Even The Plunging Of Anothers’ Poop

No resolutions. No vision board. Nothing.

Just a few words to live by for the year.

And here goes…

Being loving and kind towards another when he or she is loving and kind towards you is easy and smooth. And not in anyway messy.

But I want to be mean, to blow up and just be downright honest in a mean and destructive way. But I can’t. Because I can remember clearly the times when I terribly wished that someone was kind to me when I was ugly and all I deserved was not.grace.

And then I also think about the ones that drew near when they should’ve stepped back like others did.

I think about the One that reached in, drew out and pulled near.

I can’t save another. Even when I sometimes foolishly believe that I can. But I can see another’s brokenness, and even though I’m tempted to look away and maybe take a step back, I can dig my feet deep in the dirt and stand in the gap.

All with the help of the One that can reach in, draw out and pull near.

This year, I can come out of my shell even when I just want to crawl up into a ball of self-pity and self-centeredness.

I can choose to text first, call them and check in first. Even when the why-can’t-she-text-or-check-up-on-me overwhelms my mind.

This year, I can let go of the idea of doing big things for God while believing that the mundane, day to day, ordinariness of it all matters too. Even the plunging of the bad smelling poop of – I believe, one grown man and a couple of kids – that refused to flush down the toilet on its own.

I can choose to see something beautiful in when she walks into the room late at night to discuss something, that she could’ve easily discussed with her friends, with me.

Choose to believe that the combing of hair, pulling of textured weaves, locking together of braids and faux locs matters too.

I can choose to do justice, walk humbly and love mercy. Even though I no longer believe that I truly know what that means.

I can let myself be embraced with grace. Extend grace to myself and freely give it to others. Starting with my family members.

I can let myself be deeply loved by the God who has saw it fit to give me my life. All because he knows best.

This year, I can accept the invitation to “Come, let us reason together”. More often. Freely. Without shame and without fear.

I can choose or choose not to believe that my God doles out gifts, blessings and goodness according to how big our faith is.

This year, I can choose to press on. To press on to know the Lord.

And when I fail in any or all of these things, I will choose to trust in the One that has already reached in, drew out and pulled near.

Happy New Year Folks!!!

The Time I Resisted God’s Love Through Discipline

God's love through discipline

“The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” -Timothy Keller

It was a painful season that I initially resisted. A season in which I had the privilege of experiencing God’s love through discipline. Although I did not see it as a privilege at first.

It was the time I came to the realization that I am truly worse off than I could have ever thought. And I am in need of grace and more importantly in need of Christ.

The problem was that I had come to believe that I am such a good person because I was meeting the standard of being a Christian. A standard which I happened to have set for myself. A standard that had nothing to do with having faith in Christ.

I believed in my own goodness as a person, therefore God owed me His goodness in return. And without realizing it, this mindset made it difficult for me to appreciate or see my desperate need for Christ.

Unable to see how much grace is being extended towards me, I was too prideful to extend the same grace towards others. With a judgmental spirit, I became a judge of men.

Until God decided that it was time for Him to rid me of these things.

Through anger, shame and depression, God opened my eyes to who I really am outside of Christ. Full of pride, bitterness, baggage, self righteousness and anger, I am not as good as I had come to believe.

He killed my pride before it could kill me. And bringing my little idols out in the open, the enemy against my soul, He stomped on them. Destroying them before they could destroy me.

This is who you are, this is where I have brought you from and what I have brought you out of. This is what the cross, blood and death of Christ has redeemed you from. You are just as much in need of Christ and grace as anyone else. Don’t you ever forget that.

I was shocked. Continue reading

Scars, Wounds & All.

Empty Bed

No one said it would be easy, the Christian life I mean.

Well, maybe they did but they lied.

It is filled with highs and lows, scars and wounds.

A servant cannot be greater than his master (John 15:20). And in this case, the hands and feet of the master was pierced on the cross. But we desperately wish for ours to be whole.

NO to pain, rejection, persecution or disappointment.

If any man will be my disciple, he must pick up his cross, deny himself and follow me. -Matthew 16:25

And the truth is that we cannot pick up our cross without expecting it to leave some scars. And when it does, we’ll get to show Him our scars and He’ll show us His. He’ll comfort us and remind us that we are being conformed into His image through them.

And maybe we’ll pray for Him to come (Rev. 22:20). We’ll ask for Him to come quickly because we are desperately looking forward to the new heavens and the new earth where our tears will be wiped away for all eternity (Rev. 21:1,4).

And there will be times when we will truly and painfully wonder if the scars are worth it and we’ll consider walking away. Continue reading

Feeling Condemned During Worship

Free bird

Will You accept my praise? Lord, will you accept my worship?

Those were the words that was heavy on my heart as the worship session started in church today.

And it was downhill from there.

I felt like I could not act or pretend like I have not displeased God in most of the things I’ve said, done or thought during the past week.

Sadly, I’ve had worse weeks than this last one; but for some reason, on this particular Sunday, I found it impossible to believe that God was going to accept my worship. I felt unworthy to stand before Him in worship and I was so ashamed that I shied away from praying to God.

Forgetting to look away from myself to remember the grace of God, I felt like the biggest hypocrite standing before Him.

So I wondered, “Will you accept my worship? Lord will you accept my praise?” Continue reading

The Pursuit Of Happiness

The Pursuit Of Happiness

The world’s motto: If it makes you happy, then why not?

Many of us are so easily satisfied that we are willing to settle for a flimsy and empty happiness.

A mere feeling and emotion that cannot last forever.

In our quest for happiness, we hurt others, disobey God and walk on the path of destruction.

Sadly, many do not understand that God is also about our happiness but not necessarily in the way that we have been accustomed to. Fortunately, God has not commanded us to live in obedience in order for Him to deprive us of joy or true happiness.

The truth is that the path of obedience and submission is also the path that leads to life, holiness and true happiness.

There is of course the temptation to separate holiness from happiness, but they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive. Continue reading

Counting The Cost Of Following Christ

Counting The Cost
Being a Christian can be uncomfortable and painful at times.

Being a Christian is truly not about everything working out for your “good” in the sense that we have come to know the word “good”.

It’s a big disservice to tell people that when they give their life to Christ, everything will be perfect, life will be good and they will now get whatever it is their heart desires.

Aside from that, I also know that many people are afraid of failing Christ, they feel like they don’t have what it takes to be a Christian. And maybe that is true. I’m not too sure if anyone of us have what it takes to be a Christian.

If you are counting the cost, there’s nothing wrong with that. Please do count the cost.

But while you are counting and trying to figure out the things that following Christ will cost you, you should also consider the things I’m about to tell you. Continue reading

One Degree Of Glory To Another

Degree Of Glory

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” – 2 Cor. 3:18

As Christians, when we continue to behold Christ,  learning from Him, knowing Him, reflecting on who He is and what He is calling us to be (all through the word of God), we are being transformed into His likeness.

In the same way we are sometimes unaware of our physical growth, the same thing applies to our spiritual growth.

This is not something that we can do by our self, it’s something that the spirit of God does in us. Continue reading

And For This Reason, I Celebrate Christ Once Again

Celebrate Christ
About a week ago, I wrote about the yoke of perfection that we Christians have put upon ourselves.

And a few days ago, I reacted in anger towards something that someone said to me. Spoke and acted in pride. Something around the lines of “how dare you say that to me/think you know better than me. Was insensitive with my words, among other things.

After praying about it and thinking deeply about the whole thing, I realized that I actually thought I was passed the point of reacting in a certain way or doing certain things since I’m now in Christ.

I felt ashamed and sort of disappointed in myself. I saw my weaknesses and where I went wrong and I was discouraged. I cannot explain what the shame and guilt I felt has made me believe about myself or even kept me from doing.

This is obviously one of the yoke of perfection or should I say perfectionism I still struggle with. Wanting to reach the point where I will no longer react to or deal with certain situations in my flesh. When humility will be a garment I have on daily. When I will be perfect in action, thought and speech. Continue reading

Suitable Covering For Shame

Covering for Shame

As humans, we tend to believe that we are capable of covering up our shame.

And of course we do try, we cover it up with flimsy things that can never last, things that have no substance and will soon fade away.

We cover up our shame with lies, denial and/or blaming others.

When Adam and Eve sinned, they realized their nakedness and this gave birth to shame. Not only did they realize that they were naked but they went on to believe that they could cover up their shame with clothing made out of fig leaves.

At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. (Genesis 3:7)

But God had a better plan. Continue reading