Quietness in the hustle bustle of life

Yet again I was reading a devotional passage from Streams in the desert, and I was reading about how God can use us to achieve greater heights if we allow ourselves to be alone with him. Somehow, there was this paragraph that just seemed to shout out to me, it felt so relevant to the needs of men and women today.
Earnestly desire to get alone with God ...... It may mean that we do less outward, visible work, but the work we do will have more depth and power ...... That people will see "no one except Jesus" (Matt 17:8) in our lives.
How is it then that we are now living in a time where society is obsessed with getting more done outwardly, just to show forth our "worth" and "efficiency". How is it that we couldn't care less about true substance and the meaning to why we do the things we do, and still think that we have advanced as a human race. We push ourselves each day to accomplish more and more, only to find that we have become so shallow that less an less of what we do matters anymore.

What has gone wrong? Where are we heading to? Maybe it's time we all took a day off our daily routine and take more than a moments time to get everything into the right perspective. The reason we move our feet is so that it brings us to where we want to go; but if we start running aimlessly not knowing where we are heading to, should we not STOP ... and listen to what our creator has to say?

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.    (Jeremiah 29:11)

God with us

Whatever our faith says God is, He will be.  - unknown
God is omnipresent, there is no place that God is not present. Yet the power of his presence can only be a reality to us if our faith allows him to play its part.

 "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us).  (Matthew 1:23 ESV)

Today the world celebrates Christmas, for believers it is the day that Love came to men in the most remarkable way to give hope to a lost world.

At His Feet

36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.   - Luke 7:36-50 (NIV)

Somehow when the thought of this passage came to mind, another passage in Luke 14 occurred to me in contrast to the scene being described here. In Luke 17, the Lord Jesus noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, and went on to tell a parable about humility. 

After so many years, the attitude of the human heart towards self exaltation remains the same, constantly wanting to be at a place of honour, taking pride in being "better" than those who seemingly do not deserve to "sit at the table". As believers, we are familiar with these passages, yet unlike the sinful woman, we sometimes find ourselves looking for a place at the table first, and if that fails, only do we fall before the feet of the Lord Jesus seeking for forgiveness.

The beauty of the sinful woman's approach was not only because of the expensive perfume that was poured out for the Lord's feet, but also because by recognizing her unworthiness, she went straight to the Lord Jesus, wanting nothing more than to be at His feet. To the undiscerning eyes, she was the shameful sinner who had no place at the table, but in the Lord's eyes she was the wise one, desiring not to find favour at the table of men, but rather at the feet of the Son of God, who is able to forgive her sins.

I wonder what would our choices be like? To be accepted at the place of honor at the table of distinguished men, who even at their best, will be prone to fail and disappoint? Or will we be content to be at the place of humility, at the feet of the Lord Jesus, to behold the beauty of the faithful one, who never fails, whose glory is beyond comprehension.

Where is the hope?

I was reading an article about how stress and anxiety has plagued the current generation of youths. This was the result of a survey they did:
Mental health on campus
In 2011, 1,600 University of Alberta students took part in the National College Health Assessment survey. The problems students identified are playing out across the country.
Mental health issue experienced at any time within the last 12 months (in %)
Felt things were hopeless: 51.3
Felt overwhelmed by all you had to do: 87.5
Felt exhausted (not from physical activity): 87.1
Felt very lonely: 61.7
Felt very sad: 65.6
Felt so depressed that is was difficult to function: 34.4
Felt overwhelming anxiety: 52.1
Felt overwhelming anger: 40.7
Experienced more than average stress: 57.1
Seriously considered suicide: 6.8
  Attempted Suicide: 1.2

With such depressing figures, one can only wonder how would the numbers change if we were to extend it to youths from all over the world. As a song writer puts it:

Where is the hope, where is the peace?
That will make this life complete
For every man, woman, boy, and girl
Looking for Heaven in the real world

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.          -Romans 15:13 (NIV)

The Lord our comforter

They tell me I must bruise the rose's leaf, 
Ere I can keep and use its fragrance brief.

They tell me I must break the skylark's heart,
Ere her cage song will make the silence start.

They tell me love must bleed, and friendship weep,
Ere in my deepest need, I touch that deep.

Must it be always so with precious things?
Must they be bruised and go with beaten wings?

Ah, yes! By crushing days, bay caging nights, by scar of thorn and stony ways,
These blessings are!

- taken from streams in the desert

I always hated the fact that the world has become a place filled with hatred and that compassion and grace are sadly scarce. Through personal experiences I have often wondered why it is that we have to bear with the pain of it. Reading this devotional reminded me of God's wisdom in all things he allows.

God comforts us not to make us comfortable but to make us comforters.  John Henry Jowett

When in times of trouble

1) Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

2) even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. (Ephesians 1:4)

3) Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12)

4) Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? (James 2:5)

5) So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Corinthians 4:16-17)

6) do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)

7) casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

8) For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. (Luke 10:24)

9) For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)

Waiting upon Him

'He that believeth shall not make haste'; the believer who is marked by faith shall not run to and fro as do men at their wits end, nor be driven by any fears as are the wicked, of whom it is said, "Terrors shall make him afraid on every side, and shall drive him to his feet", Job 18:11. With a fixed heart the believer can quietly wait upon the Lord, for God's timing is always best. Learning to accept this is one of life's most difficult lessons.

"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him", Psalm 37:7

[taken from a daily reading from Day by Day - Christ Foreshadowed]

That we would have real life...

Listening to "Its about the Cross" by Go Fish, one of my favorite lines was this - "so that you and I could have real life someday".

"Real Life", something we all search for, but so often miss the mark. This Christmas we remember once again of the story of how the Lord came to this earth, Mary received her baby, and the world  received their Savior. The Savior who ultimately suffered and died on a cross for our sins. He paid the price so that we would not need to. He gave his life, so that we could have life... real life.

The United States of America

Question: How to keep warm during winter?

1. A cup of hot chocolate.


2. Warm fellowship

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together... (Heb 10:25)
Looking forward to meeting the brothers and sisters of Forest hills Bible Chapel during my stay in Grand Rapids.

Mercy amongst the Blue

I saw a double rainbow the other day on my way to work, and it got me thinking...

 8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
 12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
Genesis 9: 8-16

A bow speaks terror, but this has neither string nor arrow; and a bow alone will do little hurt. It is a bow, but it is directed upward, not toward the earth; for the seals of the covenant were intended to comfort, not to terrify. As God looks upon the bow, that he may remember the covenant, so should we, that we may be mindful of the covenant with faith and thankfulness.
(Matthew Henry's commentary)
 I saw two that day, the Lord was definitely making a point.