Lately, I’ve had those moments where I’m just overwhelmed by God’s grace and His love for me.
I hung out with an old friend and thanked the Lord that I didn’t end up marrying him (and he married someone perfect for him).
I grieved over a broken friendship and had someone to comfort me while the tears fell.
I was supremely blessed by an anointed teacher of the Word of God.
I saw God’s provisions for a lost sister of mine.
My prayers for a spiritual mentor came true!
I spoke about the loving community that God had brought around me in one of the lowest times in my life.
I recalled how much growing has happened in the last 3 years.
I was reminded of how we serve a God that redeems, renews and restores things that we thought were lost.
I realised that sitting across from each other with my kids and your kids running around in the background, isn’t such a far-fetched idea after all :).
And I find myself here on my knees again
Caught up in grace like an avalanche
Nothing compares to this love, love, love
Burning in my heart
– Like An Avalanche, Hillsong
Praise God for His faithfulness.
– Ames –
It’s almost 2am and I just finished my first draft of a lesson plan.
Mind you I did start quite late in the evening and probably procrastinated a lot of that time away in the process.
However, I guess somehow I underestimated (once again) how much time it would take me to complete the task.
I think it had to do a bit with how near impossible it was to map out ‘Human Rights’ as a topic in a 1 hour lesson plan but also how I seem to think that I can just wing it because I have some teaching experience. Sitting down and actually working out when I’m going to say what and what students are going to do when has made me realise that (surprise, surprise) I’m not as capable as I once thought.
This seems to have been the lesson of the last few months. Every time I seem to think I’ve got things under control, I’m knocked off my feet and have to crawl into a foetus position for a few moments before trying to stand up again (OK, that was a bit exaggerated but this late night/early morning has got me feeling a bit dramatic).
Where there are trials though, God’s provision and grace shines much brighter.
I fell on my knees in prayer this morning and later in the day, I received a call for another job interview. Somehow I feel like those two events are connected. I think God’s more inclined to “show up” when we acknowledge that we’re in over our heads and we need him to intervene. If everything was fine and dandy, why would I be so desperate to pray to him? Now I’m not saying that God causes us pain so that we’ll draw near to him, but I believe that He uses all circumstances to grow us, to stretch us, to mature us so that we can continue being perfected in every way like His Son, Jesus. I think it’s also so that He gets the glory and we don’t lol. And because I know that, I can be grateful that I’m still in this waiting period because it means that there’s more that He has yet to teach me in preparation for some big things in the future :).
How exciting is that?
OK better stop here while I’m still making sense…
– Ames –
There were so many passages in this post from RELEVANT Magazine which resonated with me. Though it is about making the most of a breakup, I think the following quote(s) can apply to any situation where things haven’t gone the way we thought they would:
Even at the expense of great pain and heartache, God is far more concerned about our holiness than our happiness.
It hurts when God intervenes and corrects our plans, especially the plans we hold dear to our heart. But it’s supposed to. We need to be reminded that we aren’t in control. Because we inhabit a fallen world, very rarely do our plans line up with God’s plan. This is why plans of a best laid nature often go awry.
A good reminder that I’m not in control, God is. And even though I often make a mess of my life, He’ll turn it around and make it a message of His grace, love and mercy (mess = message = Steven Furtick phrase I suspect).
“…faith is quintessentially a trust in God against the appearance of things, and Christians are often prepared to think and act contra mundum.” – Amesbury, Richard and Newlands, George M., Faith and Human Rights: Christianity and the Global Struggle for Human Dignity
I’m studying for my legal ethics exam at the moment and a key point that has been made in class (that I’ve recorded in my notes) is that a lawyer’s conduct, whether good or bad, will affect the reputation of the profession. Hence, lawyers must do their utmost to act with honesty and integrity. This is our duty (says a not-yet-lawyer) to the court and to clients. How the public perceives the legal profession and whether or not people have faith in the legal profession will depend on how lawyers act. This could also extend beyond the retainer (what they have been commissioned to do by their clients).
Clearly some links with how as Christians we should also take note that our actions will affect the reputation of the followers of Christ and it’s something that we should protect. When we say we are a Christian, we are in essence saying that we are (or endeavour to be) a representation of Christ. That’s serious and it’s not something we should take on lightly. I’m not saying that we can’t make mistakes but when we do, we should own up to them and accept the consequences.
Argh, so much thought could go into this topic/post and there is so much more to say on the topic but will leave it here. Time to head home from the library :D.
Another view on the topic of same-sex marriage.
Still working on piecing my own stance on the matter but it’s helpful to hear the different perspectives, particularly from those from the Christian faith, however, when you mix politics, culture and faith together, there seem to be more shades of grey than black and white.
I think it’s pretty clear that a minister should not be forced to do something that is against their faith or belief. And the Bible remains the authority for the Church and it’s members regardless of the culture of the day. It’s the separation of Church and State and what that means for civil rights that has me in a spin.
Will let it brew in the background for now.
I know I said I was going into hibernation but it seems like I’m posting much more since then lol. Possibly Facebook withdrawal symptoms.
I heard about the International Justice Mission about a year ago but it’s only been today that I’ve come to understand the impact that they are having on the ground against human trafficking. Project Lantern has been the catalyst for the 79% reduction of the exploitation of minors in the Philippines in the last 4 years. That statistic is astounding and further evidence that when faith-based organisations partner up with human rights advocates, positive change is inevitable.
Check our Project Lantern here.
Heard these lyrics for the first time today and fell in love all over again:
Did You raise the sun for me?
Or paint a million stars that I might
Know Your majesty?
Is Your voice upon the wind?
Is everything I’ve known marked
With my maker’s fingerprints?
I can’t imagine life without Him.
‘Cause all You are, is all I want, always
Draw me close in Your arms
Oh God, I wanna be with You
– Always, Hillsong
I’m overwhelmed by His love for me. How He brings people into my life to affirm me and lift me up. The fact that He would choose me and use me… for that, I will be forever grateful.
My life is Yours.
Continuing on from yesterday, I asked myself, What does Easter mean?
Two words came to mind. The first was Redemption. The Bible from the beginning to end is a story of redemption. A story of how God redeems his people time and time again. The Israelites rebel, they suffer the consequences, they repent, God forgives and all is well for a while before the people forget of how good it is to be walking with God and start going their own way again. Each time the repented, the people would need to kill a lamb to atone for their sin – disobedience to God. The lamb would be unblemished to represent purity. From what I’ve heard (I will do more research about this later), there was a process whereby the man (it was always a man in those days) would put his hands on the lamb as a ritual to symbolise that his sin was being transferred into the lamb before it was slaughtered.
But this was only a temporary measure. Continue reading
I’ve been in church since I was a few weeks old and through the years, I’ve heard/sung/played a countless number of hymns. There are some hymns that will always stick in your mind (i.e. ‘Amazing Grace’) and some that you only realise the significance of at different stages in your life. Last Sunday, one hymn became of the latter.
As I sung the words to ‘The Old Rugged Cross’, all of a sudden they weren’t just words on a screen, they were declarations from my heart: