Sparrow

I sat looking outside my frosted window; gazed upon a mother Sparrow with her babies

Three little beaks screeching loudly as they begged for their breakfast

I imagined what extremes the mother Sparrow must have taken to get her babies their meal

The brisk, cold winds cutting against her wings like shards of glass, or a hungered predator feasting his on her elegant colors that enticed all creatures wide

Yet she pushed through bravely and boldly; determined to return to her kin to make sure their needs were met before her own

That’s the Savior’s love for you and I. It surpasses all human comprehension and breaks all the barriers of life.

That Sparrow would have gave her life if it meant her children were loved and cared for, so how much our Savior has the same love for us.

Adoration.

We become what we adore.

Isn’t that such a sinking statement? That whatever or whomever we invest our time into, we morph into what it is.

Some things can be full of life and vibrancy. Shaping our perspectives and growing our minds.

Others… can slowly, secretly, and painfully begin to kill us off. Until all that is left is our burnt ashes.

Adoration is a dangerous plateau. It makes our heart yearn after whatever or whomever we want to fulfill our desires. We can put a hold on things that once captured our hearts in a positive way.

Mine was walking outside watching the wind dance with the tree branches. I watched as the sky kissed the lake beside me, two lovers that no storm or skipping rock could break apart.

My mind became dark once I stopped seeking the light. That’s the thing about wandering, often times you begin to get lost. You can allow infatuated adoration consume your soul and churn your blood until it feels cold.

I’m ripping layers of sinful adoration off of my dry skin. New layers are being purified, hardened, and built with a tactical protection so that I can never latch onto what was trying to destroy me again.

I adore my Love, the One who saved my dead soul. He gave up His life so I could keep living mine. In His shadow I’ll forever be safe.

Fabricated.

Dust. Dust swarms around all of us. It creates thick and clumpy colonies in the darkest parts of our homes. Observing dust we can see the tangled cobwebs and particles collected over time. I am writing about the dust because my heart has been encaged in it.

I have allowed my heart time and time again to slip into the silkiness of sin, at first feeling comfortable and beautiful, but then the silk starts to itch and stick to the bareness of my skin.

I couldn’t escape the cobwebs entangled in my soul. I wanted to run away. I wanted to do anything to make the pain stop. Some points at the end of last year I gambled how much my life was worth and considered ending it.

My breath began to sharpen like a knife.

My sight became foggy and unclear.

My skin cracked and bled.

I thought it was done. I thought this was the end. I thought my life had said its Adieu.

And through that blinding pain and array of silence… I felt the touch. A touch that was able to penetrate the gnawing agony drowning my brain.

I know the Lord has been patient with me. He has interceded through the stickiness of cobwebs in my soul. He’s breaking any fabricated thought the enemy has created and I have kept believing. I am pushing through this.

Radiant

For months all my eyes could see was darkness

The clouds kept growing heavier and grayer

Nothing seemed to penetrate the madness going inside my own heart

I desired Your warm embrace or any taste of sweetness

Yet you seemed so far off as I was becoming more somber

I ventured off to a place where I felt secure and vulnerable

Letting out despairing cries hoping You would draw near

As my legs became weak and my mind dishearten

Your presence swept in and brought forth unusual merriment

For the first time in months the darkness faded

My eyes overflowed as I gazed on my new scenery

It was a comforting light, not blinding to the eye

A new home being fully radiant and joy

How Do I Have Faith in the Uncertain?

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 ESV

The call came. The words that came from the other side of the phone rang loudly in the silent room I was in. My heart sank, my head became faint, and my vision became blurred from warm, salty tears. I remember asking this question in that dark moment: “Why God?”

I am sure most of you who are reading this have experienced a moment of betrayal, defeat, or rejection. We praise God and raise our open hands to our Father when He bestows good gifts in our fruitful seasons. Yet, we clenched them tight and allow our hearts to turn cold towards Him when we get the news of a returning cancerous spot, a co-worker obtaining the promotion you have worked endless hours for, or the endless bills that keep piling onto your life, with no end in sight.

I have not written in awhile, but today I felt the Lord push me towards Hebrews today. This book is full of knowledge and wisdom about the prospects of faith, and how it surpasses all human understanding. Today, I am writing straight from Hebrews 11: “By Faith.” In this chapter, what we can take away is that, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out things that are visible.” Hebrews 11:3. This verse bursts with such spiritual truth! Faith is trusting in the invisible. The author of this chapter gives vivid examples of those who chose to have faith in what seemed to be humanly impossible.

Abel had faith when he gave God a sacrifice more acceptable than Cain. He was commended by righteousness. Though he died physically, he is forever alive spiritually and speaks forevermore to God’s people.

Enoch had faith when he walked closely with God (Genesis 5:24) and was taken up to be with God, not through normal human death, but through a state of blessedness because he had pleased God so much. There is no possible way to have faith in God without pleasing him or believing that He exists and that there is a reward for those who seek Him.

Noah had faith when he heeded God’s warning about flooding the Earth, he had constructed the ark. Noah condemned the worldly ways and sought to have faith in God. Noah became an heir of righteousness because of his faith.

Abraham had faith when he obeyed by going into the unseen to receive such an inheritance God had promise him. He had no idea where he was going, but his faith led him the Promise Land, and his offspring. Sarah had faith in the birth of her son.

All of these biblical examples died in faith, not by receiving what they wanted, but seeing things far beyond their comprehension and that they were strangers of the world. We are promised such a faith if we choose to believe and accept it.

I do not know what valley or season you’re in, but I do know this, we follow a God who is ever merciful, ever faithful, ever seeking our hearts. He will close doors that our hearts want desperately opened so we can walk through His already proclaimed promises. “Let us hold unnervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23 ESV.

“And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:39-40 ESV.

“The Law of Life or Death: Romans Study Chapter 9.”

Hey you all! So I need to admit something…I was supposed to have had finished this Romans study series back in the spring…. I got a little side tracked! Yet, here I am! Excited about the words God provided for me to type and for your eyes to read intently. This chapter is a full one, so brace yourselves. It is also a deep root chapter about His deep love for us, and Paul’s prime example of “love thy neighbor more than yourself.” So, let us get started then 🙂

The opening of Romans 9 is a soul jerker for sure. We see instantly Paul’s deep sorrow and grief for the people of Israel. So many (leading up to modern day) have shunned God’s name and have chose to live life according to their beliefs and pleasures. Paul takes his grief, however, to a higher, rarer level. He goes on to say in verse 3, “I would be willing to be forever cursed — cut off from Christ! –if that would save them.” (NLT). Let’s all catch our breath here for a second….Paul stated, with full confidence and integrity, that He would have been WILLING to separate Himself from Heaven and Jesus, in order for someone else to have a chance to be born again. I cannot even fathom those words, it left me speechless. We all know of course that the only one who can truly save in the act of death, or crucifixion, is of course Jesus Christ Himself. However, what we are seeing here is a true lover and believer in Jesus extending His love with the act of selflessness. That leaves us the question for us who are active in The Way: “Are you willing to sacrifice your time, money, effort, and even your own faith to see someone come to know Jesus?”

Now, going deeper into this chapter, we begin to understand our true relationship identity in Christ. The Jews viewed God’s choosing of Israel as adoption.  They (and we) are undeserving of such kindness and mercy, yet God carried through and chose to take us in as His own children. In the Old Testament shows God’s beautiful promises for us through Abraham. His word proved faithful for him and his descendants. After Jesus’ death, His blood ran over that covenant, which was the key to the pathway of God. We are ALL his descendants. (Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.” Galatians 3:7 NLT) The importance in this is, yes God did choose the timeline to Jesus through the lineage of Issac (Sarah’s son) and not Ishmael (Hagar’s son), however, God does not look at good or bad, He looks at those who prove faithful to Him. God has the choice to choose whomever He wills. The doctrine of God’s choosing is based on His mercy and kindness, not of our merit.

The very last part of this chapter exemplifies what is going on today.

“I am placing a stone in Jerusalem that causes people to stumble, and a rock that makes them fall. But anyone who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” (Romans 9:33 NLT) 

The “rock’ that is placed here is referring to our stonemason, Jesus Christ. The Jews chose not to believe in Him because they felt like He did not exceed their expectations as the Messiah. This is still going on now… many, including myself at times, stumble again and again over Jesus because let’s all admit, faith does not make logical sense. That’s it though… it is not supposed to. We think we are supposed to be perfectionists and strive to do good deeds, when in spirituality, God does not look at that. He looks at the heart, and what its intentions are to serve Him selflessly and humbly. He loves us for our brokenness and weaknesses. Many will not partake on this calling, but all will fall before the Heavenly Throne when He comes back to take His children home.

 

 

What Forgiveness is Not.

The word forgiveness, in my own opinion, is the second most overlooked word in English language (right behind love). We often face this word through actions on a daily basis. We forgive the barista who made our coffee wrong. We forgive (and maybe after some repenting) the man/woman who cut us off while we were in a hurry the yellow light on a busy Monday morning. Some of those are quick, mindless, and excusable circumstances on some cases. Then, there are the situations where we allow our hearts to be blocked and choose not to forgive. Maybe your mom or dad walked out on you when you were incredibly young. Maybe your boyfriend or girlfriend verbally or even physically abuses you, and you feel trapped and afraid to stand up for yourself. On a more serious matter, maybe you have some forgiveness avoidance against Abba Father. Whatever it may be, I am here today to kindly explain not what forgiveness is, but what it exactly isn’t.

  1. Forgiveness is not the absence of anger.

This is crucial to understand in your grievance with forgiveness. God does not want you to be oblivious against “justifiable anger.” We are not expected to feel good about any hurt or bad feelings that has been created in our situations. God wants you to hand it over to Him, not take upon yourself to seek out revenge. He is the one, and the only one, who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:23).

2. Forgiveness is not the absence of serious consequences of sin.

Take it from me, my friend, sin is exactly this: “you reap what you sow.” You may think the person or thing that create brokenness in your life will reap goodness, well in fact, they will reap their own punishment. God calls us to be merciful to those who have done us wrong. Take heart, God sees and knows. He will seek judgement on our behalf. He loves us that much. (2 Corinthians 5:10).

3) Forgive even if they are not repenting towards you

This one here, I am still facing until this day. Someone marrying someone you once loved and not confronting you about it nor caring. Having to leave a family and seeing that you truly did not belong and was replaced. Committing a hurtful sin and refusing forgiveness towards yourself. It’s a full circle. God understands we are human. We constantly have to turn to Him when we feel blocked up and ashamed. He carries our burdens, so we don’t get sidetracked towards home. Forgiveness is even more difficult when the other does not want to repent as well. God pours out His heart to fill that hurtful void so we will remember forgiveness first started with Him, because He first loved us. (see Luke 6:27 for forgiving our enemies).

I hope this reading today gives you hope and assurance that forgiveness comes from God, the one who created time and everything under the sun. We must carry our cross and show the world a love that is not of it. Forgive an enemy today, even if its your own self.