Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Instinctively Wrong

You, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God. —Jude 1:20

Saul Gellerman, in his book How People Work, says, "Solving tough organizational problems may require counter-intuitive strategies." In business, counter-intuitive is a fancy way of referring to ideas that go against common sense.

Consultants who advocate such thinking are simply reinforcing the advice of Jesus. Over and over, He urged His followers to do what God said was right, not what desire, instinct, and intuition told them to do.

Desire says, "I want it." Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

Instinct says, "Me first." Jesus said, "The last will be first, and the first last" (Matthew 20:16).

Intuition says, "I'll feel better if I get revenge." Jesus said, "Do good to those who hate you" (Luke 6:27).

Wanting something doesn't make it good. Achieving something doesn't make it valuable. And having strong feelings about something doesn't make it right. As Jude wrote, those who follow their own desires and instincts lead others into conflict and division (1:18-19).

The alternative is to be spiritual, which means doing what does not come naturally. In fact, it requires supernatural strength that only God can give.
Julie Ackerman Link

More about Jesus would I know,
More of His grace to others show,
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love who died for me. —Hewitt

You can trust your instincts when you are trusting Christ.

Taken from Our Daily Bread dated 30 June 2005

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Perfect Love

Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone
To have a deep soul relationship with another
Be loved thoroughly, and exclusively.
But God, to a Christian, says:
I want you to be satisfied, fulfilled, and content
With being loved by Me alone
With giving yourself totally and unreservedly to Me
With having an intensely personal and unique relationship
With Me alone.
Discovering that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found,
Will you be capable of the best human relationship
That I have planned for you.
I want you to be united with another after you are united with Me
Exclusive of anyone or anything else,
Exclusive of any other desires or longings.
I want you to stop planning, stop wishing,
And allow Me to give you the most thrilling plan existing
One that you cannot imagine.
I want you to have the best
Please allow Me to bring it to you.
You just keep watching Me, trusting Me
Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am.
Keep listening and learning the things I tell you.
You just wait.
That's all.
Don't be anxious.
Don't worry.
Don't look around at the things
Others have gotten or that I've given them.
Don't look at the things you think you want.
You just keep looking off and up to Me,
Or you'll miss what I want to show you.
And then, when you're ready, I'll surprise you with a love
Far more wonderful than any you would dream of.
You see, until you are ready and until the one I have for you is ready,
(I am working even at this moment to have both of you ready at the same time),
Until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me and the life I prepared for you,
You won't be able to experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with Me.
And this is the perfect love.
And dear one, I want you to have the most wonderful love.
I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me,
To enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty, perfection, and love
That I offer you with Myself.
Know that I love you utterly.
I am God.
Believe and be satisfied.

Forwarded by a friend. Thanks!


Monday, June 25, 2007


As I was reading Genesis 18 last night, where the stories of Abraham, his gift from God and his plea for Sodom are told, I reflected on prayers.

In this chapter, it shows how faithful and merciful God is, considering bargains and proving everything is possible if we just trust in Him. He knows our deepest desires, and He will grant it in His own will, which is always the best.

When we say prayer, we usually think of requests. Is this all there is when we talk to God? For me, praying is an intimate communication with Him, glorifying His name, thanking Him for all the countless blessings day by day, asking Him to guide me in everything I do so that I may live according to His will. When I look back on requests I made before, some of those turned out far from what I expected, and they all worked out for the best.

That's why I strongly disagree with the term "unanswered prayers". It distracts me everytime I hear it. When God says "no", didn't He answer? God always answers. He listens and feels every joy and pain. It just happened that the answer was "no", or maybe "wait", but still, He listened. Maybe we need to assess our requests. Is it according to our will, or His? Sometimes even that we can't figure out. Maybe praying for discernment is a much better request.

There are times when we are still plagued by worries, fear and impatience, and we couldn't help but ask, or even blame, Him for things happening to us. But somewhere in the long train of thoughts, He answers, so profoundly, that we are left speechless. And we feel humbled. We feel someone truly listens, without judgement, rejection or abandonment. And we are loved.

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Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. —Psalm 55:6

A television commercial asks, “What do you reach for when you’re stressed?” Then it suggests, “Reach for [our product].”

The number of ways people try to deal with serious stresses in life are as numerous as there are people. Having a drink. Blaming God. Stuffing ourselves with food. Keeping our feelings inside. Blaming others. These responses might calm us, but they’re just a temporary means of escaping our problems. No product we reach for can take them away.

In Psalm 55, King David described his desire to escape from his difficulties: “My heart is severely pained within me . . . . Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest” (vv.4,6). After the betrayal of his friend and counselor Ahithophel, who had gone to help his enemy, David wanted to get away (vv.12-13; see 2 Sam. 15). In this psalm he tells us that he reached out to God in his pain (vv.4-5,16).

What do we reach for? Author Susan Lenzkes suggests that we reach out to the Lord and pour out our heart to Him. She writes, “It’s all right—questions, pain, and stabbing anger can be poured out to the Infinite One and He will not be damaged. . . . For we beat on His chest from within the circle of His arms.” —Anne Cetas

Christian, when your way seems darkest,
When your eyes with tears are dim,
Straight to God your Father hastening,
Tell your troubles all to Him. —Anon.

When we put our cares into God’s hands, He puts His peace into our hearts.

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Friday, June 22, 2007


Lost on a boring evening, I suddenly find myself humming and singing parts (which I now realize I have memorized from long ago) of this song....

He will pain the light and shades
The colours and the trees
He will climb the steepest hill
Believing what he sees
He will lay down on the ground
Beneath the old oak tree
He will sleep forever
If you try to set him free

Sail on the wings of a cloud
Where to, well nobody knows
And cry, cry if you want them to see
Die every day to be free
Be proud to wear the colours that you call your own
Be loud, speak out when you want the world to know
Be strong, hold the flame for everyone to see
Be weak, if you want to love

He will paint the endless sea
A mystery to me
He will reach out for the sun,
Not dreaming what he sees
He will fall down on his knees
Angel touching ground
Takes him to the other side
Sweet love is coming down.

Makes me wanna download Fra Lippo Lippi mp3's. Woohooo, 80's! Wala lang....


Choosing the Greener Grass

Genesis 14:11-12 NIV

The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food; then they went away. They also carried off Abram's nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom.

When Abram offered to let Lot choose which land he wanted for his own, it was a generous offer. All of Canaan surrounded them - a rich, fertile land that God had set aside for His people. Lot looked around and saw that the plain of Jordan looked a lot greener, a lot more fertile, a lot better than the rest of the land. So he chose that land and moved his family and people and flocks there, near the city of Sodom. That city already had a bad reputation, but Lot probably wasn't worried about it. He figured he was strong enough to handle the temptation. Besides, it would be worth being near all that sin and corruption just to have possession of that beautiful country. By the time the four kings defeated the five (see v. 8-12), Lot and his family had succumbed to temptation and moved into the city... and they suddenly found themselves captured as prisoners of war. This was just the first of the many problems Lot would face as a result of his desire to have what seemed to be the very best.

You and I can face the same kind of decision Lot did in our own lives. A job that looks perfect - high salary, great benefits, incredible prestige, some power - and one that places you in one situation after another where you would be tempted to give in to the pressures of those around you... to work longer hours, to attend social functions that are nothing more than excuses to get drunk, to step on the toes of those around you, to "fudge" on your income tax to avoid doling out more money to Uncle Sam, to participate in the unethical (if not illegal) practices of the company in order to keep your job... Get the picture?

Or, maybe it's a car that is just what you always wanted... beautiful, sporty, loaded with all the extras... but all that extra power causes you to want to speed. Its classification as a sports car makes your insurance premiums go up. All those bells and whistles cost a lot to replace when they break. Most likely the payments are high. And its safety rating is nil, something you discover the hard way when you find yourself in a body cast after being hit from the rear in a multiple car collision.

When you're faced with a decision, don't always jump on the one that looks like the obvious best choice. Take a long and prayerful look at all the varying factors before choosing the grass that seems to be greener. All that pretty grass may contain hidden thorns.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007


Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. —Luke 6:45

Since 1968, the characters in the comic strip The Lockhorns have been exchanging barbs of bitter wit and marital contempt. Currently syndicated in more than 500 newspapers, the cartoon entertains millions of readers as Leroy says things like this to Loretta: “Sure we can talk now. Just don’t stand in front of the television.” Loretta, at no loss for words or jabs, is just as likely to say something like, “Sure I spend more than you make. I have confidence in you.”

While laughing, we might catch a glimpse of ourselves. Sarcasm is all too common, and far more serious than we might want to believe. Heartless sarcasm can be more harmful than physical bruises. Solomon said there are people who use words like a sword (Prov. 12:18), and that evil words can crush the spirit (15:4).

Controlling our speech isn’t easy, because the real problem is not our words but our hearts. Behind the insults, we are likely to find in ourselves an insecurity, fear, or guilt that tempts us to protect ourselves at the expense of another.

Is there an upside to abusive words? No, unless we take them as a warning that we’re not in step with Christ. In His embrace and grace, let’s not lash out at one another in an effort to protect ourselves. Mart De Haan

Instead of hurling angry words
That wound and stir up strife,
Use words of kindness, filled with love,
That heal and nourish life. —Sper

Abusive language reveals a sinful heart.

Taken from Our Daily Bread dated 21 June 2007.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Everyday, we meet people who get to have a glimpse of ourselves which builds what we call "first impression". Rarely does it last, especially when you get to really know the person in and out.

But how sure are we that the person people see in us is truly who we are? When we look in the mirror, do we fully recognize the image staring back at us? We think we know ourselves so well, yet we are surprised by our initial reactions on matters that make us snap.

Just tonight, I was tested. I don't usually snap in front of my friends, but for some reason, I did. Bad mood got worse, and led me to push my friends away instead of keeping them a little bit longer. Over and over, they asked me what was wrong. Honestly, I didn't know why. Was I being too melodramatic? Was it just the effect of watching a drama special on dvd, which made me cry the previous night that had me blabbing about it so as to get others interested in watching it, and which for some reason, had made my friends laugh and....

Ok, wait. Maybe THAT's the reason why I got so cranky all of a sudden... A big-deal-to-you-small-deal-to-others kind of moment. I expected that my friends would see it the way I saw it. Maybe I just couldn't believe that they would make fun of it until the end. Does it have to do with pride? Or was I too immature to handle the situation? Maybe both. It did hurt a bit when they just wouldn't stop. I started thinking they were laughing at me, and not at the movie anymore. I just wish they could guess what was going on in my mind to save me from dealing with all the drama. Fortunately, we can do something about things we have control of. So I chose to be silent. Tthis too shall pass, as they always say. Haaaay... mood swings suck.

Oh, life. Friends always mean well anyway. Enough is enough. I guess I just need to sleep on it....

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Monday, June 18, 2007

In Our Humble Opinion

by Jon Walker

“And being found in appearance as a man, [Jesus] humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8 NIV)

Humility is such a slippery slope. The more conscious you are of being humble, the less likely you are to remain humble. It’s like the old joke about the humble man who received an award for his ever-present humility. The problem was, once he stepped forward to receive the award, they had to take it away from him. Ha!

The thing is, most of us approach humility in one of two ways:

* The first approach is consciously acting as if we are humble. We create a false humility by trying to imitate what we think humility looks like.
* The second approach is to assume we’re not worthy, that we’re second class and permanently assigned to the back of the bus.Neither of these approaches reflect authentic, biblical humility.

The biblical approach to humility means you understand exactly who you are – but more importantly – you understand exactly whose you are, and that God has placed you where he wants you, for such a time as this. In this way, your humility is not attached to your self-esteem.

In other words, you don’t have to think less of yourself. Rather, you begin to think more of God, and you begin to agree that you are totally dependent upon God, and from this emerges a Christ-like humility. You’re no longer burdened by having to know all the answers or to be in control of everything.

It is God’s job to solve the problems of the world. Your job is to walk in humble obedience to what God tells you to do.

So what?

* Dependence requires humility – You will succeed in your purpose because of who God is, not because of who you are. God loves you and wants you to succeed. He will support you in your mission for him, not because you pretend toward perfection, but because he knows you can’t succeed without him.

* Humility leads to purpose – As you move toward dependence (a biblical humility) on God, he gives you his strength for any task before you and his strength to take the steps of faith required to complete your purpose. For such a time as this, God created you, prepared you, and called you to share the Good News.

* Christ-like humility – Look at the picture of humility Jesus presents in Philippians 2. Ask God to show you what needs to change in your life in order for you to fit into this picture of humility. Where is there false humility? Or where do you believe you are, in a sense, worthless, that you are not fearfully and wonderfully made by God? “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”

The Purpose Driven Life © 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

It's A Wonderful Life

by Chip Brogden

"Stir up the gift of God, which is in you" (II Timothy 1:16).

How will He do it? How will He demonstrate the sufficiency of His Life to do everything in your stead? Why, the next time you feel your temper getting out of control, or the person you resent is bothering you, or things are not going right, or you are tempted to quit, decide that instead of reacting the way you always do, you will trust in His Life, then stand back and just see what happens.

The Life just has to be stirred up into activity. The things we call temptations, testings, and trials are the very means through which God desires to activate the Life He has placed within you! How else would we be able to rejoice in our afflictions? How else would we be able to count it all joy when we fall into many temptations and trials of faith? Humanly speaking this is impossible! But what is impossible with man is possible with God, and easily achievable when we trust in His Life to do what we cannot do.

Read more about Life from The School of Christ .

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I’m stronger than before
I’m stronger than I’ll ever be
And I raise my eyes to the One, the One who made me see
Oh what I thought was lost but now was found
And I’m grateful

Grateful for the day You called my name
Ever since You walked into the door it’s never been the same
Mornings are brighter now, I’m not afraid
And I wake up each day with a smile on my face

‘Coz I’ve been in places where I couldn’t even see the light of day
And then You came

And I’m grateful
You showed me the way back to my beautiful self

Everything seems different now
Things are turnin’ inside and out
With a new pair of senses to go with around
It doesn’t even matter if I’m up or down

Blues are bluer, smiles are brighter
It draws a tear whenever I watch the sunsets paint the sky
I don’t even mind walking under the rain
I’ve never laughed like this before and I’m gonna say it once more

Words and music by Julianne


Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Power of Words

In the Old Testament, a lot of examples were given about parents giving blessings to their children. At first, it did not make much sense to me since parents always have good intensions anyway. But having read about these actions, it made me realize that parents' words are powerful indeed. That the blessings that they hand over to you are actually gifts from God... and in the same way a curse, when given out of rage, or even unintentionally.

Two years ago, my father jokingly said, out of nowhere, that i would turn out to be a spinster. I just laughed that time, thinking how ridiculous it was since it came from my father, who I am very close with. I even forgot about it, until recently. I never thought how much it truly affected me until I had a series of conversations with friends about parents' blessings. And the moment I started uttering the word "spinster", tears came rushing down my face. Deep down, I couldn't accept that I would have that fate. I've always known that I would be a good wife, a good mother, a good home-maker. But somehow, that word shook me. Am I losing faith? Are my desires the same as His? I asked myself.

Then just an hour ago, I had a talk with my mom. I asked her how her birthday celebration went. The mood was very light, then it occured to me that I had to let my mom know. So I told her what I learned about parents' blessings and how significant they truly are. I also mentioned about Papa's *joke* and how I wanted him to take it back. I was very confident that my mom, knowing how faithful and prayerful she is, would understand what I was trying to tell her, even after she panickly asked if I was getting married already, thinking that was the reason why I asked. And so she promised that the blessing would be given to me when I come home in December.

I don't know what's in store for me in the future, but somehow, that conversation has given me more hope and courage... that no matter what happens, I will be alright. I feel much better now.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Will God Help Me?

By Jon Walker

"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind' and 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Luke 10:27 NIV)

You learn to trust God by obeying him in small ways.

At this point in your faith-walk, you probably agree that God is the supreme ruler of the universe, powerful enough to overcome any problem or defeat any enemy. "Everything comes from him; everything happens through him; everything ends up in him." (Romans 11:36 MSG)

And if that is true, then our struggle to take a step of faith is not over the issue of whether or not God can deliver – he clearly can do that.

The real the question is: Can we trust God to be sensitive to our needs (or what we perceive to be our needs)?

Perhaps the resistance you and I exhibit when we’re faced with a faith-step is because we seriously doubt God will look out for our best interests – “Yes, I believe God can work this out, but will he?”

And this often lapses into the speech of behavior that says, “I know I can work this out, but I’m not sure God will – at least I’m not sure he will do it the way I want to see it done.”

The incredible thing is this: God patiently understands your hesitancy, so he made the first move toward establishing a loving, trusting relationship with you. He didn't wait until you could be trusted to receive his love, and he doesn’t insist you become trustworthy before he trusts you with precious gifts. (Romans 5:6-8)

This means that by taking small steps of faith, obeying God in small ways, “We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand – out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.” (Romans 5:2 MSG)

So what?

· God is trustworthy in everything (Psalm 33:4) – He is love (1 John 4:16b), and therefore patient and kind; he's never rude or self-seeking; he's not easily angered, and he keeps no record of wrongs; he does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth; he always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres; he never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) He is always fair (Deuteronomy 32:4), and he’s never failed to fulfill one of his promises. (Joshua 21:45)

· Meditate on God’s faithfulness – When you struggle to trust God, meditate upon his faithfulness and love. Remember that, for now, we "know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled." (1 Corinthians 13:9-10, MSG) "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way." (Proverbs 3:5-6) God is calling you to grow up in your faith and to trust steadily in him. (1 Corinthians 13:11-13, MSG)

· Take your fears (lack of trust) to him – God's perfect love casts out all fear, and that means you can safely tell him about your doubts and fears. He isn't angry when you struggle with your faith. Imagine a father watching his child take those first baby steps. Like a father overjoyed that his child is learning to walk, your Heavenly Father encourages you to take small steps of obedience.

Taken from Purpose Driven Life dated 4 June 2007.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

What's the Point?

Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. —Ecclesiastes 12:13

Scientists once thought that the vertebrate with the shortest life-span was the turquoise killifish. This small fish lives in seasonal rain pools in equatorial Africa and must complete its life cycle in 12 weeks before the pools disappear.

But researchers from James Cook University in Australia have now found that the pygmy goby has an even shorter lifespan. It lives fast and dies young. This tiny fish lives in coral reefs for an average of 56 days. Its rapid reproductive cycle is designed to help it avoid extinction.

What’s the point of a life that goes so fast and ends so quickly? It’s a question asked by one of the wisest men who ever lived. In his later years, Solomon, the third king of Israel, wandered from God. He became spiritually disoriented and lost his sense of direction and purpose. He looked at all of his accomplishments and found them worthless. Until he remembered his God (12:13-14), he forgot that we live not merely for ourselves but for the honor of the One who made us to worship and enjoy Him forever.

Significance is not found in the number of our days, but in what our eternal God says about how we have used them. Mart De Haan

God gives to us the gift of time
To use as best we can,
To live each moment in His will
According to His plan. —Sper

Life is short. Live for God.

Taken from Our Daily Bread dated 1 June 2007.

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