Prayer and Fasting Season

How do we start our year right?

Prayer and Fasting!

The year 2015 will  be our best year so far when we truthfully decide to dedicate the first month of the year to God. A heart that is humbled and fully surrendered before God is a heart worth blessing. More than the prayer requests made, prayer and fasting draw us closer to our Creator. It deepens our love and longing for His presence in our lives.

When we get serious in seeking Him, we will surely find Him. The scriptures say in Jeremiah 29:13, if you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. See, our living God wants to be found! He wants us to know His character, identify His presence and enjoy His company. God wants to be with us and around us. Seeking Him first above all else brings joy in His heart. What a joy it will be when we bring a smile to our Heavenly Father’s face.

Depriving ourselves temporarily of the things we do everyday and spend quality time soaking in God’s presence and kneeling before Him in prayer increases our intimacy with Him.  It makes us realized that apart from God we are nothing. Moreover, His presence brings peace – PEACE we can never achieve on our own. The Bible mentions important people like Ezra, Nehemiah, Queen Esther who prayed and fasted to ask God for guidance in every decisions, protection against their enemies and approval for their requests.  They knew from the beginning that success comes from God alone. They knew that if God is with them who can be against them. Our Savior, Jesus Christ fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. Why won’t we?

prayer and fasting post

Personally, I am excited of what God will do for me, my family and ministry this year. What are you excited about?

 

 

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Set-apart woman 101

Last week, I decided to do prayer and fasting. I wanted to be closer to God and to know His thoughts about certain area of my life. Indeed, God didn’t fail to show up when I asked Him to teach me His ways. He was an excellent teacher. I specifically requested Him to be be specific on His answers. It was a fruitful father and daughter week for me. One of the best encounter was day 3 and 4. God open my eyes to an idea that literally and forever change my concept about the human heart – about love. Have you heard about Set Apart Girl blog? This is the ministry of a well-known Christian author Leslie Ludy. She is the author of  Authentic Beauty and co-authored When God Writes Your Love Story.

It brought joy and tears on my eyes as God spoke to me through the writers words of wisdom. After reading one of their write ups, I wanted to immediately share the link to my single and married friends and to you too. I have no doubt you will get inspired and encourage to become a set-apart woman for the Lord.  Here’s my realization after my prayer and fasting:

You are a set-apart woman. This means that you are intentionally groomed and prepared solely to bring glory to God. It doesn’t mean that you can no longer experience longing, desires, pain, hurt or even commit sin. You are a normal human being like anybody else. You cry, laugh and giggle. The only difference is that your Father chose you for a specific purpose that is to influence the lives of people brought to you by Him, to take care of them like what your Daddy God is doing to you.
 
It is but normal for a single woman to desire for a lifetime partner. That is how humans were design from the beginning of time. But that is not your SOLE purpose on earth. Your world shouldn’t revolve on that single idea. You are made for something Big. You can do more while you are still on earth. You are created to love your God and express this deep love to others.
 
Your dreams are not hidden in your Father’s eyes. He knows. He planted those desires the moment you were born and in the abundance of His Kingdom; He is more than willing to provide them all to you. Find your joy and happiness in Him and He will fulfill your hearts dreams and aspiration.
 
set-apart woman
 
 

 

 

 

We too are his children

He Himself fixed beforehand the exact times and the limits of places where  they would live. He did this so that they would look for Him, and perhaps find Him as they felt around for him. Yet God is actually not far from anyone of us as someone has said

“In him we live and move and exist”
It is as some of your poets have said
“We too are his children”

Acts 17:26-28

God is all-knowing. He knows the exact date of our birth and death. He perfectly laid out his plans for you and me before we were born. He chose our parents and siblings. He knows how many strands of hair we have. Believe it or not, He even knows every mole in our body.  We can’t hide anything from the Lord. He knows everything.

We are his beloved children. He knows beforehand that we will ran away from him believing that we can stand on our own two feet. But through the Father’s breath we live. Through the Father’s mercy we are saved. Through His love we are comforted.Through His mercy and grace we are saved.

Often times, we play hide and seek probably caused by our wrong perceptions of the Father. But the truth is, He is just right here waiting for us to come back. All we need to do is call on to him and say, “I’m ready to surrender and give my life back to you, Father God”.
Family

Today, let’s start making the right decision and choose to be part of God’s family. He is patiently waiting for you and me.

The little girl’s dream comes true

The shepherd

I hear the courage in your words
I feel the discipline in your actions
I sense strength as you walk in faith
But most of all, I see sincerity and love in your eyes.

Loving God and His people
A purpose only God can direct
So selfless and true
It penetrates the heart of every person whom you reach out to.

When  I was a little girl, I secretly prayed for a church that will wholeheartedly accept and love me despite my flaws and weaknesses. A church I can call Home. One day, as I knelt down and talked to God, I saw people gathered together and share God’s Word. It somehow gave me a glimmer of hope for the future. As I went on with life the vision faded and life’s struggles and storms clouded my view.  It tossed away the idea of ever finding Home.

But I learned a valuable lesson — God is faithful. He knew the timing was right and He led me to you through my sisters in Christ.  The first time I entered the Lighthouse church in 2012, tears rolled down on my cheeks and it’s as if I heard God say, “Welcome home, my child”.  Added to this, my encounter with Jesus Christ brought me to a new beginning, a better direction and a deeper understanding of God’s love. Best of it all, I never worshiped God the same way again. I have tasted and seen God’s goodness in my life and one of the many answered prayers is the restoration of my family – my sister is back!

In your leadership, I learned that there are a lot of ways in worshipping God. Truth is I discovered my gifts. Then I realized that my Spirit has finally found its rest – A Home. God brought me home with you at Lighthouse. When I decided to join the life group, it dawned on me that my childhood dream came true.

Pastor Lathur and Leah thank you for laying down the foundation, for selflessly sharing your life, and for loving each and every one as your sheep, most especially for never forgetting our names! That means a lot to me. 🙂

A simple gift of appreciation.

image

Encouraging others

Isaiah 35: 4

Tell everyone who is discouraged, be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue coming to punish your enemies.

Squinted-eyes, wrinkles on the forehead, fading voice and strong-forceful gripped on the steel sidebars of the hospital.  Embarrassment was the right term. It was the most embarrassing yet the most unforgettable moment of my life. (there are other factors that made it embarrassing ^_^)  I’m giving birth! I spent five (5) hrs in the labor room, enduring the pain. Honestly, I wanted to give up. On the contrary,the resident doctor didn’t. She kept trying as if she was the one lying on the bed. She found hope in the darkest hour of my life. She indirectly shared her faith and hope with me. What a blessing!

Our Father in heaven is willing to send people to help us in times of need especially when we feel small and helpless. He is our number one encourager, our source of hope.  (Isaiah 43:1) Don’t be afraid – I will save you. I have called you by name – YOU ARE MINE. He will give up everything to win us back. Simply because he loves us. Let us also be an encourager to our brothers and sisters.

Ostrich

Who can oppose Him?

He never changes. No one can oppose him or stop him from doing what he wants to do. He will fulfill what he has planned for me; that plan is just one of the many he has; I tremble with fear before him.

Job 23:13

Great and marvelous are the plans of God. Who can fathom his greatness? None! Only God can do what He does. All I can do is surrender to his will because I know his plans are for the good of all. As the Scripture says, All things work together for good to those who love the Lord.

My heart belongs to the Lord. My soul longs for him. His love is more than enough for me. I will lift my hands and praise my God. I will surrender all that I have for my Heavenly Father. His love is true and faithful. It is a dream come true to be with Him. I stand in awe in the presence of my God. All I can do is sing praises to my Lord and Savior.

Humility in trying times

Psalm 66:10-12

You have put us to the test, God;
as silver us purified by fire,
so you have tested us.
You let us fall into a trap
and placed heavy burdens on our backs
You let our enemies trample us;
we went through fire and flood,
but now you have brought us to a place of safety

Testing is part of our life.

The outcome of these tests depends on how we respond.  And each test can either bring us closer or farther from our Father in Heaven. Remember that God allows us to be tested to shape our hearts according to His will.

Do you know that our life testing glorifies the name of our God and it humbles us? It allows people to see that God is in full control of everything. He sees everything that is happening every fear, doubt, confusion, hurt and pain. God is so powerful that nothing is too difficult for him. Every time we say we can’t, remember that God can. Nothing is impossible with him.

In times of testing, let us cling to our Daddy God. He knows what is best. True, it is normal, very normal that we feel afraid. But don’t allow yourself to be drowned by all these things. Rise up, you are a child of God.

God has all the answers.. He says, don’t worry.. I’m God and I’m in control of all things. Let’s find rest in the Lord.

Journey to Becoming Esther

I went to a funeral wake few months ago and in the most unusual circumstance, I read the most beautiful, eye-opening article (posted on the Chapel’s bulletin board) in my entire life – Becoming Esther by Charo and Paul Washer.  Every single woman desiring, longing to have a lifetime partner should read it before jumping into a serious relationship.  After reading, I realized that single-hood is to be treasured and celebrated every single day. It’s a blessing and not a curse!

The lies of the world clouded the minds of many single women that “the One” may just pass our way or worst will not come if we don’t do our part. Added to this, the thought of growing old alone and lonely creeps in, which results to unmindful decisions of  having someone now than wait for the God-given relationship. Why do we have to go through all the hurt, pain and tears for someone not destined for us? When we can avoid heartaches by simply trusting that God is more than enough. Resting in His faithfulness and promise that He will bring the right person according to his timetable.

This is where impatience sets in and we act based on our emotions which could probably lead to rebellion. This means we go out of God’s protection – Bad idea! As the saying goes don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment.  Instead of grumbling and complaining that you are still SINGLE, why not think of ways to share your skills, talent and time for the Lord. While waiting, spend time with God, he knows your heart more than you do. He will comfort and give you peace when you feel alone. Do worthwhile activities such as volunteering to church activities, visiting the elderly, teaching or feeding the less fortunate.

God has your best interest at hand. Trust Him and believe that great blessing comes to those who patiently wait.

Journey to Becoming Esther

 

 

Be a blessing magnet!!!

Have you read Bo Sanchez’s book entitled: How to Be a Blessing Magnet: 8 Simple Steps to Attract the Miracles You Need Every day? If you haven’t, I suggest you get one.  The book’s message is an eye-opener to me.  It made me realized that our busy day-to-day schedule at work or in school is not a hindrance  to become a blessing to others through our words, actions or deeds.

When you are a blessing magnet, slowly, you’ll realize people are drawn to you naturally because they recognize you as a blessing vessel.  Moreover, sticking with you is beneficial for their spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental development.  So, don’t ever wonder if your friends like to hang out or share their lives with you.

Blessing Magnet

Here are 3 points I liked about Bo’s book.

  • Two wounds.  Bo described a wound as a divine discontent. He wrote when you have a wound, God feels your pain.  The first wound is your personal wound which refers to your challenges or trials in life.  Secondly, the wound of other people. You feel the pain and suffering of people close to you.  Or people you don’t know. The author said when you feel other peoples’ s wounds you develop a powerful wish for them. You become a missionary.

This explains why after I watched the news about the super typhoon Yolanda, I immediately ran to the restroom and burst to tears. Their situation broke my heart.  I prayed so hard for them. 

  • Be thankful in all circumstances.  Bo noted that being thankful is powerful.  He added, when you are thankful, you unlock your happiness.  Moreover, he said that we shouldn’t wait for something to happen before we become thankful.  Make decision to be thankful.

Woo!!! In order to receive immeasurable blessings from our Papa God we need to develop a grateful heart.  A heart that sees things in different perspective.  However, as superior among all creations saying thank you for some is difficult.  Good news! We can be trained to have a thankful heart.

  • Holding on to what you really want or desire.  In order to get a grip on what you really want, you need to write it down and pray about it everyday, Bo wrote.  He stated that when you send out  wish you move the universe to action.

After reading this, I immediately took my pen and notebook. I wrote 7 wishes.  For a while, I thought it’s impossible, yet I’m reminded of the verse in the Bible saying: Nothing is impossible with God.

I hope I encouraged you to read the book.

Special thanks to my friend Bejay for introducing me to this book.  She is a blessing magnet! 🙂

Journey of a set-apart woman

Song of Songs 2:1-2 (NIV)
She
I am a rose of Sharon,
a lily of the valleys.

He
Like a lily among thorns
is my darling among the young women.

Here’s my reflection:

The rose or wild flower (in other translations) is us. Sharon in Hebrew is forest or fertile plain. Lily is then used as a point of comparison. Thorns are where the rose or lily belongs or located.

I was reading the book Authentic Beauty the shaping of a set-apart young woman authored by Leslie Ludy and I only fully comprehend its true meaning when I came across the Song of Songs in my devotional today.  The verses painted a smile on my face. New things were revealed to me.  It made me read the verses in different Bible translations.  The passage in the Song of Songs and Ludy’s book gave me a different perspective of God. Indeed, what Leslie experienced about Jesus as her Prince  is true.

In my journal, I wrote, Lord, in a crowd of women I see myself as ordinary.  I really don’t stand out.  How do you happen to notice me, God? He answered.  I have set you apart among women. Yes, I see you.  I see your beautiful face and I love you.  I realized God is not only God, but also a lover of our souls.  He sees us individually.  His eyes are focused on us. Thinking about it makes my heart skip. Jesus, my Savior is crazy in love with me.  What more can I ask for?

Jesus loves you too!

My heart melt when I read the quote on the last chapter of the book:

Trust Me, My child, He says.  Trust Me with a fuller abandon then you ever have before. Trust Me, as minute succeeds minute, every day of your life, for as long as you live.  And if you become conscious of anything hindering our relationship, do not hurt Me by turning away from Me.  Draw all the closer to Me, come, run to Me.  Allow Me to hide you, to protect you, even from yourself. Tell Me your deepest cares, your every trouble.  Trust Me to keep My hand upon you.  I will never leave you.  I will shape you, mold you, and perfect you.  Do not fear, O child of My love, do not fear.  I love you.

– Amy Carmichael-

set apart

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