Archives

A True Love

True Love -Karina's Thought- Paul Militaru (2)

 

I begin this post with an old inspiring and touching story from China. There was an old grandfather named Bai Fang Li. He was living in Tianjin, China. What is interesting thing from this old man? The most interesting thing from him is even though he was live in shortage, he had has very rich heart. Poverty was not being a reason for him to keep giving to others. He was called to give donations to schools and universities in Tianjin city to help more than 300 poor children in order to able obtain an education for their future. Many years he was pedaling his rickshaw to get money in order to increase amount of his contributions.

He lived in an old and rusty hut in a slum area of the city where many rickshaw operators and garbage collectors live and he also lived without thinking of his own needs so that he could give more and more. Two raisin cakes and fresh water became his lunch menu and just a piece of meat or an egg for dinner. Regardless of weather conditions he was always pedaling his rickshaw from 6 am to 8 pm. “it is okay I am suffered”, but let that poor children can go to school “he said. When he was 90 years old, he realized that he was no longer able to pedal his rickshaw. His last saving that amounted five hundreds Yuan donated all to a school. He said, “I could not to pedal a rickshaw again. I cannot give a donation anymore. It might be my last donation that I could give” It was makes all teachers in that school crying. Three years later grandpa Li passed away in poverty. Yet, behind his poverty, during his lifetime he has been contributed a total of three hundred and fifty thousand Yuan. He devoted his life fully to help poor children who could not afford to school. What an inspiring story, right?

Now, what is the message of the inspiring story for us as Christians?  In the midst of the world which centered on self-interest, where the caring to others getting scarce, what was done by grandpa Li pointed out that there are still people who have a noble heart  more than a gold in this world. He was still loves and care to others though he lived in poverty. I called it “A True Love”

Apostle Paul describes love so beautifully in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7,

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Depiction of love in those verses so beautifully summarized by grandfather Li’s action. His contribution was not just limited by sympathy words but all real embodied through the sacrifices that he did for the sake of helping those children who did not have opportunity to get an education. I wonder, from the billions of people in this world, how many grandpa Li who care about each other and willing to sacrifice just for helping others? A poor man like grandpa Li wanted to do it, while many rich people just sat quietly does not have concern for the people around who really need help.

Holy Bible said, Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:18) Grandpa Li did it so beautiful through the concrete action even in the midst of his poorness. He was not being a selfish or just thinking about himself but he even willing to sacrifice all-out until the last of his strength to help other. He also did all of that was not solely to seek popularity or honored by people. I think, for him have a decent life is more important than having popularity! Please remember he was just a very old rickshaw driver. He really had a sincerity and true love to helping each other.

Grandpa Li was gone but his devotion will continue to be remembered by millions people in this world. I am convinced despite physically he suffered, but his heart happy to be able to do something for others. He realized that it would be happier if can give rather than receive.

…‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” (Act 20:35)

After I read and ponder this inspiring story, I conclude that there are some important things that we could get from this inspiring story and I called it as the value of true love.

First, Initiative! True love has an initiative. This poor old man has initiative express his love by reaching out his hand to help others. It is same with God.  God loves us not in a passive ways. He not just waiting us to love Him first but God directly reached out His hand to express His love to us with a very beautiful ways. John said,

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

Furthermore, Paul said,

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

The second, beside has an initiative, grandpa Li was active in order to could express his love to others by working tirelessly pedaling his rickshaw. He not expresses his love just by his words but also by action as it is written in 1 John 3:18.

Third, grandpa Li has a great caring to others interests. He realized that there are hundreds poor children need help and threatened could not school and get a proper education. God’s word reminds us to not merely attach great importance to our own need and interests, but also pay attention to others needs and interests.

Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:4)

Be emphasized again in 1 John 3:17,

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?

Fourth, sacrifice! This is a thing that quite difficult to do. Jesus said,

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)

Not only with words but directly Jesus proved to be willing to give his life for the mankind salvation by dying on the cross. And this is then followed by His disciples willing to sacrifice their life just for proclaim God’s word to all over the world. Not many people are willing to sacrifice to help others while he himself lives in hardship. This old poor man was doing this thing so beautiful. He was willing to sacrifice for the sake of helping others. He was willing to lived in the slums and eat potluck so he could save his money.

My dear readers, it is so easy we say that we have love. But the question is what kind of love? Are we having true love that has initiative? Whether we have an active love that accompanied with action? How big our concern to others interests? And are we willing to sacrifice to others? Whether in everyday life we have to apply the principles of love as God wants? This evening I would like to encourage you to learn from this inspiring story. Let the story of grandpa Li could be a model for us to express the true love to others. We may not like grandpa Li who really live in poverty, so let us have an initiative to give  what we  could give to helping each others who in need. Do not be discouraged and ashamed if not be able to give much as long as we give with sincerity. God does not look at how much that we can give but rather to look our sincerity, our willingness to sacrifice and truly based on true love. God really appreciate to those who are willing to sacrifices to give in the shortage.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:43-44)

 Suppose that we could not help people in the form of matter, we can help others in another form such as giving a tender smile and a warm hug to our friends who are in grief, spend our time to giving encouragement to people who are discouraged, or put them in our prayer list, and maybe just do very simple daily things such as say “hello” and asking “how are you. Are you okay?” It all will give a big impact to others. Let’s pray to God ask for the strength, wisdom and have a sensitive heart to the others difficulties so we always could express our true love to others.  Let us pray that true love remain thrives in our lives and keep it warm because we live in the world where wickedness is increased. As Jesus reminds us, Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, (Matthew 24:12) and let us could be a window for those people around us to know and experience God’s love through our true love. Amen.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (I John 4: 7-8)

Karina – Living by Faith

For the detailed story and photos of Bai Fang Li click here

I wish to thank you to Paul Militaru for the awesome and beautiful picture

Photo by Paul Militaru  http://photopaulm.com

 

~A Living Faith~

A LIVING FAITH -Karina's Thought

 

Few days ago one of my close friends asked me to meet. She wanted to share her business problems and it was giving me an idea to write something. She really got a very hard time and situation in her business. She faced a problem that came consecutive. One problem has not been solved, there is another problem was waiting behind.  Even worse, she felt so difficult to find the way out for any of their problems. She felt like in the middle of very tight wall where there is no a loophole at all to get out and seems there is no one could help. Began to desperate, chaotic, lost its direction and hope, and sadly she starts thinking to try the ways that not supposed to do.

My beloved readers, whether you have experienced the same situation with my friend? I do believe that we all have experienced the same situation or maybe even heavier than my friend. In the life that getting difficult day by day, the problem increasingly feels closer to us and easily hit our lives.  One question arises, when the world goes against us, when all the circumstances aren’t like what we expected, when we feel like giving up because there seems to be no hope anymore, where would we go? In a weakened state, confused and lost its direction, we could easily be tempted to take the wrong roads that not solve the problem but instead will add a lot of our problems list. So where would we go and what would we do?

This time I would like to ask you to learn from one of the Bible story. Let’s take a look at the story of a blind beggar named Bartimaeus who met Jesus in Jericho. This encounter brought the great restoration in his life. Because his condition is blind, he cannot work. So to survive he became a beggar on the roadside. One day Jesus was passing not far from where he begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47) Bartimaeus was just a blind beggar. For many people there, he was considered too contemptible, impolite, and improper shout to Jesus. Then the people rebuked him. But he did not give up, falter or desperate and not stop shout to Jesus; Bartimaeus even lift up his voice. He realized that it was a great opportunity. He still did not care what people said to him. His faith encouraged him to strengthen his hope. He convinced and trusts that God’s power and miracle will works on him.

Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Verse 48)

Then finally Jesus stops and said to the disciples to call Bartimaeus. He immediately took off his robe and hurried toward Jesus. Then Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”  The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”(Verse 51)

There was something interesting from bartimaeus’ answer. He did not ask for the wealth, honorable status in the eyes of the society, an abundant blessing and so on. He did not say “God restore my whole life so I can live well today.” He did not complain to Jesus because he was not valued and despised by many people. He really knew that the base of his problem is blindness. If he could see, he would not need to become a beggar again and be able to work normally for life. With eyes which functioned very well he could get his life back, retracing gradually to get a better life. He could try to use his talents that he had to live worthy. Then Jesus healed him with a word, Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. (Verse 52)

What heals bartimaeus? Let’s take a look to Jesus’ words, “Your faith has healed you.” Yes! Faith heals Bartimaeus’ blindness. When I ponder this part, I got something important lesson from Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus has a living faith where there is power of trust and hope in it and has a spirit to seek and find. He knew where and to whom he should seek. His faith does not depend on human logic, which did not depend on what people say. He knew his faith is not located on the people opinions but merely a connection or relationship between himself and God. Bartimaeus hold fast to it. We do not know how long he suffered blindness and should be outcasts as beggars on the streets. When he met Jesus, he believed that he found the right person who will bring a restoration in his life. His faith moved him to trust that Jesus will and be able to heal him.  He did not remain silent; he proved his faith with action. He did not care and affected by people who rebuked him, he still shouted to Jesus. This is an important lesson that we can get from Bartimaeus. Faith must be accompanied by actions.

You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. (James 2:22)

Faith can move God to do miraculous things in our lives. Faith is required in order to receive a blessing and a miracle from God. However, this is become a problem. In our daily lives, it is so easy for us to say that we have faith, but in practice oftentimes we have not show that we have faith. How big and strong our faith will be seen through our reaction when we faced so many problems. Whether our faith, trust and hope still remain strong when we have not seen God’s help and we still have not get the answer of our prayers. Holy Bible reminds us so precisely about faith,

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

Faith plays an important role in order to be successful accepting miracles from God to answer every of our problems. Although the problems that afflict us seems having no way out, there is no solution, as if we trapped in the big and tight wall, faith always be able to move God’s hand to do something to restoring us and there is nothing impossible. As Jesus said,

“…Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”(Matthew 17:20)

To those friends who are currently facing hard problems like my friend, allow me this evening to encourage you to learn from Bartimaeus. Let’s imitate what he did. Though outwardly he was blind, but his spiritual eyes are not blind. He has a living faith accompanied with full of hope, trust and not based on what he see. Bartimaeus could not saw Jesus made miracles, he only heard from people who talk over about Jesus. But he really believes that Jesus will make a miracle to him.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. (Romans 10:17)

We might physically could not see and find the ways out for our problems, we might see that everything seems so dark and closed tightly, but let we see every problems with our spiritual eyes. Do not remain silent and just waiting. Our God is omniscient. God knows everything about our lives, both difficulties, suffering, and our needs. But God wants us to act! Bartimaeus action was one thing that attracted the attention of Jesus. Bartimaues has the living faith because accompanied with action.

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:17)

 With a living faith come to our God, shout to Him and we will see what God’s response.

This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. (Psalm 34:6)

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.(Psalm 34:17)

Let us realize, fully trust and instill in our hearts and minds that there is no bigger problem than God’s power because our God is so great,

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. (Psalm 96:4)

Bartimaeus experienced a touch of God not only because God’s power works on him but he has great living faith. His mindset knew rightly how God’s personal is which have love, compassion and can do any miracle things. If God willing to heard and answered bartimaeus’ shout, God also will hear and answer our shout. Through a living faith, let us feel the touch of God, feel the power of God working resolve all the problems of our lives. Is like a plant which always needs fertilizer to grow and live healthily, as well as the quality of our faith. We must continue to fertilize our faith by maintaining our relationship with God to remain intimate through prayer, comprehend and ponder His word every day. Always ask for strength from God so that we can change our mindset from “See first then believe” to “believe first and then see” Just because we live by believing, not by seeing. (2 Corinthians 5:7) Amen.

Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible. Corrie Ten Boom

 Related article:

 Without faith it is impossible to please God

 Activating your faith

Karina – Living by Faith

Photo credit: mightymustard.com

I Love you,Dad!

fathers-day2

Talk about father, I really love my father. I have learned so many things from him. Learned about life, love, compassion, learned about how to be a good person, and many other things. There was one of the many sayings of him that I always remember and make me touched and moved. He said: “Many people said that I am a rich man. No! They are wrong! I never feel like that. But actually, I am truly feel as a rich man when my single daughter run into me, needs my hugs and in that time my hands are empty. I am rich because I have so precious treasure in my life. She is the greatest treasure that I have and there is nothing in this world can replace her. So do not ever feel annoyed if our children come to us even though they only need a warm embrace from us. Always spend time for them even though we’re busy. As Jesus our Lord said:

 

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)

In this Father’s day I dedicate this following poem to my beloved father:

 

Millions of words “I love you, daddy” still not enough to pay the true love that you gave to me. Millions of words “Thank you, daddy” still not enough to pay the comfort, your shoulder to cry on, for your ear which always listening my annoying grumbling, for the gentle, caring and loving smile when I am feeling bad. Millions of words “I’m sorry, daddy” still cannot pay how big your patience, compassion, understanding, and the second chance that you always provide to me. Even if you’re sad and crying, the word “I forgive you” is always there for every mistake that I have done to you. You always be there for me, with a gentle and loving you wipe every drop of my tears and said: “My dear, I am here for you”. You lovingly repaired my broken spirit, helped me to set a better future and let me freely fly to chase and catch what I dreamed. Your loving hands are always widely opened for each of the words “Dad, I really need you“There is no greater love than our Heavenly Father’s love and yours. I placed you in the deepest of my heart because you are so special and I will always remember you with love. You are the greatest gift from God and it such an honor for me to call you, Dad!

 
Daddy, you know how much I love you as you love me so much. To my daddy and all daddies over the world, Happy Father’s Day!

 

For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.(1Thessalonians 2:11-12)

 

A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms
when his hands are empty
Unknown

Karina – Living by Faith
Photo credit: eisakouo.com

Someone Behind

SCREEN

Few days ago my husband and I watched again a Christian music concert which was held by Rose of Sharon Church in which one of the singers is my blog friend, Sella Irene. I was really impressed, amazed, and so blessed by their performances. They have a very beautiful voice and incredible musicians as well. I said to my husband, “They are all really impressive!” My Husband replied, “Yes, they are! But please do not forget to those people who are behind them on the stage. I think they also have a very important role in that concert. They have an amazing stage director, very skilled sound engineer, and there are many more people who are very supportive of their performances. Without them all, I guess they could not perform very well. My husband’s answer makes me thinking. Yes, I forget that there are a lot of people behind them who very influential for the success of their performances. In reality, they often miss from our attention. We more focused to those people on the stage.
I remembered one of Jesus’ disciples. Andrew. Andrew was the first Jesus’ disciple. Although he was one of the disciples of the Lord Jesus, but his name is not as famous as Peter, James, Paul, or John, who were said to be the people who are in the inner circle of Jesus’ closest disciples. If I liken Paul, John, and Simon Peter is the main actor in a movie, then Andrew is like a supporting actor which not too stands out and not gives a big impact. However, it does not mean Andrew is not important. Many things have been done that we do not realize because he was a lot of work behind the screens. Let’s dig up what the important things that he did.

 

The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter). (John 1: 41-42)

 
Let’s pay attention to the word “And he brought him to Jesus.” It was Andrew’s first response when he met Jesus. Andrew was the first person who tells to Peter. At that time, without Andrew’s presence, Simon probably would not meet Jesus. Without the role of Andrew, Probably there is no Simon’s name in the list of disciples of Jesus. We all know that the later Simon Peter became a great apostle. But the important thing is, it all would not have happened if Andrew not brought Peter to Jesus. The interesting thing is, even though he is not as famous as his brother, he did not even include three closest disciples of Jesus, Andrew really did not concerned it at all. With joy and humbly he continued his task.
Another important thing that Andrew did is, when Jesus fed 5000 people. At that time Jesus gave preaching to the thousands people. Then Jesus said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”(John 6:5) then “Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little” (John 6:7). Let’s see Andrew’s reaction at that time.

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” (John 6:8-9)

See? Once again Andrew bring someone came to Jesus. I am sure, at that time Andrew also knows that the food brought by the boy would not be enough to feed about 5000 people. But he still brought that child to Jesus. What happens next? Through the child, a miracle happens. Jesus fed 5000 people only from five loaves and two fishes. This story shows that Andrew is a very caring person. He brought the children to Jesus to be used in the service of the Lord Jesus and the food problem finished. That is Andrew. An apostle was not famous who work behind the screens. Almost never come forth like Paul, John or his brother Simon Peter. But in fact he is a caring person who brought many people to God.

 
There was a Sunday school teacher named Edward Kimball. Who is he? He is just an ordinary Sunday school teacher. But through Edward there was a boy who believed and accepted God as his savior and later on this boy became a very famous and great preacher and evangelist. The boy is. Dwight L.Moody. Through his ministry Moody can make a lot of people in England and America repented. And through Moody’s sermon, a young pastor named Frederic Brotherton Meyer changing his ministry and decided to become an evangelist like Moody. “If you are not willing to give up everything for Christ, are you willing to be made willing?” This was what Meyer said in his preaching, and these words make J. Wilbur Chapman responded God’s call in his life. Later on Chapman become one of the most effective evangelists. Billy Sunday a baseball player, a volunteer in Chapman Ministry eventually took over Chapman’s ministry and become one of the most dynamic evangelists of this century. Billy Sunday’s preaching brought thousands to Christ. Then this evangelism chain finally up on the great name: Billy Graham. Through Billy Graham million people in the world repented and accept God as their savior. If we look carefully to this chronology, it all begins from someone named Edward Kimball. An ordinary Sunday school teacher but through him many people brought to God and make many great names in the evangelism world.

 
My dear friends, what about us in our daily lives? Wherever we are, in the office, church or else, whether we also pay attention to those people who work behind the screens? Are we appreciate and honor them same as those who always come forth on “the stage”? Through this post I would like to ask you to change our mindset to not always focus on who we see on “the stage” Lets always remember that behind their successful there are so many people behind them. If we look and hear a touching and powerful preaching in the church, do not just look to the pastor but please remember that there are people behind them. It may be husband/wife and their children who always give a big support to their ministry. Their roles are really important as well. Let’s always remember that God can use anyone for His Kingdom works even they are not always come forth and unknown to many people. Do not belittle to those people who work behind the screens because sometimes actually we have to learn a lot from them. They are the God’s invisible tools, but so worthwhile. Do not underestimate to those people who work around us which is seem trivial.
And otherwise, for us who always work behind the screens wherever we are, we might not do many great things, and maybe people do not see our work at all, maybe even people underestimate our work, this time I encourage to not be desperate and discouraged. We could learn from Andrew story. We May not do something great but please believe, what we are doing it may be the beginning of great things that will be happen later. I encourage you to always believe and trust that God can use any little thing to declare His power and glory. Probably Simon Peter will not be a great apostle without Andrew. We may not know D.L. Moody without Edward Kimball’s role. Whatever we do, do it with wholeheartedly, faithful, full of diligence, and is only intended for the glory of God. Amen.

 

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, (Colossians 3:23)

Karina-Living by Faith
Image credit: Google Images

He Will Make Us Able

He will Make Us Able -Karina's Thought

If we read the Bible we will find so many great Bible figure such as Moses, David, Abraham, Paul and many other great names who has been known very well. But beside those great names, there is a Bible figure that makes me interested and I have learned something from him. He is Shamgar. Shamgar is not as popular as David and other great name. Shamgar’s name just mentioned two times in the Bible. First in Judges 3:31 and the second are in Judges 5:6. What is the interesting thing from this figure? Let’s take a look at this verse:

After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel. (Judges 3:31)

Shamgar be able to defeat six hundreds Philistines only by using an ox goad. This was unbelievable! I remembered one Hollywood action movie titled “Rambo” A hero who could strike down hundreds enemies alone. But what I saw in that movie is only fictional. Not a true story. Shamgar’s story is the real one. True story!

Actually, who is Shamgar? Unfortunately we could not dig up much about the background of the Shamgar. Shamgar is Anath’s son. He lived in the era after Ehud successfully defeated the Moabites and make Israel safely along 80 years. But after that Israel should face the Philistines and at that time, Shamgar appeared to resolve the situation, dispel, and killed six hundreds Philistines.The Question is, what does makes Shamgar be able to beat them all just by using an ox goad? When I ponder it, I found the answer. I do believe that it all happened just because God’s help! Shamgar believe that God will be with. He is ready to go beat his enemies and amazingly he won the battle against the Philistines. He has saved the Israelites from destruction.

 
My dear friends, whether we realize that in our lives we also striving and battling every day? Not against the human but against the Satan! Satan is never sleep and silent. He keeps trying to mislead and destroy us. We also never stop strive facing any kind of problems, difficulties, and challenges. Oftentimes we felt that our lives are so hard and we are thinking that we face something impossible to overcome. We are also felt that we don’t have power and ability to conquer all of the problems. But as Christians, there is something that we should always remember that before God the words of: Amazing, astonishing or miraculous are not something new anymore. There are so many stories in the Bible that show us God did many unbelievable things through His chosen people. He shows us that He can bowl over human logic with His miracle series. Jesus said:

“What is impossible with man is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)

There is nothing impossible before God. Though six hundreds problems and obstacles trying to hit us, we will defeat it all as long as we trust and totally rely on God’s power. Though we feel weak and don’t have ability, God will use and enable us to overcome all problems and we will win in the life’s battle. I was remembering when I was promoted to replace my father position in the company. Some people doubted my ability as a new leader. Even someone cynically said,” Karina is a young spoiled girl who just saw the sun yesterday. She by no means has experience in running a company. She doesn’t even know how cruel and hard the business world. She doesn’t know how to make money in business, but she does know every well how to spend the money”. At that time, I was just thinking that the promotion is not only a part of my parent’s plan but I even do believe that is a part of God’s plan for my life. If so, firmly I also do believe that God will enable me to replace my father position and be able to run their company as long I trust to God and not counting on my own strength. I was remembering Jeremiah’s story when God call him. These verses greatly strengthen me and convince me not to be afraid and discouraged:

“Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 1:6-8)

If we dig deeper to the Holly Bible, many times God show us that there is nothing impossible and can be to do miraculous things through those people who chosen by God. Let’s see who is chosen to beat Goliath. A mighty warlord? No! God chose a young David (1Samuel 17:42). Another example, let’s take a look to the story of Gideon (Judges 7). How God commanded Gideon to summon up three hundreds troops only to face the Midianites and Amalekites which described like grasshoppers for multitude and their camel as the sand by the sea side for multitude. (Judges 7:12). There are so many miraculous story in the Bible that could underlie us to be able perform as a winner in overcome various problems and challenges even which seemingly impossible.

 
My lovely readers, we may not a super hero, we may just unknown ordinary person, maybe we are too young among the elderly, and they are look down and dubious to our ability. I would like to say something: Please don’t be discourage or feeling useless. Because God can use and turn us become an extraordinary person and be able doing miracle things. Shamgar is not a famous figure but God use him amazingly to do unbelievable thing. David just a young shepherd but he successfully beat goliath only by using stones and a slingshot. The point is, trust and totally rely on God’s strength. We have to trust that God knows and pleased to His children who love and trust in Him. Through us God will use various miracle things to declare His existence. God can use anyone to show His mightiness and sovereignty. Even God can use the weak and foolish people if He pleases.

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (1 Corinthians 1:27)

Besides from many other great Bible figure, this evening I encourage you to also learn from Shamgar’s story. We learn how God’s power works on ordinary people to be able to do miracle things. Through His chosen people God can turn impossible thing to be possible. God can turn illogical thing become logical. We learn to always put our faith on God’s strength rather than on ingenuity and human logic.

so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. (1Corinthians 2:5)

This time if we are struggling so hard to face so many trials and challenges, don’t worry and don’t feel discouraged. Once again Trust Him! Leaning and relying on God mightiness. Ask Him through prayer so that we are enabled and given the strength. He will make us able. Amen.

Karina – Living by Faith
Photo credit: Google Images

Perfect Peace, Guaranteed

Perfect Peace

In our lives which getting difficult day by day, there are many people lose their peace. We are living in hard and difficult situation that could raises pressure to us. We could easily got stress, depression, worry and fear. And it all will quickly seize our peace. Life become bitter, we loosing smile from our face, we have unstable emotion and become like dynamite that could explode easily, and many other bad things. The question is… Is this God wants from us? No! God wants us full of peace which bring joyful in our lives. If God wants it, what can make us still have peace?  In fact, God even has been providing for each of us who believe in Him.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

(Isaiah 26:3)

Bible verse above was clearly explained that God will guard every people who clinging to Him, and people who believe in Him peacefully.  Amplified Bible version said as follows:

You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.

In the other passage Isaiah said:

The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.

 (Isaiah 32:17)

If we read this verse carefully, we will found a correlation between God’s word righteousness with peace and quietness. We will be difficult to live with stress, fear and worries. But for the believers, for God’s child who always want live with totally put trust in God’s hand will have peace that gives us quietness and peace. It is one thing that cannot be bought with money. And it is not come from a condition but it is only from God and His righteousness.

Actually, the truly peace is only from God. It means, God can grant peace and serenity to anyone that has steadfast heart to relying on God. That is the basis to receiving the peace that comes from God and is not dependent on the circumstances we are experiencing at this time. Jesus Said:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid “(John 14:27)

That’s the promise of Jesus, and when he had promised, of course it definitely be fulfilled. In the one of his introduction letter, Peter said:

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2)

Knowing God and Jesus will make us endowed with grace and peace.

Thoughts and feelings is one of our weak points to watch out for. When we continue to think how hard our problems, just focus on difficulties, stress, anxiety, and think negatively, it all can poison our minds even then slowly but sure we will lose our peace. Very ironic if we were believe in God but still haunted by thoughts and feelings like that. As Paul said, we must focus our minds on Jesus as the source of peace.

…..and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5b)

God provides peace and quietness for us. And it will enable us to face all the problems of life without losing the joy. We just need strong faith to trust and obey in God with wholeheartedly. There is no God’s promise that not be fulfilled. There will always be a difficult situation in our lives, but we will always remain calm if trusting in God. He has a wonderful plan to each step of our lives, and God give us guarantees that everything is perfect! Be still in His ways, walk according to His will, and accept the perfect peace that comes from God. Let’s Keep in God’s perfect peace. Amen

My dear readers, few times ago I was asking my sister in Christ Sue Nash to write a poem for me and now I will end this post with her beautiful, strengthen and comforting poem to ponder together. Thank you very much for your beautiful poem, my dear sis Sue. God Bless you always.

Perfect Peace, Guaranteed

If in God, we would just trust,
Our fears wouldn’t have free reign.
Worry and doubt would bite the dust,
Frowns and fretting would not remain.

If for God, we would obey,
This life wouldn’t take its toll.
Thorns and snares would be kept at bay,
Help and blessings would soon unfold.

If to God, we would just cling,
Our problems wouldn’t overwhelm.
Hope and joy would make our heart sing,
Rest and comfort would be our realm.

If on God, our minds would stay,
No trouble would make us flee.
Storms and threats would not make afraid,
Perfect peace would be guaranteed.

By Sue Nash/ © 2014

Karina – Living by Faith

Photo by Sue Nash http://heavenlyraindrops.wordpress.com/

Fly Like an Eagle

Fly Like an Eagle-Karina's Thought

A few days ago I received a package from my parents in Hong Kong. And when I opened it, I am somewhat stunned and surprised. A large photo of an eagle! On its photo was written: “Fly Like an Eagle” and below was written a bible verse:

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31)

After I put it on the wall of my workroom, I like being hypnotized; I stared deep into the photo and my mind drifted away. I was a bit shocked and immediately aware when my husband suddenly hugged on my shoulder. Then he asked,” Princess, there is something wrong in that photo? Or there is something on your mind?” I smiled and said, “Yes, there is something on my mind”

Talk about an eagle, eagle is fascinating fowl. Have wide wings. Even the widest ever measured was as wide as 2.5 meters (8 feet). Eagles were Famous for its endurance when he flew. Although needed the considerable energy for flapping wings at first, but once he flew, an eagle only put out very low energy. The research results stated that the eagles only take an average of 2 minutes to beat their wings in every hour of flight time. Eagles can fly long without flapping their wings. Eagles can fly to hover in the air (gliding) or fly off (soaring) by utilizing the thermal air / heat that rises on the open mainland. By doing so, he only requires very low energy to be able to fly longer. Not only that, eagles can travel an average distance of 75 to 125 miles. That is the secret of eagles’ power which is capable of flying very high. Eagles will never be tired because he did not have to use much energy to be able to fly for a long time and a long distance.

But, do not think that when the baby eagles are born then they already were so. Eagles are a fragile beast when they were a child so their parent will usually bring them to stay in high peak and train them to fly. The parent would drop the young eagles down and let them screaming before finally practicing flapping their wings. When the young eagles start flapping their wings, their parent was ready to help when they are going to weak and fall and they will rise up and fly became more powerful eagle.

I am thinking deeper. When we are in problems that come repeatedly, we can feel our strength declining both physical and mentally. The weakening of our strength will only make us more helpless in the face of problems that we have. But God’s Word teaches us, that the key to obtain the strength in dealing with various problems is waiting upon the Lord. Waiting upon the Lord means that we continue to hope in the Lord, directing the eyes of our hearts to God, praying to God, reading and meditating on the God’s word, obedient to His commandments and uphold our faith and hope to the God. By keeping our fellowship with God, we will be in a condition that is always waiting on the Lord. The existing problems should not hinder us to still come to worship Him. We must still following God whatever is happening.

When we let go of our hope in God, we will increasingly lose the strength to walk forward. Physical strength and mind that we have is not enough to deal with the entire burden, because we have a limit in our ability. God wants us to be as strong and brave like an eagle. He wants us to continue to train our wings of faith to face and through any life challenges. Winds and storms in our lives will force us to fly and like the parent eagle who keeps an eye on their child learning to fly, God will watching over and will help us so we not be allowed to fall.

The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand. (Psalm 37:23-24)

When we come to God and always waiting for Him, we will get the new strength. New strength that God has given will enable us to rise to undergo what is in the front of us. God will give us a new spirit, a new wisdom, a new joy, a new hope, so that we can stand up straight in running this life. Like an eagle who never tired by the time he flew, so it is with us who waiting on the Lord. We will never feel tired because God has given us new strength. We can deal with no matter how hard. We can get out from the various problems. We can undergo existing hardships. We did not even realize that so many miraculous things that we have been through, because God has given us the strength to through it all.

My dear friends, what about us now? Whether we are currently in weak condition, physically and mentally? Do we have so many burdens which slowly but sure undermined our strength and faith?  Are we losing of hope and everything looks like so hard to be lived? This time I would like to encourage you with wonderful Bible verses:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

I ask one question. Are there people around us like family or friends who could say like God says in the verse above? Is there anyone who could guarantee by saying: ….And I will give you rest”? No nothing at all. So through these powerful verses we all know and be reminded where we should to go when we are weary and burdened and where we should put our hope.

I am not saying that our lives would become so easy. We will still have problems ahead but we must face it. No mater we like or not, our life still must go on.  Let us continue to direct our hearts and minds to God only. Keep waiting on the God, maintain our relationship with God so that our fellowship with Him getting close and closer day by day. His loving hand is always open for us comes to Him. Continue to train our wings of faith and He will give us a new strength so we can have power and fly high tirelessly like an eagle. Amen.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:29-31)

Karina – Living by Faith

Photo credit: Google Images

Related content: http://faithrises.com/2014/05/21/fly-like-an-eagle/

(The image on this post is not original as it was sent by my parents. All the text in the original image was written in Mandarin language)

The Stars was not Enough

The Stars Was not Enough-Karina's Thought

Hello dear reader! Now I am back. It is such a great blessing that I could come back to the blog after I have been absent for around 2 months. I have missed so many great and wonderful posts of you and I will try to visit the blog who followed me and read any posts of you. Here’s my first post this year. Hopefully this post will bring so many blessings to you.

The idea of this post was inspired when my husband and I spent the evening sitting on the balcony of our house. We saw the sky filled with so many beautiful stars. Seeing so many beautiful stars make up my mind drifted to the God’s blessings. There are so many blessings that we have received in our lives. Then I said to my husband, “There are so many stars there. It is the same with so many blessings that God has given to us. “My husband smiled and replied,” I do not think so, princess. The number of the stars was not enough to represent God’s blessing. Not enough! ”

Once again, my mind drifted away. Trying to look back and remember how much of a great blessing from God. And ultimately, I agree with my husband’s comment. Yes, the number of stars are not comparable with how great God’s goodness and blessing.

I am very grateful and feel how lucky I am as His child. God blessed me abundantly even when I got so many problems and difficult situation I still felt God’s blessing poured to me. Through many problems and trials God strengthen me amazingly and for me this is a great blessing. But just me? No! I am truly believed everyone had received and felt the blessing of God in many ways.  But unfortunately, not many people realize and remember God’s goodness and blessing. Even worse, many people who experience distress and suffering could easily accuse God is not fair and partiality. Well, that’s not true! God is not like that. Each of us is blessed and got the same portion. God loves all His children. But the problem is many people often judge God’s blessing only in few aspects: longevity, wealth, position and honor. Outside of it is not regarded as a blessing.

Whereas, if we want to contemplate for a moment, there are so many God’s blessing present in our lives. Even right now there are many blessing poured out as a form of His mercy to us. If we are still able to breathe, to have a complete eye to see everything, if our minds are still functioning normally, we can walk, work and can do many other things, it all is a blessing from God. This means that God still blesses us in many ways all the time.

In Psalm 145: 9 David expressed God’s grace so beautiful. Without doubt David said:

The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

Throughout the Chapter 145 is praise of David on God’s goodness and mercy not only for himself but for all human beings who believe in God. Let’s take a look to other verses of Psalm 145:

14. The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. 16 You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. 17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. 18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

These verses are just a few examples.  Actually the Bible speaks very much about God’s goodness.  Even David many times mentioning a famous verse:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. (Psalm 106:1, 118:1,118:29, 136:1)

This verses clearly shows that David really understand how the God’s goodness and mercy always be with throughout his life. Although he had a very difficult time, full of suffering and struggle, he can still looking back to see how God’s presence in his life.

My dear lovely friends, how about us?  Whether we always realize that how beautiful and lucky we are having Father who is so good and His love is so great and faithfulness? Do we realize that no matter how big and small, abound or just slightly all we have is a blessing from God which must always be grateful? Whether we realize that God is always fair and not partiality, He blesses everyone without limitation?  Jesus said,

” that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45)

God not only bless the good and the righteous people but even He still pays attention to the evil and the unrighteous as well. God still maintains and miss them to repent. If God alone still pay attention to the evil and the righteous how could God do not pay attention to us as His children? Do we still doubt His love and faithfulness? Are we still judging God is not fair?

So my beloved readers, this evening I would like to ask you to spend a bit of our time to remember and reflect God’s goodness and blessing that we have ever received in our lives. Count one by one and I do believe if we compare with stars in the sky, finally we will have a conclusion that the stars wasn’t enough to represent God’s blessing. The number of the stars is not comparable with God’s goodness and blessings. And one thing that we should to always remember is God’s love is never fail! Lamentation 3:22-23:

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.

Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. Amen. (Count Your Blessings –Johnson Oatman, Jr. 1897)

Karina – Living by Faith

Image source: Google Images

The Lord Is My Shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd -Karina's Thought

A few days ago I went to make a visit of condolence the wife of my manager who suddenly passed away. According of his story, it all happened so fast, his wife only complained of headaches and breathless, and a few hours later she passed away. I know this is a very hard for him and his children. Losing someone they love is a very sad thing, especially when occur abruptly.

There is one thing that makes me so touched and amazed. He did not show a deeply sadness. He remained strong, calm and smile to each person who attended the mourning service. Even when he gave a speech, he cites a Bible verse of Psalm:The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not lack.”(Psalm 23:1)

This verse spoke directly to my heart and makes me ponder. How far we apply this verse in our daily lives? How far we are able to believing it when we experience pain or suffering? David expresses it short but concise, and very clear. He said that whatever happens, he will never lack. Is it because of his strength, his prowess, ability and endurance? Not at all!  David knew that his strength as a human being is very limited. At certain situations, as good as the human ability will no longer be able to do anything. David could say that he will not be lack because realizing the existence of God as a good shepherd of his life. No more and no less.

Let’s dive deeper to the next verses in Psalm 23. We can see and will feel the greatness of God in His role as the Good Shepherd in our lives, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:2-3) This verse feels so comfort and comforting us. These verses came from David who has so many problems in his life. Many times he faced threats, being chased and eliminated from his own people, many times he faced a life-threatening situation, but he could put his entire life and entrusted to the God’s care. David said it all when he is not in having fun, but his faith is enough to give a sense of calm for believing in God as a good shepherd for him. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Verse 4)  Beside believe that God always with him, David has strongly faith that God also prepare everything that he need. Not only has enough but overflowed.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (Verse 5)

Both in quiet and difficult times, David realized that God will always be with him, so that he could say: “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Verse 6) Very marvelous! It might be easy for us to say these things when we’re in good condition, but how far we can still believing it when the problems are being repeatedly hit us? Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)  Such was the figure of the Shepherd who always protects us as His sheep.  Trouble could come over our lives, but God promises us to still have a life. Not only life but living in all its fullness. Not lack yet in fullness? Yes, right! Although the problems are present in our lives, God promises that His providence could give strength, give relief, protection, give hope, and that’s all He provides not only sufficient but abundantly.

My manager was able to experience how God gave him strength in his difficult times, and he realized that there is no reason for him to be disappointed to God and blame Him. He certainly sad and loses but he also realized though he lost his beloved wife, he believes God still preserve his life and did not show a conclusion that God is not fair. He realized and believes that his wife had gone into the peaceful kingdom which full of joy, where there is no crying and no more suffering again as often we experience in this world. His wife has been in the eternal God’s providence in heaven.

My lovely friends, when we have a situation full of suffering, could we continue to believe that we will never lack the strength? Can we believe that God’s presence will always give reassurance and relief in a heavy burden? When there are events that occur beyond our control, could we rely on unlimited God’s power or we are still busy hanging on our own strength or another human being who have limitation? In any difficult situation, remember that God never leaves us. He will never lose by anything. He said, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:14-15)  These verses show us what a close and beautiful relationship between God as the shepherd and us as His sheep. If we truly comprehend the meaning of these verses and put in the bottom of our heart and minds, why do we have to worry with all the trials and suffering that might happen in our lives?

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37) There are no problems that He could not overcome. Believe that God will not remain silent when we really need his touch. Therefore, do not be discouraged, but always be thankful. Make our relationship with God still close and closer day by day, experience God’s presence and providence personally, until at the some point we can say with full confidence as David said, “THE LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not lack.”  Amen.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

Karina

Related Article

Psalm 23 by http://secretangelps911.wordpress.com

Photo Credit: justonemore.info

Persistent All The Time

Proverb 8 17 - Karina's Thought - Sue Nash

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Proverb 8:17

This post was inspired by blog post from my dear sweet sister in Christ Sue Nash who wrote a beautiful poem based on Proverb 8:17 “Before the sunrise – I will seek you “ But I am not truly wrote this post based on her poem. This is just another thought of its verse.

When my mother asked what one of the keys to success in business, my mother replied,” Persistence! Many successful entrepreneurs in the world besides they have a good vision and mission, great business strategies, they also have the perseverance in running the business. However, unfortunately, many of them also fail in their business just because they are not persistent and easy to give up. They are just as excited and determined at the beginning of building a business. Once they are confronted by many problems and obstacles, they did not perseveringly confront all of that.”

I am contemplating on my mother’s statement. I am thinking about the Christians’ life. Many Christians in the early days following the Lord seemed so eager and passionate in the Lord. But as time goes by, their spirit began to fade. Previously they are so diligently serve God but are now beginning to slack. Who previously so diligently take meditating every day, now already much been absent. When they are facing so many problems and trials, they are not persisted but instead they began to slack off. They still have the misconception that being a follower of Christ will be free from problems. Actually, God does not want this thing happens in our spiritual lives

The Holy Bible advises to us, Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11) We have lost our first love for the Lord as happened in the Ephesians’ church.”… You have forsaken the love you had at first.”(Revelation 2:4) Without perseverance, anything we do will never bring maximum results.

Persevering is a strong determination (unwavering) to be serious in doing any task. Persevering also means focused, consistent and not easily give up on what we’re doing. The Bible noted: You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:36) Only the people who always are persevere will bear fruit and enjoy the rewards. Luke 8:15 said, But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

We all really longs that the promises of God fulfilled in our lives, but it would be difficult to be realized if we do not have perseverance. Perseverance in prayer and in doing that all God wants in our lives. So persistence is the most important element to get the success. Especially in this era, almost everyone wants everything instantly. Want to get success quickly, but do not want to work hard, want to succeed, but do not want to strive.

How persistence can be formed? James said, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1: 2-3)  Through testing we can learn to persevere. That is why sometimes God allows problems happen in our lives in order that we have the perseverance. Persistence also can be formed through the practice. Persistence that does not happen in an instant but needs to be trained from the small matters. How we can persevere in the face of big problems, if we are not persistent facing a small problem.

My dear lovely readers, how about us? How big our persistence? Do we want to be successful in all aspects of our lives? Start by seeking God’s wisdom perseveringly. Ponder the God’s word every day, do it and obey. For whoever finds wisdom, get a life and God will deign to us. “For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord.” (Proverb 8:35) Have we meditate and do the word of God with persistent so that we get the blessing and His love?

O Lord, teach us to persevere love and obey Your word in life and our lives. Amen

“If we endure we will also reign with him…..” 2 Timothy 2:12

Karina

Photo by Sue Nash   http://heavenlyraindrops.wordpress.com/