Seeing IN God’s LENS

“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” (Psalm 119:18, NIV).

” ‘So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand’ ” (Isaiah 41:10, NIV). 

” ‘Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?’ says the Lord. ‘Do I close up the wound when I bring to delivery?’ says your God” (Isaiah 66:9, NIV)

 

Yesterday was the start of a new month, so I asked God to give me a divine revelation. HE DID! Ain’t God good?!!?

During my TAWG (time alone with God), I read Song of Songs chapters 5 and 6, and I realized how intimate the beloved and lover are. I told God, “Lord, I want my husband and I to be very intimate, but I want us to be intimate with you.” Then I read a couple of articles about what intimacy means to the Christian, and one of the points was that you can’t be intimate with someone if you don’t know yourself, and you can’t truly know yourself if you don’t know God and how He sees you. That brings me to my revelation: my

SINGLENESS is  Seeing IN God’s LENs

SONY DSC

I dismissed this at the time, but this morning I realized that the Holy Spirit used my corniness and my love of words to reveal to me what has been head knowledge for so long! Thank you, Holy Spirit.

Being single is not a curse, it is not a punishment from God, it doesn’t mean you’ll never be loved, it doesn’t mean that God has forgotten you. I wrestle with these thoughts (strongholds) regularly. No more! I’ve been so busy thinking about whether or not I will be married that I’ve been missing out on what God is doing in me in the here and now. I believe that God purges you, opens your eyes and ears and heart, molds you, and shapes you in this season for Himself, so that His purpose will be fulfilled in you! And if a spouse comes along, the more the merrier 🙂

Seeing (myself, my story, my journey, my future, etc) IN (from) God’s Lens (perspective). That is the most important thing in life. Apply this to all areas of your life, not just singleness.

I’m actually excited to start this new journey. I have said before that I’ve embraced my singleness, but now I embrace it because I know God is working in me, doing something that I can only learn this season, and I don’t want to miss out on it anymore! I want to know God, know who I am in Him, see things the way He sees them; I want to be in God’s heart and mind! And when the time is right for me and my husband  to walk in covenant together, we will be seeing each other, our marriage, our children, our home, our ministry, and others through God’s lens.

To all my single people, don’t fret your singleness, embrace it, even if you are the only single person in your group! Thrive, because God is working in you! Let this period be the period where you get to know yourself, God, and His ways!! Be intimate with God; know Him, know you (No Him, No you).

Do no forget that God has already given you the strength to live fully in this season. Start choosing to see things from your Father’s eyes. It’s refreshing!

Grace and peace to you.

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Day 3: My… All

Today has been a very interesting day.

I woke up from another terrible dream, prayed, and did my morning routine. I listened to a sermon that talked about things that kill marriages (I pray none of our marriages and homes will be destroyed, in Jesus name). Then I went to lunch with one of my friends; we talked about many things– I was able to stock up on some fruits and veggies, so I thank God for that lunch date. Afterwards, I came back to my apartment to find that my wonderful mother had bought me some sweaters; I never expected it! Then this random guy contacted me. Then I had a moment where I wanted to disappear and RUN AWAY FROM EVERYTHING! Then watched a movie about a condition called preeclapsia (http://www.preeclampsia.org/), which made it really scary to be pregnant. Then I went to Nav Night, and the guest speaker shared his story of how he came to Christ, and it really touched my heart; I cried because it’s such a beautiful story, showing us that Jesus is a faithful servant, the most faithful. Now I am writing this blog post/journal.

The one thing that I really wanted to talk about is the fact that the random guy contacted me. He called me, then texted me. It turned out that a lady at my church had given him my number, which I’m not really a fan of– I thank God I was able to let her know my feelings about it in a nice, respectful way. I felt weird because I’m on a man-fast, I’m not supposed to be in contact with any “potentials”– but this man isn’t even close. Anyway, honestly, I wasn’t surprised because it always seems as though every time you want to do something specific, something comes to step in the way to try to distract you. A part of me felt like it was a test from God, but the other part of me felt like I passed. Even if it wasn’t a test, I’m grateful to God that I was able to tell the guy, in the nicest way possible, that I am solely focused on God.

Being focused is a great thing. I feel like I am sensing things more clearly. I feel like I am being put in circumstances where I have to “come face-to-face” with God, myself, my view of God, and my relationship with Him.

Overall, today wasn’t a giddy day like the last two days have been. But, the thing is, one doesn’t quit a commitment because of a bad day. I will continue to keep my eyes and my heart GLUED on my master, my Father, my husband, my savior. Although I can’t say I know who God showed Himself to be today (He was everything), I just thank Him because I just know He was (still is, and will continue to be) with me!

Day 2: My Encourager

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, NIV).

Day 2 went well, glory to God. I thank God for allowing me to start the day in prayer. I woke up today from a terrible dream, but I thank God that the Holy Spirit removed the fear and put me in an act of worship instead. Praise God for that!

After prayer, I washed the bathrooms at my apartment (it was my turn this week; now I don’t have to wash them anymore). Then, and this is the highlight of the day (one of the highlights), one of my friends called to encourage me about my mission! I felt the encouragement of God! I felt the love of God upon me– she went out of her way to encourage me! Here are a few points she made:

  • God has a purpose for me, so I should stop doubting Him. 
  • As a child of God, I can’t make a mistake– even my “mistakes” aren’t mistakes because at the end of the day, everything works together for good. Therefore, I cannot lose (cue Romans 8). 
  • Don’t look at the present situation because our God is a God of the future. 
  • For mission: remember how God confirmed your work to you in the first place. Hold onto that because it is your revelation. 
  • When God gives you something, don’t undermine (or question) it. 
  • Remind yourself why you decided to even do the work of God in the first place. 
  • Remember that destiny involves a breaking. 
  • ASK GOD TO ORDER YOUR STEPS. 

These were the main points of our conversation. I was so happy because it was needed, much needed. It was important for me to be reminded on those things and continue to focus on God and His work in my life. As a missionary, life is hard, but my God is better!

The rest of the day was filled with being in the presence of God. I was of reminded why it is important to have good Christian friends, friends you can watch something with, confirm whether or not it’s in the Bible, encourage each other, get blown away by revelations, and then pray together… It is ABSOLUTELY priceless! My two friends came to visit me, alleviating my alone-ness; it was a pleasure to have them around.

After, we went to choir practice. I came back, had dinner, watched some videos, talked with my pastor (who also encouraged me), and now I am writing this (journal).

I thank God! I’m happy for His encouragement! He sees my future– my future is secure in Him alone! I’m grateful and happy about that!

Now, I’ll go spend some quality time with my Father!

It Seemed Ridiculous to Ask…

Slacker! That’s all I can think about. But, I pray that God will have mercy upon me and will allow me to be a good steward of this platform to proclaim His name. I have put this blog in God’s hands because, after-all, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it” (Psalm 24:1, NIV).

Anyway, I figured a testimony was appropriate to restart my commitment; this blog business started with me wanting to share testimonies 🙂

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TESTIMONY TIME!

 I can only describe my life right now as something a friend of mine said, “Girl, you’re lacking in everything!” This is true. I recently relocated to Amherst, MA in hopes of working (full-time) with The Navigators; but things haven’t exactly gone as expected. So, I need money, which means I need a job (but it could also mean that someone can just generously give me a million dollars… but I’ll stick with reality). Anyway, I need a job, which means I need to send in applications, which means I need some form of device (a laptop) that’ll reach that end. Unfortunately, my laptop, Leo, is reaching the end of his life.

This past couple of months, Leo would turn on but won’t work; so, I have been without a laptop (and none was available for me to use). It didn’t really bother me because before Leo stopped working I had put in a lot of applications and I was expecting call-backs… And I kept expecting call-backs… I am still expecting call-backs. It was obvious I needed to put in more applications, but that meant I would need to go to the library. I did do that one day, but then I realized how very inconvenient the entire process was– I’ll save you the details.

Today was my “Applications Day” day. I woke up this morning and I told God (more like kinda cried and whined) that I didn’t want to go to the library. I wasn’t in the best mood and I just wanted to stay indoors (which is also my natural disposition, my personality, if you will). I didn’t even pray to God about my laptop because I thought it was ridiculous to ask God to fix something like that, something that seemed dead already– also, admittedly, a part of me didn’t believe that God will actually answer because it’s a laptop! Talk about no faith!!! Anyway, I turned on Leo and he works! In fact, I am writing this on my precious Leo!

It is amazing to me how much God cares for me! This blows my mind! He cares for me enough to let my laptop work again, properly, even! I am expecting a job after this– a good one, too, because His blessing “brings wealth and he adds no trouble to it” (Proverbs 10:22, NIV). As a matter of fact, I am expecting a new laptop!

This may make me sound like a spoiled brat, but God did it for me anyway! I am overjoyed. testimony

Praise Jesus with me!

To my Mother (In-Law)

“A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown” (Proverbs 12:4, NIV).

“Adam and Eve were the happiest and the luckiest couple in the world, because neither of them had a mother-in-law.” — Anonymous

The quotation makes me laugh. It’s funny because it’s true. But why do mother-in-laws get a bad rep?

Honestly, the fact that I will one day have a mother-in-law wasn’t  really at the forefront of my mind because I have somehow (subconsciously, I guess) always assumed that I would have the best mother-in-law in the world! That is my prayer. But something changed my mind when a mother at my church advised me to start praying for my husband and his family, because when I marry him, I marry his family as well. I listened.

Two things inspired me to write this letter. One was a Yoruba movie I watched yesterday. In it, a mother put a spell on her son because she didn’t want him to love anyone else above her. The other was the Proverbs 12:4 verse that really caught my attention while having quiet time.

As I think about what kind of mother-in-law I’ll have, I aim, starting now, to be my husband’s crown, adding to him. I pray my mother-in-law understands this.

Dear Mother (In-Law),

Thank you for raising a fine man! I know he will not forget the godly principles you have imparted on him.

As much as I love and respect my husband, I understand that you do, too. Mum, my desire is that you will be a source of guide for me, teaching me how to live with him, love him, care for him, etc. I desire unity in our family. I desire to call you Mum. It is my desire that you take me as your own daughter, love me, scold me, even discipline me.

I want to reassure you that I am not here to replace you or compete with you. But, as it is, God has given me the duty and privilege of being his help meet; this is my mission and priority. I pray I succeed in it everyday. I am his crown, not a crow. I submit, not overpower. I respect, not disgrace. I love my husband; I am the bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. God joined us together in His own divine wisdom. God has allowed him to start his own family, and with God our side, we will excel and flourish.

Take me as your own daughter; I write to you as such. I appreciate you. I pray that God will continue to bless and honor you. May you continue to be your own husband’s crown. My hope is that I will be the best wife to my husband, as the Lord gives me strength and grace. I pray you will continue to pray for me– because when you do, you are also praying for your son.

Don’t forget: we are on the same team, mum.

With Love,
Your Daughter (In-Law)

A God of WHEN

“When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed” (Psalm 126:1, NIV).

I received good news from a very dear friend of mine this morning. As much as there was (is) joy in my heart about what she shared with me, the Word and promise of God in Psalm 126, especially today, has really put me on a whole other level!

Verse 1 really touches my heart. Whoever wrote Psalm 126 didn’t say, “If…”, but “When…”, telling me that my God is a God in charge of time and timing. The problem is we do not know when His “when” is, which means that we have to wait for it, which is a problem for all of us. But, when God promises, He fulfills. When God speaks, it comes to pass. When God saves, it is sure. When God opens a door, it can’t be closed; when He closes a door, it can’t be opened. When God writes your name in the Book of Life, no one can take it away. “When” suggests to me a finality that only God possesses.

It’s not as if I don’t know the character of God; but the thing about the Bible is that the Holy Spirit teaches and re-teaches you things until you fully understand them and transform them into heart knowledge. By the grace of God, I have a different view to my circumstances (Romans 12:1-2). I am convinced now that my God is a God of when, not. As I was reading the chapter I kept telling myself that God will do what He wants to do when He wants to do it. I have accepted my breakthrough by faith!  When God does allow me to be fully funded… when He gives me a husband… when He gives me financial breakthrough… My victory is coming! In fact, it is here! That is the power of my God!

The chapter itself is just very encouraging! I implore you to read it and let it bless you! Apart from that word “When”, the other part that really caught my attention was “we were like men who dreamed” (Psalm 126:1, NIV). What that suggests to me is that perhaps they had lost hope that deliverance will actually come; perhaps they were only dreaming of a freedom they didn’t really believe in. But when it actually happened, I can just imagine them saying “We can’t believe it!” But, I’m here to encourage you today, friends, to believe that your Father in Heaven, when He delivers you and grants your requests, you will be like a dreamer. Hold onto your dreams and the vision you have for your life, marriage, finances, ministry, children, spouse, etc.

Because your God is One who does immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine, the joy and peace you will feel WHEN He shows up and shows off in your life will certainly be immeasurably more than you are even thinking at this moment!

Singing in Croatian ( Pjevanje na hrvatskom)

“Praise the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty” (Psalm 104:1, NIV).

“Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is like you…” (Exodus 15:11, NIV).

This was my project for the week.

I love to sing. I love languages. I love the piano. All these things kind of just came together in this song.

I’ve been learning/studying the Croatian language– and although it’s been hard, I’ve been listening to some Croatian songs; and it just dawned on me that I can (try to) sing in Croatian! It was a challenge and I even doubted myself and my Croatian accept abilities… but glory be to God for even giving me the grace/desire to worship Him this way!

This is one of my favorite songs and I hope it blesses you. Hope my Croatian friends will forgive my very American accent as well hahah 🙂

Disclaimer: Forgive any mistakes you hear on the piano; I’m only a beginner. Also, I used Google Translate to translate the words into Croatian, so if the words are not correct, blame Google haha 🙂

I’m very excited about this, but honestly, God deserves ALL the glory and honor! Hope it blesses you!

Lyrics (In English)

All other gods, they are the works of men.
But you are the most high God.
There is none like you!
Jehovah, you are the most high.
Jehovah, you are the most high God!
Jehovah, Elohim. Jehovah, Adonai.

Lyrics (na hrvatskom )

Svi ostali bog su djela ljudi.
Ali ti si Svevišnji Bog, nitko kao ti.
Jahve, ti si Svevišnji.
Jahve, ti si Svevišnji Bog!
Jahve, Bog. Jahve, Adonai.

God Does the Impossible

” ‘All the trees of the field will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish’ ” (Ezekiel 17:24, NIV).

I admit that I’m not really a fan of the Old Testament– but I will say that my journey through it has been very good. I have never read Ezekiel but this morning I opened to a random part in the Bible and landed on Ezekiel 17 and the last verse really stood out to me. In all honesty, I don’t even remember what the chapter was really about, but I have been thinking about verse 24 all day.

Before going to sleep at 3 am, I watched the trailer for a movie coming up next March. In it, this little girl was really sick but then something happened to her and she was healed; the mother asked how that was possible. I’m guessing the movie is about faith. Faith in God can do the impossible– but it’s not really the faith; it’s God working in the background and our faith receiving it.

So, I’ve been asking myself why. Why does God do the impossible? Why does God change the “natural” order of things?  The answer I keep coming back to is: Because He can! He is God and He can do whatever He wants. This pastor said in a sermon, that God can do eleven months’ work in a day and overwhelm you! He is God. He can even change the way things are supposed to be, according to the world and our own understanding. That verse really hit me because God Himself said that He will bring down the tall tree and raise the low one. I took that and I applied it to my own life. God can make me the president of a company one day; He can make me the manager of an organization one day; He can give me all my heart’s desires, especially for this year, today if He wants to. On the other hand, He can also allow me to experience what Job experienced.

But why would God do these things? I mean, He doesn’t have to prove Himself to us. I believe He does it out of love. You know, God’s love and faithfulness is everlasting! He cannot help Himself but love us! So, if God takes you from having $2 in your account to having $2,000,000 in a matter of 24 hours, it’s because He loves you! And if He decides to reverse that and make you go from having $2,000,000 to having $2 in a matter of 24 hours, it is also out of love!

So, why does God do the impossible? Because He can and because He wants to show His love, power, strength, faithfulness, majesty, etc. to me and you. One thing I have always loved about God, even before I gave my life to Him, is the fact that He doesn’t lord the fact that He is God over us. However, He is always reaching out to each of us, one way or the other. May we recognize His reaching out and accept Him!

Amen!

Bring Your 5 Loaves and 2 Fish

” ‘How many loaves do you have?’ he asked. ‘Go and see’ ” (Mark 6:38, NIV).

The 16-Day Challenge is when you read the book of Mark for the first 16 days in November. It’s exciting to read Mark again; I’m re-learning a lot of things. Unfortunately, I haven’t been consistent with the days so I read chapter 6 today. When I read the part where Jesus fed the 5000 men (which may really be more like 20,000 people, considering women and children) I understood– more like realized–something: All we have to do is bring what we have and watch Jesus use it for His glory. 

I can hear some of my siblings in the Lord saying, “Duh! You just learned that?!” Well, I thank God for allowing me to learn this. Lets look at what the Bible shows us. Jesus had compassion on the people, He spent time with them and taught them.The best part is that Jesus didn’t send them home because they were filled with the Word! He understood that while we are in these mortal bodies, we still have basic necessities that must be met. What really strikes me is that Jesus could have rained manna down from heaven, He could’ve even turned the stones into bread; but He decided to involve His disciples in the process of this miracle.

I wonder why Jesus asked them how much food they had… because He must have known; they had been together, right? I believe Jesus asked them the question because He wanted them to realize that they didn’t have enough for the great “sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34); they couldn’t feed the multitude by themselves. I also believe that He asked them the question in order to show them that God is greater than the little they had and that He is far greater than the multitude they were facing. The Bible tells us that Jesus took what they had, gave thanks, broke it, and distributed it. And at the end of it, all glory went back to God, which is the way we should live our lives!

Friends, I encourage you today to bring your 5 loaves and 2 fish– watch God feed millions with it! God already knows what you have, and what seems little to you can be turned into something great in the hands of the great I AM! Is it your time? Give it to Jesus. Your money, your plans, your career, give it all to Jesus. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is a lot of work and on our own, we can’t feed the millions of souls out there– I think that the earlier we even realize that we can’t do it by ourselves, the faster the process will be (I don’t have any stats on that, however). So, give your little to Jesus and watch Him do the extraordinary with ordinary people like you and me. Let Jesus take what you have, honor God with it, break and multiply it, and use you to change your community!

Are you willing?

I Don’t Feel Like It

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10, NIV).

Ring- for blog post

He put a ring on it!

No, I’m not engaged… yet, but God put a ring on it! The ring is symbolic of my commitment to Him; it reminds me that I am His first and always before I am my husband’s.

I wear the ring on Wednesdays because I like Wednesdays; I choose to dress up, be girly, be reminded of my commitment to God (not that I am not reminded everyday)… Today was different, though, because I didn’t feel like doing all of that; I was a bit angry with God. Praying was like pulling teeth, thanksgiving was even worse; quiet time was hard to do.

But while talking to God about why I didn’t want to do anything today, I believe God spoke to me and said: When you’re married, what would you do when you don’t feel like being a wife? I thought about it and wondered whether I would run away or give my husband the ring back. But I learned a lesson in my discourse with God: it’s not about the ring, but the person. It is not about the ring but the person.

My commitment to God should not be about a ring I put on my finger or the level of happiness I feel; it should not be about whether or not God gives me the million dollars I’ve been praying for or the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. What if I never get those things, would I say “Forget you, God”? No. The lesson: my commitment to God is not based on whether I feel like committing; it is based on His character: the steadfastness, the faithfulness, the great love, the kindness, the righteousness, the holiness, the goodness, the justice. It is always about who He is.

Bringing this to marriage, although I am not married yet, I now know that, by God’s grace, when I don’t feel like being a wife, I won’t take my ring off or stop cooking for my husband– regardless, my status as a wife won’t change based on my feelings. Being married is a commitment– love is a decision backed by action. So, I will commit and still love, respect, honor, and submit to my husband because he is God’s choice for me. I will (must) remember who he is, his character, why God chose him for me, his love for me, etc.

A lot of us don’t feel like doing a lot of things, but we want the results of those things, right? But, imagine if God deals with us based on His feelings! My friends, let us continue to commit to God regardless of our feelings– this is not to say that our feelings do not matter to God. Let us continue in our relationship with him, knowing that His strength and mighty power is at work in us; that He is indeed God. And this will extend to all our other relationships.