Category Archives: God Moments

Life lessons from the Lord.

The Break-Up or The Breakthrough?

Has anyone given you any good advice on how to break-up with your spouse or girlfriend lately? I think it is time we take into consideration whether we want a break-up or a breakthrough in our relationships.

Today I finished watching the movie, “The Break-Up” with Jennifer Aniston (as Brooke) and Vince Vaughn (as Gary). Both had some unmet expectations and desires that were not fulfilled by the other person. The movie does not portray a Christian relationship because they are both single and living together. I certainly do not advocate couples living together outside of marriage. However, I do believe there are valuable lessons I learned from this movie as I pondered some of the Christian marriages around me and even some of my own friendships. So do you want to know how to break-up? Here’s some pointers from the movie…

1. Focus more on your unmet needs and desires rather than the needs and the desires of the other person. Gary did that well as he wanted to come home and watch television to unwind. Brooke, however, need help in the kitchen as she worked all day and came home to prepare dinner for his and her family.Focusing on our own needs just points to our immaturity and lack of spiritual depth.

2. Rather than communicate your need for love, try to make your spouse jealous with another person. This is sure to turn your spouse off and may cause them to look to other relationships in order to make you jealous as well. This behavior definitely points to our insecurity and the fact that we are using sinful, fleshly behavior to manipulate the other person. Brooke took advice from her boss to make Gary jealous by bringing guys home and Gary retaliated by having several women over his house to play strip poker.

3. Up the Ante! Revenge is a sure way to break-up with your spouse. If you sense they are attacking you, make sure you attack back with a fuller force. It will make you feel good temporarily but will have lasting impact on your marriage or relationship. When Brooke kicked Gary out of the bowling league, he took revenge and bought a pool table which she did not want in the house. Revenge is sweet! This behavior certainly points to our pride and arrogance! It also leaves room for others not to trust us.

4. Shut them out! Don’t let them in! Make sure you shut them out emotionally and cut off any way of encouraging or loving them. Most importantly, make sure you withhold any affection from them. Brooke did that by shutting Gary out of the their room. This points to our weakness and inability to cope.

What was sad to me in the movie was Brooke felt hopelessness and helpless. She told Gary that she broke up with him so he can miss her and want to come back. She wanted him to care about her and show her some interest. Brooke, though used her fleshly strength to try to communicate her need to Gary. When Gary finally got it, he planned a romantic dinner for Brooke in hopes that he may gain her love back. However, her haunting response came through, “I don’t have anything left to give. I don’t feel the same way.”  And they went their separate ways.

The ending made me sad! The thought came to my mind, “Did they really want to break-up or did they want a breakthrough?” Most people I know do not want to break-up, they want a breakthrough, but their fleshly behavior and responses are turning their spouses off and driving them to a break-up rather than a breakthrough. So if you want to a breakthrough in your relationship, here some advice from God’s Word…

1. Pray! Pray that God will help your respond in the spirit and not in the flesh! Pray God will give you the capacity to love your spouse unconditionally. Pray God will help  you notice any unmet expectations that you have and give you wisdom to know if they are realistic or unrealistic. Ephesians 4:22-23  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (NIV)

2. Focus on the needs of the other person rather than your own. Babies cry until their needs are met. You don’t have to cry, or throw a temper tantrum, rather learn to be selfless rather than selfish. Phil:2:3,4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.(NIV)

3. Be kind! Sometimes we treat those we work with or our friends better than we treat our spouses. If we just treat those we love in the same way we treat those we work with, we may have a better relationship with out spouse! Eph. 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (NIV)

The choice for a break-up or breakthrough is really ours. We hold the key in our attitude and behavior whether we are seeking a break-up or breakthrough. I hope and pray that you have not reached a point in your relationship where you have said, “I don’t have anything left to give. I don’t feel the same way.”

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Love Letter to My Savior

Dear Lord Jesus:

I can’t believe it’s been 16 years since that day I chose to follow You. Today, I want to say thank You for pursuing me! When I was scared and hesitant to choose You, You chose meI You calmed my heart when I felt anxious. You were patient when I couldn’t decide. You were persistent when I was going to say no. You pursued me with Your love and loving-kindness. You were patient and kind towards me.

I knew I needed salvation. I knew I needed a Savior and You were the One who was able to save me. So I chose You to be my Savior. Lord, thank you for saving me from my sin and self. Thank you for revealing the depth and height of your saving power in my life. I no longer read about Your saving power or study it, I actually get to experience it! And I got experience YOU! I’ve had the privilege to drink deep of Your love. I’ve been overtaken and overwhelmed as I’ve experienced You to be so many things to me.

I’ve experienced You as my Provider. When I was down to nothing, You let loose the floodgate of heaven to bless me. You are so God who is Rich and Generous and You have been so generous to me.

I’ve experienced You as my Strength. When I wasn’t able to take one more step, You were my Ability. You carried me and the necessary steps for me.

I’ve experienced You as my Comforter, Encourager, and Hope. When I’ve felt discouraged and wanted to throw in the towel, You stretched out Your Holy Hand and grabbed hold of the towel in mid air. You carried the towel for me when I didn’t have the desire to carry it. When things seemed dark and bleak, You opened my eyes to a new perspective and fresh possibilities.

I’ve experienced You as my Lover. When others have rejected me, You were my Acceptance. When others shunned me, You took me in. When others turned their faces from me, You kept Your gaze on me. Your loving eyes warmed my soul.

You have been my Portion and my Peace. You have been my Shield and my Protector. You have been all these things and a plethora more! Thank You for allowing me to not only study about You, but to experience You! I love You and love every experience I’ve had of You. And I pray I get to experience more of You! You are everything to me!!

Today, I just want to say thank You to YOU! Thank You for Your Presence in my life so that I can experience You.

Yours,

Rockie

My Thoughts on Palestine-Israeli Situation

I have been haunted these last few days! The images of women mourning in the streets, young children drowning in a pool of their own blood, and clouds of smoke rising from a missile that just struck a neighborhood. The Palestinian- Israeli conflict has been going on for decades. It has brought a schism between nations, peoples, cities, neighborhoods and families. Each side feels they have the right to that land; each side feels wronged and attacked by the other; each side attacks and lashes out in self-defense, self-righteousness, and even self-defeat. Let’s face it, the situation is a hot mess and we are left in the west trying to understand and make meaning of all of this.

My position on the situation is much different than the vast majority of westerners. On the one hand, I’m a Palestinian woman who has family living in that region. On the other hand, I am in love with a Jewish Man (Jesus Christ). So it is difficult for me to take sides. It is hard for me to hold one particular position. But just like everyone else, I have to make sense of all this mess too. In this blog, I’d like to share with you how I think through this whole situation..

First, I believe that God does not take delight in the death of the wicked. “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? (Ezekiel 18:23 NIV)” There have been close to 700 Palestinians who have been killed in this war and about 35 Israelis. At least 75% of these deaths are civilians. Does God delight in the death of these civilians?

Second, God is not about a political agenda but about a Kingdom…HIS KINGDOM to be exact. Jesus told His disciples to pray this: your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10 NIV) From the bottom of my heart, I truly believe that God does not have the American flag, or Israeli flag, or Palestinian flag hanging from His throne. He is about His Kingdom established on earth, not a political power.

Third, His desire is that none would perish but all come to Him. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NIV) His desire is for Jews AND Palestinians to come to a saving knowledge of Christ. I strongly believe that.

So how do I make sense of all this mess? Rather than standing with one side or the other, I choose to STAND IN THE GAP on behalf of all Jews and all Palestinians. I pray God would protect the innocent lives on both sides. I pray God would reveal Himself to both Palestinians and Jews. I pray God would fill Israel with Palestinians and Jews worshipping the Living Lord together. Why? Because that would truly be a manifestation of His Kingdom here on earth. Will you join me in standing in the gap for both Jews and Palestinians?

God Does NOT Provide For All My Needs!

Have you ever heard the phrase, “God will NOT provide for your wants, but He will provide for your needs.” It’s a phrase I heard throughout my entire seminary training. People often used it to encourage me that God will provide for my needs while I’m working part-time and going to school.

As I look back on my seminary life, I’ve learned that God did NOT supply for my needs! He actually overwhelmed me and showered me with blessings. He has exceeded my expectations to provide and bless me along the way! And through this experience, I’ve learned that the above statement is simply not true! It makes God sound as if He’s miserly and rations his blessings.

God overwhelmed Peter by allowing him to catch so much fish, that two boats almost sank (Luke 5:7). God says He would throw open the floodgates of heaven to pour out His blessing (Mal. 3:10). God is able to not only meet our needs but exceed them. He wants to overwhelm and over-deliver.

So does it feel sometimes that God is not blessing us? Why do we go through seasons of life when we feel like God is not opening the floodgates but providing in CC increments? I believe there are several reasons:

1. He wants to humble us and teach us to depend on Him: He Gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you (Deut. 8:16)

2. We are being greedy and have wrong motives: When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on yourselves (James 4:3)

3. There is UN-confessed sin in our lives: Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. (Is. 59:1-2)

4. There is broken fellowship among believers: Therefore, if you are offering a gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Matt. 5:23-24)

There are reasons why God doesn’t always provide, but stingy is NOT one of them. He is a rich God and incredibly generous. Sometimes He does NOT supply just for my needs, but rather, He wants to overwhelm me! And when He doesn’t, I know there’s a greater purpose that will be for my good and HIS Glory!

Eph. 3:20: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.

Prayer & The Sovereignty of God

PRAYER #141 - My mom    If God is Sovereign and has a plan for my life,  why do I need to pray?

Most theologians will respond to this question by saying that we need to pray so we can know the will of God. Others will say that God wants to communicate with us through prayer. And yet others assert that God wants to us to align our desires to His will through prayer.

While I agree all with of the above reasons for prayer, I still ask myself this question: Why bother bringing my requests to God if He is going to just do His will in my life? This is how God answered that question for me…

Yes, God is sovereign and has a will and a plan for my life. Yes, His will is going to prevail over my will in my life if I cooperate with Him. HOWEVER, I believe that in His vast sovereign will and His absolute foreknowledge, He somehow – someway opens Himself to step in time and space to interact with me.

God in His sovereign foreknowledge opened Himself to Moses to change His mind. The Lord was going to destroy the people of Israel and Moses begged God to spare them and God relented (Exod.32:1-14). If Moses didn’t believe God was going to hear his plea, He would have said, “Oh well, God is sovereign and He has spoken. Not much I can do about that.” God also opened Himself to Abraham to plea for Sodom (Gen. 18:16-33). God opened Himself to Hezekiah to give him a longer life (2 Kings 20:1-7). God opened Himself to Hannah, a woman who desperately wanted to have a son (1 Sam. 1:1-19). If these men and women didn’t believe God would answer their prayers, they would not have prayed.

God ALWAYS answers our prayer! He sometimes answers “yes”, sometimes “no”, and sometimes “wait”. I don’t know when God is going to answer no, or when He will answer yes. I don’t know how my plea and His sovereign play out together. But I do know this: If I have a request, I’m going to pray! He may say yes!  Or He may say no,  and when that happens, He will change my prayers. If I’m going to err on any side, I’d rather err on the side of believing for the following:

1. He will reward my prayers: And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

2. He will open the door when I pray: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matt. 7:7)

3. He will allow me to participate to intercede for a city:“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.” (Ezek 22:30-31)

4. He will allow me to participate in interceding for His harvest: He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.(Luke 10:2)

5. He opens Himself up to respond and interact with me through my prayers: Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.(Luke 18:1) Read the parable of the widow in verses 2-7. She changed the king’s mind to grant her justice!!

If you want healing: Pray! If you want God to bring salvation to your family. Pray! If you want God to bless you with a child, spouse, or family. Pray! And PRAY is what we will do!

 

That IS Enough

Let’s face it! There is not a shortage of circumstances, situations, or people who will disappoint us. Life is full of frustrations and agitations. If you have not experienced frustration, disappointment, or hurt in this last month than you must not be living on the planet called earth. As long as we are living on planet earth, we will experience all those emotions. The question that lies before us is how we respond to these situations. Here is what the Lord is teaching me…

LOOK TO GOD! I don’t know about you, but when a person hurts me, my first instinct is to want to shut that person out and start looking around to see if I have other people in my circle who will meet that need (am I the only one that does this??). I’ve learned that when I do that, though, I’m letting human affection become my aim to meet a need only God can meet. He is the only One who can satisfy my deepest need for love, affection, value, affirmation, and encouragement. Everyone else will always come short (and so will I for others). When I begin to look to man to meet my need for affirmation or affection, I become insecure, unstable, and easily tossed back and forth by my own emotions. Eventually I begin to seek the created rather than the Creator for my needs. Idolatry is nothing more than looking to the created rather than the Creator to meet my deepest needs (Rom. 1:25). My disappointments are God ordained appointments for Him to step me to comfort me (2 Corth. 1:3,4) to bind my broken heart (Is. 61:1), to encourage me (Josh. 1:9). When people don’t respond the way I want them or would like them to, I need to remember that God IS enough to meet those needs!

Secondly, TRUST GOD. Sometimes God allows situations to enter our lives to change our character (Rom. 5:3,4). Other times He uses situations to bring forth a greater good. A great example is Ruth who lost her husband (and her financial security when her husband died). God, however, was working a greater good in her life to use her to be the great grandmother of David and in the lineage of Christ. We are called to trust God and not lean on our own understanding (Prov. 3:5-6). We can trust Him when we are standing on the mountain top or struggling in the valley knowing He is God, He is Good, and He is in control. In situations like that, I need to remember that God IS enough!

Lord, may You be enough for me today! May I not look to people, positions, places or possessions to meet my needs that only You can meet! May You fill and saturate every empty spot in my soul that can only be filled with the fullness of You! I love You, Lord!

Going all the way!

Growing up in Chicago, my friends often used the phrase, “GOING ALL THE WAY” to imply that a girl went as far as having sex with a guy. Now that I’m older,  still single,  and a follower of Christ, I’ve come to believe that Jesus wants me to GO ALL THE WAY with Him. No, I’m not talking about sex, I’m talking about my heart and my obedience.

You see, Jesus wants me to love Him with ALL of my heart, strength, soul, and mind (Luke 10:27). The Greek word for all is “holos” which means completely and It is mentioned four times in the passage. It simply means that I hold nothing back from Him. I GO ALL THE WAY  in loving, serving and obeying Him.

But I’m not perfect and I know I will fail at times. I know I will want to withhold some of my affections, some of my strength, or my thought life from Him because I like it or because it feeds my own selfish gain. However, Jesus wants me to GO ALL THE WAY! He wants my actions, thoughts and attitudes to reflect His Glory. Anything in my life that does not reflect His Glory is sin and I need to confess that before God!  He wants my affections for Him and obedience to Him to be consistent. He wants me to habitually and consistently GO ALL THE WAY with Him! And He wants the same for you too.

So here’s my question to you: are you GOING ALL THE WAY with Jesus or are you withholding something from Him? Maybe it’s a thought.. maybe wasting your time or energy on something that does not honor Him…maybe something you desire that He does not want for you life? If so, ask Jesus to reveal it to you and ask Him for the strength to GO ALL THE WAY with Him!

Luke 10:27: And He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all our soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as  yourself (NASB)

Lord, is there anything in my life I’m loving more than You? Is there anything in my life that does not reflect Your Glory? Lord, please reveal that to me and show me how I can honor You with my affection and obedience. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

Life Lessons from the NFL

What can the NFL teach us about life? According to Greg Ellis, former Dallas Cowboy, football can teach us how to be successful in any given area of our lives. Greg Ellis visited our Church, First Baptist Euless, a few months ago and taught us three simple principles to be successful in football or any game in life. He said we need to have the TOOLS, know the RULES, and PREPARE.

I wrote these principles down and washed them in prayer. I asked God to show me what are the tools, rules and preparation time for my life. This is what the Lord showed me:

TOOLS: the tools I need to have for a successful (or some of us would rather use the term victorious) Christian life is the Word of God, the Spirit of God and the Church of God. The Spirit of God illuminates the Word of God and the Church of God helps to live out my Christian walk. I realized that these tools go together like a hammer and nail.

The RULES: these are the principles that I learn from the Word of God to live out any given area of my life. God’s Word has principles I can live out  as a friend, wife, mother, employee or leader. Knowing the principles sets me on the right path and provides guardrails so that I won’t veer off the road.

Preparation: as a teacher of God’s Word and a minister of the Gospel, my preparation time is spend on my knees and studying God’s Word. I can accomplish so much but God can accomplish so much more. Football players spend days and weeks to prepare for one game that doesn’t last more than two hours. How much more is the preparation time for me as I teach God’s Word and share it with others.

So today, I want to ask you a few simple questions:

1. What are the tools you need in your life in order to succeed? Do you use these these tools or are they collecting dust in your toolbox?

2. What rules (principles) are you learning from God’s Word about your season of life?

3.. What needs preparation in your life in order to succeed?

Father, please help me to utilize the tools you’ve given me. Please grant me wisdom to know your principles. And Please help to take the time to prepare myself for what You are calling to me be and do. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

Follow me on Twitter @Rockie1206

Your sin is bigger than my sin!

“Your sin is bigger than my sin!” We believe this statement is true! We won’t admit! We rarely confess it! But we subconsciously believe it and our behavior confirms it! When we sin against someone, we feel that the affect of our sin is as harmless as a tiny mosquito bite…it’s harmless at best and a nuisance at worst. But when someone sins against us, we act as if we we’ve been swarmed with mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus.

Why are we so offended by other people’s sin but are rarely moved by our own sin? It could be that we are so self-absorbed and selfish that we formulate enormous blind spots to the affects of our sin. This is a form of pride! It could also be that when we sin against others, we don’t feel the sting or the pain of it, but when they sin against us, we feel the ugly painful sting!

A friend of mine recently was deeply offended by a sin his wife committed against him. After talking to both of them further, I found out he was committing the same sin against her. It was mind baffling to me to listen to him justify his own sin and magnify her sin. Why do we do that? Because we truly believe that “your sin is bigger than my sin!”

Jesus said in Mathew 7:3-5: Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plant out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

So the next time we are tempted to point to the sin of others, let’s ask God to reveal our own sin to us. We can ask God to show us the plank in our eyes and to own up to it. Let’s also ask God to give us hearts of compassion towards those who offend us rather than be filled with anger and bitterness towards them. We can ask God for wisdom to know what to do and how to respond to the situation rather than acting on our own instincts and hurts.

Lord, please help me to see the plank in my own eye. Help me to see my sin for what it is and help me to surrender it to you to deal with it. Help to have a forgiving and loving heart towards those who offend me. In Jesus Name I pray…Amen!

Why???

So why blog now? That is the question I kept asking myself. And to be honest, I’m not really all that sure. I have been praying to see how God might want to use me and the idea of blogging was put in my mind.

I sense that maybe God wants me to sharpen my writing skills. I know He’s put on my heart to write a prayer booklet, a booklet to reach neighbors, Gospel tracts and even write a chapter in a book. I’ve done these things out of obedience but feel that I’m NOT a writer. However, I think the Lord wants me to write for Him and so I want to be obedient.

The second reason why I believe God wants me to blog is because I LOVE His Word.  I’ve been asking Him to show me more of Himself and open my mind to His Truth. He’s clearly told me that whatever lessons He reveals to me, He wants me to share others. And one way I can share God’s insights is through blogging.

So with great trepidation and reluctance, I will blog the insights God gives me.  I will be obedient to Him and pray He will be Glorified and Magnified in it. I will NOT use blogging to give people my opinion and I will NOT write for the sake of writing. I will only share the lessons He teaches me with you.

I’m excited to see what the Lord will do with this. May HE receive ALL the Glory!!