Something New: A Recipe

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19, NIV)

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1, NLT).

I need newness in my life!

My phone is dying, my laptop is dead, my clothes are worn and torn; I need a car, a job, money; I need to be fully funded by January but I am only 7% funded; student loans are piling up and I am just tired of Sallie Mae calling, emailing, and sending me letters; my body is in pain, my heart is heavy; I’m struggling with loneliness, heartache, self esteem…. I can continue but I’ll stop. It’s been the same story since the beginning of 2015; 2016 is almost here and I desire a new song!

It’s in this state of mind that I approached God. Immediately, the Isaiah 43 passage came to my mind. I love the NIV use of the word “perceive” because it’s God asking me, “My daughter, I AM doing something new with you, but why aren’t you aware of it yet?” I had no answer; I still don’t. But, God still extended His grace to me by calling my attention to today’s verse of the day, Hebrews 11:1. My response was what that boy’s father told Jesus, ” ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’ ” (Mark 9:24, ESV). I wasn’t trying to be smart with God, but I was being sincere.

I do want to perceive what God is doing in my life, but my myopic view makes it impossible to even imagine. Do you get what I mean? I do want to trust and believe and live knowing that God’s thoughts and plans for me are good, but it is hard when things seem unchanging. However, I can’t ignore God’s message to me to perceive (become aware, be conscious of the fact, understand, realize, look through the eyes of the Spirit) the work He is doing in me. I must also take it by faith and wait for the manifestation of His work and promises for me.

Therefore, I believe the newness I desire is coming– in fact, it is here! My car, my phone, my laptop, funding, clothes, job, money, vision, growth, self-love, etc. are here– I even desire to have new prayers requests, to stop asking for forgiveness for the same things! If God is my God, then I must believe that His perfect will (what I truly desire) for me is the best for me. All I need is a dash of faith, a whole lot of waiting, and an extra dose of keeping my heart on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable… excellent or praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8, NIV). Changing old habits is hard, but even old dogs can learn new tricks!

So, I have a new journey, something I wasn’t looking for– but my God always knows what I need…

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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!

Waiting: Spoken (Written) Word

I told myself I’ll wait for you…
But innocence was stolen by “Uncle”,
ripped
from my tender heart.
So I gave up.
Stained.

Fast forward:
thought I had found you-
how foolish of me:
wasn’t it supposed to be reversed…
Thought his “love” was going
to cover the multitude of my sins-
but my sin became a burden too
heavy for him to bear.

So I bore myself to myself
and crashed under the weight
of my own burdened lust
that was laid up in my wicked heart-
my heart, too crushed to be revived
by fleeting moans and momentary pleasures.
Until
I saw His love crushed for me
on that wooden tree.
There, battered, was Christ,
broken for me,
under the burden of my sins.
Yet He rose again, victorious,
giving me a new slate,
burden free, without stain.

Fast forward:
I thought I had found you
again…
A baby in Christ, sipping on that milk,
I gave my old self reign,
even though I am new.
Flesh yielded to flesh,
forgetting that only He
can present me unstained
unto Himself,
but he chose to lie in sin with me,
presenting me unto himself,
unholy,
again
stained…

So I stained my heart
with hate and regret
and the shame became too
much for me
and I longed for grace
that will bring me back to Him
so I tried and I worked and I slaved
but could never really
get it right,
so I fled…
Until
Mercy found me,
crashed into me,
I was ruined,
blinded.
He showed me my end, without you,
without Him.
He removed the scales
from my eyes so I could see
the wrong in what
I thought was right!

So here I am.
With this new light in my eyes,
the clean heart inside of me
I am telling you, husband,
even though I do not know you,
I will wait for you.
I will wait to be found by you.
You are the one God made me
for and from— the man made from
the second Adam,
presented holy, to present me holy to Him.
You have the perfect combination
given only by Him who kept me, hidden,
from me, for you,
to unlock the deepest crevices of my heart.
You know what it means to
love me with the love of Christ,
you know what it is to love me
the way Christ loves his church—
I am the Ephesians 5:25—
to present me to my Father,
without stain or blemish,
only by His grace.

So, I will wait
to be found by you
and I won’t give myself
to every cubic zirconia— false gods
pretending to reflect the true image of the One
who paid the price for me,
His bride.

So, I will wait
for you
to find me—He found me—
And pursue me with the
relentless love,
reckless abandon,
reverent fear of the Lord—
the way only you—He—can.
But understand this:
you are not my Father,
so if God chooses,
in His sovereignty,
to have me love and serve Him
alone
I will wait on Him—
Yet I am never alone,
for He will never leave me, but you can;
for He will never abandon me, but you can.

And at least, death wouldn’t do us part.

Late night musings…

I am trying to sleep. I have a long day ahead of me, but I guess my body is so used to waking up at anytime — I am yet to find a job, so all I do is pretty much wake up and let the day go however it wants to go. But I have to set my alarm clock, you know; hope I wake up on time. Pray for me.

Anyway, I’m just here thinking about what I should write for today. It’s freestyle Friday, as I’d like to call it, meaning I can write whatever I want. I was thinking about writing a poem, but I don’t really want to. So I’ll just jot a few things down and I hope it blesses you somehow.

√ The new Hillsong Worship album is great! It has been on repeat for 9 days now. Each time I get more familiar with the songs and I love them more and more. That should be my relationship with God.
√ I watched a movie called, The Loft. Talk about a twist! At the end, though, I didn’t think all the swearing was necessary. I enjoyed the movie overall, though — I love psychological thrillers!
√ People grieve in different ways, and some ways can be hurtful… I honestly believe only God can heal people the right way.
√ For some days now I’ve been wondering more than usual about someone liking my pictures on Facebook — I just really want that person to talk to me! Perhaps I’m developing a crush?!?! Oh no!!!! I can’t be in my teenage mindset again. I’ll keep my eyes focused on Jesus instead. As long as He likes me, I’m good!
√ I really hope and pray that these writings bless people somehow. I have dreams and visions for this blog! I hope God uses all for His glory.
√ I’ll keep my blogs shorter.
√ I wonder how many people will read this…
√ I want to write!
√ Too sleepy right now.
√ Goodnight and God bless!

Jesus Christ, M.S, Psy.D, D.D, G.C

“I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me” (Psalm 16:7, NIV).

Jesus the counselor

This is me Jesus’ feet, crying, begging, pleading, praying, screaming, bawling. I hate it. I have always thought that being at the feet of Jesus is supposed to be in the form of worship like the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet (John 12:1-11). I look at the picture and I see Jesus consoling a woman who needs a comforter, a counselor. Counseling is my profession– I speak things that are not (yet) as though they are (Romans 4:17)– and by God’s grace I am a good one, AMEN; but, even counselors need counselors because we don’t know everything. The Bible promises us in Isaiah 9:6 that Jesus is the ‘Wonderful Counselor”, which is good for me because this counselor needed one yesterday.

A moment of honesty: I HATE MY LIFE right nowNothing seems– seems– to be going well for me; I have been feeling as if I am an afterthought to God; I have been wondering to myself when will I get a break? When is my breakthrough coming? When will people rejoice with me? I have been feeling less than. For a while I was telling myself that I can’t be feeling those things because an unhappy Christian is an oxymoron– but we are people, too. So I have plastered smiles on my face as if I didn’t feel dead inside– amnesia or death seemed reasonable to me. In my distress I understood what David meant when he said, “I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears” (Psalm 6:6, NIV). I am tired of hurting.

Counselors listen to their clients, evaluate their situations, and offer advice. Jesus does this and more (Ephesians 3:20). He acts in light of eternity. Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12:2), the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8), doesn’t just advice, He resolves; He knows my end because He had chosen me from the beginning (Jeremiah 1:5). Last night was not the first time I cried to Jesus; like counselors, He has been with me every step of the way– and I know that there is no end to our counselor-client relationship, so I am secure. In moving forward, I will remember, by His grace, His promises and, like David said, my heart will instruct and remind me of my God!

Openness and honesty are important in a counseling relationship. I thank God that I was able to be raw with Him. I was so angry at God like clients get angry at those trying to help them. Unfortunately we forget that those in the position of helping us tend to know more/better than what we know, which is exactly why we go to them in the first place. I doubted whether God is indeed for me. I questioned His love for me, even though His Word reminds me continuously of His unfailing love! Still, though, I thank God for mercy!

Jesus Christ is the Greatest Counselor. I woke up this morning aware of God’s goodness. Last night I demanded that God should tell me that everything is going to be ok– all this after He used one of my closest friends to pray with me and give me godly counsel– but God being a merciful Father answered me. I read a devotional this morning that admonished that waiting on God is worth it. In my quiet time I read some Psalms– #irony– and one part that really hit home for me was Psalm 40:1, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry” (NIV). I believe that is God telling me it is already well with me because when God hears, He acts, and when He acts, it is awesome. So, I’ll just continue waiting because I now know–KNOW– that God hears me. The patience part is just frustrating.

I imagine walking into Jesus’ counseling office. I see on His door: Jesus Christ, M.S., Psy.D, D.D, G.C, displaying His credentials, not because He has to but because people feel better seeing acronyms next to someone’s name. Jesus Christ, Master of the Soul, Doctor of (my) Psychology, Doctor of Doctors, Great Counselor– of course Jesus will stop there because He is humble.

What am I telling you? We all need a counselor who never gets tired of seeing us or hearing from us. His name is Jesus. You won’t regret it.

Heart Matters

“the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people…” (1st Samuel 13:14, NIV).

I think we can all agree that the heart of anyone is very important because our actions start in the heart– it’s all a process, you know. The heart matters. I think of the song that says Lord, I give you my heart… When we give God our hearts, that means we hand over our totality to Him alone, knowing that He will mold it and remold it and polish it to become like His; and the end goal of our surrender is that we look more like Him, showcasing Him to this broken world. So, what does all this have to do with me?

Well, I love the heart! When discussions of matters of the heart come up I get excited because I just want to glean from people, and grow; I also want to be aware of the state of my heart, checking to see if it aligns with God’s own heart– I desire to be a woman after God’s heart!. And when it comes to relationships, not just romantic ones, even friendships, I pray that the heart of the person I am interacting with is aligned with God.

At the end of the day, though, when thinking about my future, I want my husband to be a man after God’s heart. Think about it: if the man is the head of the house as Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23), wouldn’t you want him to be led by the Spirit of God? I desire a husband whose heart and will and totality will be conformed to the will of God so much so that God will look at him and say this is my son, in whom I am well pleased.

Why was David the greatest king in Israel? Because he was a man after God’s heart– that’s a very high calling! To be a man (or woman) after God’s heart means recognizing who God is, His unchanging character, His steadfast love. It means living in the fear of the Lord. It means surrendering your life to Him. It means hating what He hates and loving what He loves. It means living by faith and not by sight. It means leading those entrusted to you with the realization of your accountability for them. It means accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior and King. It means living a worship lifestyle. It means seeking first the kingdom of God, knowing that He will give you all you need. It means gazing upon the beauty of God. It means seeking Him for the rest of your life. It means that when you mess up you know you have a Father who will forgive you and receive you back. It means lifting up your eyes to God when trouble comes. It means walking in your destiny, knowing that God is with you and for you. In a nutshell, it means following your Shepherd like the sheep that you are, trusting that His thoughts and plans for you are of good and not of evil, to give you hope and a future with and in Him (Jeremiah 29:11).

It’s a high calling, alright. But like Paul said, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13, NIV). So, I want my husband to be a man after God’s heart. My prayer for him is that he surrenders his heart to God and just allows God to lead him. I want my husband, my king, to be led by my Father because then we will never go wrong– after all, “those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14, NIV). I want a marriage that will reflect God Himself; what better way to do that than to look upon the One we are trying to conform to.

So, husband, I give God your heart. I pray that you will surrender to Him alone. I pray that God will be Lord over you and me and our marriage and our children. In Jesus name, amen!

Funny… I was going to write about waiting. Guess my heart has just been poured out. Look at God!!

Even When it Hurts

heart

“Take this mountain weight. Take these ocean tears. Hold me through the trial, come like hope again” (“Even When It Hurts”, Hillsong).

I woke up this morning with heaviness in my heart. I didn’t understand it because nothing prompted it. So, I did what I know how to do; I prayed. What was supposed to be a regular praying time with my Father turned into a bawling session with my Counselor. I admitted to God that I didn’t even know why I was crying. God being God reminded me of Romans 8:26, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (NIV). So, I just gave in, trusting that the Holy Spirit was at work. I was comforted that God knew what each tear represented. Did that make me feel better? No.

Once I start crying out loud, it is impossible for me to stop; I will continue until I am physically unable to cry anymore. As I cried, I kept thinking about the fact that I am hurting. This year has been one challenge after another, and I kept asking God this morning, “When will it end, God?!” I just want it all to end. I want to feel remembered by God. I admit to God that I felt like an afterthought on His list of people to help. I found myself saying, like David in Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (verse 1, NIV). Truth is, even while writing this, I still feel hurt. But the question I posed to myself is this: Does that somehow change who God is?

God is constant. When He promises, He fulfills; His words are yea and amen; His thoughts and plans for me are not to hurt me but to give me hope and a future; I am worth the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to Him… I can keep going, but it still doesn’t change the hurt I feel. Someone once told me that unfortunately for me, no one can help me or encourage me when I’m feeling down because I know the truth about who God is. I don’t want to be sad or depressed while knowing who God is and what He is about, but I am… Is that sinful? Is that bad? I don’t know.

While having my quiet time I only read Psalm 23, one of my favorite psalms. Verse 4 stood out to me, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (NIV). What this verse says to me is that just because I have a Shepherd doesn’t mean I won’t face trouble. The good news is that He is with me. My Shepherd has a rod– it is used to protect me from any evil that may want to come my way; it is also used to discipline me because my Shepherd loves me (Proverbs 3:12)– and a staff– this is used to comfort me and to direct my path. I should be comforted by these truths! I must be comforted by these truths!

I kept crying this morning, asking Jesus why He has forgotten about me– it seems to me as if everything coming my way is somehow delayed– but I had forgotten His promise to me that He will never leave me or abandon me ( Deuteronomy 31:6). What I need to do is get these truths to be heart knowledge. Walking is Jesus is HARD, friends! But if David can say even when– “when” means it will happen– he walks through the valley of the shadow of death, he won’t be scared; if David can say this and believe it, then I can too! I think it was Charles Spurgeon who commented on this thought and said that a shadow means there is a light somewhere, meaning that God’s light (Jesus Christ) is ever present, even in the midst of my storms and challenges.

What is the application for me? Well, I need to feed more on the word of God until my very being believes it, until the Word of God becomes my bread and livelihood! I want to be able to praise God even when everything is crumbling down around me! I want to look at the storms in the eye and tell them that they are just fronting because my Shepherd has overcome the world. This is not to say that I won’t feel hurt, but it means that I won’t dwell on that hurt and be depressed all the time. God remains God regardless of what I go through or what I do, and I don’t want anything to cloud my view of Him.

Throughout this day I have been reciting verse 4 to myself, becoming more real to me each time. God is with me and He is for me. So, even when it hurts, even when the storms are throwing me all about, yet will I stand and praise my God whose steadfast love never ceases.

Funny thing, though, is that God laid a song in my heart which says, “You turned my mourning into dancing again. You lifted my sorrows, I can’t stay silent; I must sing for my joy has come!” I wonder if this was the same song David that was in David’s heart when he wrote this psalm.pic

Help Wanted

image

“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me” (Psalm 54:4, NIV).

Being an unemployed young lady, seeing a “Help Wanted” sign makes me happy because I know that I have a chance of getting hired. But honestly, what really gets me excited is the fact that I get to help those who need it! In case you haven’t guessed it, I love to help people. I don’t really know why, but I thank God that He has put the desire in me to even want to help those around it. He is teaching me to help them the way they need it, not the way I think they should be helped.

Anyway, I’ve been privileged to be in the position of helping those around me who needed help, either through prayer or helping them move things around or simply being there for them. It’s been an absolute pleasure as well! Lately I’ve been thinking to myself that I could be a professional helper, living day by day, having clients I can help. That actually makes me happy! God’s will be done hahaha!!

Today, however, I realized that I can only help for so long. What am I talking about? I am tired! I don’t think I’ve ever felt so tired before. I kept thinking to myself today: how can I be of help to anyone when I’m even too tired to move from point A to point B? As I was thinking about this, I realized that God never gets tired! Can you imagine that?! Imagine the billions of people in the world; now imagine the millions who pray daily to Him for help. Still, He reaches out to people, wanting to help them. So, when David said that God is his sustainer, I know what he means.

The people I have been privileged to help only had me for a few hours– this is not to boast, but to show my own limitations as a human being. But God is ALWAYS there! He is always ready to be of help to us, to take our burdens, to give us rest; plus, He is everlasting, the ever present help when we need it. So, friends, when in need of help, go to God! He will be there for you, every step of the way! Man can only help for so long until he gets tired or weak or disinterested. But God made you, and yes, He wants to be there for you! Turn to Him!

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!