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Archive for April, 2009

Amazing God

Today God revealed to me that no matter what may be crushing me now; be it bad circumstances or negative thoughts; my spirit cannot be crushed.

Yes, He lives on no matter what, that is why our God is dependable and trustworthy in any weather.

I hate listening to fast and upbeat music when my mood is down.  To my surprise yesterday I was listened to “Amazing” by the Parachute Band (and I kept going back to this same song!).  For the first time I paid attention to the lyrics and I marvelled at it – these words fed me and calmed me.

Yes, He is our protector and redeemer and all.

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Just sneaked to read today’s devotion on Psalms.  It’s about worship, worshipping God.  The other day I have had a revelation, let my days be a worship to God.  Yesterday’s was let my mind think of all the worthy stuff.  My mind is always busy, but thank God I’m still able to recognize God’s voice amidst the busy-ness.  Well, should I say God is knocking pretty hard on days when I’m not really tuned in to His wave length, “get in line,” says Him.

Today’s devotion talks about worship God, let our praises be for God, for He is worthy and He is our God.  Let our songs, dances, words, actions, thoughts…. etc. etc. etc. be worthy for Him.  That’s what worship is about.  Not just the brief session before the Sunday sermon, but daily, by the minute.  I am a perfectionist, so I know for sure I am not at the forefront of this worship business.  But the least I can do is try….

On Friday night we visited a conference address in the evening.  The pastor from England talked about the Holy Spirit, how miracles happened in the New Testaments and they should be happening today too.  One thing he said really spoke to me, it’s about the infilling of the spirit – he said that we need to have that infilling daily, coz we leak.  Funny guy he is, but it’s so true.  I can be so filled with the spirit one day and I could make out God’s voice so clearly, then so defeated the next.  Sometimes I blame God for this, “hey you, you did a trick on me didn’t ya?  I was so spiritual yesterday and now I’m down and out – what I felt yesterday was a hoax, wasn’t it?”  No, I probably “leaked”.  So perhaps I’d need to ask for the infilling daily, so that the Spirit will help me know the truth; and I’ll be able to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth.  Let everything that’s in me praise the Lord.  Amen.

Everything that has breath by the Parachute Band  (I can’t find a good YouTube video, hope you can find the song somewhere and listen to it!)

He is our God
Let all creation bow
The sovereign King most holy one
He sacrificed His life
washed and cleansed within
Portioned by faith
We’re destined to win

Everything that has breath
Praise the Lord
Everything that’s in me
Praise the Lord
I can praise Him
On the highest mountain
Praise Him in the lowest valley
Everything that’s in me
Praise the Lord

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We watched “Mr Woodcock” on DVD last week.  It’s a funny movie, sometimes exaggerating, but nonetheless entertaining.  The story revolves around Mr Woodcock, a stern and strict PE teacher who traumatised his students with unruly and sarcastic remarks.  His uncompassionate digging into the weaknesses of the boys has left some boys feeling humiliated and bitterness towards him later in their adult lives; one of whom being the lead actor, Farley, in the movie.  Farley was absolutely furious when one day he returned home to find his widowed mother dating Mr Woodcock!

 

In the process of digging up dirt on Mr Woodcock so that his mother will not end up marrying him, Farley discovered the root to the insensitivity of Mr Woodcock – his very own father is a cold and sarcastic (to the point of sadistic) old man; it is not surprising that Woodcock junior is a mirror image of his old man! 

 

We are the product of our past, our upbringing.  Mr Woodcock, who knew no tenderness from his father, does not know how to communicate love and acceptance.  I read Father Heart of God 2 years back and it talks about how people who grow up in broken homes and with abusive parents find it difficult to accept God’s unconditional forgiveness and love.  Some are slow to understand that forgiveness and acceptance is FREE, not in exchange of work well-done.  One important element in Christian discipleship is just this, experiencing and accepting God’s vast love, before we can extend the same to others.  It is also important to know the other’s “heritage” – in the movie Farley could lay aside his bitterness towards Mr Woodcock when he saw the better reason behind his insensitivity (besides his many failed attempts at dirt-finding) – in the same way we can meet where others are to help them grapple with the nature of God’s love.

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Judgement

This morning’s radio talked about God’s judgement.  His judgement is not harsh and full of condemnation, it is with love and it is so that we may receive healing and better relationships.

The speaker likened this to a broken fridge in the house.  When the fridge is broken, food stored in it will not be fresh; instead it will rot and give out a foul smell.  So, we’d bring in someone who knows about fridges to drop in and give us a diagnosis.

When our lives are broken, we will smell “foul” to those around us – we’ll be bitter and grumpy.  Just like the fridge, we can’t keep God’s gifts to us well.  So, we’d bring in someone who knows about us to drop in and give us a diagnosis.  That’s gotta be God – He made us, weaved us in the palms of His hands; He is the initiator of loving relationships – what better “doctor” to bring in!? 

O’ Lord, you are always speaking to me.  You tell me that I’m worthy and you prune me so that I can flourish the gifts you have given me.  Help me to not condemn myself but to look at you when I see failures in my life, because I have an inheritance in your kingdom which I can appropriate to deal with my daily struggles.  Thank you.

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This is a very interesting song.  The Youtube video doesn’t come with the lyrics so I’ve copied them here:

You think I'd have it down by  now
Been practcin' for thirty years
I should have walked a thousand miles
So what am I still doin' here
Reachin' out for that same old piece of forbidden fruit
I slip and fall and I knock my halo loose
Somebody tell me what's a boy supposed to do?

(CHORUS)
I get so clumsy
I get so foolish
I get so stupid
And then I feel so useless
But You're sayin' You love me
And You're still gonna hold me
And that You wanna be near me
'Cause You're makin' me holy

You're still makin' me holy, yeah
I'm gonna get it right this time
I'll be strong and I'll make You proud
I've prayed that prayer a thousand times
But the rooster crows and my tears roll down (again)
Then You remind me You made me from the dust
And I can never, no never, be good enough
And that You're not gonna let that come between us

(repeat chorus)
From where I stand
Your holiness is up so high I can never reach it
My only hope is to fall on Jesus

The lyrics are so true of my daily walk, especially the bit on "I can never, no never, be good enough".

O' Lord, when I feel so useless, you are there to reassure me; even if it's for the
thousandth time, that you're going to want me, regardless of the foolishness,
stupidity and clumsiness.  Thank you.

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One step at a time

The sermon at church today is about obedience to God’s words.  It was on the last bits of Matthew, the great commission.  What we have been commissioned to do, as Christians, is to make disciples of all nations.  But first, we have to be a disciple ourselves, before we can go out and lead others into God’s kingdom.

An important element of being a disciple is obedience to God’s words.  In Matthew 28, the disciples were told to go to Galilee, where Jesus will appear to them again.  They obeyed His words.  When they saw Jesus again, they worshiped Him, because that is His command.  One thing the pastor alluded us to was the fact that some of the disciples “doubted” (Matthew 28:17), but they worshiped Him anyway.  That is obedience.

The truth will never change, no matter how we feel about a matter.  Our reaction though should not be based on our feelings.  That was what the disciple did, despite their doubts they worshiped the One who is the true God.  And God works with us wherever we may be – if we have only this much faith there, He’ll step us through despite our little faith; but we need to obey Him first, then He’ll be able to work with our little faith in this part of our journey.

How true.  Even though I have little faith now, He works with me anyway – He never forsakes me, nor abandons me.  Even though I fail to choose His way all the time, He never ceases to speak truth to me.  He doesn’t say, “it’s pointless speaking to her, she’ll never get it coz she’s not spiritual enough yet!  I’ll wait till she’s at that level, then I’ll talk to her again.  It’s a waste of time now.”  No, others may say this about me, but God will never ever do that.  He gives me a nudge and show me things, things I can understand at this point in time; baby food I can digest and swallow.  Then He’ll bring me to the next level.

Help me, Lord, to obey what I hear.  I may not now be able to work on the great commission yet, but Iwill begin by being a disciple myself first.  Amen.

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I choose today to wait on the Lord – I choose not to follow my heart’s desire and not to entertain the unruly thoughts in my head.  I choose to rest in His presence, despite how I feel inside.

“Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders.” (Deuteronomy 33:12)

Yes, I am the beloved of the Lord, for God so loved me that He gave His one and only son for my salvation.  Amen.

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