Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tumultuous or Triumphant Thursdays I

Tumultuous  Triumphant Thursdays I

The Baltimore downpour - tumultuous and heavy explains this perfect thursday on the outside. Underneath however, we all know that He gives us triumphant victory... we just need to burst open the hardened covering of turmoil to show the triumph He has given.

Enjoy the rain and a song of questions!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wishy Wednesdays I

You succeed and suddenly you feel too light for the ground

I wish I could float in air today.

You hunger and thirst to an unfathomable point

I wish I could be filled and overflowing today.

You are tired – its been a hard day of life, and you just want to relax

… I wish  I could spend all the days of my life as a couch potatoe.

Wishy wish wishes.

Wednesdays are all about satisfaction, rather than wishes. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Turnover Tuesdays I

It turns out that sitting across a landscape pond buttressed by trees, whose leaves attempt to evade the setting of autumn without success, is peaceful. Somehow I’ve spent the past four years here and must have passed this spot a million times over, and I never noticed how calming it could be. I’ve found other cute silent niches across campus, and yet, the very obvious one was oblivious to me.  

Funny, life can be ironic like that.

I’m guessing there is irony in being let down by the people you thought would always be by your side?
I’m guessing there is irony in me and you mistaking the reason that God sent His son to dwell with us?
I’m guessing there is irony is me sitting here relaxing but still working?

Not so funny.

Everyone in Israel was waiting for the promised Messiah… you know the one of whom was said:
            “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9 vs 6 (KJV).
They wanted retaliation against the Roman government. They wanted freedom form physical oppression, physical pain, physical poverty… everything needed to be turned over in the physical.

He didn’t come to do that… *shocked look on my face in physical pain (not literally!)*

What then did He come for?

“He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” – Luke 24: 25-27 (NIV).
So he wasn’t set on liberating just the physical pain… emotional hurt… mental abuse etc… It was more than that. Complete turnover actually. He came to free us (me of not just my physical face pain (pain not literal!) but also my soul pain).

I just want all my worries to go away. We just want all our worries to go away. The Israelites just wanted the Romans to go away and so they mistook the mission of the Messiah.

I’ve been making such mistakes – thinking I just need Him to get through life, thinking since He saved my soul then what is the point of all this meandering

            Its just got be all meaningless – this life. So what is the point?

But then He cared enough to leave His Heavenly business to spend 33 years among us. He knew that He alone could give hope to mankind. So He died on all of our behalf, was made sin such that if we believed in this crazy idea, we would be saved.

Its crazy – ever heard of a King who died for His people?

Its mind-boggling – ever heard of a King who not only has the power to heal those physical worries (yup! He could’ve just called fire and brimstone on the Romans, and yet He didn’t) and also save your soul at the same time?

This realization makes me do a complete turnover everytime… and yet, I always forget time without number what He has done for me, and I fall and stain the beautiful robes He has adorned me with.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Meandering Mondays I

I can’t wait to meet you…
To know you
To love you

I can’t wait to hold you
And present you
And love you

I can’t wait to tickle you
To make you laugh
To make you cry

Somewhere somehow
My heart beats in perfect patience
Thinking of all the times we’ll share
And the smiles we’ll conjure
And the love we’ll share
And the tears we’ll shed

I keep thinking of the perfection
We’ll have
The disappointments we’ll show
The frustrations we’ll bear
And how each of those turns
We’ll be a soothing balm
Continuously reflected
In the mirror of His love
Because he’ll be our ever
Guiding sustenance

The sorrows
The tears
The joy
And the peace
We’ll go through each one…
Because we were designed to
Stick it out in Him.

                                          Mwajim AL.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Acts of Faith: Stepping-Out Part 5

I remember being scared about not knowing how to move on from the inside-out… you know preventing the yardstick of Lot's wife. Its funny because just somehow I’m learning the difference between reminiscing to learn my mistakes and reminiscing to be stuck like Lot’s wife.  When she looked back, it was out of fear for the future, which is okay… you know to be scared of the future. However, she looked back with the intention of never looking forward again. Her heart yearned the things that were against God’s will. She knew His plan was for her to leave, and yet like the four year old who pleads for candy he can’t have, she rescinded His offer. I’m learning to refuse her path… actively realizing that in this new setting I’ve stepped into, I’m letting go of the old gags of idolatry, self-sufficiency, pride and misplaced worth. Learning His way… letting Him day-by-day to teach me to learn His way is a daily and slow realization that He is all I ever need – He alone is self-sufficient. And the best part, is that He knows He is self-sufficient, all He needs is my trust that He is. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

my random convo with you

·      I finally crossed a healing threshold from stepping-out, and some news yesterday threatened to take me steps back… but you know what, God amazingly showed me His grace. I can forgive… I can let go… I can ignore flaws with wisdom because He has strengthened me to do so… Afterall, He forgives my flaws everyday. Who am I not to? So here is to freedom :D

·      (Sigh) I took the GREs on Friday (phew!)… YAY!!! I’m so happy… and blessed. No matter the outcome of my application process this fall, God is in control regardless. Mehn, the big Man up there has been turning stones on my behalf, and most of the time, we don’t see it, but He turns stones on your behalf too :D

·      I dragged God’s name in the mud on Monday. I did something so shameful… and there were repercussions… and I felt like the most condemned sinner in the whole world. I didn’t know how much my guilt had been gripping me, until Thursday night during my campus fellowship night. The speaker spoke on worship. She talked about how worship is a way of life, and it doesn’t matter how much we wish to ignore Him or how much we go astray, at the end of the day, our calling is to worship Him. I realized how much my guilt crept into my personal quiet time – I ignored my morning quiet time, I ignored my night quiet time and I walked around forgetting what the blood of Christ has already done to redeem me. And I forgot that… of course we always fall – always. I’m still being redeemed continuously. You shouldn’t forget that too :D

·      I think I’ve signed up for much more than a regular platter of serving as per my semester load… and yet, I must continue to remember that it is His grace that is sufficient for me. He has been carrying me mysteriously through with strength… amazing isn’t it? And yet, its still something great to thank Him for.. you know people have died of exhaustion. So never neglect to thank him for that 9a.m to 5p.m strength.

·      I went for a concert by the gospel choir at my campus last night. Some guy mentioned how anytime he doesn’t read the word he gets this hunger as though he hasn’t eaten. It reminded me of my point 3. No wonder I felt empty, as though I hadn’t spent enough time with a dear person in a while. I want to be always conscious when I don’t give Him my time of the day – just so that I’m constantly in tune with the fact that I need him. I want to continue to grow in my hunger and thirst and love for Him. You feel content with Him, always. And my prayer for you is to have that personal relationship with Him too you know… the ‘I-can’t-live-without-you’ kind. I want that too :D

o   Have a blessed week mehn :D And don’t forget that He loves you dearly. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Where are you [Mwajim]?

Dark hallow grounds? – Its cold out here, and its hard to even open my mouth.
I can’t open my mouth to eat, speak… talk more of praising.
Unspeakable pain parts from it rather… wails, moans, anguish…

Dark hallow grounds? – It is hard to praise out here… and yet in this same place, King David said:
                  “But as for me, I will always have hope;
                  I will praise you more and more.
                  My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
                  Of your salvation all day long,
                  Though I know not its measure.
                  I will come and proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.
                  Since my youth, O God, you have taught me,
                  And to this day, I declare your marvelous deeds.” Psalms 71 vs 14-17 (NIV)
Even while David was waiting on the Lord, surrounded by enemies, his life hanging on the fringe – a very dreadful situation that I’m sure almost all of us have hardly ever been in, he still cried out to the Lord in praise and gratitude. How much more when we are running low on funds? How much more when we need his healing touch? How much more when we seek his guidance in areas of direction? How much more when we are waiting for a job?

It is much more easier to sing His praises and thank Him when it is all well and good, or when our prayers have been answered in the positive. However, how about while our prayers haven’t been answered yet? How about when the answer is no? Do we still find it in us to praise?

It is a much harder feat… praising him on dark, hollow grounds… I’ve been there. And yet, continually seeking His face and seeing Him being bigger than your circumstance on those grounds… inspires the praise that fills and swells within you that lovely assurance and peace that knows no bounds.

I don’t know where you are right now. However, wherever that may be, dark, hallow grounds or not (especially if you are on dark, hallow grounds), my prayer is that you praise and adore Him for who He is in this dark place. I pray you learn through this period to truly give Him the highest praise and gratitude for how far He has brought you, what He is currently doing in your life, and how far he will take you.

It is alien – I know, why thank Him if He hasn’t done it yet? However, remember that your dark circumstance is a speck before the Sovereign Lord of Hosts. Praise Him, move Him for what He is about to do – and you will be surprised on how much His Love compels Him to inspire change in your spirits. You will never be the same again.

Have a lovely weekend.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sometimes... Shalom.

Sometimes you wonder why He takes the inner-city routes to get you to your destination instead of the highway… I mean isn’t that more direct?

Sometimes you wonder why He takes longer than long to let the answer to your prayers come through… I mean wouldn’t that blare out His care more profusely?

Sometimes you wonder why… and how… and when…

But you know what? He always answers at the perfect time… it never makes sense to me. That is what makes Him so marvelous in my sight. I’m so grateful for all that He has done… what He is doing… what He will continue to do… no matter how long I wander in the wilderness (and believe me, I have been wandering)… even when He brings me into the rainforest (He has graciously provided a beautiful one)… I will continue to praise and adore Him day-by-day… My soul only yearns for Him more in gratitude… and thanks.

So I don’t know what you are going through… what you are waiting on Him for… what you are trusting Him for… one thing I do know is that you should never give up on this Faithful God – the I-am-that-I-am, the one who became flesh and made His dwelling amongst us… never give up on Him because He is able to save and He will save you.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Perfect Control

          I’ve never considered myself as a control-freak – you know the kind that wants all her socks folded in the top drawer, or her laptop positioned a certain way, or her wardrobe color-coded. I would like to think I’m a more laid-back, take it as it comes personality.
         But a take-it-as-it-comes personality doesn’t sit and imagine that life should go as-such-and-such, or that the next step in life is logically this-and-that. I’ve always imagined that I want to do this, or that… I’ve always thought out my next logical plan, and when plan A doesn’t work – of course, plan B is always at bay. One word for that – control-freak.
         One thing that drives a control-freak is fear, fear of diving in, fear of diving out. When presented with opportunities to grow, expand and explore; countless seconds are spent debating the possible routes of failure and devising back-up plans for each of those failures. It is so anti-instinctive to want to take that spontaneous dive and find out what is next. That would be crazy… insane… it would be like free-falling into the arms of gravity. Why would you take a non-calculated risk?
         We all want perfect control – me and you. We all want to know what is next before diving into unknown territory. But if you do know what is ahead, will you still take the next step? My friend D mentioned this to me once, and she said Jesus knew all the suffering that was ahead of him, and yet He still took those dreadful steps to Golgotha where He was crucified and made sin on our behalf…
         I don’t think I would take the next steps if years back I had looked ahead and had seen what was coming. I would have gladly kept to myself and be spared the countless leaps of faith. But if Jesus hadn’t gone on ahead to his crucifixion, if He hadn’t paid the ultimate price on our behalf… we wouldn’t have the freedom to come into His presence… or the sweet fellowship of the Holyspirit that we all enjoy now. If I had continued with calculated risks and fears and hadn’t taken the steps even if I had known, I wouldn’t have grown into this beautiful sculpture that He is still molding second-by-second.
         It is very hard as a control-freak to free-fall – we all want perfect control, and yet, we were never meant to have that perfect control. Perfect control is in God’s hands – always - no matter what you are going through. The hardest part is trusting that.  

Friday, September 3, 2010

Acts of Faith: Stepping-Out Part 4

The fine thing about perspective is that you can’t see where you are going at a certain viewpoint. From a distance, it looks very far, near, nowhere in sight… you just can’t be too sure. Just like Abraham, to his human perspective mind, he didn’t know where he was going or how he was headed to the new land. All he did was obey. The simple act of leaving his father’s land to this new promised land alone showed his willingness to give God a chance to prove that He is able.

I don’t know how he was able to do it, but somehow he survived. He may have been homesick, he may have bargained with God, he may have had doubts, he may have thought he heard wrong. I struggled with how to step-out from the inside-out. Not exactly the clearer of directives to carryout especially when there is no verbatim how-to-do manual.

It is funny though how as time goes on, you muster the strength. Slow, and painful – you look back and pick up the shreds. Piece-by-piece, some more painful than others, you heal slowly. Sometimes you can feel the burning scab, sometimes you just go through the motions… and sometimes you forget. Days go by, times flies and just like Abraham, before you know it, you are owing cattle, and land and you even have a son! Perspective is changing… wow! The seeds of the promise begin to take shape… however only you can see them because its not yet physical… you can see the end-point of your perspective only by your faith. You even wake up one day and just like magic – its as though you never even stepped-out in the first place. However, this time, the package is even better because it’s the initial design He had for you that you hearkened to. It is better because it is triple what you expected. It is better because you allowed him to change you… you allowed Him to show Himself mighty and able on your behalf. You allowed His Name to be glorified through your life.

Stepping-out is always beautiful when God calls you to it. It isn’t easy, but you know rest-assured that He has a better package for you down the road. It is in His nature to give you a better package, His Love compels it. It may not look better at first, and yet, as time unfolds, you’ll be only appreciative.  

So, take that leap,  and Step-Out in Faith.