You matter to God

You matter to God

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Seven Day Christmas Meditations, Seventh Day - Happy Birthday, Jesus

Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called 
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Thank you for coming to us, Emmanuel, 

God with us.

We celebrate you today and always.

Happy Birthday, Jesus.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Seven Day Christmas Meditations, Sixth Day - The Light of the World

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”  John 8:12 


Are you pursuing, following the light just as relentless as the wise men, never giving up until they found Him?  Jesus is the Light of the world.  

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Seven Day Christmas Meditations, Fourth and Fifth Day - Name Above All Names

Philippians 2:5-11

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though he was God,
    he did not think of equality with God
    as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
    he took the humble position of a slave
    and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
    he humbled himself in obedience to God
    and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
    and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Seven Day Christmas Meditations, Third Day - "What Am I Clinging to?"

Philippians 2:6-11

New Living Translation (NLT)

6 Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

          In obedience to the will plan of the Father, Jesus, humbly took the human form, not clinging to His status as God. He gave up His divine privileges out of love of the Father and the people He created (For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16).

          In our own lives, God has an assignment and mission for us to do. But sometimes it is hard to obey especially if there are privileges and personal conveniences that we need to give up. Jesus showed the ultimate example of humility and wholehearted obedience because of love.


  • What is it in my life that I cling to which hinders me to obey God's perfect will and purpose for me? Am I willing to give it up in obedience to God?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Seven Day Christmas Meditations, Second Day - "Good News"

Part of my 10-year old boy's routine in the morning is reading his Bible.  He is in the book of Genesis this time.  But this morning he told me he wanted to read the Christmas story first before Genesis and I said ok.  So he read Luke 2 and part of it was this:

Luke 2:8-11

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 

Then, he turned the page bookmarked at Genesis and this was part of what he read:

Genesis 18:1, 10

The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day.

10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”

My heart was just so overflowing with joy as I listen to him read and the Holy Spirit revealing the message in His Word.  I was awestruck by how God showed such amazing similarities and contrasts in these two stories. 

In both stories, there was  a supernatural appearance and good news.  For the shepherds, it was the good news that the Savior was born.  In the story of Abraham, the Lord told him that he will have a son.  In both cases, the shepherds and Abraham have their longings before they were given their good news.  The shepherds long for the Savior, the Messiah promised to them by God as prophesied in the past.  For Abraham, he was longing to have a son.  And both were answered by God.  These tell me that my dreams and longings matter to God.  He cares.  He hears.  And just like how He took time to give the good news to the marginalized shepherds, neglected and unimportant to society, I know I matter to God.  And everybody else.  My dreams and my heart's longings matter to Him.

The contrast in the stories is the timing.  For the shepherds, their good news was at that very  In the case of Abraham, he had to wait for one year to receive his good news.  This tells me that there are times "today" is the day of God's answer.  But there are situations that there is a waiting time.  But God is faithful to fulfill His promise.

Wow, it is such a wonderful moment to receive such assurance of great love from God.  God is so amazing!!! To Him be all glory and honor and praises!!!


What is my deepest longing this Christmas?  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Seven Day Christmas Meditations, First Day - "What is my part?"

Luke 1:1-4

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a]among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

The book of Luke is the third Gospel.  The author, Luke, was by race an Antiochian, a Gentile and a physician by profession.  He was not a first generation "eyewitness" of the ministry of Jesus. He belonged to the second generation and traveled with Paul. He was not a writer by profession but he wrote the account about Jesus so that his reader may know the certainty of the things that have been taught about the Lord.  Sometimes God asks us to do something for His Kingdom that is out of our comfort zone.  It may not be what we expect but God will empower us to do whatever He asks us to do. 

Luke's motivation and decision and surely submission to the will of God to be a part of what God was doing in his generation was handed down to us and his account of the birth of Christ the Lord is one of the stories we now celebrate.  


What is my part in the story that God is writing in my generation?

What assignment/mission that He is giving me to do to tell His Story?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

When We Believe

          For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

          For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous.  He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins.  For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sins.  People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood.  This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when He held back and did not punish those who sinned in the past, for He was looking ahead and including them in what He would do in this present time.  God did this to demonstrate His righteousness, for He Himself is fair and just, and He declares sinners to be right in His sight when they believe in Jesus.  (Romans 3: 23- 26 New Living Translation)

Jesus said:

          "Don't let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, and trust also in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father's home.  If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.  And you know the way to where I am going."  (John 14:1-3)

         "I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one can come to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)                             

Friday, April 5, 2013

"Bread and Wine"... Book Review. To be released this month

It's a combination of light and heavy.  It's crunchy and crisp.  At times soft and sparkly.  Strong, honest, energetic, full of passion and yet vulnerable and broken.  Shauna Niequist's new book "Bread and Wine" created mixtures of emotions, of textures and flavors that transported me to delicious places of the world and yet anchored and centered me to one place, a table, where life and relationships are shared, munched, chewed, digested.

I love how Shauna shared snippets of her life and the inclusion of recipes at the end of each essay.  Her life experiences ignited different textures, smells, consistencies, tastes just like the combinations of the ingredients in a recipe.  "Bread and Wine" stirred up my senses and imagination urging me to rush to the kitchen and enjoy every moment of not only cooking but more importantly serving the people I love and sharing not just the food but the bits and pieces of my own heart.

"Bread and Wine" is a combination, not only of taste but it also vibrated a rhythm of crescendos and diminuendos, like fire and water, boiling, steaming, simmering,  as Shauna opens her joys and pains, of surprises and anticipations, of predictabilities and uncertainties,some of the very ingredients that create life.  Essentials.

Being our Pastor's daughter, I've seen Shauna not just through her books but as part of the family of the big church we go to.  Some stories in the book mentioned names that are familiar and knowing their stories is like sharing the sumptuous beauty of life that God intended for His family.  It was encouraging to read how their lives intersected and grew through conversations around the table, over food, over bread and wine.  The book brought me some flashbacks of my own precious moments shared over meals with family, friends, even strangers that played parts in my own story.

It always excites  me to invite people at home and like Shauna, I love conversations, sharing laughters and  tears and joys and pains,  on the table.  That's why I share the same reaction as Brene Brown, New York bestselling author in her review of the book, I couldn't put the book down.  It so happened at the time I was reading the book, I had a terrible cough for three weeks and my husband wanted me to just rest and lay on the couch while he did my usual chores.  So I had the time to really read.

Most of all, the book kindled a new fire in my heart to remember the Lord Jesus not just during the communion time in the Church but every time I am on a table.  It impassioned in me how God Himself shared His last moments on earth on the table with His disciples and how in Revelation 3:20, Jesus knocking on the door and whoever opens the door, He will come in and He will share a meal with the person just like a friend.  Wow, the table, the meal, the bread and wine indeed play a big part in God's plan.  Jesus Himself is the Bread of Life.  The wine, His blood that was shed on the cross.  "Bread and Wine" for me is an invitation to life, a life in Christ.  And that life is meant to be shared to the people God sends our way, to be loved, nurtured, fed.

It is a blessing to be reminded of the essence of the table, the tastes and flavors, the conversations, life shared, munched, chewed, digested.

Let's come to the table.

Click on this link: "Bread and Wine" or check it out at Amazon for more information.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The First and Best


          The story of Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve in the Bible, had always been a puzzle to me.  They both gave their gifts to God but I wondered why God did not accept Cain's gift but accepted Abel's. Two Sundays ago's message at the church was a revelation!  It was the principle of first.  Pastor and author, Robert Morris, spoke to our church about giving and this was my big take away:

          In Genesis 4:4-5, it says:  "When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord.  Abel also brought a gift, the best of the firstborn lambs from his flock.  The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but He did not accept Cain and his gift.  This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected."  The key words here are:  some, best of the firstborn.  Cain, a farmer, was not accepted because he did not give the firstfruits of his harvest.  He just gave some of it to the Lord.  On the other hand, Abel, as a shepherd, gave the best of the firstborn lambs from his flock.  Cain did it his way.  He gave  his gift when he wanted, the way he wanted.  Abel did it God's way.  So what does this tell me and how can I apply this to my walk and relationship with God?

         This story of Cain and Abel is just one of the many stories that teach those who believe in the Lord Jesus about tithing.  The tithe is the first tenth that we bring to God from all the blessings He has given to us.  God is God.  He owns everything.  He doesn't need our money.  He doesn't need the ten percent.  It is a matter of the heart. Of gratitude. Of love to the One who first loved us.

Thoughts and Reflections:

Is He really the first in my heart? In my life?

Am I honoring God by bringing Him my first and best 
from all the blessings I receive?  

(For a full message of Pastor Robert Morris, follow the link: Principle of First and watch Simplify part 4).



Friday, January 11, 2013

Newness and Transformation

Proverbs 4:23
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.

               "Garbage in, garbage out." Whatever we allow into our heart will shape us and eventually create the kind of life we live. Whatever we sow into our lives, that we will harvest. If we put in the things of God, the seeds of the Word of God and meditate on them day and night, they will grow in our hearts and produce the growth and bear fruits that will show on how we live. On the other hand, if we allow the things of this world to dominate our thoughts, what we do and where we spend our time, who we listen to, then those things will influence us and shape us.

               Being a stay-at-home mom taught me a great lesson on how to spend my time. In my early days of being home, I would watch daytime shows while taking care of my baby. I watched entertainment and secular talk shows. But then, God worked into my heart. He made me realize that this habit is not helpful to my spiritual journey. The people I was watching were subtly influencing my thoughts and perspectives. I began to be conformed in some ways to the way of thinking of the world that are contrary to the biblical point of view. The opinions and lure of worldly perspectives surreptitiously crept into my own and influenced how I thought. So then, started the subtle conformation to this world. Romans 12:1-2 says: I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. I had to be decisive to choose what kind of things I should allow into my heart so that my life can be conformed to the perfect will of God in my life. I didn't want to miss out on what God wants for me because He only wants the best. I wanted my all to be centered on my relationship with God - body, mind, soul and strength. I wanted everything about me to be about Jesus. After all, my purpose in this world is to love God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength and to love my neighbor as myself (Luke 10:27). So I intentionally and mindfully guarded the things I wanted to enter into my heart. I spent more time in my Bible reading and prayer time and chose to watch biblical teachings from Christian programs instead of secular talk shows, reading more of Christian authors instead of what the latest self-help books are in the market, listening to Christian music and Christian radio programs. These then became a habit. Psalm Chapter 1 was also a powerful mind opener for me as I consciously seek to guard my heart and to follow the ways God want me to take. Verses 1 to 3 says: Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.  2 But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.  3 And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]. 

              Guarding our heart means intentionally watching what we allow into it and sowing seeds that will eventually determine our way of life, our character. I remember I once read: "Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character, sow a character, reap a destiny." It all starts with what we let into our thought or heart. Whatever is in our heart will eventually come out. We have a choice to make. If we want to know Jesus more and love Him deeper, as in any relationships, we have to be intentional in doing things that will help that relationship grow. Personally, this world has nothing for me. As for me, I want to be intentional and mindful of what I will allow into my heart that will lead me into the springs of life, the destiny that God wants for me. As this new year had just begun, there's always newness and freshness in the Word of God that leads to transformation for His greater glory and honor.