Better Than A Handshake

Better Than A Handshake

Handshakes-04-GQ_31Oct13_b_1445x878Several years ago I accompanied a friend to a business meeting. I witnessed a paperless contract executed flawlessly. They talked and talked and negotiated and in the process they started teasing one another by haggling and offering to shake hands. If he didn’t like the proposed terms he would just simply retreat his hand and counter it with the offer of another handshake. Long story short, they both agreed on the deal and shook hands. The deal was sealed and it was delivered without the tedious, meticulous stipulation of wants and needs.

Honor system used to be the rule, now it’s the exception I think. Nowadays, we can’t enter into an agreement without everything in black and white-and for a good reason. Mainly it’s just for protection and the assurance that we are getting what we bargained for.

A week ago my husband started calling tree companies for estimate to cut one tree in the front of the house. Even getting an estimate required them to submit a paper proof that what they claim to do for a price is what we were going to get. Some emailed us with a “warning” to check their competitors’ insurance before we decide.  Insecurity tactics is what some employ.

I-PromiseThe game is different now because to get a service there is no guarantee by word anymore. Everything has to be written down and to some extent, other companies would use scare tactics to snatch the job. “Are they bonded?”, “Are they local”, etc.

In my lifetime, I have had broken promises and “unhonored handshakes” by friends and colleagues.  I was even guilty of that myself. It was painful, hurtful and humiliating. Nowadays, a handshake is just a mere gesture. I would say anything sealed with a handshake should be binding, but that is just me. In a sue happy world, a handshake is not even admissible in court. 

But God’s promises are certain. When God promises something, he delivers. When God promised to save the world by the death of His son (John 3:16), He wasn’t kidding. We swear by anything holy or great to express sincerity when we promise. God swears by Himself and that is a guarantee of delivery because He doesn’t and cannot lie.  (Hebrews 6:18)promise-9 (1)

Are you feeling discouraged today? Are you insecure about something? Do you feel like you’ve been let down so many times? I hope these help:

  • For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.-Jeremiah 29:11
  • But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.”-Proverbs 1:33
  • For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.-Romans 6:23

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. God’s promises are better than a handshake.

god-keeps-his-promises

Are You Ready to Die?

Are You Ready to Die?

No one wants to talk about death and just thinking about it makes me sad. It was different when I was younger because it never occurred to me that I would die. It was an odd distant concept I thought was just reserved for old people. Now I am getting old, and the reality is, death is reserved for me, too. I will die and it is just a matter of time.

What is Death?
                       What is Death?

My friend’s sister died just days ago, my uncle died a few days ago. I woke up and my husband shrieked when he saw the yahoo news on Mr. Spock’s death. Although I did not know Leonard Nimoy, there is still a sense of sadness because after all we all grew up with him as an icon of immortality. Aliens albeit hybrid die as well.

Prayers also changed over the years. Younger prayers were more of success in careers and family, aged prayers are now more for longevity and strength. “Lord, more years please and may the years be healthy”.

Death is a game changer. It puts things in perspective. People come, people go. Death is guaranteed but is not permanent.

jesus_diedWhen someone dies, our eulogy is filled with the fondest memory of that person and we recollect and reminisce how the person lived his life. We remember how that person impacted our lives. We celebrate life, but seldom celebrate death. There is always darkness and emptiness associated with death. Tears flow, grief and sadness envelope us.

But there is hope.

For believers, death is homecoming. Death is celebrated. We miss the earthly creation, but we must rejoice, for the much awaited reunion with our Creator is precious.

Jesus is the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?  (Emphasis mine)

- John 11:25-26

Death Defeated
       For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.                                 -Philippians 1:21

We are all going to die someday and it is risky to not think about where we are going. Our end should dictate how are present is spent. The start may be uncertain, but Jesus’ death guarantees life, not only in the now but also in the not yet.

Be thankful you are still alive and think about what you are living for. But be hopeful for the promise of yet another fulfilling life and yes, we have to die to achieve that.

Please Pray with Us

Please Pray with Us

My dad is in the hospital. A large mass in his colon was seen and he is undergoing a lot of tests. He’s had his CT scan but results are not out yet. He will have his EGD after his cardio clearance. Our family needs your prayers, please.We are praying that the mass is not cancer or anything serious.

Thank you, we appreciate your prayers.

UPDATE as of 1:49am 1/31/2015:

He was supposed to do colonoscopy but because the CT scan showed the mass in the upper portion of the abdomen, they decided to do EGD.However, after the procedure the doctor said he couldn’t/ didn’t see any mass at all. My dad is scheduled to do the colonoscopy (still) to make sure the mass is gone.

Thank you for your prayers. My family is praising the Lord for his work. May God bless you all.

UPDATE as of 2/2/2015:

After a few days of testing, EGD and colonoscopy…guess what? The mass initially seen couldn’t be found! The mass simply disappeared and the doctor couldn’t explain how and why. He even showed the CT scan results to my sister to prove that there was a mass. It measured 4x3x3 and after the tests-there simply was none!. Thank you for the prayers and praise Jesus for His faithfulness. All glory to our Heavenly Father.

Just Ask

Just Ask

This year I am gonna ASK more.

askI have seen a lot of posts playing the guilt trip about asking God. On FB alone, posts about asking and attaching guilt to it could really mess with your head. They tell you to praise more and ask less, to thank more and ask less, to worship more and ask less, to give more and ask less.

While those are essential for Christian living and is worthy of another discussion, asking is not a bad thing. Some preachers would go to the extent of shaming us about asking. When I read posts about ask shaming, it bothers me because that is not the God I know and serve. The God I know and have a relationship with is a generous God who is very unmindful of the times I ask.

In the past year, I have asked God repeatedly. I don’t think he minded because He kept giving. When someone shames a believer for asking the Lord too much and attaching guilt to the act, not only that it is not biblical, they also they paint a different picture of God from generous to conditional. Our asking ( and God’s giving) is not dependent on the amount of times we praise and worship. God cannot be manipulated that way. God is wise and knows what’s best for us. 

When we ask, we shall receive is what Matthew 7:7 is about.  John 14:14 says “anything” asked in the name of Jesus will be done.  The Lord’s prayer instructs us to ask the Father DAILY for our needs. God’s nature is different from human nature. While we put limit to what and how people ask us, God’s resources is inexhaustible. We cannot outprayed him and we cannot drive Him crazy by our asking. He delights in blessing us.

Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete

If our Father is willing to give us a kingdom, why would he hold out on us on small stuff?  When he instructed us to pray for our daily needs, it is dependence on Him that He is teaching. He didn’t say “give us today our monthly bread”, it is daily. It is constant asking and dependence on Him. We are not self sufficient and when we say stop asking God too much, it is saying that we are self sufficient when we are not.

We ask for what we need and oftentimes for  what we want. God is not irresponsible and foolish. He gives us what is in accordance to His plan and his will. We can pray for things that we want, but God gives what we need. When we ask, He checks our hearts and our motives. Again, like I said he can’t be manipulated. ASKING is not a bad thing. God takes pleasure in His children depending on Him for everything-big or small.

Our Father is rich and He wants us to ask so he can bless us. 2 Chronicles 1:7 is proof that God is not stingy and is always waiting for us to ask.

“Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

No qualifiers, no condition, no guilt, no shame. Just ASK.  The devil wants us to believe a lie that God is holding out on us. That God is annoyed at our constant asking. That is not true. That is not the God I serve.

Ask God for:

1. Healing. As we age, our body slows down. God is the great physician. He can take care of my migraine as He can take care of cancer.

2. Protection. Pray that no tragedy comes to your family. He sends angels to protect us Psalms 91:11

3. Salvation. Pray for your friends, family and for the rest of the world to know God and receive salvation.

4. Provision. We are valuable than birds and yet, God is taking care of them. Ask for our daily bread.

4. Whatever You Need-big or small. Ask in the name of Jesus and give back the glory when He answers you.  If what we ask for is in His will-it will be given. God is not stingy. He is not irritated when we ask too much.

I know.

Loving Neighbors With Uncontrollable Pooping Dogs

Loving Neighbors With Uncontrollable Pooping Dogs

 ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no commandment greater than these.”-Mark 12:31

This commandment is easy and hard to do. It’s easy to love your neighbor if they are loveable and hard to love them when they are a pain the you know where.  We’ve been in our new home for more than two months now, and everytime I clean the front yard, I always clean up poop-not just one dog’s poop, but two. (I can tell because of the sizes, lol)

I can understand why people get pets, and I assume they love the animals so much that they are to some extent considered not pets but family members, whatever. What I don’t understand is their lack of consideration when they let the animals poop in someone else’s lawn. The pee wrecks the turf and leave brown nasty dead spots. Because it’s the fall season, I guess for some reason dogs love to poop in the pile of leaves that whenever I would rake them, I would either step on nasty, gross poop or rake them in as well into my pickup bin.

Just because we have an open big front lawn, doesn’t mean it’s a free for all dog toilet!  What are the chances of my neighbors reading this? Zero maybe, but my hope is for those of you who have pets that you be considerate enough to scoop up. To begin with, your dogs should be OFF other people’s property.

It is annoying and just because I am a Christian doesn’t mean I don’t get upset. Well, here is my first attempt on preventing further fecal matter on my front lawn: I printed this poster and posted on the tree in the curb by  our yard. I hope this works.

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Are You Afraid?

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