Journey: Day 8-10

Sometimes this journey can get a bit rocky, but His word remains my sure foundation.

DAY 8: COMPASSION
Passage: Luke 7:11-17

Reflection – Lord, I need your compassion in my situation. Breathe new life into the places which look and feel dead. Help me to: (Hebrews 12:2 NIV) fix my eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

DAY 9: ARE YOU THE ONE WHO WAS TO COME?
Passage: Luke 7:18-35

Reflection – Sometimes I doubt whether or not Samuel will be healed in this lifetime. But then God’s word says that all that come to Jesus were healed. It also says that “by his stripes we are healed”. Not only that, there is evidence today of people being healed. These all should lead me to curb my doubts.

DAY 10: RECEIVE GRACE IN FAITH
Passage: Luke 7:36-8:3

Reflection – Lord I need your grace when it comes to my family. I can see that I have been very impatient and short with them lately. Please forgive me. Please restore our relationship and bring harmony and peace back into our family life.

– Ames –

Journey: Day 7

Slowly making progress…

Day 7: LORD, BUT JUST SAY THE WORD
Passage: Luke 7:1-10

Reflection – Lord, please give me the faith of the centurion; help me not just to say prayers to you but to also be still to listen to your response and then have the faith to walk in obedience even when it doesn’t make sense.

One thing I know that you have been pressing on my heart is to quit watching TV programs that do not build up my spiritual life. I’ve been resisting and giving excuses but Lord, I want to do your will. I don’t want to let an addiction to TV keep me from my God-given destiny!  Please help me to overcome the desire to just sit down and vege out. Help me to make better use for my time on a regular basis. Amen.

– Ames –

Journey: Day 3

Day 3: Meet my Best New Friend
Passage: Luke 5:1-32

Jesus looks past our exterior and sees the potential of who He can created us to be. He calls us out of darkness into the light.

Reflection – Lord, open my eyes to the opportunities you give me to shine your light in the dark spaces around me. Help me to see past the exterior and see people through your eyes. Give my your compassion and help me to extend your love to those who the world has rejected.

Makes me think of this song.

– Ames –

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excellent

This morning, I was really convicted by the Word of God.

Background:  I decided to try out one of the reading plans from the Bible app, YouVersion yesterday.  My default Bible at the moment on the app is The Message because it’s one that you can download for free.  I chose one of The Overflow Devo by Propaganda which looked interesting and started there.  For some reason, I began reading Day 2’s yesterday instead of Day 1 so when I realised that this morning, I went back to see what the start of the reading plan was meant to be.  This was the passage I read:

Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.

– Colossians 3:23-25, The Message

The accompanying video:

This passage in Colossians really hit home because I know that even though I’ve said with my mouth that I want to honour God with my studies, it hasn’t translated into how I’ve approached my work in the last few weeks.  The way The Message version has worded God’s Truth here has been a wake up call.  Forgive me, Lord. No more getting by with just doing the bare minimum and producing shoddy work just in hopes of a pass.  Our God is a God of excellence and when He put His Name on us, our work should bear witness to that.

And on that note, off to do my best work.

– Ames –

‘bouncing off the walls’

That’s how I would describe how I feel right now.  I must have been living out such a dampened version of myself for so long that I’d forgotten just how amazing it is to be completely free and fully alive in Christ!  I imagine this is how some people feel like after they have received Christ for the first time after living in darkness for many years… to have the light switches flicked on and the world become bright, beautiful and technicolour :).

By the grace of God, I grew up in a strong Christian home.  There hasn’t been a day where I was not aware that God loved me and for that I am so thankful.  However, because of such a strong foundation, there was also no miraculous conversion story – my faith journey had always been a steady one of gradual growth and maturity up to October 2009.  This is not necessarily a bad thing but I think I began to settle into a comfortable kind of Christianity, where prayer and reading the Bible was more about what I wanted and thought I needed and very little about practically reaching out to the lost souls that are crying out for a Saviour.  I think I became complacent and started living out from a place of working for my righteousness rather than depending on God’s grace in all areas of my life.  It became time for God to shake me out of my self-focused Christian stupor.

I remember once secretly wishing that I had an awesome testimony like the drug dealers and prostitutes who suddenly surrender their lives to Christ after an encounter with God.  I wished that I would have an amazing story to tell people where they would just get blown away with God’s grace and love.  Be careful of what you wish for as you might just get more than you bargained for lol.

Continue reading

Pre-forgiveness is prerequisite before you can truly forgive someone | Rick Thomas

Found this interesting:Pre-forgiveness is prerequisite before you can truly forgive someone | Rick Thomas.

From my personal experience, I think I just jumped straight to ‘forgiveness’ because it was the ‘Christian’ thing to do rather than work it through with God and allow Him to ‘adjust my heart so that I could genuinely forgive. In hindsight, that’s probably why I swung from being ok with stuff that had happened and resentment, bitterness or discouragement.

“You will be like a kite in the wind. Your response to the offender will depend on how you’re feeling, the type of sin sinned against you, the kind of relationship you have with the person, their attitude, your attitude, and the cravings of your heart.”

I think I am at Step 4 now-“The sin has been neutralized so you can discuss it from God’s perspective, your perspective, and the former offender’s perspective.”

“We must, by the grace of God, filter the events of our lives through the filter of God’s sovereignty. We then humbly accept those events as part of His good work in our lives. If we do this then we have a mature understanding and practice of biblical forgiveness.”

I can see now how God has used what has happened… to be expanded later.
♥ Ames

I can do nothing

My first assessment task for semester 2 is tomorrow… yet I find myself prancing around the house to the rhythm of ‘You Two’ (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has been on replay in our family), sneaking bites of freshly baked almond cookies (yum!) and feeling generally carefree (after some solid studying though)… I think my mind is jumping forward to the other side of the assessment where I’ll get to spend some sunshine time with my dearest BFF and then my Universe guys… simply joys :). 

Yesterday actually turned out to be an off-day and by the end of it, I felt so deflated and almost in tears… I was just frustrated at my seemingly lack of ability to verbally share God’s love with those walking in darkness around me.  Then a timely word during family devo from Jeremiah 29:12.  I had heard of and memorised the verse before it but I never recalled reading this verse: “In those days, you will pray and I will listen.” I put my head down and just wept.  Suddenly, all the pressure I’d put on myself to ‘perform’, to do, do, do for God evaporated.  I was reminded that apart from Him, we can do nothing.  In and of ourselves we’re powerless to live the Christian life.  It’s only by His spirit in us, teaching us and working in and through us, that we’re empowered to take ground for the Kingdom.  That’s probably where this amazing peace about all situations has come from. 

I’m learning (once again) to celebrate the progress that has been made.  I’m not where I want to be yet but thank God I’m not where I used to be (in many areas of my life).  Instead of doing things out of my own strength, I’m learning to turn things out of my control over to Him and trust that He will provide all my needs. 

A flashback from the past seemed to seep into my mind last week and as I thoughtlessly began to relive the hurt again, I stopped – ‘Wait, I shouldn’t be affected by this anymore’ and dismissed the thought.  When it began to resurface again, I started to pray, ‘Help me forget, help me forget.’  Soon the thought diminished and all was well again.  I guess there are times when I think I can handle this practice of forgiveness by myself and am humbled once again that I’m not supposed to :).  The goal is to forget completely though how ‘completely’ I’m not sure.  But I trust He’ll work out the limits and let me know ;).

And suddenly tomorrow’s assessment is today’s assessment. 

♥ Ames

mollify

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” – Matthew 5:9.

Mollify:  to appease, to calm down, to pacify

‘Christians should be personal diplomats, seeking to bring the peace of the Lord to all the relationships around us.  In Acts 9, the church in Jerusalem harbored understandable skepticism and animosity toward Saul of Tarsus, who had persecuted them and now claimed to have been converted.  Barnabas took Saul, brought him to the believers, and helped them accept and love him.

To the extent that it’s possible, as far as it depends on us, we should live peacefully with others (Romans 12:18).  The world longs for peace, but true peace can only be found through the Prince of Peace.  As we know Him, we become His special envoys.’ – today’s Turning Points devo

‘In every person who comes near you, look for what is good and strong; rejoice in it; and, as you can, try to imitate it.’ – John Ruskin

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OK, I didn’t take a day off from work for blogging (opps!) but I’ll go and make peace before I put my study cap on for the day :).  Enjoy the Royal Wedding :P.

♥ Ames

[edited] another morning post (you know you love them!)

Seriously, I could stay on Tumblr all day long… so many good vibes lols is it possible to overdose on happiness? Possibly.

BUT, I couldn’t help but want to share this with the few that still read here or whoever may stumble upon this humble blog… I woke up at 2:50am this morning and just couldn’t get back to sleep, so what did I do? I brushed my teeth *cheet cheet cheet cheet cheet cheet cheet cheet cheet* lols, gotta love Play School :D.  Sadly no, this time they didn’t get the better of me so I may have morning breath as I type this (I have had several glasses of water though) BUT, like I said (I know, you’re just like “Get to the point, Ames!”) I read this awesome passage from the Bible and I just had to share it somewhere and since I’m still mainly just reblogging pictures and other cool do-dads over at Tumblr, WordPress is still the place that I’d want to type out anything more than a few sentences (and there I go with a majorly long one again- ha!).

So yes, to this awesome passage…. but BEFORE that (lols- obviously in a bit of a hyper mood- always am when it’s early in the morning!), I just wanted to say that I’ve come across many people who have struggled to find relevance in the Bible, given that it is over 2000 years old.  However, as an ancient text, I find that it is very applicable to any and all situations if you are willing to firstly, give it a chance and then read it with open ears to hear, open eyes to see and an open heart to receive :).

ANYWAY, this is what spoke to me this morning… the prayer of David that became my prayer today (I couldn’t choose just one part of it… it was all good!):

1 O Lord, I give my life to you.
2 I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced,
or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
3 No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.

4 Show me the right path, O Lord;
point out the road for me to follow.
5 Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you.
6 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
which you have shown from long ages past.
7 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
for you are merciful, O Lord.

8 The Lord is good and does what is right;
he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
9 He leads the humble in doing right,
teaching them his way.
10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

11 For the honor of your name, O Lord,
forgive my many, many sins.
12 Who are those who fear the Lord?
He will show them the path they should choose.
13 They will live in prosperity,
and their children will inherit the land.
14 The Lord is a friend to those who fear him.
He teaches them his covenant.
15 My eyes are always on the Lord,
for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.

16 Turn to me and have mercy,
for I am alone and in deep distress.
17 My problems go from bad to worse.
Oh, save me from them all!
18 Feel my pain and see my trouble.
Forgive all my sins.
19 See how many enemies I have
and how viciously they hate me!
20 Protect me! Rescue my life from them!
Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge.
21 May integrity and honesty protect me,
for I put my hope in you.

22 O God, ransom Israel
from all its troubles.

– Psalm 25 (NLT- My Bible must be an older version of the NLT because it was slightly different but still, this is just as good…)

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And it’s official now, Ange and I are doing/going to COLOUR 2012! Woot! Can’t wait!  This will be sisterhood to the max… a glimpse of heaven… and who wouldn’t want that? :)

Life is so exciting and COLOURFUL at the moment… how wonderful it is to be walking faithfully and humbly with OUR GOD!

Readings time :D.

Have a blessed day, everyone!

♥ Ames

P.S. I know I haven’t come back with a song but I assure you there is one here… just waiting on my voice to sound less ‘manly’! ;D

P.P.S. WordPress was very difficult and didn’t let me post this until 5:15am (was finished at 4:45am lols!)!

[addition]

P.P.P.S. On closer reading of my early morning spew, it has come to my attention that I probably didn’t express myself very clearly when I said ‘walking faithfully and humbly’… only God can really tell if someone is being faithful and humble…also, it’s a bit hypocritical to call yourself ‘humble’, right? lols I think what I meant was that I’m humbled to be able to walk along side my Heavenly Father as His daughter, clothed in the righteousness of my Saviour :).

P.P.P.P.S. A person’s expression and overall writing style can betray them… better to write anonymously rather than use a dodgy alias if you don’t want to be known (plus an email address with your initials and last name is a big giveaway).

Like This: There is a time + Amazing Grace

I was reminded again of a beautiful passage of wisdom from the Bible today:

Ecclesiastes 3 (NLT)

A Time for Everything

1 There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

A lot of things have fallen into place lately and after today’s happy news, there is nothing more I can do but point to God’s amazing grace.  I heard this version of the timeless hymn on the way home today…

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found
Was blind, but now I see
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

Chorus:
My chains are gone
I’ve been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, Amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

Chorus(x2)

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine

– Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone), Chris Tomlin

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” – Romans 8:28 (NLT)

I feel totally unworthy and infinitely blessed.  Thank you for Your amazing grace, Your overflowing goodness and Your unfailing love for me.

♥ April