When we are asked about love, we often have something splendid and pleasant that comes to mind. The truth is, most of us actually think the same. We often perceive love to be an extraordinary, un-rivalled feeling that just feels majestic and simply – wonderful. What we don't know is that love comes in various aspects of life. In fact, not all love involves a sense of satisfaction, contentment or delight. God the Father being our example, we can know and clearly comprehend the measures of His immense love for us. We can also see that His love is also portrayed in another view – a view which we may consider as both harsh and meaningless. Something we may often ignore or disregard for it being unreasonable.
BECAUSE OF THE LORD'S GREAT LOVE WE ARE NOT CONSUMED, FOR HIS COMPASSIONS NEVER FAIL. THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING; GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS.
Last night, at exactly 00:00, I was about to publish a post similar to this, but Weebly on my phone has unfortunately stopped because of some glitches. Anyway, last night was quite different. I didn't feel like I was ever going to be okay. I was depressed, I admit. I wanted life to just get better, but it just isn't happening the way I wanted things to be. I felt so bored that I kept scrolling on my Instagram feed over and over again which made me even memorize all of the captions already. I then checked my 'explore' tab, and out of the blue, there was just something that touched my heart to its core.
I bumped into the page of Jay Lucas who has undoubtedly such talent in photography, but aside from that, the part of his feed that I instantly loved the most were his posts about his daughter, Caitie and her recent death. The photos show just how much he and his wife loved their daughter so much. Honestly, my tears just had to drop while browsing through their photos! Caitie was down with an immune disorder that have affected their whole family -- even their church friends. Above all the pain and grief that are portrayed through their pictures and its captions, it is undeniable that their faith and trust in God still stood out.
I mean, how could so much of intense pain still be turned into praise? How could death ever be a reason to still move on with life? And how could a little girl's battle for life still bring inspiration to many? The thought of these things just made me realize how grateful I must be.
Life, for me, has always been a mixture of fun and sorrow -- mostly sorrow. If I were to grab a line from Anne of Green Gables, I'd say that "I'm in the depths of despair". Although I believe that God is in control, sometimes I can't just believe it anymore because of the circumstances I face in life. But now, I can only be thankful that even if my faith went on wavering, God reminds me, even through pictures that He is in control and will always be. His mercies are new every morning and He never fails.
Be inspired by @felizlucas
@jayjaylucas on Instagram.
Last March 27, we've had the privilege of celebrating Easter during sunrise at the beach! How amazing is that? Actually, I've been planning to post this earlier, but I was obviously running out of time to do so. So here, I just wanted to share a little something about what actually happens during Fellowship's Easter Sunrise Service.
Thankfully, there have been some selfless people who managed to decorate the place really early in the morning, when everything was still dark. It's just amazing how the beach looked like. A stage made up of sand, and of course, this cross right here to your left. Before the cross had been this beautiful, it was first empty. Just wood and some metal thingy that would hold the flowers later on. This cross symbolizes just how beautiful Easter day is.
Imagine a life so empty, so dull, so boring and colorless? In short, a life without meaning. Imagine that kind of life where everything around you is negativity, pride, selfishness and greed? Imagine how you would finally end up with all those ugly things that weigh you down? If I imagine what my life would be like that, nope. I wouldn't even give it a try because my life is just messy. But guess what, Jesus changed all that. As in He completely gave no power to those sins that pull you down. And death, finally, has no power over you. And how did that ever happen? Jesus' death. Simple.
Because of Jesus' death on the cross, we are fully assured that we wouldn't end up with messy, terrible lives. And not that just His death, but also because of His resurrection that made things even more beautiful and meaningful. God is good! God is great! The decision to believe that fact is completely up to you now. Jesus — He did His part to finally prove to you that He loves you more than ever, and that no amount of sins (bad things we do) could ever separate you and me from Him — not even death.
I remember, just at the beginning of this year, I was quite worried about how things will actually go and work out in my life. It was just towards the end of 2015 that I felt so uneasy and anxious when in fact, I know I shouldn't. There were just so many things happening that I wasn't aware of; and everytime I begin to think that everything is going to be fine, I just felt like it actually wasn't going to be. I guess I was just the one encouraging myself to feel better. After all, a year takes 12 months and 366 days. Things might eventually work out with that much given time. On the inside, I reckon I was a bit melancholic and desperate to go back to the life I once lived before. But on the contrary, the more I made myself look forward, the more things around me are going worst; the more I stumble going the opposite direction. It's like everything is a disaster and I couldn't just get things back up and I can't even stand back up! The feeling was horrible — I was fighting against depression and trying to overcome it by distracting myself and trying to be busy although I wasn't really focused on something yet.
The number 1 thing that kept bothering me was the fact that I just wanted to go back to studying (although I passed acceleration tests before) and move ahead and do something for myself. The terrible feeling of not being able to do what you love doing most just hit me rock bottom. But they say, things come when you least expect them. It must be true. Just at the beginning of March, through unexpected events, me and my sisters happily started to do homeschooling with some friends at church. It was undoubtedly God working behind the scenes. We expected a different thing to happen and different answers to our prayers but God who is in control over all things gave us what we needed just at the right time. Few months ago, I was also given a book to review in to finish highschool and get ready for College. I thought, why did I feel so negative when God has His own way of doing things? A little more hard work and I'm off!
For the meantime, I'm really busy catching up on how things are. Waking up early (6 am!), getting loads of reading and writing to do and worst of all, working on Maths! I super x 200000000000 hate Math but I'm just surprised that I could do things without help! And also, in homeschooling, there is no teacher. You'll have resources like videos and stuff, but the thing you'll need the most is yourself, your brain, and your determination ( with God's guidance). It is not just a normal routine of waking up early and wearing uniforms, it's more of doing your job fast- paced and the more you move quickly, the more you'll be able to catch up. There are different types of home study programs and I'm glad that we do the Eclectic one where it is a mix of the other programs ( traditional, unit studies, unschooling) and you just have the freedom to study a subject you are really interested in! To be honest, my brain got a little drained and all but it's definitely worth it. I wouldn't trade the joy of being able to study to the temporary rest that comes along in life. I don't even care if my face contains lots of 'unwanted particles' due to stress because it just reminds me that I'm doing the right thing.
When I thought that this life was just a mess, it was then that God reminded me that it isn't. I live in a world that is a mess including the circumstances I face. But my life? No. My life is a proof of God's work, of God's hand moving along it to shape me, and make me a better person. So if ever you come to think that you're so done — hold on, God is not done with you yet.
NO. DON'T GIVE UP HOPE JUST YET. IT'S THE LAST THING TO GO. WHEN YOU HAVE LOST HOPE, YOU HAVE LOST EVERYTHING. AND WHEN YOU THINK ALL IS LOST, WHEN ALL IS DIRE AND BLEAK, THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE.
When life is so messy, it's easy to doubt and give up.
Through the years, it has become undeniable or inevitable that each of us go through trials that are way bearable; more than what we can even imagine. Sometimes, we feel like it's the end of the world and we've got no way out and could no longer go too far. Often times, life for us,becomes a series of lost expectations, hurt, anxiety and depression, and a whole lot of pain. Immense pain that's as sharp as a knife – good enough to kill someone or in this case, us – the sufferer; the victims of this but broken world. As a 19 year-old teenager, I can almost say that I've suffered long enough to recover from the misery of the past. I may be exaggerating a bit but I can tell you – I've experienced stuff other people my age haven't. Well, it's nothing like the ones you see on TV, but it's something that has always been on the inside. It's like a battle against something I haven't known back then.
There are times when I struggle finding that peace of mind which always distracts me from things I have to do and probably the positivity that must've been there right at that time. Occasionally, I feel this blank mind and disrupted focus that I'm not sure about what I should be doing. I start to pity myself for not being able to do things I should've done or places I should've went to, people I could've met – all these petty things that seemed so essential and of a big deal to me that time. I wonder, what was in me long way back that almost got me out of mind? I seem to have bigger problems now but I was way worst prior to these days. Was it just part of growing up that I have finally outgrown?
Now, in the present time, I still feel that pang of self pity and comparison between myself and other people but out of the blue, I suddenly feel a hand helping me up or a pair of arms carrying me back to the shore making sure I get right back on track. I don't know if you've been through the same thing in your life that you begin to get rid of all the positivity and embrace the negativity. I think everyone, in one way or another, have encountered fighting for peace within you and your surroundings, wherever that may be. The only thing I can share to you or most likely advice you is that – it's easy to give up, it's easy to just sleep your problems off and wallow in despair, but sometimes, it does take the will to get back up, the will to continue this race with perseverance and the willingness to call on to God whether things get rough or when things are just going fine.
Growing up, I've heard a lot of Christian stories speaking about hope and endurance and security in God that have inspired and reminded me that God has always been by my side. If you've heard or if you know about The Footprints In The Sand, well and good. If not, I'm going to post it here and I hope you get the point of what this post is all about. When you go through hard times, don't ever think that God has left you; He didn't.Sometimes, it just takes a sound mind to realize that it was you who has looked at things the wrong way and God had nothing to do with it all along.
I'm sharing this because I've been through it and still going through it somehow, albeit I'm100% sure that I'm not walking this journey alone, because of the circumstances I face, I just absent-mindlessly forget about all the things above.
Let's get reminded that God has always been good no matter what. Smile big!
Footprints In The Sand
One night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene, he notice two sets of footprints in the sand:
One belonging to him, and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the
path of his life there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in his life.
This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome
times in my life there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when I needed
You most you would leave me.”
The lord replied, “My precious child, I love you
and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering, when
you see only one set of footprints in the sand,
it was then that I carried you.”
This story really brings me back to the times in my life where I felt like God has abandoned me. Sometimes, I even feel like I'm all alone and I just need someone to breathe air into what I feel like a lifeless body. But then again, I'm going back to square one –
Jesus + Nothing = Everything.
If you're reading this and you can relate to it, don't let take it too long, do the most wonderful thing anyone could ever do – that is to surrender everything to God and let Him carry you too. I love you, but I am most certain that God loves you more!
We probably know who Justin Bieber is, he’s the internet sensation who turned a star and has already bagged several awards in the music industry, the one who has such an amazing talent in music, the one who’s really sweet and caring to his fans, the one who jumped over the gate to get near his huge amount of supporters and of course, the bad side is how he become childish and abusive to himself for the past few years. The one who looked like he didn’t respect anyone like he really did before. But what if all of a sudden, he changed for the better?
This morning at church, in the middle of Pastor Jim's teaching, a guy shared his story of the depression he had and the hope he's found in God. In his video, he also told people that Jesus is better and He's worth it. I realized that yes, he's right. Sometimes we think that we can do it all and we can fill and help ourselves through our strength alone, but in reality, we can't do it if we rely just on ourselves. It is when we reach rock bottom that we discover who Jesus is,, He is the Rock at the bottom. I've been through times when I felt depressed and defeated in life. I felt that God was not there and I just had to rely on myself. But in the end, I failed. I wouldn't have this relationship with God if he hadn't reached out to me and brought me back to where I'm supposed to be, in His arms surrounded by His love. So if I have something to tell you, just pursue Jesus and put your hope on Him. Trust Him that He's doing things for your own good and no matter how depressing things could be, God is there waiting for you. After all, He's the only one who can fill that void, that missing part in your life.
Short post today, but I hope it's okay.
Posting this as quick as possible,
Finally, I get to post here on the Faith Book again. It's been a while since I've blogged about my faith. I admit, I've ran out of ideas regarding on what to post and I really hate the feeling when I couldn't think of what to write. But recently, I've bumped into a person who seemed to be so childish. I don't want to go into details, but his actions really match the saying "Actions speak louder than words". In fact, he acted like his age wasn't double as mine. And it can be pretty weird. Then I realized, that sometimes when we talk to God, we also act so childish in a way that we think we should get what we want RIGHT away.
We end up with tantrums when God's answer to our prayers are not yet clear enough. Yes?
16 "I Will Forgive" statements that tells us why choosing forgiveness is way better than letting time heal.
1. I will forgive because I want to
2. I will forgive because I want to grow
3. I will forgive to free myself from hatred
4. I will forgive to get rid of anger
5. I will forgive so I can give the other a second chance
6. I will forgive because I'm just a human being who also makes mistakes
7. I will forgive because Jesus Christ is my role model
8. I will forgive because God forgave me first
9. I will forgive to be forgiven
10 .I will forgive so that my heart will not be destroyed by anger
11 .I will forgive because doing something is much faster than letting time heal all wounds
12. I will forgive to have peace of mind and move on
13. I will forgive because I want to obey God and His word
14. I will forgive because life is too short to carry a heavy burden all the time
15. I will forgive so I can be a good example to others
16. I will forgive so that God will be glorified
THE WEAK CAN NEVER FORGIVE. FORGIVENESS IS THE ATTRIBUTE OF THE STRONG.
Forgiveness is not easy but it's a choice we can make.
Hope you like it!
(Photos from Google Images)
Life is not always what it seems to be. It's not always happy, it's not always fun and it's not always easy. As crappy as it may sound, but it's the truth. Moments where we don't always get what we want, we don't always expect things to go the wrong way, or the hard way. All these are a part of the journey we call life. These they say, make us who we are. TRIALS. Trials don't always come to make things unbearable. They also come in our lives probably to tell us something.
Below are some of the things it does to us. I've listed 4 things and through these, I hope you'll figure out the amazing part of what seems to be unbearable at times, help us attain something in life.
A mixture of life, love, faith, and everything in between. Welcome to my space!
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