Live by Revelation – Happy Days Ahead.

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Baby New Year 1905 chases old 1904 into the history books in this cartoon by John T. McCutcheon.

Happy Grace-filled and Extraordinary New Year!
While I appreciate the days gone and the nights spent, I am thankful for a fresh season and new beginnings. Today is just another day, and yet it feels nothing like some ordinary day. There’s no gain in carrying over the pain, disappointments of last year, chase them into your history  where they belong and firmly shut the book. I’m heading into the new year with absolutely No Regrets, because God works everything good or bad together for my good.

Why worry so much? This life is really not about me. My purpose is not even about me (Thanks, Rick Warren) It all starts with Him and so I start refreshed with the right questions and attention to what matters. When I ask and trust the Source of all good, I will be led to the open, spacious and truly free life! Here’s my one resolve – Live by revelation.

How about no more guesswork, speculations, conjectures, endless seminars, popular opinions, self-help books etc.? How about we resolve to not get weary this year, and instead enter a new era of less with our energies laser-focused on ______. (Fill in one blank space) If you don’t know where to start, get Pastor Rick’s “The Purpose Driven Life.” The tested and still the best kick-starter to a simple but effective life in God’s purpose and power.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” Henry David Thoreau.

Happy Days Ahead… This is Day One!

From Beautiful Offerings – My Story

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My story has always been one of grace and I appreciate everyone of you who has taken the time to visit, read and liked my offerings. As my Annang people would say, Sòsòñò – Thanks to Him, and you as well. This song from the acclaimed contemporary Christian band – Big Daddy Weave, pretty much sums up this year for me. Enjoy!

“My Story” by Big Daddy Weave (Beautiful Offerings – 2015)

If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn’t let go
And if I told you my story
You would hear Love that never gave up
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life, but it wasn’t mine

 

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh! To tell you my story is to tell of Him

If I told you my story
You would hear victory over the enemy
And if I told you my story
You would hear freedom that was won for me
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life overcome the grave

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh! To tell you my story is to tell of Him

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

For the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh! To tell you my story is to tell….
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh! To tell you my story is to tell of Him
Oh! To tell you my story is to tell of Him.

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long.

BIG DADDY WEAVE lyrics are property and copyright of their owners. “My Story” lyrics are provided for educational purposes and personal use. Copyright ©BDW 2015.
Get “My Story” on iTunes – http://smarturl.it/bdwmystory
Image Credit -Pixabay.

God’s Not Dead – This Should NOT be Headline news!

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The movie, GOD’S NOT DEAD by Pure Flix Entertainment featuring  Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) and Shane Harper (Spencer in Disney’s Good Luck Charlie), Dean Cain (Superman) and David A.R. White (Jerusalem Countdown) with special appearances by Christian super-band, Newsboys who perform — God’s Not Dead , Willie and Korie of the Duck Dynasty (which I do not watch)  opened today in theaters across America. There are plans to screen the movie in other parts of the world too.

The movie synopsis stems from the book by Dr. Rice Broocks  a highly respected senior minister and founder of  Every Nation  family of churches, which according to the website, “currently includes more than 1,000 churches in more than 60 countries …  is on hundreds of college campuses ….focusing on equipping college students around the world to defend their faith.” He also developed the 10 questions conversation – The God Test.

The book presents Nine (9) basic proofs of God’s existence and includes stories of the journey of faith, doubt, disbelief from people ranging from an atheist Harvard Professor to campus students having to defend His existence intellectually. The reality is that while God is evident to Christians, the rest of the human population could be completely oblivious or worse indifferent.

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The book tackles the arguments of atheists such as Dawkins, Harris, Krauss, Mahrer and explores the direct  impact that the teachings of Darwin and Nietzsche have, especially on the highly intellectual communities and shapes the minds our children and young adults. (Parents need to pay attention…our children have to learn to defend their faith.)

Why is this important and Who needs this?

  • The Seekers – those wondering, what if God REALLY exists? It’s not a sappy movie, but a serious INTELLECTUAL, CEREBRAL discourse around the question that plagues our hearts.
  •  The Hungry – people feeling empty and searching for more in life. C.S.Lewis said, “If you are hungry, that points to the existence of food.”
  • Christians  who have always wanted a non-preachy way to articulate and express their faith. The Spirit convicts the heart, we cannot do His job, but we can offer plain intellectual and logical answers to questions about our faith and belief in the Lord.
  • Parents who want to fortify their children with information that is powerful in the face of dogmatic philosophies that run rampant in colleges and schools.
  • Anyone who is still alive, breathing and just for Pete’s sake, wants to know the straight forward truth
Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 2.04.54 PMI entered college as a Christian, got carried away, flunked a few (OK, a lot) of courses, got angry with God for “failing” me and basically ignored Him for a good chuck of my early adult years. That decision cost me dearly.
Without a solid foundation and core understanding of WHY we believe, by the time we get through college, most us will suffer a crisis of faith.

Here are some questions from the Dr Broocks’ book to ponder as you head into the theater or order the book:

  1.  Why would you believe that there is nothing rather than something?
  2.  Where did life come from? Evolution doesn’t explain where the first self replicating mutation came from.
  3. Where did our unseen conscience come from? Across cultures, nations and creed, why are we moral, how do we innately and universally know right from wrong?
  4. Who can you trust? A being who demands sacrifices from you or one who became the sacrifice?

Sites like RatioChristi and PoachedEgg provide apologetic resources that shakes us out of our comfort zone, so that we learn to give logical reasons for our faith.  Some one said, “We are not salt-shakers but real change agents when we engage our world.”

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So get out there, get some organic popcorn (*wink*), grab a friend, your child or loved one, pay for a stranger to go see the movie and  if you stumbled on this post after it’s gone from theaters, please get the DVD and read the book. In the indelible lyrics of the Newsboys, “Our God’s not dead, He is surely alive!” (And this should NOT be headline news.)

*All image credits from God’snotdead.org site.

Prompt: How far would you go…to defend your belief in God?

A Rude Awakening to Gratitude.

Credit: Pixabay Commons

Credit: Pixabay Commons

At 6.25 am today, between trying to hitch a ride to the library from an old friend who turned out to be a snitch and trying to catch the giant baby, Beyoncé dropped on its head, I was rudely awakened by the after-shock of the 4.4 magnitude earthquake that hit Westwood CA  and  sent shock waves through San Fernando Valley, Orange county and Santa Barbara.

Is it bad that my first thought was about my laptop? Anyway, as the shaking continued, I mentally checked for noise from my son’s room, the pantry and prescription medication levels for the family because this is Northridge. Apartment managers, realtors and agents don’t advertise the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, which was a 6.7 magnitude with strong ground motion felt as far away as Las Vegas, Nevada, about 220 miles (360 km) from the epicenter of Reseda and had a death toll of 57, with more than 5,000 injured.

That earthquake-caused property damage estimated at over $20 billion, making it one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history, affecting everything from television, movie, music productions, schools and universities, homes and hospitals and came with an outbreak of  coccidioidomycosis (Valley fever). In all my research before moving to Northridge, I totally missed this crucial piece of information or maybe it was hidden from me.

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Google Image: Northridge

Hidden, I believe because if I had known, I would not have moved to Northridge. But then I would have missed the blessings and special grace I have found in this city. The friends, the neighborhood, the Rite Aid pharmacy that gives us  advance medication when the insurance company is acting constipated, the Ralph’s Deli that’s a quick walk away, where every Tuesday, we line up for the freshly baked  sweet wheat & oat boule, a dark hearty loaf with a slightly sweet chewy crust and soft interior, rolled in oats…yum! What’s a neighborhood without Starbucks? Well, just around my street corner, we’ve got two!

In this neighborhood, my son’s education could not have been in better hands, he blossomed in Stagg St. Elementary and now is in Holmes M.S. one of the best middle schools in California. Everything I need, except a next-door-library (which explains the hitch-hike in my dream)  is close-by.

Here is a checklist of earthquake survival tips from the Red Cross.

  • Develop and practice your family disaster plan.
  • Stock up non-perishable goods and have an emergency preparedness kit.
  • Get someone in the family trained in First Aid and CPR/AED.
  • Most importantly, don’t forget to learn the Drop, Cover and Hold On technique.

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It’s been quiet in California and this earthquake was just a rude awakening, to appreciate what we have, a home, family and the promise of God’s care and protection. As my building did a little rumba this morning, I prayed, ” Jesus… please keep us save where You have planted us.”

I am thankful that no-one got hurt and I went about my day…deeply conscious of grace, knowing that in any moment,  life as we know it, can change.

…He has made from one blood, every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings. Act 17:26.

Loving His Passion and His Body.

valentine-185944_640, Loving His Passion and His Body

Loving His Passion and His Body.

Love is here, there and everywhere!
We burrow deep into our dusty lockers, to find the rose-colored glasses that’s needed to bear this Valentine Day. To love another human, (especially one who shares your body) is an almost impossible quest.

If you think you are in love…think again. Most of us are in love with HOW our partner makes us feel. How in love are you when you are upset? This day reminds us of the benefit of curbing the urge to kill that “person” winking at you when they goof badly.
Sure the guy (or gal) is so-fine-he-blows-my-mind  but what about what they did just last week?

There is a lot of frustration and resentment in loving a human is because some people refuse to grow. Even those who are forward-thinking and vision-minded still cannot grow at your pace. We all come out of life’s birth canals in our different and unique pace. The pangs you feel is because while you are evolving, they cannot reach you.

Loving His Passion and His Body

I hope we cling to the passion and to the one who loved us enough to offer his body. He left it hanging on the cross till love’s mission was accomplished and it wasn’t the nails that kept Him there, LOVE DID.
He could have come down at any minute, but He saw the joy of us running to Him, when we are in pain, in grief or just when we want to snuggle up and His love for you and me kept him there.

I am grateful for the love from family and the people in my life and I am happy to add my few dollars to the billions spent by the world on chocolates, perfumes, dinner and rose flowers for loved ones today. But I know that without my Lord, Jesus who first loved me passionately, deeply and unconditionally… and is forever smitten with my smile, I could not love them back.

HAPPY LOVE DAY!!