First CHRISTmas Celebration in my Hometown (and probably not the last)

I know it’s kinda late posting it but I just want to write it down.

Since I went abroad on 2004, 13 years working to the country I called my second home, 2017’s CHRISTmas was celebrated for the first time in my hometown. How was it? Hmmmm…..

Back in Bahrain, CHRISTmas was normally celebrated with my spiritual family. We follow a program design solely to celebrate JESUS’ Birth and giving gifts and exchanging gifts to close friends and foooooood!!! It’s always being celebrated with so much joy because the real reason for this season was given an appreciation and remembered that without HIM being human, being born, we’ll not enjoy the grace, mercy, salvation and excitement that we, as believer, have been exploiting and enjoying so to say. Plus the weather is really really nice – cold and fashionable.

Back here in my hometown, 2017’s CHRISTmas was like: I often hear my mother complains about not having food in the table to prepare with, no spirit of CHRISTmas because no Christmas Tree or Christmas decorations inside the house. And as the day itself is fast-approaching, the complains are getting noisier and louder. Here comes the day itself, viola! There are food prepared in the table, delicious and yummy food BUT no ones enjoying it. WHY? Because some are already sleeping because they can’t cope up staying late, some are still full from the sumptuous dinner and some are not present because they got an invitation from friends. I kept on explaining to my complainer that “handa” or “media noche” is NOT the thought or significance of CHRISTmas but it’s JESUS’ Birth. And I think this statement was just being said to the air that she can’t understand it.

And you know what happened next? The food that was prepared supposedly for media noche lasted for 3 days. Well in that case, we save a bit for lunch and dinner.

My assessment for the whole thing is that JESUS is THE Way, THE Truth and THE Life. He alone can satisfy us. HE totally gets it when there are no food during media noche or no gifts being given to your mom or nieces or godchildren. HE understands our situation that sometimes we have so much and nothing at all. HE still loves us so dearly. HE will still come for us to be saved and to have a relationship with HIM. Too bad that some kept numb on what HE offered us instead they still want to kept their tradition and what for them is nice. It’s sad as well that these people are your family and you also want them to experience HIS scandalous grace. Well, I still believe in the saying that “you and your household will be saved!”.

#kapitlang #keepyourfaith #patienceisavirtue

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The Saving Love of GOD

The Saving Love of God

Our Daily Bread

Although we might think of Christmas as a time of “escapism”, the intention of the biblical narrative couldn’t be any more different. Jesus’ birth was not one of fantasy—He wasn’t born in a rich palace with midwives on hand to support Mary. If He had, what would it have said about God’s gift? That it’s only for the rich and powerful? Or only for those who are worthy in some way? The actual events and details carry a very different message.

A birth for everyone: Jesus’ birth plunges us into the real world. Imagine the anxiety of Mary and Joseph as they tried to find somewhere to deliver the baby, or the unclear future that lay before them as they fled to Egypt to escape Herod (Matt. 2:14). Jesus was born in the stark reality of poverty, uncertainty and weakness. As we are told by the apostle Paul: Christ “made Himself of no reputation… coming in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7 emphasis added). He wasn’t born in “the likeness of rich, powerful, self-sufficient people”; by His own choice, Jesus was born among livestock in the humblest of circumstances, and then placed in a feeding trough. We are told in the book of Hebrews that Jesus can fully “sympathise with our weakness” and He was “in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (4:15). It wasn’t just that Jesus looked like us; He became like us, suffering through hardships and trials, even from the day of His birth. He truly became one of us.

Jesus really is for everyone. He was born in a stable (or cave of some sort) crowded with animals. It wasn’t a high-profile, “private property” kind of place; there was no lock on the door to keep the world out. In fact, the first visitors to see the Baby in the manger were people of relative unimportance: shepherds (Luke 2:15–16). They didn’t stumble onto the scene, but were invited by “an angel of the Lord” (v.9). Jesus came that all would be able to find Him and know Him personally.

A rescue for everyone: Jesus was given two powerful names at His birth:

“You shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” —Matthew 1:21 (emphasis added)

“The virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” —Matthew 1:23 (emphasis added)

The promise of these names should leave us in absolute awe. Jesus was born into a world not ready for Him or looking for Him, yet He came to “save His people” and be “God with us”. These are the names God instructed to be given to His Son. Their message doesn’t rely on our circumstances or how well we are doing; it’s His mission to save us and make us His again. Jesus’ names show His rescue can be for everyone because it depends only on Him.

A sacrifice for everyone: Jesus was called another name at the beginning of His public ministry; one which adds some crucial explanation to the Christmas Story: “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Jesus wasn’t just born among livestock, He was born as “The Lamb”.

Lambs were very significant in Israel’s worship towards God. God’s law required lambs to be sacrificed as sin offerings (Lev. 4:32), guilt offerings (14:12) and other forms of offering. Yet the most important lamb sacrifice happened during the Exodus, when God freed the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt (Ex. 12). Every Israelite family was told to slaughter a lamb and put its blood on their doorposts. When God then visited Egypt in judgment that night, whenever He saw the blood on the doorposts, He passed over that house. He only brought death to the firstborn in the Egyptian houses, where this payment of blood had not been provided.

Jesus, “The Lamb of God”, is the fulfilment that the Exodus “Passover Lamb”, and all the other sacrificial lambs, pointed to. He wasn’t just born to teach and lead us; He was born to die. In a similar way to the Passover lambs (who died in place of the Israelite firstborn), Jesus paid for “the sin of the world” for us by dying in our place. He brought an end to the need for sacrifices, taking away “the sin of the world” for good.

Jesus didn’t die for innocent people who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. And He didn’t die for His friends. Jesus died for His enemies—messed up, broken people who have no relationship with God and no way of making things right on their own. Now, anyone who puts their faith in Christ can enjoy a life and eternity of “God with us”.

Disclaimer:

This article is not mine. I liked it from OUR DAILY BREAD so i thought i’ll share.

What does the Bible say about “trust in GOD”?

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Psalm 56:3

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2

“He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.” Psalm 121:3

“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 2:26

“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” Proverbs 29:25

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?””. Hebrews 13:5-6

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” Psalm 37:3

“And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” 1 John 5:15

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” Nahum1:7

*English Standard Version (ESV)

Confirmation

It’s been a while since my last entry.  I miss writing!  So many thoughts, so many things to share but only one moment and that is NOW!

I am inspired by the recent confirmation I got from My Dad in heaven.  When I left Bahrain, I told myself that I will still go back to Bahrain coz I haven’t heard from Daddy GOD yet.  So whenever friends ask me when I am coming back, I always say “very soon!”.  The reason for this is because I always rely on what GOD has to say in all of the circumstances in my life…either through dreams, through the people I am talking to or events.

This time though, when friends will ask me when i will come back to Bahrain, I already have an answer, “I got my confirmation!”

I am a bit teary-eyed coz I am so overwhelmed with how HE talks to me or communicates to me.  There is no day (I think) that I have not asked HIM what HE have for me here.  I know that HE has a purpose but “What is it LORD?”.  I kept on saying, “I trust the process LORD!”.  Then one Sunday……booom! HE spoke!

“I am the One who put that desire in your heart Claire.  That business that you so passionately thought of…that’s ME Who put that in you. Trust ME.  OBEY!”

And I’m like…Yes LORD! Ok LORD!

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”,  Joshua 1:9 (NASB)

“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.”, Isaiah 43:19 (NASB)

 

Reboot / Restart

“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth;Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,Rivers in the desert.”

Isaiah 43:19 (NASB)

9 days in Palawan now but the feeling is still surreal, the whole thing haven’t sunk in yet. I am still wishing that I was just here for 1-month vacation and I’ll be back to my second home after 3 weeks.

I have a house but I can’t call it a home. Here I am sitting in a coffeeshop, figuring out what to do tomorrow or the next day. I always make myself occupied everyday to forget what’s really on my hand – being unemployed, just expectant with what tomorrow will bring. I hear GOD but there is this childlike in me that I refuse to hear. Often arguing with HIM and most of time requesting to HIM that HE return me back to the people I have learned to love and I call my family.

When the reality is slowly presenting itself everyday, the more I am hesitant to embrace it, refusing to accept it. I wish i wake up from this reality at the soonest and be in my dream. Skip all the process and be at peace in one place. I am in my Peniel, I can’t deny that fact. I know HE will win or HE won rather but still discussing the possibilities and what ifs.

Daddy GOD, I am sorry for feeling like these towards Your way. Give me a heart that is so submissive and just enjoy this phase. I am not worried nor anxious though, just wishful.

Your Daughter,
Claire

Captive in Iran

I just finished reading this wonderful book and I can’t fathom the depth of its impact to me as follower of Christ. This book was written by two brave, faithful, zealous and on-fire Daughters of GOD. Their story, what they’ve been through is really remarkable and inspiring. Their heart and eagerness to share GOD’s love, grace and mercy to their fellow countrymen is really encouraging.

This book is the story of two Iranian women (Maryam and Marzieh), who both seek for the truth and both met and continue experiencing the TRUTH. Both were very determined to share the love that they found in GOD that their former belief never even tackled. Both have the heart to make a difference in the community they belong and share the new relationship they found in JESUS. They want to share this by meeting with their people, talking to them and sharing what they received has made a turn of their life. They gave away New Testament Bible to people they met discreetly. Little did they know they were being monitored and spied on by authorities. Later on, these authorities who are spying on them plot a scenario that put them in jail. And this was the turn of a grand design of GOD to their passion and heart. In the prison, they met different kind of women who are dealing with different issues in their life, mostly victims of the society and culture who have little regard with women. They were faced with different difficulties due to broken system that favors the power and who is in power. They took this opportunity to open and introduce their faith to their fellow prisoners. Prayer was a huge factor to penetrate even the hardest hardest broken hearts in their quest to honor and show GOD that they are partners with HIM. Almost all the prayers they lift up to GOD were answered that made these recipients all the more believed that Maryam and Marzieh’s GOD is alive and very caring. Through these answered prayers, these women felt loved, protected and for the first time, they felt that they were not ignored, that they are special.

Finishing the book made me think of my current partnership with Daddy GOD. It made me think a lot of ways how to be this on-fire for HIM. Talking behind the pulpit is not enough, serving is not enough, transporting brethren is not enough, reading and mastering the Bible is not enough…..it has to be something big, it has to be something extraordinary, it has to be something bold and scary and dangerous and bone wrenching act. I desire to be used in a way that I couldn’t imagine. I desire to be extraordinary for HIS Kingdom thinking that all HIS creation is important to HIM and should be with HIM…..for HIS glory, for HIM, through HIM and to HIM….one day!

Eversince, I met Jesus, it has been my desire to be _________! Paul was trained by Jesus for three (3) years in the wilderness (Galatians 1:11-24) and look how he have turned! It is taking ages for me but I believe it, in JESUS’ Name. Amen!

The Joy in a Sprout

I am currently living in Middle East, Bahrain specifically, wherein she only have 2 seasons – the super summer and winter. Summer is from late March to Early December and winter is from late December to early March. I like winter more than summer of course because of the many nice things that I benefit during this season:
– lower electricity consumption
– lower petrol (car) consumption
– you don’t get burn when you go outside
– people are not that smelly (hehehe…..)
– the air is fresher
– the plants are healthy and smiling

And the opposite of all of the above is summer which has the most months in every year. But it is during summer when i get to eat most nice fruits and some veggies that I like. So every other Saturday; me, Chrissy, Tita Aida and Tita Babes go to Manama Central Market coz there is where we can buy a fresh and cheaper produce.

At home I don’t throw away the seeds of fruits and vegetables that I cook and prepare. I dry them instead. After couple of weeks I will plant it to my mini garden at my terrace. Sometimes it’s kinda trial and error thing if these seeds will sprout and grow because it is really really hot in the summer in this part of the world. So when I see a sprout…..my joy!!!!

What can I learn from the sprout?  Why do I have joy within me?

  • GOD’s righteousness and faithfulness

Isaiah 61:11 (NASB), “For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
And as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
To spring up before all the nations.

  • Hope

Job 14:7 (NASB), ““For there is hope for a tree,
When it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And its shoots will not fail.

And in this side of the world which summer can be as hot as 50 degrees, it is impossible to have plants grow coz even the water use for watering is also hot.  That is why the moment that seed show up a promising grin/green, that is something!