Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
In trying to find God’s will, I’ve tried different things, learned various skill sets and practiced them out for a time. I’ve ventured into card-making featuring different mechanisms (i.e. pop-up, rotating, etc), baking pies, rice pizzas and banana cakes, making crema de fruita, cooking, gardening, sewing journal books, recycling plastics, recycling papers, recycling junkfood wrappers, designing products, writing about life and weddings and DIY crafts and health and beauty and fashion and make-up. And now, I’m still on stand-by, not knowing where to go.
It’s just so odd that I am predisposed to pursue ALL or NONE of them. Perhaps I am afraid that once I focus on something with passion and ardor, God would just take it away from me as it may become a potential candidate for Mitzi’s Next Idol. Perhaps, I am afraid that God will make “batok” (hit on the head) me when I make a wrong decision, or when I view with a wrong perspective. I had a painful “batok” last 2008, when I got sick. It was when God allowed me to realize that I have to give every room of my life to Him. Perhaps, I'd rather God tell me the direction, than I go wherever I want "just to do something," only to find out that God may just give me another painful "batok" as another life lesson. Or perhaps, I am just waiting for God to give a go signal.. so that I may know He will be pleased with the work of my hands.
Now that everything I have is with Him, my hopes, my dreams, my body, my heart, my mind and my soul, I am hoping that He would just take the lead. I wouldn’t mind if He would let me undergo painful, teary drops, as long as I know He is the hand behind everything. But because this very fact makes me wait for him, and do nothing, I don’t know where to start anymore.
I’ve also prayed a lot about this. I’ve prayed different prayers. Read different books. Studied parts of the bible. I prayed for wisdom, understanding and knowledge, but it seems like I’m just back from where I’ve started. I prayed for a right perspective of God. I prayed for God to test my heart, know my anxious thoughts, and convict me. I’ve prayed for God to give me a burden and a passion that I cannot resist.
If you are feeling left out, lost, or too old to still be on stand-by, You. Are. Not. Alone. God has not forsaken you, and me, yet. It may seem that God has closed His ears and turned His back on us. But, I believe He hasn't.
A few days ago, I was reading Ezekiel and I was amazed. Israelites during that time had proven to be unfaithful – they believed other gods, sought partnerships with other nations, withheld justice and mercy from the poor and depended on their strength. That was why God punished them and allowed an iron fist, Babylon, to destroy and conquer Israel.
It may seem that on the eye-level, God had already given up on His people when they were being devoured by the Babylonians. They were back to their empty lifestyle that focused on surviving, on working for the Babylonians, on achieving, on temporary pleasures, on what the world required/looked up to -- all of which they eventually gave up on their last breath. In short, they lived a life without the God who gives purpose -- this is simply a chase after the wind.
They didn’t know that if they just looked at their circumstances from a higher point of view, from God's view, their Heavenly Father still has a vision for them. Read the last chapters of Ezekiel (start at ch36) and discover that despite the terrible sins of Israel, God still has a plan to redeem them and rebuild their nation.
Like the Israelites, it may seem that God has left us in our SOS helpless state. It may seem that we are on our own now because of the tormenting silence. But I believe, the silence has its reason just as the exile has its reasons. No matter what happens, God also has a vision for you and me, a vision that He will bring to reality. He does not do it because we are deserving -- since like the Israelites, we are just as sinful and unfaithful.
But He will surely do it, for the glory of His name.
“Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes."
~ Ezekiel 36:22-23
"Focus on your relationship with God. Let the problems around you worry about themselves. God is in control even if all hell breaks loose."
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
"I believe God made me for a purpose -- for China." Had he stopped there, most of us would have clearly understood his statement -- he had surrendered to the high calling of missions. That's clearly how Jenny understood him. But Liddell continued. "But He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure... To win is to honor Him."(1)
What an eye-opener.
I thought God would be most honored if I were to give up everything, together with my talents and passions, for the advancement of His kingdom-- in the "full-time" kind of sense. And so when I somehow decided to give them up, I was left in a stand still. For some time, I did not know what to do, where to go.
I kept asking God, "Where Lord? Where are you taking me?" I was on my way home from Cebu when I claimed Psalm 25 as my prayer. Like me, King David was hoping God would also lead him to the right "way" or "path." However, seeking or waiting on God is seen as foolish in this very fast paced world. And so the first three verses were just as apt.. what a beautiful promise!
Psalm 25 Of David.
1 In you, LORD my God, I put my trust.
2 I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3 No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.
4 Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
6 Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me, for you, LORD, are good.
8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
...Then there was silence. After a couple more days of soul searching, a friend suggested I answer a discernment exercise. This exercise shows a framework that may guide one to discover one's calling. It comprises three important sets of questions:
PASSIONS: When do you experience deep joy?
BURDENS: What breaks your heart? What needs in the community grabs you the most?
GIFTS: What are you gifted at? What do others think you're gifted at?
... Then I discovered something. I believe God made me for a purpose - for His church. But He also made me creative. And when I create and teach others to create... I feel His pleasure. To create is to honor Him.
So I decided to have crafts time with Fay and Ruby today.
Below is Fay trying to sew strips of junkfood wrappers for her eco-friendly bag.