Daily ponder: In times of trials

The past two year has been the most difficult of the most, maybe you have experienced a salary cut, a job loss, a business, loss someone. Maybe the bills are piling up and the debts is just growing and provisions seems no-where in sight.

These are moments of trials, I have been reading through revelations and it was prophesied there that God’s people will go through extreme persecutions and hardship. What should we do when we do when we are in times of trial and even worse.

This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.

Revelation 14:12

We are called to remain faithful to Jesus to the end.

Nobody in the right mind would actually like to pursue a life of suffering and pain. We are actually inclined to live a life in pursuit of convenience and happiness. But life is not like that. It is an illusion, the Bible is clear that there will be trials and tribulations, many faithful men and women to the Lord died a tragic death continually professing faith to Christ. We are called to be faithful to the end to Jesus because we know that this time on earth is only temporary and eternity is set before us. Dead has not sting on those who believe and put their faith on Christ.

We are called to patient endurance.

In the middle of suffering and pain, we normally express “How long oh Lord I must suffer” the very same lines as King David expressed in the book of Psalms. It is okay to express to the Lord our grievances, but no matter what it our clear picture of who He is and His promises that will keep us on the journey of patient enduring. We can be patient knowing we have a promised keeper with us. We have a faithful God that is beyond what this physical life and the is the hope we have in Him. I am no seeker of a reward, but it is who promises it and desires to give it to those who remain faithful to the end.

Friend, If you are reading this. Thank you! It is my prayer that this thought of the day, spoke well to your soul. There is no such thing as an accident, everything happens weather we accept this or not. As you come across this blog of mine, this might be for you or a person you know. God bless your heart and your whole being!

Daily Ponder: A purpose and a mission

It’s been seven months away from home, here I am in a foreign land, my temporary home maybe for the next five to 10 years. I choose a life which for the many is never easy, what is a normal to me might just be a trauma and too stressful, on the uncertainties it may bring.

Here I am starting life all over again. Too often I am ask what I missed the most? Or Do I miss my home country?

To be honest, I don’t miss my country what I miss are the people who showed so much love and care. I miss them and I remember them well. Thank God for technology, I sincerely feel they are so near though far away.

I have a purpose and a mission to fulfill, two things that keeps me grounded to why I am doing what I am doing. A purpose and a mission enough to make me leave my comfort zone and dearest friends.

It is easy to quit with things are going tough! when uncertainties are piling up and you may feel there no-where to go nor run. I remind myself of my purpose and my mission, For God’s glory and honor, In obedience I will go.

Where do you lean on?

Daily Ponder: #022

I don’t understand, I have given my best, I have tried to do all that is possible on my end but things don’t seem to be moving in the expected direction. I felt trap and frustrated.

As I battle through these emotions earlier, I got reminded of proverbs 3:5-6. Lean not one your own understanding, I was trying to grasp the events but I couldn’t. But I got reminded to trust in the lord and bring into submission that weighs my heart.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

Things may not make sense at the moment, nor in the coming days but I can trust the Lord that this too is His will. This is an opportunity to lean on him all the more, to trust in Him. This is a growing opportunity, to grow in trusting Him and His words.

His ways are perfect, It’s tried and tested. I have experienced that and there will always be moments in my life I need to go back to that. In trusting Him, I submit in His Lordship and His leadership, He knows best for me.

Submission may not be easy for you. Trusting may have been the hardest, But He isn’t human. He is beyond compared. He knows and He listens. He will always have the better plans, nor directions.

Not sharing is a form of isolation.

Daily Ponder: #020

This caught my attention while watching doom patrol, while the context of this is for the team to open up and have conversations, It resounded in me as well as I work with a team and this applies as well in life key relationships. Here are some of my thoughts and would love you hear what you think about it as well.

Un-intentional isolation

Sometimes we aren’t really aware we are keeping it to ourself. In most cases you might have been so used to it, it’s doesn’t bother to share.

Intentional Isolation

Most often this happens out of fear, fear of being known, being rejected, being seen as something else, fear of being seen as weak. But it can also be out of pride, selfishness and arrogance.

To share is to be vulnerable.

To be vulnerable is never easy, it is never comfortable. Vulnerability is a strength and sign of humility.

The strength of working relationship is trust, foundational in teams and personal lives. It also takes wisdom in communicating but never the less, we must gather the strength to speak up when needed specially opening up areas in our lives that we may invite others to come and help, provide advise and assistance.

Daily Ponder: #019

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.

Revelation 3:19 NIV

As I went through the Book of Revelations today at chapter 3 verse 9. I was reminded of how love operate in our lives and in our community.

Love does not tolerate what is wrong, rather out of love it addresses issues that does not please the other. In this case, the issues was that the people of faith in laodica was neither cold or hot. this is where the rebuke came from. Hence an invitation to repentance.

Love invites us to change that leads to repentance. Godly love will always bring the best in us that transforms us to Christ-likeness. Biblically we are to transform into the character of Christ.

Repentance is also a fruit of love, because of it’s genuine intention and motivation that springs from a revelation of God.

Daily Ponder #018 Alpha & Omega

 I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 1:8

Jesus is the beginning of all history, The CREATOR and the goal for all whom all things are made. All history moving towards glorifying Him.

More than being a a comforting verse, it is a power for those who believes. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. When our lives are fully submitted to him, we are relieved from the cares and worries of this world.

He knows your beginning, he knows your failings, your darknest past, your shame, your brokenness. He knows. Nothing is hidden, everything is bare naked and fully known before him.

He knows the end as well. He knows the journey, you will go through. He know every inch of it.

WHO HE IS MATTERS above all, His character cannot be likened to humanity. Perhaps the question is do we know him? Or do you associate God with the failings of parents, christians friends or on what you see on those who claims to be of faith? Are we living a life in pursuit of of knowing him more?

May we live lives that is centered on Jesus, He is the way, they truth and the life. He is the Alpha and the Omega. May we live lives that desires to give more glory and honor towards him.

May He be your Alpha and Omega.

Daily Ponder #015 The truth

Because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.

2 John 2-3 NIV

Because of the truth,

The word truth is prominent in John’s greetings, perhaps because early Christians saw themselves as being in close communion with Jesus, who called himself the truth ( John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life..)

Which lives / abides in us and with us forever

The gospel that unites lives in us and is a shared faith among believers, not just a personal conviction.

with us in truth and love.

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.

Jesus is the truth. His truth liberates, transforms, brings life, brings healing, brings joy. His truth is done and finish, He died for you and me that we may be save from our sinful selves, bring salvation in us. His truth comes with His love. A love that that is so powerful it enables us to love as He does.

May you come to terms with His truth and His love.

Listeners diary: This is not okay…not normal

I met and sat before a familiar face, perhaps my best memories of her is quiet, intelligent, kind, good hearted and beautiful. I listened to her story.

What is before me seemed to be drained of life. Devoid of joy, confused, lost and disoriented. Hungry for a place to fully express without being interrupted and judge.

In her five years of marriage, she has reap words so demeaning and deprecating she has lost her sense of value and intelligence. The words she received from her husband I never imagine would be uttered to her. The words are so verbally and mentally abusive. This is not okay, this is not normal in marriage specially for a husband who claims of faith in Christ and know the scripture.

Bible verses weaponize against her wife. This is not okay, and will never be okay.

Using God and faith to manipulate a wife, in order for his wishes to be fulfilled. This is not okay and never okay. This is not normal!

Not allowing your wife not to talk to pastors, people that can guide marriage and be part of a community. This is not okay.

Blaming the wife for his misfortunes is not okay. This guy is not taking ownership!

She wonders if this marriage is normal. I said, this is not okay and this is not normal.

The wife is a victim of an abusive relationship.

But here’s the thing, the husband was raised up by a single mom, who also weaponize the scriptures as he was raised up. This too was not and never okay.

The husband grew up in environment, that is very controlling, lacking of praise and filled with correction.

The husband is also a victim.

But this cycle has to stop, at least that’s what I think.

Thoughts from this:

The Bible is not meant to be weaponize to attack and manipulate others. This does not give glory to God and not reflective of His good character.

Sadly, not all who goes to church, nor who knows the bible and every verse does not necessarily equate with being intimate with God and a disciple.

While every believer is not expected to be perfect, our journey in faith is inescapable of gospel transformation. That changes our hearts and behavior reflective of Jesus Christ’s along the process.

What are your thoughts?

Why not being okay, can be okay.

Mental health, emotional health, well-being, why not being okay, can be okay.

We actually make it harder for ourselves when we are in denial of our personal state as a whole. The same goes for our emotional and mental state. It is okay, not to be okay!

In this blog I’ll be sharing what we need to understand, what we need to do, why not being okay can be okay.

This pandemic has put as all in a corner and brought about restrictions that we never had, freedom has been redefined, our physical activities and daily lives disrupted, forcing us to adapt to a new normal. All these are a recipe for a roller coaster of emotional and mental stress. And I am not excepted from these either.

Here’s what we need to understand about emotions.

  • Emotions are valid, but we also need to learn from it.
  • Our emotions are important to God, God created emotions to convey something that we need to inquire of him and for us to anchor inGod.
  • Awareness of our current emotions enables us to respond with the right behavior.
  • Emotions should not define our behaviors but God’s Word can transform us through the renewing of our minds that results in right actions.
  • Emotions provides a rich source of information of the state of our heart.
  • Emotions is a gauge for processing and reflection and not a button for reaction.

First things first, Yes prayers and devotion should be part of every believer. The emphasis on this blog is the role of available tools and community in the journey that God has designed for us.

What we can do?

1. Recognize and validate emotions.

You have to recognize that your emotions are valid, it is telling you that there is something wrong and you have to act, left unrecognized and unvalidated, it is like a small stone inside your shoes rolling around that will, in time, trigger uncomfortable pain.

Left unrecognized, emotions can become an invisible layer of wall building on the layers of unsettled issues that will eventually blow up or create a relational divide towards key relationships.

We have to honest in asking ourselves the following questions:

  • How do I truly feel? am I frustrated? anger?calm? annoyed?elated? rage? jealous?
  • Where is it coming from? What is the source that triggered it? Example: a friend who normally greets me happily when passing by, did not do that today, that made me feel- unwanted/ rejected/ distant? Or made you think that you did something wrong?
  • Is there a potential lie I am embracing or believing because of what I feel? Example I feel insignificant, I am a failure, I am worthless, life is hopeless, I will never amount to anything.
  • What is the truth I need to embrace?Example I failed in a one time quiz, However that does not define me as failure in life. Here’s another one, “I will never be loved” the scripture say I am fully loved by God even before I was born.
  • For believers of Jesus Christ, what is your scriptural truth and worth? What does God think about me through my identity in Christ.

Tip: Research and understand the different emotions. It is helpful to find the right language with you feel and being able to distinguish it is important this enables us to respond with the right behavior. Google is rich source of listed of emotions.

2. Discover what works with you in understanding how you are taking up the emotions over the present situation.

One of habit I’ve develop over the years is keeping a journal. The process of writing has taught me that there is more to what really feel.

Another is running or walking, because I am an aesthetic learner. I am better able to process my overwhelming emotions and thoughts, doing these is also relaxing and has been helpful to focus on what truly is going on.

Self talk when walking, running or in solitude moments has been very helpful to process and understand why I am responding in a specific way.

Lastly having meaningful and honest conversation with a community of friends and spiritual community. These are vulnerable and unfiltered moments of conversations with people who provide safe place to fully express without being judge.

3. Actively participate in group discussions.

Being part of a community wherein you can freely express yourself without judgement and prejudice. These groups can be your friends, church community, Bible study groups, mentors and coaches.

Connect with other people, know what they are going through, aside from being listened to, be a listener to what really going with others.

We need a community that speaks truth and grace in our life, encourages us, speaks faith and points us back to our relationship with God and the Lordship of Jesus in our lives.

To answer why not being okay can be okay.

Not being okay can be okay because it can be a starting point of knowing ourselves better and this can be an opportunity of growth towards Christlikeness.

Not being okay can be okay because it can be a springboard of meaningful conversations with key relationships and staying connected to God.

Not being okay, can be okay when it is growing your character more, molding us to be more patient, gracious, understanding, content, forgiving, developing self- control, faithfulness, kindness, endurance. That is when it is definitely not being okay can be okay.

I am not perfect in following these principles either, I am still a work in progress but strive to build continuously in these areas. I am grateful for the gift of relationship with God and other people, that has encouraged me when emotional roller coasters arise. I would love to hear what you think about what you have read, or if there are things you think I could add or improved on this blog.

Will your future be thankful from your decisions today?

We are, who we are today because of the decisions we made in the past. If you are physically fit today, it’s because you decided to commit to being fit. Maybe the best question we can ask ourselves today is “Years from now, will I be grateful for the decisions I made today?”

We have been given the power of choice everyday, you have been given the wonderful ability and privilege of embracing life changing decisions. It starts with a decision in the heart and mind to believe and step out in faith.

Let me share my story with you.

More than 10 years ago, during 2009 prayer and fasting week, I prayed and believed for the impossible to happen in my life and that was to go back to college and get a degree. During that time, I was working as a call center agent and helping provide for my family in the province. The financial challenges in my family drove me to give up the dream of a college degree and accept the weight of being the breadwinner.

But it was through a class in church back in 2007 that once again reignited that desire. Since then it has been constantly brewing in my heart, a hopeful thought that haunted me for two years. My response to this thought was resistance and saying how could it be possible? Considering the weight of responsibility I felt for my family. Who would support and help my family if I pursue my desire?

At the 2009 prayer and fasting, I said to God, yes I want it, and I want to continue. Started believing in my heart what can be, rather than what cannot. I felt it was God calling me on this and it was Him who put this desire burning in my heart. The one who called me is ultimately faithful and in that I rested.

A month after the prayer and fasting, my mom called me up to share her good news! She was hired to work in Macau as a domestic helper. The month that followed was another answered prayer, my sister’s education in a private school will be fully supported financially by a relative until she graduates. Isn’t that great?

God took off every hindrance, showing that truly nothing is impossible with Him. That year I resigned from work and went back to college as a full time student. The journey wasn’t easy, there was plenty of hurdles along the way, but the very words of God brought sustenance and strength throughout the journey.

Today I am grateful that I had made that decision to respond in faith. I am thankful that God enabled me to move in hope in a seemingly cornered and hopeless situation. This experience enabled me as well to see God in action in my life.

But truly the best decision I ever made was the moment I accepted Jesus Christ in my heart as my Lord and Savior back in 2006. I would not have the faith to believe for the possibilities If I did not embrace his Lorship over all things . I am in Christ, so is my life and all it’s circumtance.

These decisions where acts of faith to a faithful and all powerful God that brought so much joy and gratitude in life. It was not because I made a good decision but because it is God’s character who is ultimately good and faithful.

At the end of the day, we all make faith decisions.

Three things I want to point out;

• Never make life decisions base on personal limitations.

• Pray and trust God in all circumstance.

• Obey and act in faith in accordance to God’s words and promises.

What decisions are seemingly challenging and impossible for you, but will make you thankful in the years to come?