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Are You Afraid?

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

-(Isaiah 43:2, NLT)

Isaiah 43:2

Isaiah 43:2

Where Are Your Treasures?

free-moving-announcement-front-chocWe are almost ready to move but one great lesson I have learned from all this is travel light. Travelling light could be both emotional or physical. We have been sorting, throwing and selling away stuff like crazy. We don’t realize how much we have until we move.  All of a sudden things we never thought existed just appeared. Four (4) christmas trees, boxes and boxes of ornaments, boxes and boxes of vinyls to name a few.

Through it all, it sort of put things in perspective because now we are in the last phase of selling a rather sentimental piece of my husband’s gramma’s possession. Her wrought iron garden set from the 50s is so gorgeous but super heavy. Her oriental planter pot is equally heavy but is so exquisite.  Her collection of musical instruments (they sold for $20.00 one bucket full).  The things she treasured while living are nothing but junk (for lack of a better word).  Things she held on dearly and tucked away neatly in the attic , are all novelty items either for donation, selling or the garbage bin. Even the heirloom and jewelries she left were sold. (I am keeping her watches!)

We can’t hold on to everything. We buy and store and hoard stuff. But one day we will all die and  whoever will inherit our possession will probably just sell, donate and throw them all away. They will spend the money we work hard for (and saving)  the way we wouldn’t spend them. The expensive china and the silverware we won’t use (but kept in the hutch) will probably won’t be used and be sold anyway. large_garage-sale-sign

We live to enjoy the fruits of our labor, including the expensive china and the silverware (which I will polish, clean and use). Nothing is wrong with saving money for rainy days or for when we grow older than the usual, but working endlessly to make ( and hoard)  money and taking for granted the now (family, making memories, etc) is a different story.

Matthew 6:20 reminds us not to store earthly but heavenly treasures. I believe that if this becomes our motto in life, we won’t be needing too much and we will probably think twice before buying items we don’t really need.

Travel light, friends.

Matthew 6



Would you include me in your prayers, please?

The foolishness of youth and arrogance of power is poison. The consequences of my sins from years ago still haunt me and every time the devil sees the opportunity to accuse and condemn me, I feel helpless and sad and stressed out and worthless.  There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord had already forgiven me, but like the mythical zombie,  the consequences of my sins just don’t seem to die and go away. ( at least not as quick as I hoped it would be).

The devil’s  tactics got old and with God’s grace, I was able to manage and deal with the attacks. Except this morning  the enemy sucker punched me with something unbelievable shocking that I started my day pissed.  Some sibling nonsense., you know?

I was persistent to find out which sibling said what and my hurt reaction was “how dare he/she!” (and I have no idea who it might be, lol) and  I found myself rambling about how I helped in the past and how I was a good sister to everyone, etc. I heard my voice and suddenly  realized that it was all rubbish- the devil dangled the bait and I took it!  Boy, was I confused.

I cried out to God, but I was not even sure what I was crying about. An overwhelming sense of sadness, desperation and losing control was just enough to break me down. As I was praying I said ” in times like this, how would I know if you are speaking to me still? How would I know if you’re listening to me?

I laid in bed crying just saying “help me, help me, help me Oh God help me.”


In case you are wondering what happened next, I sat in my  little corner, opened my bible and there He was. Speaking loud and clear in Psalm 30.

I will exalt you, Lord,
    for you lifted me out of the depths
    and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
Lord my God, I called to you for help,
    and you healed me.
You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
    you spared me from going down to the pit.

Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
    praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
    but rejoicing comes in the morning.

When I felt secure, I said,
    “I will never be shaken.”
Lord, when you favored me,
    you made my royal mountain[c] stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
    I was dismayed.

To you, Lord, I called;
    to the Lord I cried for mercy:
“What is gained if I am silenced,
    if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
    Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
    Lord, be my help.”

11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
    you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

God is not deaf.  The devil comes up with new tricks but our compassionate God equips us with  better weapons to counter the attacks while shielding ourselves from further harm.  There is great comfort in being helpless for it is when we are in this situation that we give God the opportunity  to rescue, save and  heal us.

My help comes from the Lord, the maker of Heaven and Earth.-Psalm 121:2 

Who Is Looking Out For You?

My hope is in you, Lord.

My hope is in you, Lord.

Last Saturday, my husband picked me up. When he got to where I was he suddenly remembered that he forgot to take the key to his other car. Why that was important is only because we recently listed our house and it is now open to public for viewing. There is a bit of insecurity, knowing that people go in and out of your property and you are not totally moved out yet.(..and we can’t be in the house during the tour).

So I called our realtor and asked him to get the key for safekeeping and that we would just get the key the next day.  I called him at 1pm and he ended the open house at 5 but we didn’t get home until 9.

photo courtesy of google

photo courtesy of google

As soon as we pulled in front of the house, I immediately jumped out of the car but in my peripheral vision I saw my husband ducked and picked something from the ground. “What is it?” I asked. “It’s my car key!” “No way, really?”

He said he had the urge to look down and when he did he thought he read “MACH1″, but he really did!

We laughed about it and as if talking to our realtor I said in a funny voice ” Well, the keys were safer in the dresser. We didn’t tell you to take it out of the drawer to put on the ground for anyone to pick up”.

Going in the house,  my husband in an almost epiphany kind of moment said ” God must really love me. He made me look down the ground.”  In all confidence, I said to him ” God is looking out for us.”

My devotion this morning confirms that : “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him.”-Lamentations 3:25a

Don’t go looking for big miracles. The Lord Jesus is in the details and it is sooooo good!

Check, Check, Check!

Every morning my husband and I have a routine (actually it was just his but I sort of adapted it) Before going out the door he would say to me ” wallet, phone, keys? ” to which I’d say, “check, check, check”!

This morning went like this:

Me      :  “ wallet, charger, ring!”
Him   :  “I already charged my phone yesterday, okay I gotta go, I love you”. ( 2 minutes later he announced himself) ” I’m back! “
Me:    :   “What did you forget?”
Him   :  “The Ring!”   and he stormed off before I could even open my mouth. LOL I mean come on, I just reminded him of that, right?

Last Sunday  around 11:30 he called me from his office  and said  ” I forgot the milk!”  “What milk?” I was thinking to myself “was he supposed to go to the store?  We still have milk in the fridge, what is he talking about?  He must have  read my mind because he said  “I forgot to bring milk, how will I eat peanut butter and jelly sandwich without milk? “ Of course.

That Sunday morning was really chaotic. We have been remodelling the house and everyday he’d wake up thinking of the  door hinges, paint, and tiles, and what-not. I should be  the calm one supposed to just take care of him ( and I sometimes fail honestly).  I’m in charge of the lunchbox and I totally forgot!

So where am I going with this?  I think you know. We are so caught up with our own agenda and just when we thought we had it all planned out,kaboom! Mere mortals,are we all?

This morning’s devotion revisits a routine we believers should perform on a daily basis. Before we  start our day and head out the door, God  is also reminding us of the essentials that we need to go about our day.  It isn’t the laptop, the phone nor  the car keys. Not the make up or the clothes we need to wear.  It is written in Ephesians 6  and should be etched in our hearts  as believers in Jesus Christ.

Armor of God

Does this helmet make my head look big?

Do we always  put them on?  When we forget and reminded of them,  are we too busy and in a hurry to go back for them?

The world is a battlefield, and we know that we fight not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12) 

We are to equip ourselves with the full armor of God and  fight the war. But we sometimes forget and go to the battlefield  unprepared and with our guards down.  When we start our day,  what do we say “check, check, check!” to?

Share below, we want to know.


Prepare To Meet Your Maker

That line is usually a sign that the movie is about to end and the villain is well..about to die.  Action movies even comedies use that line to signify the end and again, death.


er, umm (cough)…I hope I’m not interrupting ..?

The topic of death is an enigma in itself. To some people or culture,  talking about death is taboo. It is always associated with gloom, overwhelming sadness and fear. The morbidity of death freaks us out. It is just some ugly truth that we just refuse to face. After all, death is depicted as the phantom silhouette  with a sickle, pretty scary huh?

The bible hashtags death from the Garden to The New Jerusalem-it’s trending! Yet no one is Liking  it.

I am not writing about what others believe, but to Christians there is no finality in death. It is in fact living.

When Amos prophesied  to the Israelites and outlined God’s judgment, the Lord said  in v.12 “prepare to meet your God, O Israel.”  It was not to say they will literally see God face to face (not yet)  to me it meant that the Lord will manifest His wrath and with a heavy hand the Lord will deal with their disobedience and rebellion and yeseventually there will be death because it is inevitable.

Another dimension to death is that we really are going to see the Lord face to face. God always provides us with a way out SEEK THE LORD AND LIVE.

Welcome. I've longed to see you. I love you.

Welcome. I’ve longed to see you. I love you.

In Christ, we live to die so we can live again and forever. Isn’t that a comforting truth?  Dying,  my friend is not the issue. The real issue is: Are we prepared to meet Our Maker?  There’s a way.

Understanding the essence of death makes living worth dying for.

Have a blessed day.



Additional reading:

20 Comforting Scripture Thoughts



Jonah and the Blowfish

The story of Jonah offers more than one life lesson. It is a two dimension story showcasing human flaws and God’s perfection. It’s a matter of perspective and however  we want to view it bottom line is : God is inescapable.

When God tells us to do something and we run away from it does not only delay the process, it creates a ripple effect that is sometimes stressful for other people indirectly involved. It is silly to think that we can just get a one way ticket to nowhere and God won’t find us. Right!

Instead of dealing with it, we flee…and it is costly.

When I was a kid and I get orders from my mom or my gramma  to do something and I would cut corners or not do it at all, I usually pay the price. I’d always get the immortal lecture of  “ Resistance is futile. You will end up doing it anyway, so why complicate it?”  Crying and throwing a fit will not make it go away, if for anything it will just keep coming back to bite you in the you-know-where.

Jonah’s action did not only expose the ship crew to unnecessary calamity, he subjected them to a great deal of stress as well. Imagine the horror of the crew! I would have frozen up in terror or suffer hypertension (or I could have bopped Jonah in the head, maybe).

Whew, that was rough!

Whew, that was rough!

Even after Jonah’s time of reflection and prayer, he  still managed to justify his action and expressed his displeasure with God’s compassion. “That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.”  [Chapter 4: 2]

The naiveté of his complaint reflects what most of us would say when we don’t agree with God’s plan. “He betrayed me and cost me pain, and yet  you want me to forgive him? And worse yet, you still love him and want to save him? You must be out of your mind God!”… All too familiar?

What he said in verse 3 is just a biblical version of what we usually say out of pride and indignance: “OVER MY DEAD BODY!”, really?  Like dying while complaining is better than living and obeying.

God is compassionate and we can’t escape Him , which is a good thing.  The Lord’s plan is the best plan and prevails, even if  it means sending  a whale to swallow us alive.  Would make for a good WordPress blog material but …nah.

Have a blessed day, everyone.

(PS, I know it was not a blowfish, I just thought it was catchy, pun unintended. )



Photographs. Arts. Words all by D C de Oliveira

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