Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tasting His Incredible Grace

Back in Manila and I'm almost raring to jump into my usual groove.

But first things first. I'd like to pause and let you in on God's overflowing grace in our lives these past few weeks:

Grace which allowed us to bond with Lucci and Joel; and be awe-struck lolo and lola to Joaqui and Charlize. They have definitely stolen our hearts again.
Grace to experience the love and hospitality of seldom-seen relatives and friends in Australia, especially my sister Dulce, nephews and nieces and apos from both the Padua and Olmedo clans, and their extended family members. (We rushed from one dining and pasyal experience to the next!)

Grace to be welcomed warmly by Pastor Nomer and Carol Velasco and kind-hearted Christian brothers and sisters at Faith in Christ Fellowship, our spiritual home in NSW; and have awesome back-to-back teaching assignments- "Going Up?" seminar one Saturday, followed the next Sunday by a sharing on God's love which drives all fears away.

Grace to experience His anointing and enabling and the congregation's responsiveness to His Word. Grace to have friends, loved ones and fellow believers praying with us through all these.

Grace to promote and sell all the "Going Up?" books I brought to Down Under.

And it will still be grace hemming us in, covering us, protecting us, giving us strength, ordering our days even as Jack goes back to work; and me to teaching, seminars and writing as I continue to worship and praise God every day of my incredibly grace-filled, joy-filled and peace-filled existence, notwithstanding my inadequacies and oftentimes wobbly spirit.
Oh Jesus, what would life be without you?! You're my all and all and to be in your presence is what I desire all the days of my life!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cold or Hot

Whew! Sydney temperature gets colder by the day as autumn descends.

It's still comfortable at 22 to 25 degrees C but wait till it gets below 20. My tropical hide would just love it when I'm back in Manila before NSW temperature falls below 15 degrees.

Manila would normally experience 30 degrees this time of year. I don't look forward to that either. Our weathermen predict hotter days as global warming worsens. Doctors warn too of more ailments as the mercury soars.

It's interesting to note that the Lord would say He dislikes either hot or cold. But he's not talking of the weather. He's more concerned about our heart's temperature.

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So because you are lukewarm- neither hot nor cold- I am about to spit you out of my mouth." (Rev. 13:15-16)

Because we get weighed down by a myriad of concerns, our spiritual thermometer falters, soaring or dipping depending on our circumstance.

This morning, He reminded me again as I woke to chilling temperature. "My grace is sufficient for you," as I sought the Lord once more:

Oh Lord, who am I that You would even be concerned about me?

How could you love me so much when I am just a clump of dust?

Why do you put up with me when time and time again I sin against you?

Then came His gentle caring whisper:

I died for you, didn't I? I went to the cross for you and for the rest of sinful humanity.

Because of that, I was willing to overlook your failings! Placed them all under My blood forever!

So fear not. As you have trusted me with your life, I will cover you with my righteousness.

And with that I give you too new grace, new mercies, new blessings. A new heart with which to hear and trust and obey me.

As far as My heart goes, you are a brand new creature waking up everyday to a brand new life.

You've always been brand new in my book ever since you put your trust in Me and let Me hold the reins of your once uncontrollable and calloused heart.

That's how I behold you now as you seek Me with heart ablaze.

Oh Lord, You indeed are worthy of all praise and thanksgiving and worship!