Focus on the Unseen

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2nd Corinthians 4:18, NIV).

The above passage is one of my favorite passages for various reasons. For one, Paul, my spiritual mentor, wrote it; secondly, it is a passage that helped me focus on Jesus when I first became a believer; also, I used to memorize it and it reminded me of my future, which is in and with God in Heaven.

But how quickly we forget these truths, especially as we grow in our faith. Well, at least I’m speaking for myself.

Today has been a tough one for me. I have been internally struggling with myself and asking God to reveal Himself to me. You see, I desire to hear God, I desire to see Him move in a mighty way in my life, and I am excited for what He is doing; but I find myself getting weary because all I keep thinking about is when will God do it?! Maybe you can tell, but waiting is not really my forte– I know God is working on me.

I want to see God do something miraculous in my life and God is showing me, even as I am writing, how microwaveable I want it. I woke up this morning with an uncomfortable feeling in my mouth. I don’t even know how to describe it– it’s like something is moving back and forth inside my lower gum. I prayed that God should take it away because it was a familiar feeling; but the last time I had it was when I was still living Nigeria. Anyway, I prayed and it went away! I was so happy! But after my morning routine the feeling came back and it has been there since. I hate being uncomfortable, so you can imagine what I’m feeling right now. On top of that, I have been thinking about how I would go about the fundraising I have to do. I found myself asking God, “What’s going on? Why aren’t you moving?” 

It’s in the midst of this that the aforementioned verse came to my mind– I needed to hear from God, to focus on something other than what’s making my heart troubled; plus I wanted God to tell me what to write about. Like I said, this was a verse I memorized, but I didn’t do a good job memorizing the scripture because I was so sure it was in  Philippians 4:18; God being God gently corrected me. Anyway, I read the verse but  I felt in my heart that I needed to get a context for it so I read the book from chapter 1. Paul is basically talking about the new life we have in Jesus and the glory that comes with it, how the glory is great. He also talks about how the present sufferings we are experiencing pale in comparison to the glory of God, and this glory, this hope, (ought to) encourages us to not lose heart (2nd Corinthians 4:1, 16). And verse 18 is the conclusion of that admonition.

So, what does that have to do with me? Well, for one, it humbled me and reassured me that focusing on God is the way to go! I consider the feeling in my mouth a trouble because it is actually very uncomfortable, but the God who knows the intricacies of my body will fix it. Also, in regards to my fundraising, I just have to fix my eyes on God because I am doing His work, so He is with me. Whatever it is I am facing pales in comparison to the eternal glory of our God! When I get to Heaven I won’t be thinking about the money I need to raise or the body part that isn’t functioning properly. When I get to Heaven I’ll be with my Creator, beholding Him in the fullness of His glory! That is what I am looking forward to. And to spend eternity with God… My human mind can’t even begin to comprehend that!

What then? As I go about today, I’ll keep reminding myself to keep on keeping my eyes on God because whatever I need, ease or money or comfort or whatever else, I can get only from Him! Friends, keep focusing on God and everything else will work itself out because He is in control. Everything else is so temporary, so why focus on them? Let us focus on the One who was, is, and is to come!

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Writing in Croatian

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13, NIV).

So, I’ve been learning Croatian for a few weeks now. I am really excited to be learning a language I hope to one day use in the future. I have been confused, frustrated, sad, etc… But one thing that has been keeping me going is that God created the language and I am relying on God for His grace to keep going and keep learning. Why do I want to learn? Because I fell in love in Croatia! I did and I want to be able to communicate with my friends who are Croatian.

The following is my freestyle for today. From the little that I’ve been learning, I have put together some sentences that say a little bit about me. Please excuse the mistakes :mrgreen:

Here goes:
Ja sam Elizabetha. Moja prijateljima zovu me kraljica. Ja sam dvadeseti i dva. Ja volim čitati i pisati i naučiti. Ja vjerujem u Boga i volim Boga. Moja obitelj je velika. Imam tri brata i dva sestre. Ja volim ljubičasta. Ja učim Hrvatski jer ja čelim pričati za mojim prijateljima u Hrvatskoj.

Ja sam sretna ali učiti Hrvatski je teško.

Translation: my name is Elizabeth. My friends call me queen. I am 23. I love to read and write and learn. I believe in God and I love God. My family is big. I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters. I love purple. I am learning Croatian because I want to talk with my friends in Croatia.

I am happy but learning Croatian is hard.

Thank you. Please keep me in your prayers!!!
How did I do?

Transformed

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2nd Corinthians 3:18, NIV).

First of all, God is good! I just can’t keep that to myself, neither can I say it enough. God is so good that when I think about His goodness towards me, I cry. But today is not about crying; it is a day of thanksgiving.

One aspect of God’s goodness that I have been enjoying is His power to transform! Friends, never underestimate the power of God to change your life and give you a whole new perspective, a new outlook, a new mind, etc. An example of the transformative power of the Holy Spirit is the story of Paul! Once called Saul, Paul was a Christian-hating-murdering Jewish man who was bent on destroying the disciples’ work after Jesus’ ascension. Jesus encountered him on his way to Damascus in Acts 9. This same guy was transformed by God to be the guy who planted churches, wrote a majority of the books in the New Testament, called himself a servant of Jesus in multiple letters, etc. I look at Paul and I want God to so transform my life that people will be wondering: who’s that girl? I want to know her God.

But I digress. So what does all of this have to do with me? God has already started his transformative work in my life. I had the chance to share a bit of my story with someone today and I realized my heart for people, especially my family, has changed.

I love my family, don’t get me wrong; but now I LOVE them! I love them with the love of Christ! I love them with the burden on my heart to get them closer to Jesus! I love them enough to care about their salvation and eternity. I love them enough to rebuke them and correct them. I love them so much that all I want is for them to know Jesus on an intimate level and be souled out for Him! I love them so much that I pray for them, intercede on their behalf. I love them enough to want to talk to them and check in on them and give them godly counsel and disciple them. I can keep going but I’ll stop.

This is not to brag. This is just to show what God has done in my heart. To be honest, before I surrendered to Christ, I was selfish. My family, though they mattered, were just people I was stuck with, so I had to tolerate them. Praying for them was a burden to me, caring for their wellbeing was forced out of me. I am not proud of this; I’m quite ashamed, honestly. But I thank God I am not who I was.

So I praise God for transforming me by the renewal of my mind and the changing of my heart.

This is my testimony. This new found love I have for my family doesn’t stop with them– it is extended to friends, neighbors, strangers, siblings in the Lord, etc. And let me tell you something, I am glad! I am glad that God has shown me mercy by allowing me to care as He does– although, He cares way more for them! And He cares way more for you!

Dear Husband,

Waiting for you hasn’t always been the easiest thing but I do know that it will be rewarding.

I know that God took me from your side for a reason, and I’ve been wondering what that reason is. You have already been chosen for me, by God Himself, which makes me happy because then I know that I won’t make a mistake– neither will you.

Do you know what I envision for us, to chase after God together, to raise our children in the love of Christ, modeling for them God’s vision! Are you on board with me, my love? I envision a marriage filled with service and love, honor and respect.

This love story of ours is epic! God is writing it, so why won’t it be awesome? ;):)

Anyway, that’s it! I had the urge to write to you. I hope one day you’ll read this and smile.

I am yours, darling, and you are mine.

Love you so much!

With love and eager expectation,
Your one and only Queen!

My Foundation, The Rock

“He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on the rock” (Luke 6:48, NIV).

I don’t know if you know the hymn “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”. The chorus says: On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. I don’t know about you but I want to have a solid foundation, one that won’t fail me when everything else is crumbling. And in my experience, Jesus is the only one.

I had an encounter today that really struck me. I am in a phase in my life where I am transitioning from being a child to being an adult, not just developmentally but also in my day to day living. I graduated in May and now I have to face the real world, i.e bills, stdent loans, responsibilities, etc. Frankly, I don’t like it, but such is life… What are you going to do?!? Anyway, I am not going the traditional route of coming out of college and getting a job, or coming out of undergrad and going straight to grad school. I am convicted that God has called me to something else, at least for now. And I am pursuing that! But… There is always a but, isn’t there?

I have faced some opposition and I am still facing them! It is very discouraging when you are excited about what God has called you to do and the ones you expect to support you are the ones against your decisions, they are the ones second-guessing what you’re doing, they  are the ones asking if there isn’t another way to serve God– to be honest, I was sad; but God had to open my heart and eyes and let me see that they are coming from a place of love and concern. When I was asked these questions, I was hurt, very hurt to be honest. I was so hurt that I started to think that perhaps I heard the wrong thing from God! I started questioning God, asking Him if He really wanted me to do what He purposefully called me to do– don’t get it wrong, friends, God is never confused– but I was pretty sure that God didn’t know what He was doing… How naive and human of me, right?

After some time I was reminded that I am on this earth to do the will of my Father in Heaven. With apprehension I decided to follow in God’s footsteps, allowing Him to lead me and guide me. The journey hasn’t been all that pleasant, but it has been peaceful. I hope that makes sense. Today I was reminded and encouraged that God is my foundation. My foundation is not on man or woman or family or friends; it is not on the nods and approval of the people around me, neither is it on their disapproval. But my foundation is on God, the one who formed me in my mother’s womb, who called me, molded me, who is pruning me. If He approves of me, that’s great; if He disapproves of what I am doing, I can go back to Him where I can at find grace and mercy, something man doesn’t necessarily give. I was reminded that at the end of the day, I answer to Him, the author and finisher of my faith.

So, what am I going to do from here on out? I will continue to trust God. I know that challenges will come; perhaps even the old tunes of disapproval will play again. But Jesus is my rock, He is my foundation, I put my trust and hope in Him. I trust that He will help me and guide me in the new direction He is taking me. Perhaps I’ll even get discouraged along the way, but I will put my trust in my Father knowing that, “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: ‘The Lord knows those who are his’ ” (2nd Timothy 2:19, NIV). And if God’s very own foundation is firm, then I am pretty secure trusting in Him!

I am excited for this journey, though! God is going to move and it is a great privilege to be on The Rock’s team, my rock that will never fail!

This is a must read! Wow!!!!

Glasnost

Untitled.

When I was six years old, I gave my first blowjob.
“It’s a game”, said He. “Don’t you want to play?”
It was too big, and I threw up on him.
He said I’d do better the next time.

When I was seven years old, I watched a group of fellow second graders cheer as a boy in my class tried to kiss me. He hugged me from behind, giggling all the while.
I threw sand in his eyes, and was sent to the Principal.

When I was eight years old, I had an elderly teacher ask me to stay behind in class. He carried me on his shoulders, and called me pretty.
“Teacher’s Pet!” my friends declared, the envy visible on their faces.
They ignored me at lunch that day.

When I was nine years old, an older girl on the school bus would ask me to lift…

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He is…

“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ This is what you are to say to the Israelites. ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” (Exodus 3:14, NIV).

When I think about God and all He is, my human mind freaks out to the point where my flesh starts to lie to me and say that there is no God. But I know that He is alive and He is very active, not just in the world but also in my life.

Before becoming born again I had always been fascinated with God! Now that I am growing in my relationship with Him, I am overwhelmed that He can be and IS everything to me; not just what I want, what I need as well.

Where am I getting this from? Well, His Word is my number one source. In the Bible I find facts about God, His character, His heart towards me, and so much more! The Bible tells me that “the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword…” (Hebrews 4:12, NIV). The Bible tells me “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2nd Timothy 3:16, NIV), so I can trust it.

So what does the Bible tell me about my God?
• He is Creator (Genesis 1).
• He is Father (Matthew 6:9).
• He is Shepherd (Psalm 23).
• He is Redeemer (Isaiah 47:4).
• He is Strength (Psalm 73:26).
• He is Shelter (Psalm 91:2).
• He is Rock (Psalm 18:2).
• He is Strong tower (Psalm 61:3).
• He is Comforter (Isaiah 40:1).
• He is Present help (Psalm 46:1).
• He is Savior (Luke 1:47).
• He is Friend (John 15:15).
• He is Healer (Psalm 107:20).
• He is Deliverer (Exodus 13, 14).
• He is First Love (Revelation 2:4).

These are just a few things about God; there is so much more– no wonder that song says He is INDESCRIBABLE!!. The list can go on for days. The Scriptures are just a few of the many that point me to who God is– and ultimately who He wants to be to me.

The second source is my life and my continuous relationship with my Maker. I rededicated my life to God on October 13, 2013, a week before I turned 21. I got baptized December 4th of the same year. The journey hasn’t been easy but God has proved Himself over and over again. I have learned that God is my best friend, my burden bearer, the One who holds my tears, my defender, my husband, the Calmer of my heart, my trust, my helper, my master, my leader, my physician, my might, the strength of my heart, my teacher, my corrector, my truth, my life, my forgiver, my provider, my one true love, the architect of my life, the one to whom I surrender, the Holy Spirit, the all sufficient one, Grace, Truth, Beauty; in short, I am learning, every single day, that He is everything I need.

In all honesty, sometimes I forget who God is and has been to me. But I thank Him because day after day He shows me His steadfast love (Lamentations 3:22-24).

I am still a work in progress, but I have God, who is perfect and perfection. Indeed, He is…

Song: “Everything”, by Tye Tribbett                                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWVn6MCExjA

Mercy, Mercy

“Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ…” (Ephesians 2:3-5).

I love God! And that is just putting it lightly. God is literally everything to me. Sometimes I think I’m crazy because sometimes I think my mortal mind can’t handle the fact that a magnanimous God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth LOVES me! Like, what?!

God has so many qualities. The one that I’ve been most recently exposed to is His mercy. I have had a very hard time understanding God’s mercy because it doesn’t make sense. The way the world works is that if you do something wrong, you have to face the consequences. But the way God works is that He sent Jesus to die for the consequences of my wrongdoings and Jesus’ death, His finished work on the cross, is still availing me today. That’s my understanding of God’s mercy towards me.

With this mercy comes certain privileges like confessing my sins and knowing the blood of Jesus has covered it, that I don’t have to pay for it. You see, sin is deadly.

Continue reading “Mercy, Mercy”

Rejected? How Long Will I Mourn?

“The Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul…’ ” (1st Samuel 16:1, NIV)

Rejection? I know it. I think a lot of us have been rejected at least once in our lives; some people deal with it better than others. As for me, I hate it, but by God’s grace I’m learning to pick myself back up and keep moving on in the strength of God. Still, rejection sucks, especially on the romantic end of things.

I have had my own share of rejection when it comes to guys. I have had one relationship– the other one that I would’ve considered a relationship, the guy at the end of the day said there was never a relationship (that’s another topic for another time). Neither of them chose me. It hurt. When something like that happens it messes with you. How can someone who made grand promises of love and affection one day turn around and act as if you never mattered? What’s worse? Continue reading “Rejected? How Long Will I Mourn?”