“Crossing” – Dedicated to those in grief

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Y’all Parents Better Listen Up..


Now, I’m no expert in parenting or anything, but… we need to raise the next generation right. Come on, you can’t just sit there and complain about the “decline of society” and do nothing about it. The fixing starts at HOME!!!

I’ve had to babysit enough kids of our church-members (when I was a kid myself) to know that a lot of parents don’t even try to discipline their children, and even more surprisingly, don’t bother to teach them the basics of how to love God or to pray. There really is no two ways about it folks, and if you’re not raising up your kids in the right way and teaching them about the love of God then you are doing a disservice to them, AND to the world. Image result for raising kids

Don’t just force your kids to go to church with you and make them sit quiet there, make them understand why it is important to worship God. Tell them why God loves them and why they should learn to trust Him no matter what. Teach them discipline. Give them reasonable consequences for misbehavior. Don’t let even a single disrespectful word go out of their mouths without a stern correction from you. Teach them not to hurt anyone. Teach them to give to others, teach them honesty, teach them to help people. Teach them gratitude. Teach them to take nothing for granted. Teach them that the world does not revolve around them. Teach them that life may not always be fair to them, but they can get through it with the right attitude and faith.

Honestly, children learn from their parents. So if you’re a parent, your PRIMARY duty to your kid is to live out your life as best an example as possible to them. Don’t just tell them, SHOW them.

I’ve talked to people that said their parents were devout Christians but they never cared to take them to church, or they never talked about the faith to them, and so they felt not inclined to follow the faith. People, it is one thing to give an adult a choice to follow God, but it is another thing entirely to just let your children loose and not give them any direction whatsoever. Let the child choose their path once they are adults. Up until then, you raise them the way God has instructed you to. You are responsible for their moral compass until they are old enough to choose otherwise.

Related imageInstill in them all the goodness of charity and love and peace, while also teaching them how to stand strong amidst trials and how to deal with hatred from others with the grace of God. As a child, my parents always taught me the importance of prayer. They taught me that God would hear the honest prayers of a longing heart, not for materialistic things, but if I was in trouble and needed guidance, or if I wanted to help change a situation that was beyond my control for the better.

It is impossible to even begin to explain how much joy I had growing up that way – knowing that no matter what happened to me, I had an all-powerful God watching over me and waiting to answer my prayers. I believed in that strongly from a very young age. As soon as I began to talk I participated in prayer, (got whooped ONE TIME for crawling off in the middle of prayer, and ever since then have treated prayer with utmost respect and gravity), I would try to talk to Jesus as my friend and felt a sense of protection, and I came to actively seek out God’s wonders and mysteries.

My childhood was a blessed one, because I had the savior of the world by my side, and still do. My adulthood is built upon this foundation of faith from my childhood, and continues to support me and help me grow despite the trials of life.

So, please, don’t deny your children the opportunity to grow up with such guidance and sense of purpose. Let them explore God with their young, innocent and beautiful hearts. That, my friends, is the BEST thing a parent can do for their child.

(And plus, it might just lighten my burden as resident church babysitter in the future!)

God bless.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

Keeping Focused


Life is tough. Sometimes life can be a bit too tough! The pressure mounts, the stress leaves you sleepless, your natural panic-mode kicks in and you feel drained of energy at the end of the day.

I had a few weeks of that this month. Sometimes it feels like you just do not want to deal with all the responsibilities of life. But did you know that there is one thing worse than any and all of these feelings combined?

If, in the middle of your rushed and stressful life, you forget about God – THAT, my friend, is the worst that can happen. I almost did. When I started staying up late to get my studying done, I would crash and go straight to sleep, just to wake up early and start all over again. This cycle, I found out very quickly, is so unhealthy, both to your physical, as well as your spiritual self.

You spirit needs God. Your soul craves God. This is true whether or not you believe it! Our bodies are temporary and come from this earth, but our soul , that came straight from God, and no matter how well you think you’re multi-tasking or setting aside breaks for yourself, if you don’t allow yourself some time in the day to reconnect with your Creator, you are doing yourself harm as well as distancing yourself from the One Who loved you before you were even born!

There is a sense of peace that comes over you when you go to Him and tell Him your needs. You know He hears you and He speaks to your heart with words of wisdom and peace.

And that constant guarantee that there is someone up there that loves me unconditionally, to Whom I can pray about anything and everything and rest knowing that my prayers were heard, to know He is handling my life for me while I catch a little bit of sleep for the night, that is the best feeling in the world!!!

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

“The Kindest Eyes” Poem


A crown of thorns upon His head
Adorns His face in crimson blood.
His clothes, a pile of rags be dyed
In painful shades of sinless red.

I peek between the many men
That crowd around this man condemned
Whilst try my best to catch a glimpse
Of Who this man be, standing hemmed

And see beneath the blood and tears
And wounds and scars repulsive, oh!
A pair of eyes that gaze at me
And in that chaos, kindness show.

Those eyes doth gaze, my soul, within
And sift my thoughts in search of love.
And rather than to find their goal,
Do find a sinner’s heart thereof.

And as I doth stand quiescent there,
Caught in a gaze at those two eyes,
Yes, oh! Those eyes be pearls of wine –
I hear a thousand rising cries.

Some cry of death to be His fate
Some other cries do echo hate
And only few request to free
This man Whose eyes still gaze at me.

And then a voice is heard that talks
Of not a kinder word to hear,
A judgment falls of death on a cross
At which the mob does echo cheer.

I wish to not mere blink as if
I might lose sight of my soul, its root
But then I wonder with a sigh,
“Does He not wish the least to refute?”

And then as though an answer sent
He looks once more, mine eyes in sight,
And feels my soul, a song of sweet
That tells me “Do not worry dear”.

And then as though a sack at hand
They push and shove this man away
And at that very moment, sad,
My heart resounds of a sinner’s pray.

-Stenila Simon

 

Are you better than everyone else?


In my short lifetime so far, I’ve had the blessed opportunity to come across all kinds of people, deal with all sorts of characters, and have experiences both good and bad with friendships/acquaintances.

But there is one particular thing that bothers me more than anything when I find it in another person’s character. It’s not sin. It’s not greed. It’s not laziness. It’s not even selfishness. It’s PRIDE. Arrogance.

The notion that you are above other people, that you have the right to look down upon your fellow human beings and act like you’re everything and more than perfect. This ONE character trait is something I find very hard to deal with, because I cannot comprehend how people can be unkind or arrogant towards others less fortunate just because of their worldly status or gains.

Why are people arrogant? I’ve seen and known people who think that just because they were born into a rich family, or just because they live in a developed country, or just because they have a “better” job than others, that they deserve better treatment and more respect from others. These kinds of people think that others less fortunate than them are good for nothing, and deserve no human consideration or love.

They think that your social status determines who you talk to or show kindness to. If you’re not up to their standards, you don’t get the “privilege” to talk to them or be friends with them. If this surprises any of you, then you have a lot to see yet in life, my friend.

The world is a dark, dark place, and the more I live in it the more I realize just how dark the human heart can get.

“For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” (Galatians 6:3)

If people think that the material riches of this world, the fame of this world, are to be proud of, then you need to open your eyes. Nothing of this world will last. What happens to the money or fame at the end of your life? You cannot take any of that with you. Everything in this world is temporary, but the soul is eternal.

“Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD….” (Proverbs 16:5)

“…..God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)

The Lord does not like arrogance, and it is even an abomination to Him. Why? Because God is the Creator of all, and He created every human being. Each of us is His creation, and thus equal to each other, none above the next. God loves justice, and justice counts every man the same.

It is quite surprising to me to see CHRISTIANS being arrogant against others!!! “Christian” literally means a follower of Christ. How can people who claim to follow the loving Jesus Christ live with arrogance?

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

This Bible verse literally tells us to humble ourselves and “let each esteem other better than themselves” – which means to consider everyone else above yourself. Be kind enough to think of other people’s feelings and needs as more important than your own.

We are called to be representatives of the loving Jesus Christ, and He set the example when He lived to serve others, and ultimately sacrificed Himself for the sake of all of humanity.

That is the kind of sacrificial love that Jesus showed us by considering our salvation more important than His own life. The least we can do is love others around us more than ourselves. ♥

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When will you be satisfied?


We are too occupied following our worldly goals, reaching out for what we believe is the best for us.

Whether this be an education, a promotion at work, or even money itself – we are always chasing after what will make us comfortable. And the worst part is, we are never satisfied.

You study to get a job. Once you get that job,  you are rushing for better positions within that company. Once you reach your work goals, now you’re running after your house, a new car, a new spouse, etc. Once you reach that, you are running after securing a better future for your children/family, or perhaps a better retirement. Once you reach that, what else do you have to live for? Will you feel like you have no further purpose and let yourself slowly die away?

When you look back at the end, will you be truly happy for what you have spent your whole life doing? Will you look back and think that all those endless days and nights of hard work were worth it? Was it worth it to work hard just to reach your next job where you kept working harder, for your own self? Was it worth it to spend your whole life struggling in this vicious cycle just so you could “enjoy” a comfortable life, only to realize that you were never really able to truly enjoy it?

Let me tell you, no worldly dream will ever satisfy you the way you think it will. Once you reach each of these goals, you will find out that your human heart keeps desiring more and more, and that nothing you can do will ever truly satisfy you.

However, there is one thing that can satisfy you even when you have reached nowhere in life – that is God. I learned this the hard way!

Not too long ago, I was once caught up planning a big future for myself. I thought of all the endless possibilities, and started motivating myself to work hard with these goals in mind. But soon enough, I felt empty. When I felt tired, I had nothing to tell myself that would keep me going. In such moments, you realize how much you need God in your life, and how important it is to find rest in Him when you can.

If you keep worldly things as your only aim, like money, fame, a better life, etc., you will soon run out of fuel and motivation, and you will drift away from God. You will never feel accomplished. However, once you realize that living for a bigger purpose than yourself is more important, then life starts having new meaning.

Living with the purpose of serving God, remembering that you are put on earth for the purpose of uplifting other people’s lives at any cost, and knowing that you are moving forward with the aim of changing the world one heart at a time – this, my friends, is what Christian life is all about – spreading the love and light of Jesus Christ, and living selflessly. Trying to change lives for the better so they can see the power of Jesus work miracles in their lives.

God tells us to stop worrying about our worldly problems, and start worrying about our spiritual life more:

“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?”

He then mentions that “your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.”

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

It is very important to remain faithful to God and take time to actively pursue His presence. If you incorporate your spiritual goals into your daily life, then life will become this harmonious ambition to shine for God, and then you will feel His presence along every step of the way, in everything you do.

No comfort, no human relationship, no riches and no fame can come even close to the satisfaction that can fill your heart when you start living for Him, when you make Him an inseparable part of your life.

Love God, and love your neighbors more than yourself. Be that person in this selfish world filled with greedy people working themselves to death for their own material gains.

Be the different one.

God bless you all!

Staying true to your identity


In today’s world where everyone is trying to “fit in” and find a “place where they belong”, it’s really hard for someone to stand out or set themselves apart, and when they do, they are often seen as the “insane” ones. Well, today I want to talk about why we must not be afraid to be apart from the norm in this world.

 

I’ve seen many Christians and pastors like this trying to desperately get the wrong kind of attention, trying to show the world that they are no different than the rest. I think some Christians even believe that trying to “relate” to the world will give them some kind of golden opportunity to share the gospel, by showing the world that Christians are just like the others. This, my friends, is a blasphemous lie.

(Here is the link to an article I recently read online. This is about a pastor who thought he could “win more souls” by riding a bull inside his church!! That’s right, he thinks he is doing gospel work by bringing in a bull and putting on a show for the world!! How sad. 

http://www.christianpost.com/news/ohio-cowboy-pastor-rides-bull-during-service-inside-sanctuary-says-hes-using-gifts-to-attract-new-believers-139363/ )

A true Christian is NOTHING like the world around them!! A true Christian will never be able to live like the others in the world, because they are called to be apart from it!

“But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1 Peter 2:9)

butterfly-release-291x380We are a chosen generation!! We are not supposed to be like the others, but by being different in the way we act, the way we speak, the way we show kindness, the way we stand up for the truth, and most importantly, the way we love and serve God with all our hearts – by being different like this, we are supposed to show the world how brilliant the light of Jesus Christ is that can transform people!!!

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

All you need to do is show the world that there is something fundamentally different about you, and later on they will realize that you are a child of God, and hopefully recognize and praise Him for it.

So how can we know what to do and what not to do? First of all, if you are saved already, you must have a voice inside convicting you of every action you do against the will of God. The Bible sets very clear guidelines about what angers the Lord, or what goes against His will.

Realize your identity in Christ, and live up to it. Think about it – Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins and mine, He gave up everything He had, and until the last breath, He christ-crucified1only had mercy to show to those that were torturing Him. He prayed that they be forgiven, He decided to suffer the worst and die with no ounce of regret or revenge in His heart.

That, to me, is the purest form of love. He was able to endure it all because He loved us that much!!! His love was true, pure, and sacrificial. That is the kind of overwhelming love that we must have in our hearts if we choose to follow Jesus. Actually, once Jesus enters our lives, once we fully become a living temple for His work, we will find ourselves wrapped in that love, wanting to share it with everyone around us. Love the people of the world much more than yourself, putting their needs above your own, and being a servant first.

This humility of Jesus Christ is an essential part of being a Christian, and sadly, nowadays, it is hard to see people who truly follow this principle. Lots of Christians today do not have the time to care for others. Some people live for themselves, going to work, coming home, planning their retirement, etc. without even thinking about where they can include their Godly purpose in this schedule. They are too busy to worry about being a good Christian.

Instead, they just show up to church once in a week, sing some worship songs, sleep through the sermon, and go home. They think that makes up for everything!!

I am telling you right now, my dearest readers, you must stop being lazy about your calling!! Embody the love of Christ, and the truth of His gospel in every step of every single day. Remember Him in everything you do. Praise Him for everything good in life, and ask for His help and guidance in bad situations.

 

 

 

 

The Love of my life cried – Good Friday


As millions of Christians are in remembrance of the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ this Good Friday, I want to take a moment to reflect on what He went through for an unworthy, filthy sinner like me.

Right now I feel the same way I felt that very moment when I was baptized. Immersing your body in the water, to show solidarity that you have died with Christ, have been buriedb3b3d9f9981b75640b99d8e36141c0d3 and rising back up to symbolize yourself being risen with Him into everlasting life. That
moment I felt the fearful anxiety. I knew the moment I rose back to the surface would be a most memorable one, to have partaken in the death as well as resurrection of Jesus Christ. But yet, there was a sense of fear when I was completely covered in water. For a split second I thought of exactly how Jesus could have felt when He was about to die.

The one and only Love of my life – He cried that day. He had trembled in fear before. He had gone through the most frightful night of His life, sweating blood, knowing and waiting for the wolves to torture Him like no one in the history of mankind.

As He was taken away, His disciples lost their most loving, guiding Master. I cannot imagine being separated from Him like the disciples had to be that day, knowing that somewhere, He was being mishandled, beaten, ridiculed, and reduced to nothing but a bundle of blood by a group of unworthy human beings that do not understand just Who He is exactly.

The moment He was taken away… just imagining that makes me feel an aching pain in my heart. I want to protect Him yet He knew exactly what was waiting for Him on the other side. He allowed Himself to be killed. He could not ask for mercy from God because it was His purpose to die for us.

“Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.” (John 12:27)

He was whipped, His flesh pierced and torn by thorny whips. He was in agony, not being able to ask them to stop. He was the Son of the Almighty God, He had the power to stop it all, yet He stayed silent. He chose to suffer through it for the sake of each of us. bb4b7d8d8ce286d3fb760e5b91d74929

He, the King above all kings, was crowned with thorns. He was stripped of His clothes. He was mocked and killed by the ones He had created. From the day He skillfully and artistically created Adam from dirt, carefully designing him and breathing life into him, He had loved every single one of us. He had longed for a very close bond and relationship with us, but time and again the human race betrayed Him.

The human race had gone after false gods, bowed their heads to sin, and chased after their own lustful desires, turning their backs away from God.

 

 

The love of my life was in agony when those nails were hammered into His hands and feet.

201601122307075d7Those hands were the very hands that had healed the blind man, and comforted the poor. Those feet had seen the throne of heaven as well as the dirt of earth. Those feet where angels and saints bow their heads down in worship. They were pierced by nails.

Each drop of blood shed that day  accounts for the sins of us. Knowing that my sins were also responsible for that puts me in a painful position. Here I am, crying about what He suffered when in fact, it were my sins that made Him suffer. How worthless am I?

“It is finished” – the light of the world had been extinguished. Great darkness fell upon the earth. He was the light. His death was the redemption of us all.

Today I remember the day the love of my life cried. The day He died for me. He chose to suffer so that you and I may have everlasting life. That sacrifice is worth more than anything in this world. No love can compare, none of the riches or comforts of this world are worthy when I compare it to the gift He gave that day.

Jesus Christ, I love You Lord like none other in this world, for without You, I am nothing but a pile of dust ♥

Extreme tolerance is NOT love


In today’s society filled with people who are constantly “offended” by anything and everything, it is hard for a person to have a single opinion and not be called a “hater” or “bigot” or “INTOLERANT”.

First and foremost in that group of “intolerant” people, are Christians. (Well, TRUE Christians of course). We believe that God created the earth and all living beings in it, so we are labeled “fools” and haters of atheists. We believe that gay marriage goes against Gay-Marriage
God’s natural laws, and therefore an abomination to Him, so we are labeled “haters” and “discriminators”, and “intolerant”. We believe that sin is awful and takes people to hell, so we preach against it, and so we are called “haters” and “intolerant”.

“HATERS”….. “INTOLERANT”….

Because of all this, an alarming number of Christians, pastors, churches, are all starting to “TOLERATE” sin. They are beginning to “SHOW ACCEPTANCE for all kinds of people” by inviting gay, atheist, abortionist, adulterous people to live as they like.

We are beginning to hear about churches that are actually performing gay marriages; about preachers who are saying “Jesus is not really the ONLY way to heaven”, famous “Christian” leaders of the world saying that every religion in the world leads to heaven, all of which are blasphemous lies.

Could it be that Christians are afraid of taking a stand for their faith because of how society deals with such people? Is this fear causing them to forcibly “accept” sins that the world is trying to normalize?

I know there are plenty of “Christian” people out there that will justify this, saying that we must “understand the world in order to help it” or “be tolerant of the world to get them into the church”, that we must “love and accept people for who they are” so they can “like” the church and Christianity, because it doesn’t go against anything they like to do.

Well, here’s something to ponder: Extreme tolerance is NOT love.

By “tolerating” people’s sin and telling them they can “be whoever they want to be” in church, you are NOT loving them, but instead watching as they pave their own one-way path to hell. This, to me, is one of the greatest forms of hatred. At least tell people they must try to change if they are actively coming to your church instead of endorsing their sin.

Christianity is not supposed to, nor is it designed to impress everyone in the world. In fact, Jesus Christ says the exact opposite:

“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.” (Luke 6:22)

We are not of this world, and therefore the majority of the worldly people will NOT like us. They will never be able to accept us without thinking of us as fools, and that is okay. But if a church or Christian decides to say “well, I think sin is okay” through their actions and words, JUST to gain the acceptance of the world, then they will gain that acceptance.

But let me tell you something you will LOSE. The acceptance of God. You can’t have both for too long before you are forced to choose one or the other. Of course we live in this world, but sticking to our true beliefs requires us to get rid of all sin and all abomination, even if the world around us says “it’s normal”.

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:23)

The above verse is more than enough proof that not every single “Christian” or “church” is approved by God. Some among us, no, a large amount of those among us are faking it. Others are giving into the lies of the devil and trying to be accepted and loved by the world.

If you do not want to hear those heart-shattering words “I never knew you: depart from me”, at the end of your life, then I would suggest you start seeking to please the living God of the heavens instead of accepting sin.

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So what is the purpose?


[Blogging 101 assignment #1]

I made my first post to this blog in 2012. Back when I had lots of time on my hands, things were easy.

But now I am swamped with several responsibilities, and I hate how much it has affected my blogging experience.

So, just as a reminder to me and to my readers, I blog so that I can share with the world my experience as a Christian. I want to share my thoughts about getting closer to God.

I want my blog to help others grow closer to God as well. I want to share my thoughts about Bible verses that I study.

That being said, I will post to this blog at least once a week this year. How will I keep up with it? It will probably be hard at times, but I will be reading the Bible and studying daily, so I’m not afraid of being at a loss of topics to discuss.

Let’s make this year the best!