He Ain’t Asleep

He told ’em to cross over
Got in the boat, they followed
A Furious storm came, He’s asleep
They were left terrified

They went to Jesus; woke Him
“Dear Lord, save us now!
We’re going to drown.”
He rebuked the storm; it was calm.

With you why would I be afraid?
Yes my Lord! I’m man of little faith
In the storm of life, you keep me safe
Your assurance ‘till I cross over
Tranquility, I found in you.

Lord, why do you sleep on me?
See my misery and oppression
Rise up and rescue me
Because of your unfailing love

Oh friend, are you troubled?
In your arms, He may not hold
He won’t let you drowned
His loyalty would be with us.

Jesus ain’t asleep, He’s Almighty
His presence filled my soul
In His light he’ll lead me
Until the journey’s over
He’ll lead me to quiet waters.

A boat amidst storm
A boat in rough sea

Of Fear and Faith:

As I was reading through Matthew 8:23, there’s an infighting of faith and fear in my heart. Jesus Christ was there with the disciples. His presence was with them. But it wasn’t enough to calm their fear as they were crossing over the lake.

Jesus Christ had just performed miracles and spoke about faith through parables. Undoubtedly, Jesus Christ possessed power that was new to human. They have seen Him, very close, with their own eyes. It would be comforting to be with Him, always, it seems.

But His disciples were human, which have fervent fear in their heart as a huge squall rocked their boat. I see them as being very me; although I trust Him, I wanted to see Him work. I wanted Jesus Christ to clear all storms of life. When I pray, I wanted Him to act, as I would have wanted. I cannot control the Almighty.

My little faith get drained in no time. He was silent on several matters, it seems. I’ve informed Him but He did not get up. He wanted my faith to be stronger. His presence is sufficient as my boat would not sink. However, fear gripped my body. And it had seized me, sometimes.

In His time, Jesus would calm the storm. Even the storms, all storms of life, obeyed His commands. He rebuked the storms; and it was calm: tranquility restored.

Does God forget us?

During King David’s reign, in a time of great national distress, David humbly expostulate God’s apparent forgetfulness. In Psalms 44:23-26, David reminded God of their mourning and sufferings, but most importantly, their faithfulness to Him.

It was more of a prayer for the future. Jehovah, the God of Israel was never asleep, He keep watching His people. He never forgets His people.

There are times in our life when God doesn’t make sense. He seems to slumber when we most needed Him. But our God never slumber nor did He sleep in His people.

How will men survive if we are to fend everything for ourselves? Beyond we can see, He’s at work, for us to see the light of each new day. Several plans of us that backfired, one day we may reap its ripen fruit should we have not lost our faith in the process.

He’s asleep when we’re of little faith: His assurance more than sufficient to get us through the storms of life. Without Him, there’s no peace and tranquility.

You First Loved Me

I still remember that feeling
That feeling; deep in my heart
How can I forget the yearning?
I’m unable to hold any longer
I wanted to let it known to you.
When I realized, I’m loved.

Flower blossom because of love
Love blossom; Comfort

You gave me Love
You gave me Hope
You gave me Comfort
As Your son, You accepted me
I love you Jesus
Because you first loved me
I love you Jesus, my Savior

Slain by my sinful soul,
Your sacrifice’s overwhelming.
You rose from the dead
Victory o’er death proclaimed
My wonderful friend, forever be
In you, I will abide.

I am yours now, my Savior
Have me all, have my being
Because You first loved me
Each step, as one, we will take
With deep joy in my heart
One at a time, ‘till I got home.

You gave me Love
You gave me Hope
You gave me Comfort
As Your son, you accepted me
I love you Jesus
Because You first loved me
I love you Jesus, my Savior

Seven Ways to Measure Your Life

Without the ability to measure, it would be nonsensical and absurd to value anything. Our life is God’s good gift to us. In His grace, we are saved by our Savior; in His blood we become righteous.

Measure your Life
Measuring items for depiction purpose only

Here I list out seven ways or elements for you and me to measure our life. So that, we may lead a balance life, or in the least, a better life in the eyes of the Lord. And in the hope of sustaining our earthly life in the face of happiness and adversities:

1. Measure your life by your JOY regardless of life’s circumstances.

By definition, joy is the feeling of great pleasure and happiness. It can be permanent unlike happiness which depends on circumstances.

Joy is beyond facial expression of smiling and laughing. It is because laughing and smiling can be superficial. We are created to enjoy humor. Too much humor can leave us more empty than before.

The joy of the Lord transient all forms of happiness. For the joy of the Lord is our strength. Measure your life by the joy if you have in Jesus Christ. A spirit-filled joy or spiritual joy is permanent. We are made complete in His joy. (John 15:11)

2. Measure your life by your HOPE in the Lord.

Hope is an expectation and desire for something to happen; in our favor or as it was promised. It is clinging onto something which we did not have, yet in the hope that it will happen.

Our hope is something that cannot be dead. A person without hope would eventually give up life. It is our believe that something good or bad is going to happen in the future. It might happen per our dream or maybe not.

Anyone who is among the living has hope. (Eccl. 9:4) It is an important element for waiting on the promises of God. In His great mercy, we are given birth to a living hope in the resurrection of Christ. (1 Peter 1:3)

3. Measure your life by your FAITH.

Faith is the essence of Christian life. Faith, more importantly, is putting our complete trust in God. By faith we are saved; by faith we become His children.

Faith and fear cannot go along. Measure your faith by your assurance in Jesus Christ. Faith is the assurance that when fear grips, illness strikes, misunderstood, opposed, and in every circumstances: Jesus is with you.

Measure your life by your initiative through faith, your vision, and ability to fight the good fight. Faith is trusting on God’s perfect timing. (Mark 4:40)

4. Measure your life by your COMMUNION.

We commune with God through prayers. When you commune with Him make sure you hear Him back. We cannot carry on by simply offering sacrifices. God wanted to commune with us, I repeat.

Measure your life by how often you commune with God. Your communion qualifies you to experience the presence of God in your lives.

No one’s life is greater than his prayer. Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalms 37:4)

5. Measure your life by your INVESTMENTS.

Investment is a process of undertaking certain things with the expectation of a worthwhile result or to be profitable. Not only money can be invested.

Our life on earth is an investment. We will reap some of our investments already on earth. But the biggest reward is awaiting us after life. You can invest righteousness, kindness, love, good deeds, and tears for your future.

You can invest your wealth, wisdom, and time for your children because they are your future. God cannot be mocked nor bribed. A man reaps what he sows. (Galatians 6:7)

6. Measure your life by your LOVE.

Love is the most important essences of life. What you and whom do you love define your living. Love someone who loves you, and even your enemies, say the Bible.

Do you love something that deters happiness from your life? Love all the people around you. Most important is, Love God, no matter what. We can love God because he first loved us. In Him, love is completed.

Love given reflects love received. Jesus gives us a new command: Love one another as I have loved you. (John 13:34)

7. Measure your life by your amount of SURRENDER.

Surrendering is to stop resisting and submit to an authority. If the authority of your life is Jesus Christ it means surrendering to Christ. It is to give up your right for Him, to mold you.

In other words, it is to crucify our will before the Lord. Surrendering to the Lord could be dangerous, at times, but always worthwhile. The power of surrender/ crucifixion is peace and reconciliation. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. (Hebrews 12:15)

The more you surrender you will have peace with God, which will reflect in your life. In that way, our owner becomes Him. (Galatians 2:20)

Please add more to your list…..

The Unintended Brake

One early morning, she revved up the engine of her car. Agitated, she tried to drive off. But her car doesn’t move. In her nervousness she could not figure out what’s wrong. She’s stuck there, near the wall.

Lost in the turmoil, she called for help. When I check, I saw the parking brake un-levered. I tucked in quietly, and drive out her car as she watched. It was her brand new car, so she was slightly nervy. Otherwise, there’s no problem.

She thanked me as if I have done a huge favor. I enquired as to why she pulled the parking brake. She told me she was a bit nervy, she pulled it by mistake. It is done unintentionally..

Now, the unintended brake calms her down. She’s settled; her nervy feeling left her. She told me it was a good thing that she pulled on the parking brake unintentionally. If not, she could’ve hit the wall.

She regained her confidence and that sort of things never happen again. The unintended parking brake saved her from further consequence before she reach the main street.

The brakes in vehicles are meant for smooth driving. It helps us avoid some tiny scratches as well as huge car crash.

the unintended brake
Car parking brake; for reference only

The Unintended Brake of Life:

As you look back the past year or your past living, you would realize some kind of unintended brake you put on yourself. The brighter side is that sometimes you don’t even remember pulling the brake. It might have saved you from unwanted shameful moments or simply slowed your life. I hope, one day, we will thank God for slowing down our life a little bit.

The unintended brakes are, many times, beyond the knowledge of man. Our God has pulled the brake for us, intentionally, to save from the road we’re on. It is difficult to understand why God had pulled the brake on us even when we’re confident of what we do.

When we’re afflicted it wasn’t never easy to withstand. When we are in the valley, of the shadow of death, it was spine-chilling. However, when one got settled; have the time look back on those moments, there’s some positive note to be taken, in the least.

I wasn’t happy either; so many restraint. My life’s sailing was not smooth. Unwanted brakes are put upon me, and that’s only how I perceived it. At least for this year, there many things I am unable to perform due to various yet certain reasons.

There is a way which seems right to a man; but its end is the way of death, the Bible says. (Proverbs 14:12) No one is above the purpose of God. We are only players of a larger purpose.

The heart knows it own bitterness, and a stranger does not share its joy (either). So, why should we be bitter about the brakes? In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Unintended Brakes as Stronghold:

On the flip side, we cannot simply lay back waiting for the brake to get un-levered by someone. A cocoon struggled so that it can fly. One should not get stuck in our faulty pattern of thinking based on deception.

The unintended brakes we put on ourselves could become a building block for another venture of our life. The brakes are intend to make us stronger as we exercise all the potentials we have.

That moment of braking in our life, which we do not enjoy, could be the most important phase in our life. For it to happen we should not lose hope. Even if we perish let’s perish with a hope Christ Jesus still withholding.

When it becomes our stronghold, we see God incorrectly – not as being fair or unjust. We cannot have healthy relationship with our God.

Stronghold makes us see ourselves incorrectly. We underestimate ourselves; we undervalue ourselves. Sometimes in my sufferings, I could barely make it out of this deception. If God has the needs for us to undergo these afflictions, He’ll set us free, victoriously one day.

When the time has come, the truth will set us free. We will regain confidence, un-lever the brake, and sail smoothly in those times to come.

Gratitude for the Brakes:

Let’s give thanks for the brakes, applied to our life, by the Heavenly Father. It is because of His mercy that we are not consumed. We say, the Lord is my portion?

It is noteworthy here that the unintended brakes are that one that saves our life, from accident and unwanted circumstances. Further, it is intentionally put on by our Savior for our own good. So that our God would be magnified in our lives.

Especially, looking back this year, can we give thanks sincerely from our hearts; for all the things God has done for us the good, and the not-so-good included? God is good all the time!

In the year to come may the grace of God be with you, Dear Reader!

The Rugged Road

Dawn of hope in the rugged road
Dawn of Hope

Busy in my own thoughts I am
The road’s lonely, my ride’s bumpy
The rugged road’s hard to tread
Jammed here in this road I chose
Silence befall, no voice I hear
Drive me out of my lonely den

My chains unshackled
In His blood I am free
Free to follow Him faithfully
Boundless love afloat my Road
Owing my loyalty to Him forevermore

Lead me in the road I’m feeble
Effete, worn, and my trembling feel
Yet You are good and faithful
Enable me to tread on heights
In fellowship we would stay
My Rock you are my refuge!

Here in the Valley it is dark
Pointy rocks hard to ignore
Light of hope shone my road dimly
Yet my eyes are not blinded
Your grace appeared saving me fall
Hope dawns on the rugged road!

Going Home: Brief Concept of Perfect Christmas

In the middle of December, two years ago, I had undergone brain surgery. Just ten days left before the year’s Christmas dawned. I was recovering, in the Intensive Care Unit, with few pains between the doses of painkiller.

Somehow, I want to go home before Christmas. And I know it could simply be a far cry of the inner self. My two young kids, who could not see me in my hospital room, were at home. My wife’s busy maintaining balance between home and hospital.

At least if it is possible, I don’t want to steal the spirit of celebration or celebrating moods of my devoted attendants. I was there, in the fumigated and calm hospital room, swooning to the beeping sounds of supporting machines.

During those period of uncertainty, I can recollect what my father told us before every Christmas; a prayer for those who could not be home for Christmas. Especially for those who are about to spend Christmas time in their hospital bed. I told myself, ‘I could be one of them!’

However, I know that nothing is in my control. I may or may not be home for Christmas; even if I am home I could simply offer my presence. After all, I know that all our family members would be praying for my quick recovery.Many times, I was made aware of their intercessory prayers.

Home for Christmas with decorations
Artwork: Home for Christmas

One evening, Doctor VP told me that I would be going home for Christmas; I thanked him. We even click few still moments, capturing those happy moments. We were discharge the next day. And we’re home for Christmas!

The almost Perfect Christmas:

Before moving forward to how we celebrate Christmas that year, I wanted to take you around on how we wanted to have a perfect Christmas. By tradition and culture, we are among those people who wanted to celebrate by having a grand feast among the believers. Everyone’s excited being part of the celebration, soon after the programs in our church are over.

Now, as time goes by we would like to give each other the perfect gifts. We chose the perfect greeting cards and write the perfect family letters if we’re not home. We would imagine the perfect celebration for Christmas and put all our effort to make it work. In other words, it was that time of the year where the pressure intensifies.

In many places, nowadays, the so-called celebration or party planners would be busy tending calls in this time of the year. Everyone wanted the best Christmas for a year. All the preparations would be way over the normal budget compared with any other occasion. It is good; it shows our appreciation of the new-born king.

For some people, it is time for buying new dresses for their children and love ones. Their wallet would be stretched a bit. They would want to show up shining and well-polished. These are what we called as being part of creating a celebrating atmosphere in most part of the world. Some have-nots section of the society would be getting their annual heist, which is long overdue.

Faulty Concept of Perfection:

We wanted to put good food on the table. More importantly, most people already work hard to secure the once-in-a-lifetime kind of meal on that day. However, unsurprisingly part of the meal got overcooked, probably, due to intensified behavioral error.

Children are busy fighting over toys. Their parents might get affected either directly or indirectly due to their tenacious or domineering attitude over others. Before they get the better side of it Christmas would be over. It would be disappointing for some.

Due to our faulty concept of perfection some would be left high and dry. Our perfection Jesus Christ had promised us is something different from this entire attitude. This year, if your Christmas celebration is less ideal and non-meaningful, take a backseat, relax, and focus more on the perfection we have in Him.

The Meaningful Christmas:

Let’s go back to our Christmas celebration, when we’re home just before Christmas, on that particular year.

There’s no time for preparation nor did have we time and strength to decorate our house. Yet there’s joy in being home for Christmas. It really was a joyous moment this Christmas as we’d be spending time together at home.

Spending precious time together at home, talking in deep the purpose of the birth of Christ, and the sharing the privileges we have in Christ Jesus would be more beneficial. For someone who is still deprived of the privilege of having peace with, it would be a great opportunity to ponder over it. There is joy, which the world could not give, in Christ Jesus.

Due to some specific reasons, some of us can’t be part of the celebration organized by anyone but we’d be talking about the reality of Christmas to our children. In between short nap and taking rest, we talked about the significance of the birth of a new king; the Savior.

All of us couldn’t make it home. We still have a troubles; a battle to fight.

Instead of getting discouraged, as we need to go slow on almost everything, we could focus more on the true meaning of Christmas; we could be in peace with our Creator because of the coming of Jesus Christ, here on earth. Our broken relationship amended so that we could be called the son of God.

If you’re among those people who cannot make it home, either by choice or due to unavoidable circumstances, it can still be meaningful if you spend time with God. He came to die so that we may have life, should we believe in Him.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. (Titus 2:11) In Him, we become the Righteous. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being make holy. (Hebrew 10:14)

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will toward men!

P.S Merry Christmas!

The Loneliness of Life

During my formative years, I had spent considerable amount of time herding cattle, sometimes sheep, in the slopes of the hills.

Most of the time we were alone, except for our bovine friends, which we had closely watch. In the nearby shade of trees, we sat down, waiting for the animals to be fed.

It was a good time to render our thoughts over anything our mind would grabbed upon. It inculcates, at some extent, a wandering or thinking mind in us. I always had that longing for a cozy living room filled with good books, carpets, and warm chairs.

Where there are no hard soils to sit upon, we’d climb the trees holding onto our shabby books, either very old or typewriter-written books. In that vastness of the world filled with green valleys, rivers, and hills, we spent our time in loneliness.

We’d missed those football matches where people cheered, as loud as they could, for their teams. Not only that, we’d missed some local festivals as we headed towards the woods before sunrise. In those remote places, refrain from normal life, we spent our time.

The Lonely Lamb
Lonely Lamb; the Loneliness of Life

Loneliness is a state of mind; it is more of a feeling than the separation or disconnection with people. We can find more lonely people in the thickly populated alleys, sidewalks, and workplace of cities than in the remote regions of the world.

Ostensibly, one can easily possess loneliness when disconnected, mentally or physically, with people around us. Even with friends and families around us, we could have pervasive loneliness, which could be filled only by the Holy Spirit.

Loneliness in the Virtual World:

Here let me give a brief account of our virtual world before we moved back to the nativity;

In the realm of our present virtual world, people become prone to loneliness more easily than they did before. I’ve known some people who really counted the number of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ on their social media posts.

Some friends met on the phone and chat through the available communication apps. There is enormous lack of human touch. A huge hole is left in our lives.

Words and one-liner communication can be easily misread, and at the same time, misinterpreted. Few people had stopped seeing each other face-to-face. When the machine gets conked off, for some, life isn’t happening anymore.

Something or someone has to fill the void. That void is hard to ignore. The brighter side is that such void can be avoided, but if not avoided, it can be filled.

The Shepherds of Bethlehem: (Luke 2:8-20)

The shepherds suddenly shot to fame at the birth of Jesus Christ. They are keeping watch on their flock living out in the fields nearby Bethlehem. They lead a life different from the townspeople. The Bible did not give us their numbers but it seems they did not interact much with other people, except the middlemen to whom they sold their sheep.

The shepherds, at that time, were generally seen as living a low life. Their occupation was considered as of little value by other people. They spent the night under the stars. They were quietly getting on with their business.

Suddenly, on the night Jesus Christ was born, the angel appeared to them. The lowly and isolated people were the first to witness the birth of our Savior. A brief description of the new-born king was told to them.

A great company of the heavenly host appeared praising the God. They had witness the heavenly host in their very own eyes! What greater privilege could there be on this earth than witnessing the heavenly praise?!

Those shepherds being the first to be told about Jesus make a lot of sense. In their isolated and lonely life, the shepherds had been given privilege. They become the favored people with the birth of Christ. Our loneliness, feeling of isolation, and lowly life could become the cornerstone; a block or the foundation of witnessing.

Immanuel – God with us:

The birth of Jesus Christ marked the wonder incarnation that God became flesh and made His dwelling among us. Matthew quoted Isaiah in proclaiming Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah.

Immanuel is a Hebrew word meaning “God with us”. Let’s read the text here: All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). (Matthew 1:22-23)

The God who dwelled among us never left us again. In His ascension to heaven we are provided with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

A life stemming out from Him would not be lonely, as He is always with us. It will be fruitful in the right time and phase.

There will be times of loneliness, the feeling of being forsaken, the feeling of isolation, and the feeling of helplessness but let us remember and remind each other the indwelling of Christ through the Holy Spirit in us.

Jesus Christ is the Lord, our God, who not only abided in heaven but also abided with us.