The Antidote to Idolatry

Idolatry
My heart is full of shame in front of God! The more I saturate my heart with His Word and learn of His attributes, I feel more and more reverence for Him while I see more of my wickedness.

As I seek His evaluation of my heart by meditating upon His Word, I feel more and more guilty of a sin punishable by death–idolatry!

No, I didn’t mean that I carved a golden god, arrayed it in multihued garments, prayed to it and kept in my room!

I didn’t mean that I have posted photos of a model or a celebrity on the walls of my room and spent money on collecting her magazines!

Yet, I realize that I am having an idol.

In Christian lingo, an idol is anything that takes the place of God in our hearts. It can be a job, self-image, relationships, possessions and anything that diverts our attention and worship from Him alone.

Sadly, in this computer age, there are many things that can easily take God’s  stead in our hearts and this rivalry between God and idols around us goes on and on each day. It is a daily battle.

I have been reading the Bible without thinking whether I follow my reading plan or not. All I want this year is to read and meditate upon God’s word and eventually know Him experientially in a much deeper level.

This month, I have chosen to focus on the book of Deuteronomy. Reading through the chapters of this book, it is simply convicting how God reminded the Israelites through Moses how He hates idolatry!

“So watch yourselves, that you do not forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the LORD your God has commanded you. For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” ~Deuteronomy 4:23-24

 Over and over, this type of reminder was mentioned and the greatest of all commandments is also written in this book. It says:

Deut. 6-5

And in this verse, is capsulated the antidote to idolatry–loving the LORD our God with all our being.

Now, how can we love the Lord our God with all our being? Let me give you a very short list of  what it means to love God with all our being. These are easier said and read than done.

1. Loving the LORD our God means  learning His word daily.

“It is simple.”, you may say. However, it’s one thing to read God’s word and it’s another thing to meditate upon (i.e. chew on, ponder upon) His statements.

Let’s revive the lost art of meditation! These days, it’s easy to like and follow Biblical Facebook pages but let me tell you this, there’s nothing much better than discovering jewels in God’s word by ourselves.

Going back to the fundamentals of spiritual growth is never old-fashioned! We need to ask God to give us the grace that will enable us to spend quality time with Him early in the morning and before we sleep.

Let’s remember that the time spent with God in meditation of His word and in prayers is never wasted! It doesn’t end in reading God’s word. We also need to think about how we can practically apply His word in our daily life and this leads to our next item.

2. Loving the LORD our God means living out His word daily.

Jotting down the important points that we learn from God’s word in a journal is priceless. We can look back to them and eventually, teach them to others. More often than not, we can use them when we are tested on what we have just recently learned about God and His Word regarding areas of our life. And here’s what’s awesome: God is glorified when we pass the test while claiming His grace through our testings! He is pleased and glorified when we are not just readers of His word but also doers of His word and will!

Now, how else can we manifest our love for God? That leads us to our next practical item.

3. Loving the LORD our God means longing to fellowship with Him daily.

When our hearts is filled with love for God, it overflows with a desire to seek Him. And here’s the promise to those who long to be close to Him.

“But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.” Deut. 4:29

How are you and your relationship with God? It’s only you and God who can give an honest evaluation of your heart’s condition. Is God still on the throne of your heart? Is He still getting the time He deserves from you?

Do you continue to learn His word, live out His word and long to fellowship with Him daily? Oh that the Lord our God would speak to your heart as He spoke to me!

Here is the antidote to any form of idolatry, my dear friend: loving the LORD our God with all our being!

Random Read Reviews

Since finding English reading materials with reasonable prices in Bangladesh has posed a challenge to me as a mom, I tried to find a way to get free copies of books for my daughter. Thank God for leading me to NetGalley.

If you are a blogger like me, please go ahead and soak yourself in searching for a wide variety of genre of books (during your free time, of course 🙂 ). Once a member, you’ll get free digital copies of the book you prefer. Make sure you appreciate authors by writing even a short review of their book. That way, you can help them sell their masterpieces. 😀

So here I am writing a quick review of the two new books I got for Joanna.

Click the image to learn more.

1. But I Wanted a Little Sister by Pauline Oud

Reasons I would recommend this book include its attractive cover, its story line (I’m not giving it away. Please buy a copy. 🙂 ) and the moral lesson this book offers. I am pretty sure that preschoolers like my daughter would ask their parents to read this to them more than once or twice. 😀

 

Please click the image to learn more.

2. I’m Just a Little Someone by  Sharen S. Peters

This isn’t a simple colorful book. This has a section that surprised me. The said part includes an enumeration of activities you can do with the book. I believe this copy is ideal for preschool teachers and homeschooling moms.

There you go–a quick review of two wonderful storybooks for your preschoolers.

Review: Planning Your Life God’s Way by Dr. Timothy Berrey

Are you facing a tough situation? Are you on a crossroad? Are you feeling hopeless in your situation and you don’t know which step to take next? Are you seeking your purpose in life?

Thousands of books have been written on decision making but this e-book, Planning Your Life God’s Way by Dr. Timothy Berrey, is highly recommendable for anyone! Click here for more info.

I am privileged to be given a chance to read this written work of my professor through the gracious kindness of his dear wife.

Here are my five reasons you should not miss reading this e-book:

1. It’s scholarly written and yet reader-friendly.

Points made in the book are not simply elaborated with explanations but are well-supported by secular and biblical examples.  I can’t deny the fact that the author himself is a well-read person. You will definitely learn more about both prominent and unpopular characters from his readings through his writing!

2. It’s filled with proven ways on how to make decisions.

You will never doubt the ways penned by this author as he and his wife live by them! Just to let you know, my husband and I am a witness of how they deeply honor God and His word in their decisions. You can also check their website here. Be blessed by their future posts!

3. Its price is quite reasonable.

Click the image for more info.

Go and check more info here. In fact, he has written another book called, “From Eden to Patmos.” I have to confess that I left my copy of that book in the Philippines because I had a 10-kg baggage excess the last time I left the Philippines but I will definitely go back to it as the Lord wills.

4. It’s beneficial for all people regardless of their race or religious background.

How I wish I could just summarize the principles written on the e-book but that will defeat the purpose of this post. I want you to grab your copy and read it by yourself. 🙂 I assure you that the beginning chapter will make you so engaged to reading it that you will want to finish it in one sitting. As the author himself expressed, God wants you to enjoy a blessed life by making the right decisions with the guidance of His word.

5.  It’s a substantial read.

If you are a reader like me, I am certain that your diary or journal will never be left empty, but will be filled with quotable quotes from the author himself. I believe that this work is a fruit of his discipline and family’s prayers. You will never regret reading this.

Since I cannot keep the jewels of wisdom from this e-book to myself, I appeal to you to grab your copy and enjoy the life God has given you!

How about you? What’s the latest book you have been reading? Please share your review with me and I will try to find a way to get a copy of it either from Amazon or any internet site. 🙂

Enjoy your journey with God!

Leaning on Jesus,

Day 3: Bible Lands Exploration 2016 Part 2

I know. I would like to sincerely apologize for making you wait this loooong for the sequel of our group’s Bible Lands Exploration 2016-Day 3. I hope it’s still fine if I share with you this long overdue post. I so appreciate your patience! 🙂

Now, let’s have a quick recap before I continue sharing photos of our Bible Lands Exploration 2016. specifically Day 3, Part 2.

Feel free to click on the links below to review my album. 🙂

General Review of Bible Lands Exploration 2016
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3 Part 1

So let’s resume our virtual tour around Israel! You must have read that we visited King Herod’s Aqueduct and Caesarea Maritima National Park on Day 3. Then our…

Next Stop: Tel Megiddo National Park.
Description: This is an archaeological mound of great historical significance. Many battles were fought here and this is said to be the site where the Battle of Armageddon between Jesus and Satan will take place in the future. Walking through the site, we were shown and told of the many layers of history evidenced by the ruins all around. We also saw how an ancient chariot and stables looked like. Today, you can still see many palm trees and rock flowers all around the area. Across from Megiddo Park is the beautiful view of the Jezreel Valley,  the valley where Gideon led the Israelite’s victory against the Midianites, Amalekites and children of the east. In addition, we were privileged to walk through a water tunnel inside the park, which is said to be the main source of water in Megiddo.
Biblical References: A few passages in the Bible that mention this prominent place are Joshua 12:21; 17:11; Judges 1:27-28; 5:19-21 and so on.
Photos:
Megiddo National Park -March 2, 2016.jpgMegiddo Ruins.jpgJezreel Valley View.jpg
Water Tunnel- Megiddo PARK.jpg

Megiddo Water Tunnel by Brother Kenneth Cheong.jpg

A beautiful shot of Megiddo Water Tunnel by Bro. Kenneth Cheong.

Next Stop: Ein Harod
Description:
Do you remember when Gideon was tasked by God to conquer the Midianites and he had to choose warriors from thousands of men in Israel? This was the site where Gideon brought those men and eventually, chose 300 men out of those many courageous fighters. The ones who lapped water as dogs were chosen to fight with Gideon.
Biblical References:  Judges 7
Photos:

Ein Harod.jpg

There used to be water spring here but time has caused this place to dry up. Thanks to Bro. Jerry Teng for capturing this beautiful view of Gideon’s Spring.

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Ein Harod (3).jpg

Reflection:

These places are testaments of how Gideon trusted God’s wisdom. We can remember that God is not concerned about our skills when we are facing our battles. He is concerned about our faith. Are we willing to surrender our earthly battle plans to win against our spiritual foes? Let’s trust God’s word in fighting our spiritual warfare.

Last Stop: We capped off our day’s exploration with a sumptuous dinner in Leonardo Hotel in Tiberias and went to bed early so we could have enough rest for our next day’s journey.

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I hope you enjoyed looking at the photos and may God bless you in whatever you are doing! Please watch out for my next post on how our DAY 4 of Bible Lands Exploration fared last year! 😉 Thank you so much for your time. 🙂


What Life is Like in Bangladesh Part 2

What my life is like in Bangladesh is in demand. Many of my online students are still in awe after hearing that we are missionaries here in Bangladesh, I am posting a few more photos I took around my husband’s village years ago. The following informative pictures should give many of you, my friends and relatives, an idea what it’s like to survive in a Bangladeshi village. 🙂

Brace yourself if you are not so used to facing culture shock. 🙂 Let our virtual journey begin!

  1. People in the villages still continue to cook using this clay stove.

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  2. Women cut/slice their meat and other raw ingredients using what they call “boti.” No, knives are not commonly used by Bangladeshi women in the villages. 🙂1915378_1288640861151_6672681_n
  3. Most families in the village own a man-made pond where they can grow their own fish.
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  4. While hollow blocks are commonly used in building houses and constructions in the Philippines, bricks are the ones favored by builders here in my adopted country.
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  5. In the villages of Bangladesh, rickshaws rarely exist. They have what they call “van” and it is the most common mode of transportation by village peopleIn the Philippines, if you hear the word “van”, you’ll think of a vehicle that can accommodate about 10 people.  Now, take a look at the big difference. 🙂

    Van in Bangladesh vs. Van in the Philippines.jpg

    I love taking Bangladeshi vans in the village though. 🙂 It allows you to view the beauty of the green meadows clothing the whole village. 

  6. People mourn over their deceased loved ones in their homes and they don’t provide any coffin for them. The bereaved bury their loved ones’ corpses as they are beside their homes using clay soil.
    funeral-in-Bangladeshi-villages
  7. You cross the river with wooden boats. In my experience, I remember Jesus and His disciples every time we cross the river by boats.
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  8. Most vendors in Bangladeshi markets are men. They have a very patriarchal society. Take note that men also buy groceries for their families. 1915378_1288658061581_7850140_n

Some people pity me upon hearing that as I live in Bangladesh, I have to go through a lot of adjustments. However, I consider it a privilege to be serving my husband in his home country so he can pursue the call God gave him–to win souls for Christ. To me, going through a culture shock is a cause of inconvenience, yes, but God is working in my heart. There’s a mission work in progress within me and even though I don’t realize what He wants me to do with the experience I have been having here in Bangladesh, my calling is to remain steadfast in my faith that He is doing something. His mission work through us and in us is ongoing.

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P.S. I stayed in the village for a year and that’s how I was able to learn to speak Bengali. A year later, I had to face another  acculturation when we moved to Dhaka. Hopefully, I can share with you a few photos I took around Dhaka so please stand by for the sequel of this post. 🙂

Also, I hope that this list would prepare you if you are considering to come over and visit us in the future. 🙂

 

 

 

Christmas Giveaway

Year 2016 is almost over. Looking back at how year 2016 went for me makes me stand in awe of God’s goodness. I saw His daily grace and provision for my family, His deliverance in times of our adversities and forgiveness in our failures to please Him at times. The thought of God’s undeniable myriads of boons upon my family is entirely humbling.

The question I have been asking myself is, “What can I do to thank God in return?” The answer is nothing. And yet, I believe that the least I can do is use whatever time and talent He entrusted me to bless others (I hope…).

So to celebrate God’s kindness upon my family and me, I would like to share a Christmas giveaway to you who are interested. I am sharing these free-printable-spiritual-journal-pages. My desire is that these journal pages would motivate you to journal your lessons from your walk with God and develop your “gratitude-attitude” further in year 2017.

SUGGESTIONS: 

  1. Buy a 5×7 three-ring binder.
  2. Print one page of the first five pages.
  3. Print the page that looks like this 365 times. 😉

journal-entry-page

4. The “Random Thoughts” page is optional but it’s great for writers. 🙂
5. Another great idea would be to go to a printing shop and have them assemble your bound journal. 🙂

I wish I could do more but these will be all for now. Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

Ex Satanist, Gina Marisa’s views on Halloween.

Worth your time! Please read on.

OurSpiritualQuest

  • Anton LaVey Anton LaVey

    Gina Marisa Sarlin, an online Christian friend, was once involved in Satanism. The Holy Spirit drew her gloriously to Jesus and she became His beloved daughter. Hallelujah!

    I asked what her views are on Halloween. Gina kindly gave me permission to share her note below and also to share her testimony here very soon.

    gina-marisa-sarlin-ex-satanis-bicara-soal-hallowen_jpg

    She told me when she was still a Satanist, Halloween was a special day for her, it was her “faveorite day.” Is that not a very telling statement?

      2 Corinthians 6:14 

    Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

    Gina Gina

    Gina wrote, “Many in our secular society believe Halloween is nothing more than a harmless festival that allows kids to collect candy. But is it? Its origins lie deeply rooted in the Occult, and Christians should stay away. Here are ten reasons…

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