Last year, when the tiny red fruits came out, we discovered that some of them had some kind of little bites, not sure if it was a squirrel or the birds who loved the taste [wahhhhh...before I got to taste!]. I won't let them do that to me, I thought to myself. So, I researched online and saw that if we put some kind of reflective ribbons that would move a lot when winds blew, it might sort of scare them. So, that's what my hubby did. And the other remaining fruits seemed to be spared from whatever was eating them [hurrahhhhh!]. You can still see one reflective ribbon remaining:
Spiritually speaking, we are like that "cherry tree". We will only yield "sweet fruits" if our roots are rooted deeply in God's love. Sometimes, some of us are being eaten or snatched away by our spiritual enemies [John 10:10- Jesus said, "The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness"]. We need that reflective light [God is light] to help us prevent the enemies from pulling us away from our good Lord [Ephesians 5:1 -"Follow God's example in everything you do, because you are His dear children." ; Ephesians 6:10,11 - "Be strong with the Lord's mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil."].
Let me end this post with Paul's prayers from Ephesians 3:16-19:
"I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will give you mighty inner strength through His Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. 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 really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God." -Life Application Bible.
I got a call Saturday that he wasn't looking well. Sunday morning, so tired coming from a busy night's shift at work, my husband shouted with joy as he was able to buy me the last ticket. But where would I get my pocket money? We applied for a loan via online with our bank. Within 15 minutes, the loan was approved [in which the Lord had provided for me to be able to pay it off in a very short time]. At work, my supervisor was very supportive of giving me all the time I needed for the trip despite the short notice.
The following day, Monday night, I was bound to the airport to go home for a 13 hour flight. Wow! There was no traffic which was weird knowing the roads were usually jammed going to Los Angeles International Airport. Reaching the counter way early, the lady told me we would be in our destination at 5:30 am. I told her, you must have a mistake. That was only the time of arrival where we were supposed to have a stop-over. She replied, "Ma'am. For the first time, we decided to fly non-stop again starting with this flight that you're in." Was it good luck? No!!! It was "divine intervention." Everything was a blessing from the Lord when He willed something. Of course, it was a great reunion with my father. Together with my brothers, we had created more memories, though bittersweet, we knew they would be in our hearts forever.
Why am I writing about this? It's because I want to thank the Lord and tell you, how important it is for us to continue to trust in the Lord, no matter what circumstances we're in. Some things we don't understand but the Lord knows it all. If our prayers are answered, thank Him. If our prayers are not answered, thank Him still! Because He knows what's best for us. If our prayers are taking a while, still thank Him despite the long wait, because there is always a great reason for that. Everything happens in His perfect time. The Lord is good! And He loves us all! Do you love Him? Do you know Him? If you don't. you're missing so much in this lifetime, walking everyday without the Lord is like being lost in that valley.
I wrote this song on 1/17/07 to thank the Lord for His goodness.
I Will Never
I will never be lost
For You always make a way
You give me light and You guide
My dark and wrong ways
I will never be afraid
For You're always by my side
You hold my hand and draw me close
Nearer to You
Someday, I will understand
All the things will be clear for me
As I live for now, all I know
Is that I must....trust in no one but You
I will never die again
Because You gave Your life on the cross
You welcomed me with open arms
And called me Your friend
I will never understand
The kind of love that You have shown
I received Your gift of grace
Because of Jesus
Someday, I will understand
All the things will be clear to me
As I live for now, all I know
Is that I must..trust in no one but You
Is that I must...[I will never]...trust in no one.....but You...
Wow! I can't imagine getting passed on with another award from Sitka. God does pour His blessings but if we learn to share His blessings, we bless others as well. "Thank you Sitka for always remembering my blog."
The last time Sitka gave me the "furry-blog-award", I almost forgot to include what went with the award. So, not this time...
As what Sitka had explained, "Spanish Darts Award" is also known as "Premio Dardos", which means "Prize Darts" in English. It's given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing.
There are important things that went with this award:
1. Accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and link to his/her blog.
2. Pass the award to other blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgement, remembering to contact each of them to let them know they have been selected for this award.
Accepting the award is the easiest thing to do...Passing it on is the hardest as there are so many encouraging blogs I have encountered. There are so many interesting blogs out there in the blogosphere but for me, 2 stood out from the rest right away as I have read and visited their blogs time and time again. I still get that kind of excitement whenever they write a new post and makes me feel as if I have never been to their blogs. Their writing encourages me in return and helps me so much with my own spiritual growth.
Without a doubt, I would love to pass this award to:
Alleluiabelle, whose writing will make you feel that you're right next to her and that as if you have seen the things she wrote about. You'll feel the triumphs of living with Christ in the humblest possible way, despite the odds she had to endure and face daily as if you're going through such trials with her and overcoming them with God's strength.
Andrea, another sister in Christ, who is a writer as her profession. But whenever she writes, she knows how to engage her readers and make them realize what it means "when she chose to stand up to write for Christ".
with our spiritual hunger + Christ = Bread of Life [John 6:35]
with the darkness we're in + Christ = Light of the World [John 8:12]
with our spiritual death + Christ = eternal life [John 3:16]
lies + Christ = Only Truth [John 1:14; John 8:32; John 14:6]
religion + Christ = Only Way [Proverbs 12:28; John 14:6]
sickness + Christ = healing [Proverbs 3:8; Isaiah 19:22; Malachi 4:2]
blindness + Christ = able to see [2Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 4:3]
bondage + Christ = freedom [ Galatians 5:1; Romans 8:2]
Surrender....a scary thing to do...But not to surrender to Christ...It is to gain something of eternal value, of everything that God has offered to give us another chance to be with Him and not be separated from Him. Romans 10:9, 10 -"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved."
I still have this lingering coughs and when I thought I was ready to go to work last night, last minute, I was dialing the charge nurse's desk and had called in sick despite me not having enough sick time. I was more eager to recuperate than to earn. What good is it to have money and not enjoy the health? The Lord does help us put things into better perspectives. He is the only One Who truly changes our hearts. Not even ourselves can't do that kind of change, to be a better person. Without Him, we are truly nothing.
Every time I go through trials of my own, I always meditate on my favorite verse 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 minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
Utilizing that wonderful knowledge from the Lord's Word, years ago, I had shared with my son during our morning devotions together, that instead of whining about things, we should start thanking the Lord and lifting up others who are in need, always in prayers. And we had kept that to this day [glory to our good Lord!]. For example, if the weather is hot or too cold, I didn't want us complaining "Man! it's too hot! or it's too cold!". Instead, in prayers, we say, "Lord, thank You that we have airconditioner that keeps us comfortable in this very hot weather or Lord, thank You, we have this heater that warms us up in this very cold weather. Please protect those homeless people and other hurting ones who don't have the means to either keep themselves cool or warm..." Of course, our prayers are always powerful when uttered in "Jesus' Name".
Sometimes, when I want to praise the Lord, He Himself gives me the words to my head. And in a matter of few minutes, I have this song I can play with my guitar to worship Him. How awesome is that? Just like on July 11, 2005, in a dreamy-like state, I had the chorus part of a song already playing in my head. I wrote this song to praise the Lord and thank Him "for all He has done". Thank You Lord, most of all, for sending Your only Son, Jesus, to be the sacrifice for all of our sins so that in return, we can have a relationship again with You. Thank You for loving us unconditionally.
I Want to be Where You Are
I know that You give me the strength
I want to be where You are
Draw me close to You and hold my hand
Blogging friends, thank you all for your encouragements and I pray, for us all to not be weary in writing what the Lord puts into our hearts so that through these blogs of ours, many more people will come to know the Lord. Pray! Thank Him! Pray! Thank Him again and again! God bless you all. I enjoy your visits...
So, my son was just a little ill since last week. Just with slight coughs and it is the usual "allergy season" for both of us, now that Spring is here.
Then, yesterday, my husband started not feeling well, too. Between them two, I was their private nurse who lovingly doted them with nurses' famous "TLC".
I had spent sleepless nights checking on both of my patients. During the days, I was busy cooking soups that nourished them and made sure they were drinking lots of fluids and getting lots of naps.
Tonight, I didn't feel good. I felt the extreme alternating changes in weather this week and my immunity just gave up to the invading unseen viral enemies. So, I called in sick so early. Knowing how we are always short of staff at the correctional facility where I work, I was still thinking of my other co-workers because I didn't want them to be overwhelmed if I didn't show up. I had gobbled the biggest bowl of soup I made earlier, the melt-in your-mouth beef with lots of veggies like cabbage, green beans, carrots, potatoes, ginger,etc... I started feeling better already. Later, I might make some lemon tea with honey, that is, if sleepiness doesn't dawn on me first.
You know what? I'm not going to be in a sullen mood despite my illness. No! I'm going to take advantage of this "recuperative period" fellowshipping with the Lord [my private Nurse]. I'm not going to lay down just to moan. Instead, I will rejoice in His presence knowing that He is here with me. The more I am feeling better already as I write now.
Not only when you're sick, but every time you feel alone, remember that you are never by yourself.
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."
Proverbs 17:22 -"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength."
Malachi 4:2 -"For you who fear My Name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture."
I wrote this song on July 23, 2004 as an inspiration of His promise [Matthew 28:20]:
I'm With You Always
To God be the glory! Take care of yourself....
Anyway, I noticed my son dressed up in longer sleeve yesterday. I just don't understand why he would dress up in thin shirts when the temperature is really cold, and now, this, dressed up warmly in a sweltering heat! "Teenagers! They think they know everything!" [I think I was like that, too during those times....Wow! Has it been that long?...]. Just like when he was coughing and thought he could tough it out. After a few days, realizing things, I don't even tell him to drink medicine or extra fluids nor take a nap, he just does it on his own. He now knows that what I told him was true. He's feeling much better.
No! don't get me wrong! My teenage son is a sweet kid and also loves the Lord! [glory to God!]. He's always respectful of me and my husband and that of others. But just like an "eaglet" needing guidance before they can open their wings and fly, as parents, my husband and I need to do so...
I think we are all the same spiritually. We don't listen to our heavenly Parent Who always just wants the best interest for us. No! There's nothing in our worldly ways that will please Him because He is not of this world. We think we know everything when we don't. Or maybe we don't want to believe because we want to continue our ways that bring us pleasure though we know that they are not pleasing to a Holy God? We don't want to heed His Word because His Word penetrates our hearts, bones and marrow and because obeying Him will mean that we have to stop doing our own ways and we are just not yet ready to give up those things that give us pleasure...Or do they really?
For you who happens to peek at this post, I am praying that you will really consider your spiritual status right now and stop making fun and not believing in God. Just like the apostle Paul from Romans 1:16,17, I am feeling what he felt and not until you surrender your life to the Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will never understand what I'm writing about. This verse says, "For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes-Jews first and also Gentiles. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in His sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, " It is through faith that a righteous person has life."
You're still making fun of me and my post? You still think that you know everything? And I am not saying it in a sarcastic tone. I am discussing it with all the love in my heart because I only care for you. Be careful! "Don't be misled. Remember that you can't ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow!" -Galatians 6:7.
God has been offering His friendship to all of us. He wants us all to have eternal life, that is, if we choose to believe in Him. Revelation 3:20 says, "Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends." My friends, this is the ultimate friendship you will ever know and this is a kind of friendship that is faithful and lasts forever. When you are ready to accept the Lord as your Savior and surrender everything to Him and let Him lead you in this life's trek, open your hearts to Him and pray this prayer from this post. I pray God will remove all the hindrances that make you not want to do it as you read my post and that you will start to realize that we are dependent of God. The truth is "we don't know everything."
This was a song I had written back on June 6, 2003. It reminds me of the Lord's faithful friendship when I came to know Him. I'm so thankful that He made me see and hear His offer of friendship. I was once a "smart aleck" like you....Well, I was wrong....but it's never too late.... God bless...and may you grow in the love and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Today Lord, I don't want to write about anything in my life's journey. I want to just focus on You. For without You, I am nothing. I want to thank You Lord for giving me a renewal with my faith in You. I know that You have given me another head-start with my life. No more unfamiliar roads. No more dark roads. No more confusing pathways. No more fears even with new roads that come along. Because now I know that You are always with me, Your hand guides me.
I don't deserve all these blessings I receive daily yet through those, You are constantly reminding me of Your endless love and mercy. I thank You for all the wisdom You give me. I ask that I may be able to share Your love and wisdom not only with my loved ones, but to those who will happen to pass by this site. A welcoming friendship I extend to them, because that's what You did on the cross. You died with Your arms wide open. You welcome all of us, who will believe. And friendship You offer and a promise of eternal life.
My heart cries with the pure joy that only comes from You. There is nothing glorious than to be identified that I am Your beloved child and that You are always here with me in this life's journey.
I pray for your other children who are blogging for Your glory. Help us Lord by guiding us with Your wisdom. Speak through our hearts so that we may write Your wisdom in return. May many more people happen to peek through our sites and be able to know Your love and grace as they do so and may they open their hearts to You, O Lord and accept You as their only Savior.
Thank You for today Lord. Thank You for Your love. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
I try to post once a week given the time, or when I feel that there is a very important topic that I need to write about and I don't want to forget to share it through my writing.
A special sister-in-Christ comes to mind right now [please check out her site and please pray for her and her family]. As I lifted her up in prayers, I had this urge to post about how each of us are going through different trials of life. There are so many roads that are uncertain. Sometimes, we are trapped and we can't either go back or move forward. Sometimes, the roads are too confusing. There are so many unfamiliar roads that we are just totally lost right away and just don't know what to do...
But glory to God! Because of Him, we can just look up and ask Him for His guidance and strength as we travel on roads that lead to mountains of trials. He is the One Who never leaves us nor forsake us. Jesus said, "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!" [John 16:33]. What a beautiful promise of how the Lord never leaves us, especially when we are going through trials.
I would like to request each and everyone of you, brothers and sisters in Christ, to pray for each other. We need that kind of encouragement. We might not know each other personally, but thanks be to God, we are One in Spirit!
For those of you hurting out there, my prayers go out to you. For you, dear sister-in-Christ, I want to share with you this song I had written on June 19, 2003:
Come and Seek the Lord
No matter how tough the trials that come your way
No matter how much they break your heart today
Fill your heart instead with joy
Knowing Jesus is there for us all
Come and seek the Lord [3x]
For He had overcome the world
No matter how much pain and suffering
No matter how heavy the burden they bring
Trust in the Lord it'll be okay
For He will show us the way
Confess 5 things you're most addicted with:
1. the Bible of course, for it's a way of how our dearest Lord speak to our hearts
And now, the other rule; Pass this award to other deserving bloggers:
1. Check out Andrea 's blog [did I hear you bark so loud Sitka?]. A very inspiring writer who has a way of making her readers feel her day-to-day appreciation of God's love.
We will all have to pass through a difficult trek of loved ones' death, whether expectedly or not, or that of our own. It is the road we don't want to take but the truth is...it's inevitable.
My mother had passed away almost 9 years ago. I was truly devastated when I had to go back home, along with one of my brothers to be there and at the same time, be a support to my father [who also had passed away a little over a year ago]. It was a totally different scene back in my parents' house during my mother's wake. My eyes were blinded by the lights illuminating her peaceful and beautiful sleep-like state. But I wanted my mother, "the very own light in our home". Without her, our home feels just like a "house", dim and lifeless. I hated the smell of flowers around that seemed to announce her unexpected departure as someone walked in by the front door. No! I would rather smell her wondrous cooking whenever she prepared the delicious foods, whether it'd be our daily meals or a welcoming feasts to guests. I stared at the pair of cold lips that used to smile a whole lot and was always painted on her face. Her smiles were infectious and would always make you smile back. Oh how I longed for her warmest hugs and kisses, only to be hugged and greeted by people mourning with us...
When God had found me wandering aimlessly as I traveled and either made right or wrong choices in selecting the roads to take, God was the first One to comfort me and reassure me that everything would be okay in this unfamiliar road I had to walk on.
As we were about to bury our mother, there was a flashback in my mind about a caterpillar that needs to die before becoming a beautiful butterfly. I had never felt a sense of peace and relief until that moment as if God was hugging me and wiping my tears of sorrows. He has tremendous ways of showing His love and making His presence known in our hearts.
To me, this world is a big school with all of us as students. We all have to graduate someday but before doing so, we have to overcome a lot of learning experiences but in order to pass with flying colors, we must learn to unconditionally love others and do everything with love. We must look up to the Greatest Instructor Who will teach us things we don't know about. He will be there to constantly encourage us and give us His wisdom. So, it is our choice whether we want to learn from Him or not.
Isaiah 25:8 -"He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears."
Psalm 30:11,12 -"You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothe me with joy, O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever!"
2 Corinthians 1:3 -"All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God Who comforts us."
Revelation 21:4 -"He will remove all of their sorrows and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain."
We are all sick, too, spiritually. Sick from all of the sins we have been carrying since we were born. But we have a spiritual Parent "Who knows best" what would help us recover...He sent His own Son, Jesus, to be the sacrifice to pay for all of our sins. His blood is what we need to sip when we learn to trust Him. He is the only One Who can save us all and restore our spiritual health. Figuratively, we drink that medicine by trusting Him first and asking for forgiveness for all of our sins, even this simple prayer will do, if you mean it with all your heart:
"Dear God in heaven, I know that I have sinned against You and ask for Your forgiveness. I do believe that Jesus Christ died as payment for my sins. I believe He rose again to prove He is able to save. I place my faith in Him alone to save me. I now receive Him as my personal Savior. From now on, help me to turn from my sin and live a life pleasing to You. I pray this in Jesus' Name. Amen."
Hebrews 12:9 -"Since we respect our earthly fathers who disciplined us, should we not all the more cheerfully submit to the discipline of our heavenly Father and live forever?" [Life Application Bible].
I wrote this song on 6/14/03 to thank our heavenly Father Who loves us all unconditionally.
A Song For Father
Thank You Father for breathing me this life
It's not easy here to survive
Please let me live according to Your will
May I be like Christ in everything
Thank You Father for giving us Your Son
This life is worthless if He didn't come
Through Jesus, You and I are one
Thank You Father for Your perfect plan.
For you who happen to visit this site, I pray that the Lord will prepare your hearts to make you know His love and grace. God bless.
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
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].