Tag Archive | God

A Bundle of Joy

Children (1).jpg

To some extent, I do agree.

Last week, I was browsing my Facebook account and saw a very touching video about parents’ sacrifices for their children.

After watching the said video, I wept discreetly.

I suddenly missed my mom. As you all know, I am here in Bangladesh to support my husband in doing what God has called him to do. It is inevitable that I get homesick at times and it hits me out of the blue.

My daughter came to the room where I was, minutes later. She noticed that my eyes were wet with tears.

Joanna (my daughter): “Why are you crying Mom?” 
Me: I just miss your Lola (grandma). She’s so far. 
Joanna: (hugged and kissed me).

My daughter ran to the open window and started shouting.

“Lola, Mom kande for you.” (i.e. Grandma, Mom is crying for you.) She thought that her grandma can hear her.

She came back to me and sat on my lap. She said with all her innocence and sincerity.

“Mom, don’t be sad. I’m here. Don’t be problem.* Don’t be silly.”

I got so moved by my daughter’s effort to comfort me. I know that her grammar is not perfect since her first language is Bangla. What she said, though, made me realize is that she’s, indeed, a bundle of joy.

I guffawed at the end because it’s true that I shouldn’t “be silly” anyway. Someday, in God’s time, I will see my mother again. I just need to trust God as He shows my family the perfect timing to visit her again.

If you, like me, have a daughter who is there for you when you are despondent, rejoice! Remember that God has blessed you with a very loving child!

It’s undeniable that children are reminders of God’s love and comfort. They are indeed, a reward from God (Psalm 127:3).

What are the funny and yet moving conversations you had with your child? How many times has God comforted your soul through him or her?

I hope that you can appreciate God’s reward (i.e. your children) to you daily. You are blessed. 🙂

Leaning on Jesus,

P.S: I think she meant, “Don’t think about your problem.” (lol!) Isn’t my daughter funny? 🙂

 

 

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Book Review: “Fan the Flame” by Joseph Stowell

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How are you doing as you walk the journey God has called you to pursue? Have you been weary? cold? just going through the ebbs and flows of life?

I found a very special book which is about as old as me. It was published in the year I was born.

I found this book quite engaging and indeed, soul-inspiring!
I got a copy of this book all because I tried to dig up some books to read from my father-in-law’s library.

One of the most interesting books I discovered was this one by Pastor Joseph Stowell called “Fan the Flame.”

I decided to write a review because it’s too stellar not to be shared about. I believe that this book will definitely ignite the fire in your heart toward God, which might have become cold because of too much familiarity with the Christian routine you have been doing.

I hope the following details will persuade you to get your personal copy or borrow the one I read.

1. Price on Amazon: It’s only $0.01. Isn’t that a great deal? It’s almost free! Click here to get your own.
2. Length: It’s only 138-page long. It should be a great read during your breaks in a day. 🙂 I read it during the holiday break. The point is whether you are busy or not-so-busy, you can afford to read a chapter or two in your spare time. It’s definite that you will find the words in this book truly encouraging!
3. Quality: It’s full of stupendous illustrations from the life of Pastor Joseph Stowell. It’s filled with encouragement from the Scriptures on how to keep your love for Christ alive. I assure you that you will have so much indelible takeaways from this book!
Here’s a sample for you:

What’s the latest book you have been reading aside from the Bible to help you to continue your spiritual journey? Let me know what that is in the comment box and I will try my best to get my own copy or borrow from one of my friends’ library when I can.

May God inspire you to remember your first love for Christ as you read this book. Keep moving as the Holy Spirit leads you. Have a wonderful journey! God loves you unconditionally.

Leaning on Jesus,

5 Life Lessons from Pain

The fact that I am able to write at the moment is a tremendous blessing! I had thought that I would never be able to pen my musings again.

In fact, holding a pen has never been this uncomfortable but I see this as a great privilege to trust God’s sufficient grace as I continue to be His mouthpiece in the form of writing.

As a writer, I couldn’t but reflect upon what I am going through (i.e. healing my injured thumb.) Different thoughts, both positive and negative, run through my mind at times.

I am definitely sure though that it is God’s will for me to saturate my mind with thoughts that are virtuous and praise-worthy (Phil. 4:8) and to remember that this trial of mine is meant to bring forth patience (James 1: 1-4).

Now, what are the other lessons that God is teaching me from this point of my journey?

5 life lessons from pain

 

  1. God has a purpose for this. (Romans 8:28)
    What is God’s purpose for allowing me to go through this pain? To be very honest, that’s beyond my understanding and I have to take this as from Him. I have to trust that He wants His glory out of this experience of mine.
  2. He uses pain to make me appreciate health.
  3. He is the source of health and recovery!

    “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.” Psalm 103:1-3

    If you are like me, going through a healing process, please remember that your other body parts are working normally. Praise God for that! 🙂 Also, remember that our full recuperation may take time but one thing is definite–it will happen in God’s time.

  4. He wants me to move on from this point of my journey continually relying on His might and keep on encouraging others to do the same. Just like a portion in a traditional marriage vow, I must continue to put my faith on my loving God “In sickness and in health.” 
  5. He uses this opportunity to open my eyes and let me see how many people from around the world sincerely care about and pray for me.

For that reason, let me take this opportunity to let you, my dear friends, know that your prayers are greatly appreciated. I have been able to work around my home and write again. My desire is that God will continue to bless you for your prayers for me. Thank you so much. In Bangla, we say, onek dhonno bad. 🙂Thank You!

What are the things that you have been going through at the moment? What are the life lessons you are learning from your spiritual quest? I hope and pray that the five life lessons I am learning from my journey at the moment will be a blessing to you as well.

Leaning on Jesus,

 

 

 

 

 

5 Quick Ways to Enjoy Reading Your Bible Daily

Someone has succinctly said to this effect–“the best way you can express your love to someone is by giving him time.”

Wives love it when their husbands give them time. Kids love it when their parents spend time with them. And you know what? God loves it when we spend time listening to His Word.

What are some quick ways we can enjoy reading the Bible?

5 Quick Ways to Enjoy Reading Your Bible Daily

1. Read your Bible out loud. 

Narrate the story to yourself. Not only will you be able to understand God’s word better but that will also keep you awake. 🙂

2. Listen to an Audio App while reading your Bible.

In my case, I either use an app from Faith Comes by Hearing Ministry or I go to Bible Gateway. I love the fact that God’s words come alive as they are narrated with some background musical sound effects and different voice tones of the characters in the story.

3. Find an accountability partner. 

In my case, my husband is my accountability partner.

I can remember also when I was not married yet how our church effectively encouraged our church young people to read their Bible through point system. Of course, they did that to motivate us, young men and women of God to be in the Word all throughout the week.

Each Sunday, we had to fill out a form and state whether we read our Bible or not. We had to fill it out with all honestly.

Gone were the days when we had to fill out these forms but doing these over and over, we had developed a habit to seek God early in His word.

If you think you can ask your best friend, your husband, your sister or your parents to be your accountability partner, then do so.

3. Add a devotional book to your assigned Bible reading each day. 

What are my favorites?

You can easily subscribe to some online devotionals too! I highly recommend Daily Proverb and Faith’s Checkbook by Charles Spurgeon. Subscribe to their mailing list and they will deliver their messages to your inbox everyday.

Reminder: Devotionals, just like vitamins, cannot replace the Bible. They are just supplements and I encourage you to do your own digging each day when you read the Bible. Let the Holy Spirit speak to you personally. Ask Him to convict or encourage you and He is more than willing to do so! 🙂

4. Use colored pens and multi-hued highlighters.

This is one of the things that makes me thrilled in reading the Bible. I find it encouraging to see my Bible highlighted with different colors. 🙂 Seeing the highlighted verses on my Bible never fails to make me encouraged or convicted.

5. Keep a journal

I like using old notebooks or spare planners I was not able to use. Journals are also tools to encourage and remind you of the lessons God has taught you.

Review them when you are discouraged to open your Bible and see how that simple act can make you long to seek God in His word again.

What are the ways you do that help you enjoy your Bible reading on a daily basis? Share them with me and our other friends. May God bless us as we express our love to Him through reading and living out His word! ❤

Leaning on Jesus, (2)

7 Practical Lessons and Caveats from the Book of Judges

7 Practical Lessons and Caveats from the Book of Judges
If I were to be asked about my favorite Bible book–one of the last books I would answer is the Book of Judges. That was prior to my in-depth study of this book.

What is the Book of Judges all about anyway? It’s a book filled with stories of how God called and raised up judges for the apple of His eye–Israel. 

As I read this narration of Israel’s history in this particular book, I realized how God’s peculiar people lived a cycle of repentance-sinful-living-repentance-type of lifestyle. 

Again, I realized, we are no different from them! We have the same sinful human nature as the people of Israel and so reminders are necessary to help us maintain a consistent walk with God. 

Now, what did I learn from the book which I thought would be one of the books I like the least in the Bible?

First, idols can make anyone forget God’s word and godly moral values.  (Judges 2:11-12)

This is a cue for me personally.

Whenever I find myself prioritizing something or someone over my personal study of His Word, then I recognize it/him/her an idol.

Whenever I fail to obey God’s will because of anyone or anything, I consider it or him an idol.

Needless to say, whenever I find myself in that situation, I confess it to the LORD and find His same faithful forgiveness of my sin (1 John 1:9). Praise His name!

Second, God allows us to be enslaved by our enemies and “idols” when He sees unrepentant attitude in us. (Judges 3:12-14)

King Eglon ruled and controlled Israel for eighteen years! It’s all because God was disrespected by their worship of Baal and Ashteroth–two prominent idols of Israel in that period (Joshua 3:7).

This part of Israel’s history was not included in the canon of the Bible in vain. This is written for us to learn from the past. This is written to remind and warn us. 🙂

If we want to live a victorious life, God is calling us to love and serve Him with all our hearts and forsake idolatry. Here’s a detailed antidote to idolatry.

Third, God gives victory to those who love, trust, and obey Him. (Judges 4-5)

You might be familiar with the story of how Deborah, the only woman judge in Israel, courageously delivered her people from the hands of their enemies. She knew that Barak was supposed to lead them in fighting. Since he was hesitant to do so, Barak forfeited the honor of leading Israel’s victory. Instead, God gave victory to Israel through Deborah’s valorous leadership.

Fourth, peace is the mere fruit of obedience to God’s word. (Judges 5:31)

When Deborah led Israel, they “experienced 40 undisturbed years.”

Here’s a practical application for us: if we want a peaceful nation, we need leaders who will be brave enough to take a righteous stand in leading his people–someone who is not afraid to offend those who are disobeying God’s revealed standards of living.

Let’s pray for God to raise leaders who have such a reverence in Him that they will not be in favor of what God calls detestable.

Fifth, when God calls us to do His will, He gives  us His promise of presence and peace.

When Gideon saw that he was the angel of the Lord, he said, ‘Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.’ The Lord said to him, ‘Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.’ Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and named it The Lord is Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.” Judges 6:22-24 (NASB)

Sixth, it’s but natural to doubt God’s calling to serve Him but He is more than willing to prove and manifest His omnipotence. Yes, despite our fears and weaknesses! (Judges 6:37-40)

Who is our example in this passage? Yes, it’s Gideon. God encouraged Gideon to trust Him by granting his request to show signs.

Seventh, God sometimes commands us to follow a seemingly awful battle plan so He can get the glory when we obey Him. (Judges 7:7)

Do you remember how Gideon and his 300 men conquered the Midianites–their enemies? Yes, with trumpets and pitchers. Please don’t smirk. That’s how they won simply because they trusted God’s wise battle plan.

You see?

Trust God's Wisdom

Isn’t it a glorious thing to see victory led by God? We, believers, must fight our battles, not by might or swords but by faith in God’s Word!

There are many other lessons I have learned from the book of Judges but I guess the ones I wrote above are the ones time has permitted me to do so.

What are the lessons that you have been learning from your Bible meditation time? Share them with us. We will love to be blessed and challenged by what God has been teaching you as well.

It’s my prayer that God would continue to glorify His name in our lives as we live for Him, bearing His word in our hearts and mind.

Why We Should Not Rainbow-fy Our Profile Photos on Facebook

Why I Would Not Ranbow-fy My Profile

Today at lunch, I checked my Facebook account to see if I have messages from friends I got in contact with lately. I checked a few posts and saw that many are saddened by the news that the US Supreme Court had affirmed Gay Marriage. It’s heartbreaking, I know.

Then there’s something else that caught my attention–the rainbow-fied profile photos of some of my friends. My first thought was why this is the new trend from today.

I searched for the answer on the internet and this explained why everyone is changing their profile photos into a rainbow-fied one. What I found was shocking.

Friends, did you know that rainbow-fying your profile photos means that you are celebrating the affirmation of gay marriage with pride?

I may get bashed for what I am about to say, but I am persuaded that rainbow-fying profile photos on Facebook is not for us, Christians who claim to love and worship a holy God. If we know that we have been born again by faith in Jesus Christ, then we should make a difference by not being conformed to whatever is trendy. 

This reminds me of one beautiful quote by Albert Einstein–

“What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.”

Here’s a few verses that we also have to keep in mind:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~Roman 12:1-2 [emphasis mine]

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” ~1 Peter 1: 14-16 [emphasis mine]

I may quote many other verses that urge believers of Christ to abstain from all forms of ungodliness but here is my loving plea, let’s be careful with our simple choices. These careless choices may cause people to think that we are in favor of what God calls abominable. If we care for and love the souls of the unsaved, we should not rainbow-fy our profile photos on Facebook.

Leaning on Jesus, (2)

Precious Jewels from the Book of Joshua

Do you love jewels, my friends? Here is another confession of mine–I do love jewels!

Just the sight of them makes me so high-spirited. I don’t normally care if they are genuine or just imitations. I just know that I am fascinated with the simple beauty of crystals and stones.

Today, I brought a box of jewels but I want to tell you that they are far better than the most expensive jewels in the world.

I hope you’ll open your jewellery box (your heart) and feel free to take whichever you want to keep for good from this box of precious jewels from the book of Joshua.

Precious Jewels from the Book of Joshua

These are practical lessons that the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart when I studied this book of Joshua, a book which I would personally describe as the book of battles’ stories.

I’ll try to keep my list short and simple. I hope that you can check these truths for yourselves by highlighting the verses I will mention here especially if you are a new Bible explorer.

Here you go:

1. God is sure to go with us as long as we follow and do His will (Joshua 1:6-9).

The key to any spiritual success is meditation upon His word. The Bible will surely keep us sane as we face our daily battles.

2. God is more than willing to save anyone, who has the darkest past, as long as he or she professes faith in His deity. 

You can guess who I am talking about here from the second chapter of the book of Joshua. It’s Rahab the harlot. She, upon hearing God’s deliverance of Israel, allowed the soldiers of Israel to hide in her house (Joshua 2:1-14). These soldiers spied the land of Jericho since they would have to conquer this land at the command of God. Rahab’s assistance to these soldier is the proof her faith in the God of Israel. She said,

“For the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” Joshua 2:11 (NASB)

Our unsaved loved ones with a seemingly dark past has the hope to be saved through the blood of Jesus. Needless to say, our personal spiritual victories can lead to his or her salvation so let’s keep on sharing the gospel with them through our lips and our lives. We cannot do that on our own so we have to prayerfully depend on the grace of God.

3. Our personal spiritual victories over struggles are for the sole purpose of making His name known to the pagans (i.e. unbelievers). 

“On that day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; so that they revered him, just as they had revered Moses all the days of his life….For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” Joshua 4:14;23-24 [emphasis mine]

4. God warns us of covetousness since it can lead to our failure to follow His will (Joshua 6:18).

God’s warning is for our protection from misery and all forms of defeat.

5. God cannot give us His full blessing if we conceal any sin in our hearts.

Who is our example in Joshua 7? Yes, it’s Achan. He exhibited covetousness which prompted him to lie. Sadly, that seemingly simple disobedience led to a fatal punishment from God–his personal and family’s death.

In light of his experience, we can see that our personal sin today can inflict trouble to our descendants tomorrow. That’s why we need to ask God to continue giving us His special grace so we can make righteous decisions for the better welfare of our future generation and most of all, for His glory.

What did you learn from your recent meditation upon God’s Word? Kindly share them with me on the comment box and let’s continue encouraging one another to dig God’s Word daily. Consequently, we can find more precious jewels like the ones we discovered today from the book of Joshua.
Leaning on Jesus, (2)