Friday, October 17, 2008

Daily Digest #164

[Satan] was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. . . . He is a liar and the father of it. —John 8:44

Everyday, we are given the opportunity to know God more and more. But in this world where we are more accustomed to seeking pleasure and comfort, we allow ourselves to be detached from Him. We make excuses for our busy schedules, or we give in to idleness.
We let ourselves get stirred away from His will that we end up going in circles, making our lives meaningless.

God invites us to build a closer relationship with Him, so when difficult times or tests come, we are prepared to face them. As we are used to taking control of our lives, God urges us to bring our battles to Him... for God wins them all, His way and His time.

I'm pasting 2 inspiring articles at the bottom from the Purpose Driven Life online. May we be enlightened and apply the knowledge and wisdom in our lives. May we have a change of heart and keep God's Spirit alive within us. May we keep our eyes off our problems and difficult circumstances, and keep looking up to Him. Have a wonderful day! Pray always.



For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

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There are four things we need to do when we are battling spiritual warfare in our lives:

1. Acknowledge the adversary.
Satan is real (1 Peter 5:8-9). When you’re being attacked, it’s proof that you’re a believer. The more you make an impact for God, the more the Devil is going to fight you. You never outgrow it; it just gets more intense.

If there were no Devil, why would God send his Son to fight what does not exist? The Bible says in 1 John 3:8, “The Son of God came to destroy these works of the Devil” (NLT).

2. Accept God-given authority.
Most believers are very ignorant about the authority they have to use against the Devil. Matthew 28:18-19 says we have all authority in heaven and earth. Then Jesus says, “Therefore go and make disciples …” (NIV). He transfers the authority to you and me. He does that because he’s given us a specific mission (2 Corinthians 5:20).

3. Put on God’s armor.
When Paul wrote about the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-17), he was in prison chained to a Roman guard. Paul used the Roman centurion as a model for spiritual armor. Paul says, just as the Roman soldier is properly dressed to do battle, we also need to be dressed for battle.

For instance, I will often pray, “Lord, I put on the helmet of salvation that will protect me from the thoughts the Devil will try to give me. I don’t want to think the Devil’s thoughts. I don’t want to think my thoughts. I want to think your thoughts, so that that I may be a voice for you. I put on the belt of truth. Lord, I want to share the truth, not falsehood. I want to lead people into righteousness.”

4. Aim the artillery.
The battlefield for spiritual warfare is primarily in your thought life, in your mind (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Paul says the weapons God gives us to use demolish arguments – that’s the way people think; they pull down pretension – that’s the way people think.
We take every thought captive. In this battle for thoughts, we have four weapons: humility, faith, truth, and praise.


God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid but a spirit of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NCV)

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God wants you to develop a self-discipline that pushes you to do things, even as others are giving up.

Over the years, I’ve observed six key expressions of self-discipline:

1. People with self-discipline master their moods. They live by their commitments, not their emotions. People who do the right thing even when they don’t feel like it accomplish most of what gets done in the world! “A man without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls” (Proverbs 25:28 LB).

2. People with self-discipline watch their words. They put their minds in gear before opening their mouths. “He who guards his lips guards his life” (Proverbs 13:3 NIV).

3. People with self-discipline restrain their reactions.
How much can you take before you lose your cool? “If you are sensible, you will control your temper. When someone wrongs you, it is a great virtue to ignore it” (Proverbs 19:11 GNT).

4. People with self-discipline stick to their schedule. If you don’t determine how you will spend your time you can be sure that others will decide for you! “Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility … Make the best use of your time” (Ephesians 5:15–16 PH).

5. People with self-discipline manage their money. They learn to live on less than what they make and they invest the difference. The value of a budget is that it tells your money where you want it to go rather than wondering where it went! “The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets” (Proverbs 21:20 LB).

6. People with self-discipline maintain their health. That way they can accomplish more and enjoy their achievements. “Every one of you should learn to control his body, keeping it pure and treating it with respect” (1 Thessalonians 4:4 PH).

The disciplines you establish today will determine your success tomorrow. But it takes more than just willpower for lasting self-discipline. It takes a power greater than yourself: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT/NCV).

The more I accept God’s control over my life, the more self-control he gives me!

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Daily Digest #163

[Martha] had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. —Luke 10:39

Funny that today's entry should be like this, for I just allowed myself to be flooded by worry and anxiety yesterday in order to finish all my tasks. I didn't even find time to sit back and relax in His presence before I went to bed. I acted exactly like Martha (which now I realize I usually do), thinking that getting my duties finished was more important than spending quiet time with Him.

I think God has enabled us to perform multi-tasking, which I believe most of us have grown to be experts, but most of the time we tend to neglect our personal fellowship with Him. We get so busy that we become worriers and anxious control freaks hehe. For this, let us pray. May we take that special seat and spend time with Him, to listen to His words and to tell Him about our concerns and what has transpired during the day. May we not allow ourselves to be too occupied by our busy schedules. May we treat Him like our best friend, and feel free to open up to Him about anything. May we believe that He is always here, that He offers comfort, mercy and protection, and that He truly listens. Pray always.

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Daily Digest #162

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. —James 1:27

We all have different needs. And sometimes, we also have a role to play in order to fulfill somebody else's needs -- may it be for mercy or compassion, any type of help or charity, or simply our presence. These acts of selflessness demonstrate God's love in our lives.

There are times when we account for our good deeds. But if we think again, doesn't it create expections? God teaches us not to expect anything in return, just as His Son did. Jesus knew that He was storing up riches in heaven, and He knew that His Father always sees a heart that is pure. Now, let us ask ourselves: Do we perform good deeds just because they are right, or because they truly reflect God's love in our lives?

I would like to share an entry by Max Lucado (read below). It actually wraps up what it takes for someone to act straight from the heart. May God make humble servants out of us. May we ask for courage and strength to love every day. Pray always.


"It's quiet. It's early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming. In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met. For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day's demands. It is now that I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I'm free to choose. And so I choose.

I CHOOSE LOVE...No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.

I CHOOSE JOY...I will invite my God to be the God of circumstances. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical...the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.

I CHOOSE PEACE...I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.

I CHOOSE PATIENCE ...I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I'll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clenching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.

I CHOOSE KINDNESS...I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.

I CHOOSE GOODNESS...I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse.

I CHOOSE FAITHFULNESS...Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.

I CHOOSE GENTLENESS...Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.

I CHOOSE SELF-CONTROL...I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will not, rule the eternal. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ.


To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest with the peace that passes all understanding."

---Max Lucado

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Daily Digest #161

Your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart. —Jeremiah 15:16

Please allow me to share a series of articles (4 parts) about how to have a quiet time, from the Purpose Driven Life online. May we be enlightened as we go on with our journey of faith. Pray always.


How to Have a Quiet Time

(Part 1)

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

*** *** *** ***

Once you’re convinced that a daily quiet time is necessary for spiritual growth, how do you go about having one? You may be motivated to do it but may not know how.

Start with the proper attitudes

In God’s eyes, why you do something is far more important than what you do.

On one occasion God told Samuel, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). It is quite possible to do the right thing but with the wrong attitude.

This was Amaziah’s problem, for “he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly” (2 Chronicles 25:2).

When you come to meet with God in a quiet time, you should have these proper attitudes:

•Expectancy – Come before God with anticipation and eagerness. Expect to have a good time of fellowship with him and receive a blessing from your time together. That was what David expected: “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you” (Psalm 63:1).

•Reverence – Don’t rush into God’s presence, but prepare your heart by being still before him and letting the quietness clear away the thoughts of the world. Listen to the prophet Habakkuk: “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him” (Habakkuk 2:20; see also Psalm 89:7). Coming into the presence of the Lord is not like going to a football game or some other form of entertainment.

•Alertness – Get wide-awake first. Remember that you are meeting with the Creator, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Redeemer of men. Be thoroughly rested and alert. The best preparation for a quiet time in the morning begins the night before. Get to bed early so you will be in good shape to meet God in the morning; he deserves your full attention.

•Willingness to obey – This attitude is crucial: you don’t come to your quiet time to choose what you will do or not do, but with the purpose of doing anything and everything that God wants you to do. Jesus said, “If anyone chooses to do God’s will he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own” (John 7:17). So come to meet the Lord having already chosen to do his will no matter what.

(Part 2)

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35 (NIV)

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Select a specific time

The specific time has to do with when you should have your quiet time and how long it should be. The general rule is this: The best time is when you are at your best! Give God the best part of your day, when you are the freshest and most alert. Don’t try to serve God with your leftover time. Remember, too, that your best time may be different from someone else’s.

For most of us, however, early in the morning seems to be the best time. It was Jesus’ own practice to rise early to pray and meet with the Father: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35).

In the Bible many godly men and women rose early to meet with God. Some of these were:

• Abraham – Genesis 19:27
• Moses – Exodus 34:4
• Job – Job 1:5
• Hannah and Elkanah – 1 Samuel 1:19
• Jacob – Genesis 28:18
• David – Psalms 5:3; 57:7,8
• (See also Psalm 143:8; Isaiah 26:9; Ezekiel 12:8)

You might even consider having two quiet times (morning and night). Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators, used to have code letters for his night quiet time: HWLW. Whenever he was with a group of people at night or home with his wife and the conversation seemed to be ending, he would say, “All right, HWLW.” HWLW stood for “His Word the Last Word”; and he practiced that through the years as a way of ending a day with one’s thoughts fixed on the Lord (Betty Lee Skinner, Daws, Zondervan, 1974, p. 103).

Whatever time you set, be consistent in it. Schedule it on your calendar; make an appointment with God as you would with anyone else. Make a date with Jesus!

Then look forward to it and don’t stand him up. A stood-up date is not a pleasant experience for us, and Jesus does not like to be stood up either. So make a date with him and keep it at all costs.

The question is often asked, “How much time should I spend with the Lord?” If you’ve never had a consistent quiet time before, you may want to start with seven minutes (Robert D. Foster, Seven Minutes with God, NavPress, 1997) and let it grow naturally. You should aim to eventually spend not less than 15 minutes a day with the Lord.

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives , and his disciples followed him. Luke 22:39 (NIV)

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Choose a special place

The location where you have your quiet time is also important. The Bible indicates that Abraham had a regular place where he met with God (Genesis 19:27). Jesus had a custom of praying in the garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives . “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives , and his disciples followed him” (Luke 22:39).

Your place ought to be a secluded place. This is a place where you can be alone, where it’s quiet, and where you will not be disturbed or interrupted. In today’s noisy Western World, this may take some ingenuity, but it is necessary. It ought to be a place –

· where you can pray aloud without disturbing others;
· where you have good lighting for reading (a desk, perhaps);
· where you are comfortable. (WARNING: Do not have your quiet time in bed. That’s too comfortable!)

Your place ought to be a special place. Wherever you decide to meet with the Lord, make it a special place for you and him. As the days go by, that place will come to mean a lot to you because of the wonderful times you have there with Jesus Christ.

Your place ought to be a sacred place. This is where you meet with the living God. Where you meet the Lord can be just as holy as the place where Abraham met God. You don’t have to be in a church building. People have had their quiet times in their cars parked in a quiet place, in an empty closet at home, in their backyards, and even in a baseball dugout. Each of these places has become sacred to them.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)

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Follow a simple plan

Someone has said, “If you aim at nothing, you are sure to hit it!” To have a meaningful quiet time, you will need a plan or some kind of general outline to follow.

The main rule is this: Keep your plan simple.

You will need the following three items for your planned quiet times:

· A Bible – a contemporary translation (not a paraphrase) with good print, preferably without notes.
· A notebook for writing down what the Lord shows you, and for making a prayer list.
· A hymnbook – sometimes you may want to sing in your praise time (see Colossians 3:16).

1. Wait on God (Relax). Be still for a minute; don’t come running into God’s presence and start talking immediately. Follow God’s admonition: “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10; see also Isaiah 30:15; 40:31). Be quiet for a short while to put yourself into a reverent mood.

2. Pray briefly (Request). This is not your prayer time, but a short opening prayer to ask God to cleanse your heart and guide you into the time together. Two good passages of Scripture to memorize are:
  • “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24; see also 1 John 1:9).
  • “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law [the Word]” (Psalm 119:18; see also John 16:13).

You need to be in tune with the Author before you can understand his Book!

3. Read a section of the Scripture (Read). This is where your conversation with God begins. He speaks to you through his Word, and you speak with him in prayer. Read your Bible …

· Slowly. Don’t be in a hurry; don’t try to read too large an amount; don’t race through it!

· Repeatedly. Read a passage over and over until you start to picture it in your mind. The reason more people don’t get more out of their Bible reading is that they do not read the Scriptures repeatedly.

· Without stopping. Don’t stop in the middle of a sentence to go off on a tangent and do a doctrinal study. Just read that section for the pure joy of it, allowing God to speak to you. Remember that your goal here is not to gain information, but to feed on the Word and get to know Christ better.

· Aloud but quietly. Reading it aloud will improve your concentration, if you have that problem. It will also help you understand what you are reading better because you will be both seeing and hearing what you are reading. Read softly enough, however, so that you won’t disturb anyone.

· Systematically. Read through a book at a time in an orderly method. Do not use the “random dip” method – a passage here, a chapter there, what you like here, an interesting portion there. You’ll understand the Bible better if you read it as it was written – a book or letter at a time.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Daily Digest #160

Give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! —Psalm 107:21

"Why me, Lord? Why!?!?" and "I'm such a failure/loser!!!" are very common phrases in our life's vocabulary. What we forget is that blessings are always more than our hardships. When we think that we are the unluckiest people alive, we actually ignore the fact that we are blessed with a family, or good friends, or a job, or a caring neighborhood, or even a good health. We forget that we are fortunate enough to be alive on this day, when many sick people on their hospital beds are still trying to hold on. We allow ourselves to be burdened with worries that we deny ourselves of God's love for us.

It is truly easy to say that God will only give us what we can bear. But it takes courage and faith to actually claim it. And as long as we keep focusing on our difficulties, the more likely we are to ignore the blessings around us.

For this, let us pray. May we pray for courage and strength, to hope and not give up. May we pray for wisdom, to guide our every decision. May we pray for faith, and be reminded of His faith for us. May our weakness become His strength. Pray always.



When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

- Author unknown

God loves you! be blessed...

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Daily Digest #159

Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. —Matthew 6:12

I would like to share another entry from Our Daily Bread, dated 18 April 2008, which talks about forgiveness. May we be enlightened and learn to forgive. May we build a closer relationship with God through His son, Jesus Christ. Pray always.


Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. —Psalm 32:1

A little boy had just been tucked into bed by his mother, who was waiting to hear his prayers. But he had been naughty that day, and now it was bothering him. So he said, "Mama, I wish you'd go now and leave me alone. I want to pray by myself."

Sensing that something was wrong, she asked, "Bobby, is there anything you ought to tell me?" "No, Mommy," he replied. "You would just scold me, but God will forgive me and forget about it."

That little boy understood one of the greatest salvation benefits of all—the reality of sins forgiven. The Bible indicates that in Christ "we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" (Col. 1:14). We who have received the Lord Jesus as Savior enjoy freedom from sin's eternal condemnation (Rom. 8:1), and we can also have daily forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9).

The apostle Paul said that salvation provides these added benefits: we are justified (Rom. 3:24), and we are at peace with God (5:1).

We should never get the idea that our sins are taken lightly by the Lord. But when we acknowledge our guilt with true repentance, God is ready to forgive because of what Jesus did on the cross. It's up to us to accept it. — Richard De Haan

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small:
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all. —Watts

When God forgives a sin, He never brings it up again.

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Daily Digest #158

First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. —Matthew 5:24

When our choices trigger evil, the more we are to see them as tests of character. Sometimes, even when we don't mean to, we hurt others or ourselves; or others hurt us, which is beyond our control. On the other hand, when we deliberately hurt ourselves or others, we take matters into our own hands, leaving no room for His Spirit to reside in our hearts... and this always produces undesirable results.

Matter that is left unresolved can be considered as a failure. And many exist: between families, friends, neighbors, co-workers, members of the community, and even within our own selves! Most of the time, we do not recognize this as our own because we are very much driven by our own pride that we dare not step down and admit that we also make mistakes. And the longer we make it last, the more we tend to build up resentment and regret, and the farther away we get from attaining peace of mind.

Failure doesn't simply end there. It urges us to learn, take the next step and make better choices. For this, let us pray. May we call upon Him in moments of weakness and defeat. May we lay down our pride and grow a humble heart. May we learn to forgive, not only others, but also ourselves. May we ask God to teach us to love and to hope. May His will be done at all times. Pray always.


How To Start Over After Failure

A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance. Proverbs 28:13 (LB)

*** *** *** ***

Here are four steps to take when starting over after a failure:

1. Accept responsibility for your own failure. If you've made a mistake, admit it. Welcome to the human race! Don't blame others. To blame others is to "be lame." Losers love to blame bad luck, the economy, the boss, their spouse, or even God for failure.

But winners never accuse others and never excuse themselves when they fail. In 1974, after an 88-game winning streak, the UCLA basketball team lost to Notre Dame in a game where they'd led by 11 points. The next day's headline read: "Coach Wooden says, 'Blame me!'" Wooden was a winner.

"A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance." (Proverbs 28:13 LB)

2. Recognize the benefits of failure. Failure teaches you what doesn't work. Thomas Edison, the great inventor, said, "Don't call it a failure. Call it an education!"

Failure forces you to be more creative as you look for new ways to accomplish something. It prevents arrogance and egotism. If everything you did was a stunning success, no one could live with you!

Failure also causes you to reevaluate what's important in life. It's one way God gets you to reflect on the direction of your life. "Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways" (Proverbs 20:30 GNT).

3. Ask God for wisdom to understand what caused your failure. Why did you fail? Is there any reason you might have set yourself up to fail? There are many unconscious reasons we sometimes sabotage our own efforts:

• Fear of success – Success may mean handling more responsibility than you want to carry.
• Guilt – If you feel you don't deserve to succeed, you may set yourself up to fail.
• Resentment – Some people fail as a way of getting even with those who are pressuring them to succeed.
• Ask God what caused it"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all ..." (James 1:5 NIV).

4. Forget the past and focus on the future. Your past is past! It's water under the bridge. You can't change it so you may as well stop worrying about it. "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on ..." (Philippians 3:13-14 NIV).

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Daily Digest #157

The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all. —1 Corinthians 12:7

We are all gifted to do certain tasks in our lives. We find ourselves fortunate when we know exactly what we want, or what delights us in doing so. But if we ask those who are truly happy, fulfilled and contented with their lives, they are usually the ones who serve and live for others. They see their purpose clearly -- may it be in single-blessedness, marriage or priesthood. Purpose is not limited to a number of people. We, ourselves, have a purpose to fulfill. It all lies on our choice to seek it, and call upon Him to see and understand His message clearly.

To seek or to know our purpose urges us to spread our wings and reach out to others. We get ourselves involved in different relationships where we are taught about teamwork. We learn that teamwork can only be achieved when members of the team has a common objective for being together -- not just in the beginning, but all the time -- until the goal is reached. Most of us are only enthusiastic at first, but after a couple of discomforts and trials, we tend to fall out. This is all too common. Most of the time we forget why we're in a relationship, a group, or a community in the first place. What we don't realize it that teamwork does not only involve commitment to each other, but to the goal itself. They always work hand in hand.

For this, let us pray. May we learn to honor and support each other for the parts that we play, no matter how big or small. May God be the center of our relationships. May we remember that anything rooted in God, and geared towards God, is guaranteed to never fail. May we be reminded everyday that we are not here merely for our own comfort, but to serve one another. Pray always.

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Daily Digest #156

That you may be filled with all the fullness of God. —Ephesians 3:19

I would like to share the latest entry from the Purpose Driven Life. May we be enlightened as we go on our journey of faith. As our actions are manifested by our thoughts, may we ask for guidance, that our mind may be made pure and our hearts cleansed. May we bring a smile upon God's face today. Pray always. God bless!



Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts. Proverbs 4:23 (GNT)

One of the great psychological discoveries of the past century is that your thoughts control your actions.If you want to change the way you act, you must first change how you think.

Actually, thousands of years ago, Solomon pointed this out when he wrote, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” (Proverbs 4:23 GNT).

The Bible says our thoughts influence six areas of our lives:

· My interpretation influences my situation. It’s not what happens to me that matters as much as how I choose to see it. The way I react will determine whether the circumstance makes me better or bitter. I can view everything as an obstacle or an opportunity for growth – a stumbling block or a stepping stone. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4 NIV).

· My impressions influence my depressions. In other words, my mind affects my mood; my thinking determines my feelings. If I’m feeling depressed, it’s because I’m choosing to think depressing thoughts – about my work, family, or anything else. While you cannot always control a feeling, you can choose what you think about, which will control how you feel.“Hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught . . .”(Psalm 55:2 NIV).

· My beliefs influence my behavior. We always act according to our beliefs, even when those ideas are false. For instance, as a child, if you believed a shadow in your bedroom at night was a monster, your body reacted in fear (adrenaline and jitters) even though it wasn’t true. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you are operating on true information! Your convictions about yourself, about life, and about God influence your conduct.“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples” (John 8:31 NIV).

· My self-talk influences my self-esteem. You are constantly talking to yourself unconsciously. When you walk into a room full of strangers, what do you tend to think about yourself? To develop more confidence you’re going to have to stop running yourself down! “Ashe thinks in his heart, so is he”(Proverbs 23:7 NKJV).

· My attitude influences my ability. Winners expect to win. Your perception controls your performance. Mohammed Ali only lost two fights in his career. Before both of them, he said something that he hadn’t said before other fights: “If I should lose this fight […].”“All things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23 NKJV).

· My imagination influences my aspirations. In other words, your dreams determine your destiny. To accomplish anything, you must first have a mission, a goal, a hope, a vision. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV).

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Shifting Sand

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Daily Digest #155

Write . . . all the words that I have spoken to you . . . that everyone may turn from his evil way, that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin. —Jeremiah 36:2-3

I was up until past 3 this morning, finishing a book a friend gave me. It's called The Kite Runner (some of you might have read or watched it, it's a motion picture now). It bore many truths in it -- about the evil nature of man, and how God defeats every single battle, big or small, in extraordinary ways... There are many parts in the book that resemble the story of Jesus, and many of His parables. The book demonstrates how kindness and love overpowers everything else. And it makes us realize how forgiveness sets us free. It teaches us how a life of self-importance eventually destroys, not only our own but others' lives as well. But through it all, we would see how God works for the greater good. No matter how distorted our journey is or has become, we would always be led to a righteous path. It's all a matter of choice. As I read from page to page, I couldn't help but wonder which one am I in this scenario, or what could someone like me do in a situation like this? After reading it (with a slightly heavy heart), I pondered on the lessons it taught -- ultimately about faith, hope and love.

The Bible teaches us the Truth. As one redemptionist stated in one of his seminars, the Bible stands for "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth". Many of us might think of the Bible as a history book, or a novel, but it's much, much greater than that. It is the book of OUR lives. It allows us to look closely and examine ourselves. And there we will see that He does exist.

For this, let us pray. May we develop a habit of reading and reflecting on His Word every day. May we develop a desire to know and love Him more. May faith and humility grow out of our curiosity and doubt. May we learn to call upon Him, and trust that He is always here. May we believe that we are loved, because He truly does! Pray always.

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Daily Digest #154

You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. —James 4:14

A lot of times, we find ourselves hoping to have more time than what we actually have, especially when we're too worked up in our jobs. It's like 24 hours in not enough for 1 day. What we don't realize is that God always gives enough time for His purpose. Anything beyond that is either overdoing it, or neglecting it. When we seek His will, He always makes sure that we can carry on with the task in His time. And while He gives us many opportunities to serve Him everyday, each one passes and never comes back. This challenges us to think about the things we would do with the time given to us. It really helps to remember these verses everyday: Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." -- James 4:14-15

For this, let us pray. May we make use of our time for His glory -- may it be in our workplaces, our community, our neighborhood, or at home -- for He doesn't want us wasting any of it. May we cease to worry about tomorrow, for it is all in God's hands. May we focus on what we can do today, and grow a heart of love, patience and content. May His will be done on us at all times. Pray always.



Do not boast about [what you’re going to do] tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. Proverbs 27:1 (NIV)

The Bible offers three timeless principles for facing an uncertain future:

1. Let God set your goals. It’s foolish to make any plans without first consulting God. He’s the only one who does know the future, and he’s eager to guide you through it. The Bible says “We may make our plans, but God has the last word” (Proverbs 16:1 GNT). In other words, planning without praying is presumption. Start by praying, “God, what do you want me to do?”

2. Live one day at a time. While you can plan for tomorrow, you can’t live tomorrow until it arrives. Most people spend so much time regretting the past and worrying about the future, they have no time for today! Commit to making the most of each moment of each day. Jesus said, “Don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time” (Matthew 6:34 LB).

3. Don’t procrastinate. Procrastinating is a subtle trap. It wastes today by postponing things until tomorrow. You promise yourself that you’ll do it “one of these days,” but then “one of these days” turns into “none of these days.” The Bible says, “Do not boast about [what you’re going to do] tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1 NIV). What have you planned to do that you haven’t done yet? When do you intend to start working on it?

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Daily Digest #153

My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. —Proverbs 1:10

We can be little children sometimes -- with the way we think, the way we act or the way we speak. The Scripture implies how we should be children in faith, but adults when facing temptation to sin or the sin itself. The same with dealing with our brothers and sisters in Christ, there are times when we are the ones who are enlightened by the Spirit, and we ought to be a light to others who are "children" to sin. We have a great responsibility to each other -- to draw each other closer to God, in whichever way He tells us to do.

That's why in doing our service to God in our every day lives, prayer is essential. When we pray, our every thought, word and action are guided, and stirred toward righteousness. We can be assured of this because we are tend to seek His will and not ours. We may find it difficult to correct each other, especially when the ones we confront is older, a close friend or family member, or someone with a higher "social status". But when it is meant to be our task to correct or confront, He always gives us the courage and strength to do what has to be done, especially when we ask. God has His way of saying when the time is right, and He puts the right words in our tongues. And we'll know all these when we pray.

Allow me to share to you an article from the Purpose Driven Life, about handling conflicts (read below). May we be a light to others whose flames have grown dim. May we draw each other closer to God. May we be reminded of our responsibility to each other. And above all, may we grow a patient and loving heart. Pray always.



My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19 (NLT)

I’ll tell you how to deal with conflict quickly, but you’re not going to like it. The solution to conflict resolution is one word: confrontation.

If you’re going to resolve conflict, you must confront. But, you don’t have to confront in anger. In fact, you should try not to confront in anger. Lovingly go to the person and, then speaking the truth in love, deal with the problem immediately.

Very few of us enjoy confrontation. The only people who really do are troublemakers who seem to delight in confrontation. They love to go to people and say, “You’re blowing it!” That’s their thrill.

Because it’s risky and uncomfortable, most people don’t like confrontation, but it’s the only way to resolve conflict.

What’s the best way to confront? James 1:19 teaches three rules for confrontation. Everyone should be:
· Quick to listen,
· Slow to speak, and
· Slow to become angry.

If you’re quick to listen and if you’re slow to speak, you’ll automatically be slow to anger.

What are you listening for? You are listening for the hurt in that person. Hurting people always hurt other people. When someone is being a jerk, more than likely it’s because that person is hurting. When you understand their hurt a bit, you have a better understanding of why they do what they do, and you’re a little more patient with them.
Understanding always brings patience. When we don’t understand things, we’re impatient. When we understand them, we’re much more patient.

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Daily Digest #152

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. —1 John 5:13

Allow me to share an entry from My Utmost For His Highest, dated Dec23:

The gospel of Jesus Christ always forces a decision of our will. Have I accepted God’s verdict on sin as judged on the Cross of Christ? Do I have even the slightest interest in the death of Jesus? Do I want to be identified with His death— to be completely dead to all interest in sin, worldliness, and self? Do I long to be so closely identified with Jesus that I am of no value for anything except Him and His purposes? The great privilege of discipleship is that I can commit myself under the banner of His Cross, and that means death to sin. You must get alone with Jesus and either decide to tell Him that you do not want sin to die out in you, or that at any cost you want to be identified with His death. When you act in confident faith in what our Lord did on the cross, a supernatural identification with His death takes place immediately. And you will come to know through a higher knowledge that your old life was "crucified with Him" (Romans 6:6 ). The proof that your old life is dead, having been "crucified with Christ" ( Galatians 2:20 ), is the amazing ease with which the life of God in you now enables you to obey the voice of Jesus Christ.

Every once in a while our Lord gives us a glimpse of what we would be like if it were not for Him. This is a confirmation of what He said— ". . . without Me you can do nothing" ( John 15:5 ). That is why the underlying foundation of Christianity is personal, passionate devotion to the Lord Jesus. We mistake the joy of our first introduction into God’s kingdom as His purpose for getting us there. Yet God’s purpose in getting us into His kingdom is that we may realize all that identification with Jesus Christ means.

For this, let us pray. May we grow a faithful and loving heart. May we believe in Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. May we cease counting our good works, and count our blessings instead. It is God's way of molding us into humble servants, so we may seek His will and glorify His name, just as His son has done. Pray always.

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Daily Digest #151

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. —James 1:5

I believe in the power of prayer. Many times, I have asked for what I thought was impossible, but God has answered me in extraordinary and much more favorable ways. I have been a witness of how prayer has moved mountains. Not only did it fill me with awe and wonder about God's greatness, it has also humbled me because it reminded me that God is always in control and He is always working out the best for each of us. He has reason and purpose beyond our comprehension, which He also reveals to us in the end. God is everywhere. He knows our every thought, he hears every word, and sees every action. He loves us, even when we don't believe.

Allow me to share yesterday's entry from Our Daily Bread (read below). I realize how He never fails when we ask for courage, strength and wisdom, which are all much greater than the material things that we seek. For this, may we learn how to pray. May we build an intimate relationship with the Lord, pouring out everything to Him, as if we are talking to the closest person we know. May we not be afraid to ask questions, nor doubt that He will ever answer because He has an answer to everything. And we will see or hear it only if we choose to. Pray always.


Showing Up
Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live. —Psalm 116:2

Leonardo da Vinci spent 10 years drawing ears, elbows, hands, and other parts of the body in many different aspects. Then one day he set aside the exercises and painted what he saw. Likewise, athletes and musicians never become great without regular practice.

For years I resisted a regular routine of prayer, believing that communication with God should be spontaneous and free. But I found that I needed the discipline of regularity to make possible those exceptional times of free communication with God. Eventually I learned that spontaneity often flows from discipline.

The writer Nancy Mairs says she attends church in the same spirit she goes to her desk every morning to write, so that if an idea comes she’ll be there to receive it. I approach prayer the same way. I keep on whether it feels like I am profiting or not. I show up in hopes of getting to know God better, perhaps hearing from Him in ways accessible only through solitude.

The English word meditate derives from a Latin word that means “to rehearse.” Often my prayers seem like a kind of rehearsal. I go over basic notes (the Lord’s Prayer), practice familiar pieces (the Psalms), and try out a few new tunes. Mainly, I show up. — Philip Yancey

Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant’s lips can try;
Prayer the sublimest strains that reach
The Majesty on high. —Montgomery

Prayer is an intimate conversation with our God.

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