that closet's door and said, "I know you're there. I'll come and get you..." To my surprise, he wasn't there when I opened the door and suddenly, little hands were wrapped around my right leg and a little voice excitedly was screaming, "I found you first, mommy!"

Before I visited my ailing father in November 2006, as I had one of those quiet times with the Lord, He reminded me that like those games my son and I played, we were playing the same game. When I thought that I was the one trying to seek and find Him in my life, it never occurred to me that He was the One Who found me first! [Luke 19:10 - "For the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost!].

I wrote this song on 2/2/06 before I visited my sick father:

I Want To Seek and Find You
[But You Found Me First]

I was walking for so long in the darkness
'Til a light shone on me
The road I travelled became clear
I knew right there my destiny

I want to seek and find You, oh Lord
Draw me near to You, I will be strong
I want to seek and find You, my God
Hold me closer into Your arms

My heart's one desire
Is for You to mold me and make me new
Fan the flame and my hunger for You
So I can talk and walk like You do

I want to seek and find You, oh Lord
Draw near to You, to Your Word
I want to seek and find You, my God
Give You thanks and praise with all my heart

Seek You...but You found me first...oh my God
You found me first...

The Greatest Guitarist

When I was 11 or 12 yrs.old, my oldest brother came home for a visit from another country, after being away for so many years. One day, he started playing a guitar and for the first time I saw him, my eyes were glued with his techniques. My stares were just fixed with the way he would pluck each string and made beautiful music. I was carefully observing him then. Inside my heart, I felt a passion to learn something new at that moment!

So, I decided to learn the guitar on my own. Patiently, I studied the dots that corresponded to the way I would place the fingers of my left hand on the frets, as the fingers of my right hand tried to go up and down to try to make a chord. After a few days, my fingers were hurting! I noticed the blisters that had formed on each finger. Though it would hurt so much to try to play again and again, I tried to disregard the pain so I could learn how to really play this instrument. Learning how to adjust the strings many times, more strumming and plucking of each string with the blistered fingers of the left hand positioned to strike a chord, I heard a note formed. The notes became a song that was familiar. Pretty soon, I was playing the guitar chords faster producing a more recognizable song. I was ecstatic, though I wasn't as great as Amy Grant!!! I learned to compose Christian songs and apply the simple chords which in turn, became songs I could use to worship the Lord.

Little did I know, with my whole, entire life, God is doing the same thing for me. I was the guitar He patiently used to create music. I'm sure He got a lot of blisters, too! [when I'm stubborn and not listening nor obeying His Word]. "How many times did He try to adjust my strings [my attitudes in life]?", I wonder....Oh Lord, continue to adjust me. Refine me. So I can be Your guitar that produces beautiful music to others' ears when they hear me, so that others will come to know You, the Greatest Guitarist! May they fix their eyes on You, Lord Jesus and be awed by how well You play every guitar in this world!!! Thank You for Your patience and for always being faithful and not giving up on me!

Psalm 143:5 -"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that You have done; I ponder the works of Your hands."

Psalm 139:23-24 -"Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts. And see if there be any grievous ways in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!"

Psalm 19:14 -"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."

Psalm 51:10 - "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."

As We Get Older

I'm having fun lately chatting with my sis-in-law using the yahoo messenger. It's wonderful that we are oceans away yet, we are communicating, sending messages within seconds. We are both updated with our day to day life events and hearing them makes both of us strong by encouraging each other when one is down or going through trials, or we may share a good laughter from funny things we say.

I was eagerly anticipating to chat with her yesterday but all day that I waited, she wasn't able to do so. I thought she might just be busy doing some errands. This morning, we were both online at the same time and had another great time chatting. She told me she had a headache and didn't feel good so she apologized that she wasn't able to chat with me. She joked about how hard it is to get older. I said, "I know". Because sometimes, I also feel aches and pains. I see my hair now with some strands turning white. Or my face with "age-spots" that they call. How many times has it happened that I keep changing my clothes, trying to find one that would make me look thinner? As we age, our skin wrinkles, our weight doubles, our memory might not be as sharp but come to think of it, they are just reminders that our lives here on earth are short and that we must look to the Lord always for He will sustain us during our aging process. I think when we feel old and weak then, we can rely on our God and we can throw away our fears about dying, knowing that the Lord promised eternal life to those who believes in Him. Thanks be to God for His love, mercy and grace.

Isaiah 46:4 -"Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you."

Psalm 71:17,18 - "O God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come."

Proverbs 16:31 -"The silver-haired is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness."

Psalm 91:16 -"With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation."

Proverbs 3:2 -"For length of days and long life and peace they will add to you."

Psalm 23:4 -"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."

Psalm 23:6 -"Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

Plans for Future

I always see this particular inmate every night, complaining of any ailment. The first time I saw her to treat her, her excuse that her ears were bleeding were not valid. When she came to the clinic inside the prison where I work, her story changed. She asked me if it was okay for her to be moved to a particular unit where they usually house those with mental health issues. It was because she heard it from a friend before her incarceration. Thinking that they get a better treatment, everyone wants to go there without knowing the specific reasons why such group of inmates get that "treatment", not knowing that those people needed it to help them overcome and improve their mental health problems...So, since she couldn't get it her way, she comes down to the clinic with any little complaint and at night, she makes it sound like something big was wrong so she won't be denied to be seen by the medical staff.

She said, "Well, I still bite my tongue." But she didn't know that prior to her coming down, I already read her chart and found out that she had been refusing her medications. On her own, she thought the medications were not working when the doctor just started her on them. I told her to stick out her tongue and didn't see any cuts or any potential problems. But I advised her that I know she had been refusing her meds and if she wanted to give them a try, give it some time for the medications to work. And she couldn't look me in the eye when I said that.

I was trying to be patient at all times and praying that I won't lose it, just like last night when she complained of bleeding ears and there was none. Calmly, I explained to her that such medical issues not requiring emergency treatment could have waited until the morning when the morning nurses do the sick call in their specific units. [If there was a true emergency from others, she was pulling me away from responding to that, since I had to deal with her]. I told her that all her medical and mental issues were already properly addressed and treated by our medical doctors and psych doctors. But there was no way I could tell her the specific reasons when we put someone in that unit she wanted to go to for the reason that she would start acting them out. I told her, she must be patient on her own, to wait until the prescribed medications start working for her and to follow what the doctors tell her in order for her to improve. She must not go by what she heard from her friend outside and the doctors know if she would need such placement if it would be appropriate by then. She said, "okay, thank you..."

In no distress, she would request right away to be sent back to her unit when she couldn't get anything that she wanted. But I know, she might be back again tonight.

Such scenario reminds me of how we act like that particular inmate towards our God. We are impatient when we don't get things [or plans] our way! Sometimes, we even get angry when He doesn't answer our prayers. We don't seem to trust that our God knows what's best for us. We keep bugging Him [or maybe not! when we lose our desire to communicate with Him] and start refusing to call on Him just like how that inmate started refusing the medications that might have help her in the first place.

Unlike me having the potential to lose my patience, God has never-ending patience. He is waiting for us to call on Him, have faith in Him, accept Him in our hearts and obey what He wants for our lives. He is our future! It is impossible to please God when we don't have faith in Him. Let's stop acting like we know what to do when achieving our plans. Then, we always end up worrying about our future....God knows best!!!

From the Holy Bible [New Century Version]:

Jeremiah 29:11 - "I say this because I know what I am planning for you," says the Lord. "I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future."

1Corinthians 2:9 - "No one has ever seen this, and no one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him."

Proverbs 16:1 - "People may make their plans in their minds, but only the Lord can make them come true."

Proverbs 16:2 - "You may believe that you are doing right, but the Lord will judge your reasons."

Proverbs 16:3 - "Depend on the Lord in whatever you do and your plans will succeed."

Nehemiah 9:16, 17 - "But our ancestors were proud and stubborn and did not obey Your commands. They refused to listen; they forgot the miracles You did for them. So they became stubborn and turned against You, choosing a leader to take them back to slavery. But You are a forgiving God. You are kind and full of mercy. You do not become angry quickly, and You have great love. So You did not leave them."

Isaiah 55:8, 9 - The Lord says, "My thoughts are not like your thoughts. Your ways are not like My ways. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts are higher than your thoughts."

Food For Soul

After breakfast this morning, I had noticed that my son hasn't been eating fresh fruits like he used to. He is chewing much better now after getting adjusted to having his brace. And the brace was the reason he stopped eating, because it was hard for him to bite the apples, pears and other harder fruits he enjoyed. So I brought it up, " Hey! You haven't been eating fresh fruits. It's different if you do than those processed ones so you can get the nutrients from it. That way, you will be stronger to fight illnesses." He replied, "I'm sorry mom. I know I can chop up the fruits, too. Okay, I will try to eat more fresh fruits."

"Wait a minute!," I thought to myself. I haven't been eating the proper fruits I need, too, to nourish my soul. Lately, I have been not as enthusiastic to read the Word of God [the Holy Bible]. Sometimes, being fully adjusted to the thought that I have been saved by having the brace for a while [the Holy Spirit indwelling in me], I forget that I still need to eat the fresh fruits or God's Word so I can nourish my soul and be stronger when illnesses [Satan's attacks] come. "I'm sorry, Father. I know that having the Holy Spirit is no excuse not to read Your Words...I may not read the whole Bible in one day, but I know that I can chop up the Words, verse by verse, day by day, to nourish me in return..."

John 1:1- "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

John 6:35 - Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty."

Ephesians 6:17 - "Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

John 10:10 - "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full."

1 Corinthians 10:13 - "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

1 Peter 1:23-25 - " For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, "all men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever."

Hebrews 4:12-13 - " For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account."

Psalm 119:103 - " How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"





No God, No Peace....Know God, Know Peace



I love browsing at our old photos from previous vacations we had spent as a family. My favorite was that of our trip to Morro Bay in Central California. We had so much fun trying out the canoe in the middle of the bay...There were times when the water would be a little wavy when bigger boats would pass by, as we struggled to steer away from its path way before it even came closer to our rented canoe...Looking below, I remember seeing the seaweeds dancing gracefully as the water on top rippled, either from the boats or the sudden gusts of wind. "Hey!, " I hollered to my family, " look at the little crabs down below." They were crawling, not minding the waves that sometimes made me feel the canoe would tip over. They were just enjoying their time burying themselves on the sand, as the hungry pelicans wait for that opportunity to devour them, if ever they pop out of the calm waters below....

Suddenly, the sound of the soothing waves and sight below gave me that deep insight of how peaceful things could be.

Same thing when we have a personal relationship with God and if we learn to truly trust in Him alone, it's easy to realize that if we're rooted in God's love, everything falls into its places:

-protection [Psalm 91:7, 9 - " At your side one thousand people may die, or even ten thousand right beside you, but you will not be hurt....The Lord is your protection; you have made God Most High your place of safety..."]

-inner joy [Psalm 30:5 - "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning."]

-His company knowing that He's there with us during tumultuous times [Philippians 4:6-7 - "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."]

-true peace [Colossians 3:15 - "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful."]

-love [Romans 8:38-39 - "For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels won't, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God's love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are - high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean - nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when He died for us."]

I pray that if you happen to be reading this, you will see the "real picture" of how much God loves us in the first place....May that "picture" remind you that true peace only comes from knowing God...

The Gift of Salvation

My son told me 2 days ago that his close friend invited some of them for dinner to celebrate that friend's birthday. Despite the hectic schedule at school brought about by numerous, harder lessons, I told him it was up to him that I'd rather have him take a break and also, have fun with his friends even for a couple of hours. I have to admit it must be hard for that friend to celebrate his birthday on one of busy weekdays they have at school but he chose to celebrate it with his friends.

So, last night, my husband and I dropped him off at the restaurant where they were supposed to meet and left him. By the time we had come back to pick him up, my son's face was glowing with happiness that someone could just tell he had so much FUN!!! He told my husband and I about what went on and how they had fun with each other's company and that his friend was so grateful for the gifts they had given him...

My son made a joke of giving a funny bday card that applied for someone who was much younger, then he had put another card inside that had the gift in it [money] which was the more appropriate one. He said at first, his friend was wondering why he got the wrong card [mind you, that card was for a girl and he was a boy] but was totally RELIEVED when he finally discovered that there was one more card that was more appropriate for him. But the bottom line, they all had fun...

Spiritually speaking, Jesus has been inviting us all, too for a "celebration". He wants us all to have a personal relationship with Him and that's the only way we can get to know Him. Are we too busy to even hear this "special invitation" from Him? And if we don't take notice, it's sad because we've been missing the BEST opportunity of having the BEST FRIENDSHIP from Someone Who truly cares and loves us all from the start. But instead of us giving Jesus a gift, He is the One Who has a gift for those who will accept Him into their hearts. By believing that He died on the cross to pay for our sins, that's how we get saved, meaning we don't have to do anything because He became the sacrifice for our sins. Being saved means our sins do not count against us anymore when we believe and open Jesus' gift of salvation. Revelation 3:20 - "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear My voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you will eat with Me" [NCV].

When my son's friend had opened the "appropriate bday card" which was inside the "phony card", he had that feeling of relief and then, got excited again when he saw the gift inside...Same thing with Jesus' offer of salvation, there is no other way to have an eternal life but only by the REAL DEAL and that is through Jesus!!! John 11:25, 26 - Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in Me will have life even if they die. And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die."

John 14:6 - Jesus answered, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through Me..."



Money

It's scary the way our economy is going...Higher gas prices, that in return, affects the costs of all things we buy or the costs of services we need. A lot of people lost their homes. Some are working not only 1, nor 2 and sometimes, maybe even 3 jobs, to make their ends meet. Some people gave up the things they love to do for themselves in order to save even a few bucks. A lot of people are not sleeping well, when it's time to pay for their bills and if their savings is not enough, where can they get the money they need to pay for these bills or their debts? Or they might worry that something might happen to their health, that if illness strikes, they're not going to be able to work and earn the money they need. Some people if not for their gambling addictions, buy lottery tickets, hoping to win that millions of dollars prizes though they know that the odds of winning is so slim!
I thank God for finding a lost soul like me. Before I have given my life to Christ, I was a worrier, who would want to have lots of money thinking that it would give me the security I need. Once we have a personal relationship with Christ, and if we truly surrender our lives to Him, our worries are replaced with the peace that only comes from our Lord Jesus. Through His promises [His Words], they are great assurances that His love and support for me will never fail. He is my true Security in this lifetime and beyond...To God be the glory!

Psalm 23:1 - "The Lord is my Shepherd; I have everything I need."

Matthew 6:24 - "No one can serve two masters...You cannot serve both God and money."

Psalm 119:36 - "Give me an eagerness for Your decrees; do not inflict me with love for money."

1 Timothy 6:10 - "The love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil."

Hebrews 13:5 - "Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, "I will never fail you. I will never forsake you."

Proverbs 11:28 - "Trust in your money and down you go!"

Proverbs 19:1 - "It is better to be poor and honest than to be a fool and dishonest."

Mark 8:36 - "How do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process?"
Philippians 4:19 - "This same God Who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches."

Luke 12:15 - "Don't be greedy for what you don't have. Real life is not measured by how much we own."

Matthew 6:31-33 - "Don't worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern."


Stress



Henry Ford once said, "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it..."




The other night, a family member close to my heart emailed me and started venting out about the tremendous pressures in life she is facing. She is not getting the help she needs from her own family and it is hard to be ignored when she only meant well...



My son was feeling "bummed out" when he found out he got a letter grade equivalent to "C', despite him studying so hard from the previous night prior to the test. I told him, "it was ok". We will all have our own failures. But from that mistake, he can learn from it, move on and strive harder until he reaches his desired goals.


My husband is scheduled to go to another city [work-related] and that means it will only be my son and I together during those times that he won't be home. Then I have to be both the "father and mother" to our son while he is away.


I'm feeling the "pinch" from a dear sis-in-law of mine who's trying to make both ends meet every month. I've been in that situation before and I know it's really a very difficult trying times when you are trying to provide for your family and sometimes, just don't have enough resources.


Wherever we are, whatever we do, we all face stress at one point in this lifetime. The way we deal with them depends on our own attitudes. When we fall, we can choose to get up right away or stay there and feel sorry for ourselves. When we lose something, we can choose to earnestly find it or just let it be gone forever. When someone hurts us, we can choose to confront that person, forgiving at the same time or we can choose to pay back and give them back the hurt they have caused us. Stress is never a fun thing. But it can be a great learning tool we all can use to become more strong, more patient, more enduring, more loving, more forgiving and perhaps, to have hope, instead of feeling despair.


I know that when we learn to accept God's love and start to understand His ways, stress is not a "stress" anymore when we start to trust in Him. Jesus even said from John 16:33, "I have told you all these so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, I have overcome the world." What else would be the BEST way to deal with stress than to turn to God Who had been there and overcame that?


Psalm 55:22 - "Give your worries to the Lord and He will take care of you. He will never let good people down." [NCV]


Psalm 86:7 - "I call to You in times of trouble because You will answer me."


Isaiah 41:10 - "So don't worry because I am with you. Don't be afraid because I am your God. I will make you strong and will help you. I will support you with My right hand that saves you."


Matthew 11:28, 29 -Jesus said, "Come to Me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept My teachings and learn from Me because I am gentle and humble in spirit and you will find rest for your lives."


2 Corinthians 4:9 - "We are persecuted but God does not leave us. We are hurt sometimes, but we are not destroyed."


Isaiah 43:2 - "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you." [NASB]


Psalm 23:4 - "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."


Psalm 34:17 - "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles."






Mountains




Wow...seasons have come and gone so fast, leaving me thinking where the years went. The years just slipped through my fingers like how sand would...

There are so many things we give up sometimes in our lives as the years go by. A project maybe? A dream? A relationship? Hope? Faith? There will always be mountains that face us and challenge our endurance. In this life, we face the mountain of illnesses, of different kinds of problems, of fear, and even of death. There will always be times when turning back seems the wisest thing to do, yet, sometimes, we can't make a "u-turn" for some reasons. We just have to face that huge mountain. I know it will be okay if we try to conquer that mountain, not with our own strength but of God's. We can always go to Him and ask Him to help us climb that mountain we are facing.

Psalm 61:2 - "I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I."

God's Love

My family and I love the ocean. The tides may come roaring at times but the sight and sound give you the feeling of being surrounded in a peaceful place. The effect was calming.
As the vast, blue skies meet the horizon, both directions seem endless. It surely brings out the best in me, of being inspired to write more about the Lord. He is the One Who created all these for us to enjoy. Truly His works are reminders of His faithful and unconditional love for mankind.


Just like the endless skies and horizon, so it is with the Lord's love. This is a beautiful prayer from Paul from Ephesians 3:17-19, "I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. And I pray that you and all God's holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ's love - how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. Christ's love is greater than anyone can ever know but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God." [NCV]


Kayaking


My family and I discovered the fun of kayaking. As novice kayakers, there are so many things to learn. My husband bought the inflatable kinds so we didn't need to worry about buying the racks for the car and with storing them. Off we went to the bay to try them out! It was so much fun! I love the "tandem kayak" which was made for two people. I enjoyed paddling with my son and we talked a lot as we paddled. Though I wasn't as experienced as the others, I sat on the back since I was bigger and I could steer better when my son got tired. The person sitting on the back is more able to direct the kayak and steer it better in making decisions where to go. It's like being the "captain". Tandem kayaks are best for those people who want to try this out with a partner who's more experienced than them.
Spiritually speaking, I want to go kayaking with the Lord. If we make Him the "Captain" in our kayaks of life, nothing will go wrong. I know that when I get tired and feel weak from paddling, He is there to help me steer the kayak [my life] and make it head to the right direction.
"I don't care about my own life. The most important thing is that I complete my mission, the work that the Lord Jesus gave me - to tell the people the Good News about God's grace."- Acts 20:24
Jesus said to me, " My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, My power is made perfect in you." So I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses. Then Christ's power can live in me. - 2Corinthians 12:9
Jesus said, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls." - Matthew 11:28-29
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." - Proverbs 3:5
"With God's power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine." - Ephesians 3:20

He Helps Us Get Through




My father had passed away back in December 8, 2007. But he was ill for a long time prior to his death. I was browsing my journal when I came across one of the songs I had composed on December 16, 2005. At that time, my father was in a hospital, his breathing aided by a ventilator. With the many oceans between us, all I could do was pray for him and made my love known by calling him everyday. Being a nurse, it was a very tough trial for me not to be able to care physically for my father. But knowing how faithful the Lord is with His love and promises, I knew then, we would all be okay, especially my father. Thank You Lord for this song that constantly serves as a reminder of Your faithful love:


Help Me Get Through


We may never understand


Every trial that happens in this lifetime


Lord, You're always there that I know


Giving us strength when giving up is all I want to do




Oh Lord, please be there for me


Help me get up whenever I fall


Oh Lord, draw me near to You


With this pain, help me get through




My hope comes from knowing You


In my dark moment, You are the Light that shines on me


Lord, You take away all my fears


Giving me the courage to fight all my battles




John 14:27 - Jesus said, "I leave you My peace; My peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So don't let your hearts be troubled or afraid."




Psalm 46:1-2, 10 - "God is our refuge and strength. a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea....Be still and know that I am God."




Philippians 4:6-7 - "Do not worry about anything but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God's peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."




Matthew 11:28-29 - Jesus said, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls."




Joshua 1:9 - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord God is with you wherever you go."




Nahum 1:7 - "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble and He knows those who trust in Him."


Father's Day

What a tough month it would be to celebrate "Father's Day" come the 15th, this year! My father passed away back in December of 2007. Long ago, how easy it was for me to call him on the phone. Despite the many miles between us, we just shared a lot of good talks only a father and his child could have. His health went down really fast, after being diagnosed with colon cancer. Up to this day, I'm really grateful that my brothers and I had the chance to be by his side as he laid on his bed before he passed away. Every minute of each of those days felt like a lifetime's worth of catching up with good mem'ries we lost as we lived our lives in different places of this world. Despite the pain and that predicament he was in, he kept joking around and he wanted to be remembered by everyone that instead of us crying and feeling down, he wanted people to know that he died happy, same with his family and all the people he cared about. He didn't want it to end with mourning, but with celebration of life and joy despite the pain!

I wanted to be strong for him because I knew how much pain he was in even though he wasn't complaining and wasn't able to nourish his body anymore. I recalled every fun mem'ry we all had shared together with our mother when she was alive. What a great feeling to see my father's big smile knowing how much energy he must have used just to do that! The heck with my not so nice voice, I sang with my other brother as I strummed the guitar and he liked that. I would often lay down next to him and asked him to hug me, until the last one was going to be the "last one" for real. Lots of people flocked to his room to pay their visit and prayed for him. They came crying when they saw how fragile he looked but when they left, they were all laughing with tears, their broken hearts replaced by the good spirit my father had shown them through his jokes. Much later, as I figured things out, it wasn't me who kept my father strong. It was the other way around...He was the one who kept me and the others strong. He remained in good spirits and I believe up to this day, it was his deep faith in God that made him survive this hardest trial.

Yes, my father may not be here this Father's Day, but we have a spiritual Father Who is always there for us, going through our tough times. From 2 Corinthians 1:3-7, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort."

Happy Father's Day to all of you, dads out there!

Candies and Honesty


I usually pick up all the trash from all the trash bins upstairs everyday and there's one bin in my son's room. Upstairs, we also have a jar of candies and told my son not to eat too much, only a little bit at a time. I wanted him to know that I could trust him and it would start with a simple instruction like that. One day, I found too many candy wrappers in the trash bin in his room and some in the bin close to the computer. I asked my husband if he had eaten a lot of candies and he quickly responded that he ate only 1 piece. I didn't have anything yet so there was only 1 "culprit" left to blame...When I confronted my son regarding my discovery, he whispered in a very soft voice, "ahhh....some of those wrappers were there since Thursday, mom!" [I was thinking, "did he forget that I pick up the trash everyday?" I got upset with the fact that he lied. Much later, he told me that he did that thinking that he would get away with it, he then knew, he got in deeper trouble. He said he was sorry and gave me a hug and a kiss.
What happened was true with all of us. We all prefer to deal with honest people--people we can trust, people who don't lie and don't try to deceive us. But it must start with ourselves, too. A noble goal for one's life is to pursue HONESTY--honesty with ourselves, with others and with God.
I read this from one of the books I had: "An honest man is not a man who never lies. There is no such man. When an honest man is caught in a lie or discovers he has lied, he is quick to admit it. He then speaks the truth. He's not afraid to say, "please forgive me for not being honest." He does not defend a lie.
We surely need God's help to be honest. In a court of law, it is asked, "Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?" And the reply is "so help me God."
After that incident, the jar of candies do not get empty in just a matter of days. There were lesser candy wrappers in the trash bins by the computer and in my son's room. Most of all, out of that incident, I knew I could trust my son again...

Brace

The orthodontist applied the braces on my son's teeth last week. After a little over an hour, we were instructed about the proper maintenance and care so as to avoid problems as much as possible. He has to wear the braces for 30 months and that seems like a long time. But my son understands, these appliances will help his slightly crooked teeth to be straight and when the treatment is over, he will have a nicer, even teeth. He was fine all night long but when morning came, he complained of some soreness with his upper teeth that I had to give him some pain reliever to make him more comfortable. Thank God the medicine helped him that day and ever since, his pain is much more tolerable. He understands quite well that with the brace, comes some discomfort or pain once in a while. He knows if he learns to be patient, then everything would be worth the wait!

Spiritually speaking, I want the Lord to be the brace in my life. I know and fully understand that He will make my crooked ways straight and only Him can do that. I know that I need to learn how to be patient in order for me to grow in His likeness, despite the expected discomfort and pain from the trials in this lifetime and with the changes I need to make in order to be more like Christ in all of my ways. 1Peter 3:17 says, "Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!".

Romans 5:3,4 - "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us-they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation."

Becoming more Christ-like in all things is an everyday process called work. If I want to have a Christian way of life, then I must patiently allow the brace [Holy Spirit] to reshape my life. I can do that only by trusting Him.

Romans 8:28 - "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose."

Any masterpiece takes time to be perfected.....in the hands of the Master Artist.....God bless.

Hail Storm

It started raining on May 22, 2008. Much to my surprise, it got louder and louder whatever was falling on the rooftops. When I looked out in the backyard, I saw the drains clogging up...with ICE!!!! There was a hail storm and I was sure at that moment that I wasn't alone in getting excited at the sight for we rarely get snow, even hail storm where we live! The wind was a little gusty and there was also lightning and thunder. This work of mother nature didn't last for a long time. It was over in a few minutes...I got worried that my son got caught up with this storm, along with the other students at school. And my husband was coming home, about to drive 8 hours from a special operation they did at work. My worries died down as the storm eased up and soon, the sun was out! In a matter of few hours, the ground was dry like it was all a dream that we had that hail storm.

In this life, we also have sudden tribulations and trials. Only in Jesus, I found that we can have joy and peace amidst such trials. From Philippians 4:6,7 - "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and mind as you live in Christ Jesus." Glory be to God!

As we gathered that evening, my son told me that the teachers kept them in each particular classrooms and they waited out until the storm was over so they were kept safe. My husband came home on time, despite the on and off gusty winds. We even heard that there was a couple of tornadoes few miles away. Thank You Lord for Your protection.

Iced Coffee


Who hates "iced coffee" on hot days like now? This is one of my favorite drinks on hot, summer days! One time, as I was running errands with my son, I had that craving for this drink. So, we went in and ordered it with some "low fat cinnamon cake". As my son volunteered to pick up the drinks from the counter as my name was called, he accidentally tripped and lost his hold on my "treasured iced drink". The look of embarrassment and at the same time "fear" was obvious on his face. He was embarrassed that many people saw him and perhaps, was afraid that "Commander Mommy" might yell at him for landing my drink on the floor...He didn't know, his expressions broke my heart. I told him it was okay and that, it wasn't his fault. It could happen. I told him there was nothing embarrassing about it. Pretty soon, a wide smile and a sense of comfort replaced his worried expressions. Without being told, he gathered whatever remaining courage he had and went up to the counter and apologized for the mess the spilled drink created. He told them that he didn't want anybody to walk on the mess and end up falling on the floor themselves. Much to his surprise, people from the coffee shop said "thank you" to him and even told him that the spilled drink would be replaced right away.
Walking back towards me where I was sitting, he was holding up and showing me a "new iced coffee" with pride and with much care this time. I told him I was proud of him and that from mistake, he had shown right away, how much courage he took to correct that mistake and move on...
Just like all of us, sinners, we mess up, too. But the Lord is always there, always ready to accept us and forgive us if we truly repent for our sins and turn our backs away from them. He comforts us when we are hurting. He gives us strengths when we are weak. He laughs with us. He cries with us.
Lord, I want to thank You for that special time I had with my son, a wonderful time of growth and learning experience for both of us. Thank You Lord for the iced coffee that would remind me of how spiritually, we should seek You when we are thirsty...
Isaiah 43:25 - "I, yes, I alone, am the One Who blots out your sins for My own sake and will never think of them again."
Isaiah 55:1,2 - "Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink-even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk - it's all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good?"
Isaiah 55:6,7 - "Seek the Lord while you can find Him. Call on Him now while He is near. Let the people turn from their wicked deeds. Let them banish from their minds the very thought of doing wrong! Let them turn to the Lord that He may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God for He will abundantly pardon..." God bless to you all.

Happy Mother's Day!!!

My mother may have been gone for almost eight years now. But her love continues to remain alive in our hearts. Everyday, I thank God for giving my brothers and I the BEST mom one could ever wish for! She has a heart that endured any storms in our lives. She always accepted and forgave us no matter how deeply we might have hurt her with the consequences of our wrong choices. She has a heart that was always seeking God.

As we dealt with the ups and downs of life, I could never imagine a life without our mother...whose touch was also a gift from God! I know that no one can ever compare with our Lord [please read Psalm 23 in the Bible], but a good mom really has that special touch that only comes from God!!! I can't remember where I read this:
The 23rd Psalm
My mom is my shepherd. I shall not want. She makes me lie down under cool, downy comforts. She watches me play beside still waters. She restores my soul. She leads me in the paths of respect, responsibility and goodness, for I am her namesake! Yea, even though I walk past monsters in the dark, I will not be scared because my mom is always near me. Her hands and her voice, they comfort me. Mom sets the table and cheerfully calls me to dinner even in front of big, mean bullies. She anoints my skinned knees and broken heart with kisses. She smiles and throws me a towel when my cup runs over. Surely, God's peace, power and mercy shall uphold me all the days of my life, for my mother taught me to dwell in the house of God forever....

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO ALL OF YOU GREAT MOMS OUT THERE!!! ALL THE THANKS TO OUR GOOD GOD WHO MADE US ALL!!!!

Greatest Is His Love

I've never appreciated the beauty of everything around me not until I had a personal relationship with the Lord back in the early 90's. God's love is truly unfathomable...I wrote this song back in June of 2003.

Greatest Is His Love

How lovely is the day and all around

His creations reflect my Lord's love

The towering mountains against the bluest skies

Your hands made them all and all of mankind.

The Lord is so good, the Lord is so kind

The Lord is so powerful but greatest is His love...

Look at this very day and all around

Treasure all the blessings from our God above

The beautiful flowers while the birds fly high

We are all formed by the precious Hands of God...

Thank You Lord for loving us unconditionally. Thank you for finding me when I was lost...

Brokenhearted

It hurts when someone breaks your trust. I had loved this person like a family to us. I trusted her with everything that only my family members would have known. I felt my anger started creeping up. I probably looked like those characters from the movies when smoke comes out of both ears and the face turn very red! It wasn't a pleasant feeling. I was feeling heavy all day yesterday. I knew I needed to vent out...and I did...to my God, Who I know is always there for me. I wanted to be able to forgive right away knowing that God forgives readily to those who truly repents of their sins.

In my quiet time with the Lord, I asked Him to talk to me and help me get rid of this poisonous anger. God is awesome! He surely showed me His loving embrace through His Word. He let me know that letting go of anger was surely the best thing to do and which would please Him in return.

He told me from Romans 12:17-19, 21 - "Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. Never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. Don't let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good."

To God be the glory! I felt something heavy got lifted off my chest...and felt that no matter who hurts me or breaks my heart, God is always there for me, loving me, comforting me, and setting an example to still love others, even the worst of my enemies...Thank You Lord!

Let Jesus Drive Your Car of Life


Back in 1994, I was 4 mos. pregnant when I just finished working another night shift and was on my way home from work. I must be so tired that I thought a car was about to hit me. I hit on my brake pedal so hard that it locked and I started spinning around! I talked to Jesus to control my car and give me and my husband a chance to see my baby who wasn't born yet. I didn't panic! I remembered a deep sense of calmness and peace surrounding me.
My son is now 13 yrs.old. Spiritually speaking, we can all let Jesus drive the cars of our lives. If we let Him drive, He will help us not stop on roads where we aren't supposed to stop. When we put our trust on this Special Driver, nothing will go wrong. I wrote this song on June 2003 when I recalled that incident:

Let Jesus Drive Your Car of Life
Driving alone on a lonely road
As darkness of the night wraps everything
Don't know where to go
Don't know where to turn
Let Jesus come into your car
Pick Him up from that road of life
Let Jesus steer your car of life
And suddenly, everything will be clear for you to see...
Don't look back, keep looking ahead
For Jesus is with you, throw away your fear
Just move on, He can drive your car
With Jesus, you can go that far...

Joy

Whenever we have very busy nights at work, we always joke around about how great it must be to win the Superlotto and just quit...Easier said than done...But if it really does happen, there is really no guarantee that we are ever going to be happy just by winning millions of dollars. There is no money that can equal true happiness...

Joy is not something we get from material things. True joy comes from knowing God. It all starts with having a personal relationship with God. It all starts with the knowledge how much God loves us all. And not until we experience that kind of love, we will not experience true "joy". As we try to have a closer walk with God, then, we are bound to discover that He remains unchanging and that His love never ends. From 1John 4:19, "we love because He first loved us." Joy goes beyond "happiness" as it remains even in the midst of "unhappiness". Rooted in God's love, it is a deeper sense of stability even when things around us go wrong.

"In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forever more..."-Psalm 16:11..

There Is No Partiality with God

Had a busy night at work. As usual, we were also short, too with staff so we were anticipating a more hectic "accucheck time", time when we monitor all of the diabetic inmates' blood sugar this morning.
Before 6am, that's the usual time when all the night crew gets caught up with all the busyness and chaos, so it's usually more calm and that's when we try to get reenergized prior to accuchecks.
The incoming day charge nurse walked in, finding us, sitting and with all the calmness around us, commented, "you guys should be doing something instead of just sitting around." No amount of explanation would change her mind, her way of thinking that we were just idle. I felt my blood pressure go higher because I felt it wasn't right for her to assume that we were not busy at all when we just got done with all the work.
Things here in this world a lot of times are not fair. Sometimes, there is double standard. Your effort doesn't get noticed. You don't get thanked for something you have done beyond your means...You're not accepted. You're not respected...Didn't men do all these with the Lord Jesus? That's how it is here in this world.
I stepped out of the front door with a new positive outlook. I wasn't planning on ruining my new day with someone's false accusation. I took a deep breath and deep inside felt good, knowing that God is there Who sees everything. He's the One I always want to please with whatever I'm doing. He is my "BOSS". He is the One Who knows I put my heart in things that I do at work because He knows how much I treasure this job He gave me. He knows how much I appreciate this "blessing" when I found it after my neck injury...Colossians 3:23 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."
I don't need to explain anything because I know He is always fair. From 2 Chronicles 19:7, "Now let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery."

Jesus is Peace

I couldn't help but marvel at this wonderful scenery. What a mighty force it must be for the currents to etch and leave prints every time the water hits the land! This side of the beach is being reshaped over and over only to show a magnificent art, done by nature!

We all go through different trials of life. Some are suffering more than the others. But no matter what kind of trial we're in, we should emerge as victors, despite the pain and the force of impact a trial has on our lives. From James 1:2-4, "Whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything."

We don't know our reactions until we undergo some kind of pressure. But instead of complaining, we can look at these trials as opportunities for growth. God has promised that "He will never leave us nor forsake us." God will stay close with us if we ask Him to, as we are being reshaped to have a strong character.

Jesus said from John 16:33, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." What a wonderful promise from Him that He is with us as we go through these trials. He is our peace during times of trials...

Spring Break 2008

Spring Break is here! No matter how early, this time of the year is a great reminder of what Christ Jesus had done to save us all. All these wonderful places we got to see, foods we ate, things we did...To God be the glory!



Famous turn "corkscrew" at Laguna Seca Raceway
Acts 20:24 - However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.



Lunch from Giovanni's at Morro Bay...
John 6:35 - Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.



Lone Cypress Tree at 17 mile drive [Monterey, CA.]
Proverbs 11:30 - The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.



Morro Rock at Morro Bay, CA.
Psalm 18:2 - The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Sunset at Pismo Beach, California
Psalm 37:18 - The days of the blameless are known to the LORD, and their inheritance will endure forever.

































God's Insurance

Don't have a clue what to blog about today. Tired from last night's work...Inmates are sicker, with history of diabetes or high blood pressure or both and also seizures. Outside, some of them don't have the insurance to be able to manage their medical problems, thus, are unable to buy the necessary medications they need to control such problems. I hope whoever wins the presidency this year will really do something for the health of all Americans. It should be a fair system in treating everyone who needs it.

If we want to have peace and harmony, we can all learn from God. From Acts 10:34,35, Peter said, "Truly I understand that God shows no partiality but in every nation, anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him." God wants all of us to be saved from eternal fire. That's how much He loves us all. God doesn't select who He wants to be saved. He grants His offer of salvation to anyone who is willing to accept it. His gift has been offered. Someone just needs to accept and open that gift. We are all spiritually ill and we need His insurance in order for us to restore our spiritual health.

Ephesians 2:1-9 says: And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. [ESV].

Trust in God

Whew! What a very busy night at work! I had a gut feeling that I would be floating to "Intake" and was I right! I haven't been there in a long time..."Intake" is a part of detention facility where arrestees are first screened by nurses to see if they are physically and mentally fit to stay in the jail. It can be very busy as many bodies start arriving after they are arrested for driving under the influence, using street drugs, and any other forms of crimes. It also houses a few cells where "suicidal inmates" are monitored and a couple of safety cells for those who are a threat to themselves.
Mr. X in safety cell 1 started getting more anxious and was yelling profanities as I was coming along to get my report from the outgoing nurse. He had been refusing his psych. meds for the past days that added as a factor to his already odd behavior. Few minutes later, he started banging the metal door and caused a high potential to hurt himself physically. I had the deputies put him on the safety chair and decided that it was the right moment to administer the meds ordered by the psych doctor to calm him down. His blood pressure was high at 153/103. A couple of hours later, he was sound asleep. Sensing that he would be more calm when he woke up, I had the deputies release him from the safety chair. His blood pressure returned to normal at 124/84. There were other situations that demanded my own autonomous decisions and they were not easy. I used to be afraid of making wrong decisions. I used to be afraid of just being there in that place knowing how busy it could be and there was no other help, medical-issue wise.
But I know that God is there with me anywhere, anytime. I know that I can call on my God to help me out. Jesus said in Matthew 6:8, "Your Father knows the things you need before you ask Him." Yes, I still need to pray...all the time even if God knows what I need. It just proves how much I need Him and without Him, I am nothing. The more I realize my dependence on Him, the more thankful I feel because then, I know that nothing is impossible to achieve when I know He will always be there for me. He sees me and my intentions. Proverbs 3:5 reminds me all the time to"trust in the Lord with all of my heart and lean not on my own understanding." How wonderful to know that God is always there and He is Someone I can lean on at all times.
All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.



Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]


Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.


Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.


All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.


When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.


The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.


When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.


[Source: Life Application Bible]:


We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.


“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14


Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].


Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.


Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.


Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].

Friends