Trust and Believe



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I read the familiar lines I wrote two years ago. My heart scarred with pain for my son’s own heartache at that time was not feeling anymore hurt but instead, of gratitude and joy. As we walked in that valley two years ago, I remained trusting in the Lord. I had no words to part with him to lighten the load he carried except:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding…”

I knew then Who to go to knowing that He had rescued me many times with my own failures, His right Hand always quick to save me from drowning from the seas of trials as He did Peter when he stepped out of that boat being battered by gusty winds. I knew… It was only the Lord Jesus Who would never let go of His hold of my son’s hand during that moment when he was being hit by the winds of confusion, doubts, and fears.

After that winds of confusion to stop him from using his love of Graphic Design, His gift of love for art evident even since he was little, he worked even harder and remained trusting in the Lord, despite the uncertainties around him. My son with Proverbs 3:5 etched in his heart since he was of a young mind, was beginning to understand as he stepped out into adulthood the importance of having faith and living it out in his own journey.

My family and I weathered that storm. He finished his degree few months ago. It wasn’t easy. But we all knew, we needed to have faith, even little. Even as small as a mustard seed than none.

“Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

 “Yes, come,” Jesus said.” (Matthew 14:28-29, NLT)

My son is about to step out of his boat of life. I know that the winds will not come only once but a life of duty for Christ will continue to weather many storms. However, I also know that not all storms are there to batter our boats of lives. Some in that scary appearances are there to expose what’s weak, to deal with them, to be able to surrender them all to Jesus as we step out of our comfort zones in order for us to serve the Master. Sometimes, in the process of sinking, one is being cleansed by the Living Water. Truly, in our weaknesses Jesus is our strength. He alone is the source of true Power. He hears our prayers no matter how strong the winds are or how bad the waves are crushing against the boat of life. He is always faithful. He doesn’t let us sink under the water when we have faith. When we trust…

In stormy events of life, Jesus is quick to reach out to save anyone who calls on Him. 

The question is... "Are you willing to reach out to His hold and be saved?" Trust. Believe.

Lord, thank You for everything. For saving not only my son but also my husband and I. Thank You that You have provided all the means in order for him to continue to serve You with the talent You had given him. Lord, increase his faith as he steps out and use him as Your instrument for Your glory. May many people who will come his way be able to see Your light that he reflects. Protect him and guide him and give him discernment. Increase his faith at times of gusty winds and may he keep in his heart that You will never leave him nor forsake him. Thank You Lord for Who You are. Thank You for Your love and mercy. Lord, please bless those who are afflicted with severe storms. May they be able to see You in the waters and be able to trust and believe in You. You alone are our Savior. To those who are doubting, make their unbelief to belief. To those who are in confusion, give them order. To those who don't have faith, make their hearts see. To those who are afraid, give them courage. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

The Gift of Rainy Days


Winter said its “goodbyes” but what lasting impression it left to the drought-stricken land! It brought many days of much needed rain, even exceeding the amount needed to recover from drought. 

I have never seen our trees yield so many flowers and what a beautiful sight to gaze at! I am anticipating a greater harvest of plums and nectarines this year!

Along with this awesome result comes the down side. With many different flowers popping up on roadways, hills, valleys and mountaintops, surely people with allergy are prone to being affected by these pollens and other kinds of allergens in the air. I am one of those people and already armed myself with nasal sprays and a tablet I can take each day if I need to counter such effects.  I dread it sometimes because I don’t like the sinus pain that may come with other symptoms. Like itchy eyes or runny nose or just feeling tired sometimes. 

But I choose to concentrate on the positive side which is to take each day at a time and enjoy the gift of rainy days winter dropped in the season of my life.

nectarine tree; ©offthebeatentrek2019



 
plum tree; ©offthebeatentrek2019 





I pray Paul’s prayer for me and for you:


“When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” – Ephesians 3:14-19 (NLT)

The Lion and the Lamb

"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." - Ephesians 6:13 (NIV)

 




I looked at the art hanging on the wall up on the loft again. The verse spoke out loud despite the silence all around me. This particular art with God's Armor reminds me each day that as my eyes open each morning, the battle is real. Each day. From sunrise 'til sunset. I chose this particular art after going through a spiritual battle back in 2003 when I was a baby Christian. God showed me that the unseen battle was real but through that, He would help me and guide me and that, He would never leave me alone like He promised to those who trusted and believed in Him. After a lot of weird "goose-bumps" producing occurrences, He showed me the sWord. His sWORD. I would never forget the first verse as I opened the Bible and asked Him what should I do at that moment when the spiritual enemy was throwing fear and confusion, not only to me, but to my family. It was:

"Stay strong with the Lord's mighty power..." (Ephesians 6:10)

 

I was a witness with my physical eyes how the unseen enemy fled like a rocket at the utterance of the Lord Jesus' Name. I knew, it wasn't my power. It was His. But I couldn't imagine what happened in the spiritual realm. My fear though was replaced with awe and courage from God's grace.

As I went back to work after that short leave to the prison, the more I had witnessed that the Lord strengthened me through that brief battle as more unseen battles came in the prison, working as a Correctional Nurse at that time.

Sometimes, there are many moments we are involved in that don't make sense. But if we put all events under His light, that's the only time we will recognize that the Lord uses each event for our advantage, even some may not seem pleasant and some that we don't like at all to occur or be in. No matter what circumstances we are in, I just know that God gives His Armor for His church not to be put down. As a Christian, I must be on guard in all of my ways, never letting any opportunity for the spiritual enemy to gain anything in my life. It isn't easy.

So much evil around us. So much lies and spiritual deceptions. I pray that believers will wake up and draw nearer to God. To have His gift of discernment.

God has given us the power and all the weapons to deflect anything hurled unto us by the one who roars like a lion. However, I know that the victory already belongs to the true Lion and the Lamb!







Difficult People


 
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:22-23)



This man who asked my friend why I was visiting at the hospital when I wasn’t a family member came rushing past towards me and my car I had just backed in, into my friend’s driveway so we could unload the stuff I had shopped for her. I always offered before visiting so to lighten her load on her, caring alone for her aged mother and knowing how difficult it was for her to go get supplies they needed as she couldn’t leave her mother alone. From the tense moment of me not saying “Hi” verbally the last time to just motioning my hand, I knew he was baffled why I didn’t acknowledge his presence as much at that time. This time, I felt he was waiting for my reaction upon seeing him. 

“Hi ‘T”,” I finally let out from my mouth. He said "hello" back but continued walking in a fast pace up the sloping driveway. To my contentment as I was the type not great with hiding feelings or emotions. I would say things as they were, whether they would hurt or not. 

That has been my struggle. To find honest or sincere people. To feel genuine love and care from others. When they ask me questions, either they are just curious or like to compare. If not, to make me well aware that they are better than me. It’s not only from people I meet. People I used to work with. Friends. Worst of all, these individuals can also come from my own family. Or that of my husband’s.

Many times I cry out in prayers for the Lord to show me ways in dealing with such people. But also starting with my own heart. To always probe my heart and cut what doesn't belong there... There are times that even if it hurts too much, I have to cut a relationship. Not as an escape. But for my own health and sanity. I have learned that those people who knowingly or unknowingly cause pain don’t care and I am the one on the receiving end who gets wounded despite me showing genuine love and care. I always seek the Lord’s guidance for I know that whatever I do, it will only be effective if they are done with His grace. At times, I have put boundaries either by staying away from such “toxic people” and if I can't stay away from them, I just don’t give in to their manipulative ways. But what relief!!!

I always ask the Lord to help me deal with true love that comes from Him, patience and how I need His grace! 

How do you deal with difficult people?


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 himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.


[Source: NLT 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