Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Confident Heart

Here's my first ebook, read on my kindle ~ "A Confident Heart", by Renee Swope

This book really speaks a lot about what most women struggle with ~ insecurities, self doubt, comparison, guilt... etc etc... *you know what I am talking about~*

Though - I know, people hardly believe when I say "I have no confidence". I don't know either sometimes how to explain my "no confidence" - 'coz seriously, you won't see it >.< and this book helped me to see the root of the problems that I never realized have been there for a long time~!

So, girls - I am gonna stop talking now, you just read the excerpt!

"The only way we’ll have a confident heart as if we move beyond knowing about God to knowing and relying on Him - to depending on His Word with our whole heart, mind and soul." - Renee Swope -

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Self-doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart.

Doubt keeps us from believing things can get better. Doubt convinces us that it’s not worth the effort.

It is a rare soul indeed who has been sought after for who she is—not because of what she can do, or what others can gain from her, but simply for herself . . . so what are we to conclude? Often we conclude that there is nothing in our hearts worth knowing. Whoever and whatever this mystery called I must be, it cannot be much. John Eldredge and Brent Curtis[1]

It can be hard to let people know how we’re really doing. We don’t want to be high maintenance, right? We surely don’t want people to see the peeling paint of our imperfections or the rotting attitudes in the wood boards of our minds. It’s embarrassing for people to see our flaws and failures, so we work hard to look like we’re doing fine from a distance.

Sometimes I think we tell people we’re fine even when we’re not, because we want to be fine. Or we hope that by saying we are fine, eventually we will be. Other times we act like we’re fine because others expect us to be.

Being honest about who we are and how we are doing is especially risky when it comes to our insecurities. We fear that if people know we doubt ourselves, they’ll start doubting us too.

Pretending leads to hiding and isolation. What we need is someone who will pursue us and accept us even though we’re flawed. Yet most of us doubt anyone would ever stick with us if we let them get too close. So we put up walls and hide our struggles, even from God, hoping we’ll convince Him and everyone else that we’re fine. Eventually, though, we find ourselves in the shadows of doubt, convinced that we aren’t worth knowing or pursuing. Slowly we begin to believe we have to be perfect to be loved and accepted.

Oh how I longed for someone to see past the exterior fa├žade and look into the secret places of my heart. I wanted to be known and loved for who I was. Yet if I let my guard down, I was afraid someone would say I was too sensitive or too serious…. Even though I was surrounded by people, my insecurities convinced me I was all alone.

Jesus met Sam in one of the loneliest parts of her day. In the same way, He is there waiting for us in the midst of our imperfect lives, when our pain and failures confirm our self-doubts. He is there waiting for us when we’re going through the motions, aware of what needs to be done but unaware of how we’re going to do it. He is there on those mornings when we can’t stop criticizing ourselves for blowing it the day before; when we go to work and wonder why we’re even there.

You don’t have to pretend things are fine when they aren’t. He knows what is going on in your thoughts. Nothing could keep Him from wanting to be with you. He invites you to come to Him to receive the perfect love He offers—love that casts out fear, love that is patient and kind, love that keeps no record of wrongs.

But if we only live on the surface with God, we’ll never experience the intimacy we long for or the acceptance and security He offers. Instead of just making our lives easier, God wants us to come up close and experience Him and all that He has for us. He knows that our problems won’t be solved and our confidence won’t be found through simply getting more stuff done. Instead, He invites us to slow down and talk to Him about our day and the desires of our hearts, asking Him to show us the reasons for our doubts and insecurities. He wants us to go below the surface by asking Him to show us why we want what we want. Then we can ask Him if what we want is really what we need.

In the same way, Jesus wants to help you see what is going on in your heart and what you are struggling with that is eroding your security and confidence. If you were sitting with Jesus today, what do you think He’d want to talk about? Perhaps your heart needs to be set free from pretending and perfectionism. Are you longing for others’ approval and wonder why you can never get enough?

Jesus is the only one who can meet our deepest needs to be accepted and delighted in simply because of who we are. We can offer nothing but our presence, and he will desire us just the same.

A personal relationship with God sets us free to be all we were created to be. As children of God we were designed to find our identity, our significance, and our confidence in Him.

The only way we’ll have a confident heart as if we move beyond knowing about God to knowing and relying on Him - to depending on His Word with our whole heart, mind and soul.

When I feel insecure, insignificant, or unloved, remind me of Your perfect love that has the power to cast out my fear.

Our plans (me and my ex boyfriend) of a future together crumbled under the pressure of me expecting him to be all that I needed, and him wanting freedom to be who he wanted. I had been crazy about him – a little too crazy.

You’ve been trying to earn your value in everything you’ve done. But you will never ding the love you for in anyone or anything but ME. I AM the unconditional love you are looking for.

Until our hearts find complete security and significance in God’s unconditional love, we will never be satisfied.

Those of us who struggles with insecurity and find ourselves in the shadow of doubt often get there because we are seeking our validation in people’s opinions, our worth in accomplishments, and our identity in excessive commitments. It can only go on for so long before something breaks. We either get tired and quit trying, or we push ourselves to the point of burnout because we don’t know how to set boundaries.

God put a longing for unfailing love in our hearts because He knew it would lead us back to Him. Only God’s unfailing love will fill and fulfill the desires of our hearts. It is the deepest thirst of our souls. Until God’s love is enough, nothing else will be.

For instance, if we focus on our job (or our marriage) al the time, thinking about how we are doing at work (or home) and what our boss (or husband) thinks about us, we start to find our worth in our performance, and our job (or marriage) can become something we worship. If we are doing well, we feel fulfilled. If we are not doing well, we feel empty and like we have less worth.

Salvation is one-time decision, but finding satisfaction in Christ and living in the security of His promises is a daily process.

Jesus wants us to invite Him to look into the well of our hearts each day and show us what, who and where we are looking to be filled and fulfilled. As we allow Jesus to fill and fulfill us instead, the Holy Spirit quenches our spiritual thirst. We find our satisfaction in Him and begin to live with a sense of contentment and confidence based on the unchanging promise of who we are and what we have in Christ.

We become secure as we know and rely on His love more and more. It is a moment by moment, day by day experience where we process our thoughts, emotions, and decisions with God, positioning our hearts to let His perspective redefine ours.

A confident heart is found in a woman who knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that she is loved no matter what. Lasting security comes when we bring the empty well of our hearts to Jesus and ask Him to fill and fulfill us with the security of His unfailing love.

"Faith looks back and draws courage; hope looks ahead and keeps desire alive." -John Eldredge and Brent Curtis-

Many of us have been completely knocked off our feet and wondered if we would ever have the strength to get back up again.

Yet getting back up again is often where we find our strength.

God also showed me I needed to find my security and hope in Him alone by letting Him be the Father I longed for. I needed to grieve some of the things I wanted that I would never have. I also needed to invite God into those hurting places so He could bind up my broken heart and set me free from captivity to my fear that I would never have a happy ending.

His power is perfected in the broken places we consider to be our greatest weaknesses – our most vulnerable emotions we don’t want anyone to know about. In those hiding places, God calls us out of captivity. When we’re willing to let Him, He brings hope for our future despite the pain of our past.

God’s plans for us are found when we surrender ours and seek His each day. God’s plans unfold each time we come to Him, talk to Him, and really believe He’s listening. Learning to live in the security of God’s promises is a daily journey of dependence.

We find ourselves in the shadow of doubt many times because our thoughts are mostly about ourselves; how we’re performing and what others are thinking about us.

When we focus our attention on ourselves, we turn our attention away from God. We leave no room in our thoughts to listen to what He is thinking about us, because we have given that place away to be occupied by other people’s opinions.

“You can’t put your hope in a man, you can only put your hope in God. A man’s love will always disappoint you.”

Paul warns us that those who “measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves” are not wise (2 Cor 10:12). Our struggle with comparison will always leave us feeling like we’re lacking something. We try to do more and be more, but it’s never enough. We still feel insecure and wonder what’s wrong with us.

What I need to change is the way I talk to myself. Because every time I say, “What’s wrong with me?” I plant a seed of doubt and convince myself more and more that something is wrong with me.

That is not what God wants me to say to myself, and it’s not what He wants you to say to yourself either. However, we have an enemy who loves to cast the shadow of self-doubt over us and get us to focus on all that is wrong with us (real or perceived), instead anything that is right with us.

“The more you reaffirm who you are in Christ, the more your behavior will begin to reflect your true identity.” Dr. Neil T. Anderson

Trying to get our “good enough” outside of God’s promises and provision will always create insecurity and obstruct our relationship with Him and with other people.

The truth is, we are all “wrecked up”, but we are loved with reckless abandon by the King of Glory. We may be rejected by man, but we are accepted and adored by our Maker. We may be betrayed and cast aside, but we are chosen and redeemed by our Heavenly Father.

We also have an enemy who is completely against us. He is jealous of God’s glory in us and threatened by the beauty that lies within the heart of a woman whose identity is secure. That is why he attacks our confidence. He knows if he can paralyze us with self-doubt and insecurity we will never live up to the full potential of who we are and what we have in Christ.

Now, we don’t need to be afraid of our enemy. The One who is in us is greater than the one who is against us. However, we do need to be aware of his schemes and ready to stand against them.

Although people’s preferences will change, God’s desire for us won’t. Others might not think we’re good enough, but God always will. And even if someone decides they don’t desire us anymore, God most certainly does! The truth is, when we belong to Jesus we are loved and accepted forever. We are covered in His goodness, and it’s His goodliness that makes us good enough!

Comparison leaves us insecure, confused, and discontent. My friend Genia summed it up well when she told me, “Every time I compare myself with someone else, I can never measure up because I am comparing my insides with their outsides.” She is so right. We compare how we feel inadequate on the inside with someone who looks like they have it all together on the outside. Then we try to polish our outsides, hoping that will make us feel better on the inside, but it never does.

Comparison causes us to compete with each other, but no one wins. God never intended for us to compete with each other; He wants us to complete one another, celebrating and encouraging each other’s strengths while discovering who He created us to be.

God deliberately gave you the personality He wanted you to have so He could impact certain people through your life.

We all have strengths, and when surrendered to Christ, we become more like Him as we become more like our true selves.

When we are faithful with the little things, God entrusts us with more and we get to share in the joy of fulfilling His purposes. We are stewards responsible for all God has entrusted to us, no matter how significant or insignificant our gifts seem.

I surrender my personality, heart’s desires, abilities, spiritual gifts, and experiences to Your purposes. I delight myself in You, Lord, trusting You to shape desires of my heart to match Yours.

Grace is the security of knowing God’s love is guaranteed for us because we trust in Christ.

When I say, “I feel so weak.” God says, “I’ll give you power.”

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor 12:9)


When I say, “I feel so alone.” God says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

The Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deut 31:6)


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fight the Negativity!!!

An article from crosswalk women that has been my constant battle ~ recently >.<

to be positive! :D to be worry-less :D to be joyful :D

'coz here's the thing - it's not that we have to strive to be positive on our own .. we got every reason needed to be positive in HIM~ for He is the source of our strength, joy and hope!

"In everything give thanks" ;)

aza aza fighting!!!!

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Five Keys to Overcoming Negativity

by Jan Coates


When you woke up this morning, did you dangle your legs over the side of the bed and shout, “Hallelujah! Thank you Lord, I’m alive!”?

Some of us wake up with an attitude of gratitude . . . really. Yet others wake up with dread, worry, or a to-do list that intimidates the world’s most organized woman.

My friend Kirby tells me when she wakes up in the morning she walks into the bathroom, stares at the mirror, and says, “Good morning, grumpy.”

I know. I know. Give Kirby some slack because she hasn’t had her coffee yet. But if we allow grumpy the first say in the morning, chances are grumpy will set the pace for the day. I’m sure you’ll agree the last thing we want is grumpy filling our day with a negative attitude.

The good news: We’re works-in-progress women, and God isn’t finished with us yet. It’s also comforting to know that God loves us just as we are—but, He loves us too much to leave us that way.

God desires us to say “no” to negativity and “yes” to positivity. A positive perspective requires much more than simply seeing the glass as half full; it requires seeing the glass overflowing with God’s love, grace, joy, and peace. You can experience this type of godly positivity—I promise. For most of us, it requires inner change, practice, and self-discipline.

Here are five keys to help your day overflow with godly positivity:

1. Embrace an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude is our way of responding to and reflecting on God’s love. Start your day off right by thanking God first thing in the morning. If you woke up, thank Him. If you slept in a bed, thank Him. If you have a roof over your head, food in the refrigerator, as well as clothing, thank Him. Thank God for a new day—a new beginning. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us to “Give thanks in all things.”

2. Spend quiet time with God. Imagine yourself sitting at the feet of Jesus as you hush your mind and heart. Inhale. Exhale. Focus your thoughts on the Lord as you pray aloud or whisper—pray and then listen. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

3. Read your Bible. Pray before you begin. Ask God for guidance and the ability to understand and apply His will to your life. Read for quality not quantity. Give God full access to your heart—let Him saturate your soul with His generous love, grace, and mercy. Psalm 119:105 validates the importance of reading your Bible: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

4. Focus on your blessings instead of your worries. Okay, confession time. I’m a recovering worrier—twenty years ago I could have run for president of Worrier’s Anonymous and won.The Bible doesn’t teach us to worry. The Lord tells us in Matthew 6:34, “Do not worry about tomorrow.” So when worry creeps into your life, focus on your blessings. This takes practice, but I’m confident you can overcome the worry culprit. Here’s a good dose of encouragement from The Message translation of Matthew 5:5, “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.” I encourage you to read Matthew 5:3-10 (The Message); you will be blessed.

5. Wear a smile on your face. If you see grumpy in the mirror, smile! Grumpy will disappear when you focus on your blessings and flash a big grin. Proverbs 15:13 promises us that “A glad heart makes a cheerful face.”

Researchers claim it takes 15-20 days to create a new behavior pattern. So be patient and gentle with yourself. Some days you’ll progress two steps forward, and other days you might go two steps backward and one forward. Stay with it, my friend; the infinite rewards of godly positivity are worth your time investment.

Practice the five steps above for a minimum of 30 days. On day 31, make a commitment to continue practicing these steps for the next month. You’ll soon discover your practice has transformed into a healthy, positive pattern that overflows with God’s love, grace, joy, and peace.

“This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
-- Psalm 118:24, NLT



Sunday, October 30, 2011

G.A.L.A.U-less

Dear, girls...


Here's for today ..... I wish I could write more about this song (maybe some other time.... it's Monday morning... ~~arggghhh)


This's exactly how I feel rite now:

"Draw me close to you

Never let me go

I lay it all down again

To hear you say that I'm your friend

You are my desire

No one else will do

Cause nothing else can take your place

To feel the warmth of your embrace

Help me find the way

Bring me back to you


You're all I want

You're all I've ever needed

You're all I want

Help me know you are near"


The word "Galau" has been really popular nowadays .... and I noticed, that we, girls, use the word much more than guys~!! 'coz we are the ones who we're created as emotional beings! ouch >.< I know..!

And - my dear girls... when you started to feel "galau" for whatever reason is....! *most of the time, we don't know, do we? haha!!! >.<

Ask God to help you know that He is near... 'coz I can guarantee you - He's all you've ever needed~ try Him!!!

He never let me down....! I just need to draw close to Him.


I know, that you and I - have desire to be like David, a man after His own heart....saying:

"O God, you are my God;

I earnestly search for you.

My soul thirsts for you;

my whole body longs for you

in this parched and weary land

where there is no water.

I have seen you in your sanctuary

and gazed upon your power and glory.

Your unfailing love is better than life itself;

how I praise you!

I will praise you as long as I live,

lifting up my hands to you in prayer.

You satisfy me more than the richest feast.

I will praise you with songs of joy."


Enjoy Him, ladies :)

have a galau-less week!!!!! :D

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

When Sinners Say "I Do"

I just finished reading a very wonderful book, "When Sinners Say 'I Do'" - Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage, by Dave Harvey.

This book gave me a preview of how a marriage is - that "I love you - you love me" only surely ain't enough, no matter how compatible and crazily in love to each other we are. For our love is corrupted by sins.

Yet, this book didn't leave me on all the paranoid about marriage. There is a hope!!! A BIG H-O-P-E! to have a wonderful marriage that He designed for us from the beginning.

What does make a marriage works..?? God, the source of love! The unconditional Love that purify our "corrupted" love each day. With Him, as the center, the marriage will work. Through Him as the source of mercy, we will be able to forgive. By His grace, we will go forth to be more like Him (yes, both of us) and do the good works in our marriages!

Have a blessed and blessing marriage!! OH, I pray!!!!

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It's a wonderful, freeing thing to realize that durability and quality of your marriage is not ultimately based on the strength of your commitment to your marriage. Rather, it's based on something completely apart from your marriage: God's truth, truth we find plain and clear on pages of Scripture.

God created the marriage "program", wrote the "operating manual", and is faithful to explain it. He is the one and only reliable and trustworthy authority on the subject of marriage. As its "inventor" (see the first two chapters of Genesis), he knows how it works and how to make it last. Lord over marriage, he has given all we need for life and godliness - and marriage - in his Word.

The Bible is the foundation for a thriving marriage.

Marriage was not invented by God, it belongs to God. He has a unique claim over its design, purpose, and goals. It actually exists for him more than it exists for you and me and our spouses.

Marriage is not first about me or my spouse. Obviously, the man and woman are essential, but they are also secondary. God is the most important person in a marriage. Marriage is for our good, but it is first for God's glory.

Christians are rapidly losing sight of sin as the root of all human woes. And many Christians are explicitly denying that their own sin can be the cause of their personal anguish. More and more are attempting to explain the human dilemma in wholly unbiblical terms: temparement, addiction, dysfunctional families, the child within, codependency, and a host of other irresponsible escape mechanism promoted by secular psychology.

The potential impact of such a drift is frightening. Remove the reality of sin, and you take away the possibility of repentance. Abolish the doctrine of human depravity and you void the divine plan of salvation. Erase the notion of personal guilt and you eliminate the need for a Savior.

Once I find 1 Timothy 1:15-16 trustworthy - once I can embrace it with full acceptance - once I know that I am indeed the worst of sinners, then my spouse is no longer my biggest problem: I am. And when I find myself walking in the shoes of the worst of sinners, I will make every effort to grant my spouse the same lavish grave that God has granted me.

When we are first tempted to sin - for example, tempted to become angry with a spouse - the battle is within, and we must go on the offensive: our goal is to defeat the sin, to not let it break out. Should we fail at this, and sin breaks out of our hearts into the larger battlefield of our marriages, we are called to be peacemakers: our goal is to end the fighting.

Wisdoms for our marriages then, is not found in “how to” books, or in formulas for success. It is found in putting our beliefs into gear and heading down the road of wisdom with God behind the wheel.

To be suspicious of my own heart is to acknowledge two things: that my heart has a central role in my behavior, and that my heart has a permanent tendency to oppose God and his ways.

Many marriage problems could move toward resolution if husband and wife actually lived as if they were “sinners” who said, “I do”. Sinners who are humble are growing more knowledgeable about their hearts.

We all have a common tendency: we often want to fix our marriage problems by “fixing” our spouses. … Scripture does not give me permission to make the sins of my spouse my first priority. I need to slow down, exercise the humility of self-suspicion, and inspect my own heart.

Matthew 7:3-5 Jesus is not concerned here with which of you is more at fault in a particular instance. His emphasis is your focus, what you find to be the most obvious fact to you whenever sin is in view. He’s calling for the inspection to begin with me. In light of who we are compared to God, and because of the reality of remaining sin, it is nothing more than basic integrity to consider our sin before we consider the sin of our spouse. To do otherwise lacks integrity. It’s hypocritical.

Wisdom connects integrity to humility in a pretty simple way. If you suspect yourself (humility), you are more likely to inspect yourself first (integrity). This road feels narrow to us, because we are constantly looking for an off-ramp to focus on the sins of someone else. But if we stay on it, we can be confident that it will take us where Jesus wants us to go.

Okay, maybe you think you are able to be more objective than your spouse. But even if that’s true, your objectivity is itself tainted by sin. You must bring to these conversations an awareness of your own sinful drives and desires that is more tangible and more vivid than your awareness of your spouse’s in. This will lower your irritation and soften your tone of voice.

Also, avoid the off-ramp of self-righteousness. Integrity calls you to suspect and inspect your motives. Are you really doing this to bless, encourage, and help your spouse? Or do you actually have a strong interest in chalking up a few points for the home team? Do you hope to be proven right? To be vindicated? To emerge as spiritually superior? Who are you intending to serve – your spouse or yourself?

There is a lot of talk these days about the need for honesty in marriage. Unfortunately, what’s being advocated looks more like a license to verbally unload on our spouse whatever we’re “feeling” for the sake of “emotional” honesty. Sadly, this approach in practice typically produces great hurt and offense. Though honesty is essential in marriage, we must be able to build trust and resolve offense. The problem is not with the honesty itself, but in the intent of a person’s honest words.

Blame-shifting is what I do when I basically know I’m guilty and am just trying to convince myself or someone else that maybe I’m not.

Why didn’t Jesus get irritated or bitter or hostile? The simple but astounding answer is that when his engine was heated by circumstances, what was in his heart came out: love, mercy, compassion, kindness. Christ didn’t respond sinfully to the circumstances in his life – even an undeserved, humiliating, torturous death – because the engine of his heart was pure. What was in his heart spilled over. It was love!

Your spouse was a strategic choice made by a wise and loving God. Selected by him, for you, from the beginning of the world, your spouse is an essential part of God’s rescue mission for your life. Often a spouse plays his or her part by raising the engine temperature and heating the oil. But if we’re wisely honest we will realize that God is behind it all, revealing the familiar sin so that it might be overcome by amazing grace.

According to Scripture, the source of angry words, unforgiving looks and cold shoulders is not unmet needs. It’s unsatisfied desires.

Is it wrong to desire the gentle caress of a husband’s hand or the kind words from a wife’s tongue? Absolutely not. But even things that are good for a marriage can be corrupted if they are defined as needs. The problem is not that we desire-desire is completely natural; it’s that our desires become juiced with steroids. Calvin called our desires “inordinate”.

It’s not wrong to desire appropriate things like respect or affection from our spouses. But it is very tempting to justify demands by thinking of them as needs and then to punish one another if those needs are not satisfied. A needs- based marriage does not testify to God’s glory; it is focused on personal demands competing for supremacy. Two people, preoccupied with manipulating each other to meet needs, can drive their marriage down the path of “irreconcilable differences”. This is cultural language that simply acknowledges that a marriage can no longer carry the weight of demands understood as needs.

Without mercy, differences become divisive, sometimes even “irreconcilable”. But deep, profound differences are the reality of every marriage. It’s not the presence of differences but the absence of mercy that makes them irreconcilable.

Mercy doesn’t change the need to speak truth. It transforms our motivation from a desire to win battles to desire to represent Christ. It takes me out of the center and puts Christ in the center. This requires mercy.

Mercy is given to be shared. And what it touches, it ultimately sweetens. We are to pass along what we have received from God-steadfast love, inexplicable kindness, overflowing compassion. We sinned against God and he responded with mercy. We are called to go and do the same.

Here are some practical ways we can show mercy when under attack:

1. Remind yourself that your greatest enemy is “the enemy within” - your own sin.

2. When you’re not in a conflict, ask each other the question, “What behavior of mine expresses anger or a lack of love for you?” Take your spouse’s answer and attempt to do the opposite when you feel sinned against.

3. Learn to love in the style of 1 Corinthians 13 by being “patient, kind, and not resentful”. Resist being a defense attorney in your mind. Fire the “prosecuting attorney” within – it’s nothing but an expression of the sin of arrogance.

4. Memorize and apply this wise advice from James, “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires” (James 1:19-20). Applying this one verse in the heat of conflict can have an amazing effect on where the conflict goes.

5. Where patterns of sin are causing persistent problems, draw in the outside counsel of friends, pastors, etc. who can help you spot where chronic problems are occurring and provide accountability for responses of love.

Ideas like this will not eliminate conflict. But they are biblically sound strategies for responding to the heat of our spouse’s sin in a way that doesn’t just increase the temperature or complicate the process of resolution one thing I’ve learned, if I can avert a two-hour argument with two minutes of mercy, that’s a win for everybody involved.

Maybe you didn’t know this, but the Bible gives you a specific privilege in dealing with sin committed against you. It’s called forbearance. It means that you can bring love into play in such a way that you can cut someone free from their sin against you – without them even knowing or acknowledging what they’ve done! Forbearance is an expression of mercy that can cover both the big sins of marital strife and the small sins of marital tension. And let’s face it, small sins are the fuel for most marital blazes.

Let’s be careful here. Forbearance doesn’t mean we tuck sin away for another time. It’s not a variation on patience, nor is it some Christianized, external “niceness” where you pretend nothing bothers you. It’s not even a kind of ignoring the sin, in the sense of refusing to acknowledge it.

In forbearance, we know (or at least suspect) we have been sinned against, but we actually make a choice to overlook the offense and wipe the state clean, extending a heart attitude of forgiveness and treating the (apparent) sin as if it never happened. Proverbs 19:11 tells us it is a “glory to overlook an offense.” Forbearance is preemptive forgiveness, freely and genuinely bestowed.

Of course, righteousness often demands that we address the sin of another, even if that may create some unpleasant results. It’s not forbearance to suppress an offense you can’t readily release, or to prefer the pain of being sinned against to what you imagine would be the greater pain of discussing it, or to let a pattern of sin in your spouse to go completely unaddressed.

Forbearance applies to specific instances of sin. It involves a clear-eyed realization that we may have been sinned against and then bold-hearted, gospel-inspired decision to cover that sin with love. Peter gives us the key to forbearance. “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8).

Self-righteousness doesn’t just who up when people sin against us. I also expresses itself what to draw too fine a line between sins and weaknesses. I don’t’ want to draw too fine a line between sins and weaknesses, because sin in fact has a weakening effect on our character. But the Bible understands weakness- areas of vulnerability or susceptibility to temptation that are different from person to person. We’re not all strong in all areas. Some are more susceptible to discouragement than others, or anger, or anxiety. Some struggle with physical weakness more than others. We all have some weakness in some areas, or else there would be no need for the power of God to operate in our lives. (Romans 8:26)

Weaknesses in our spouse can tempt us-they’re inconvenient and frustrating to what we want from our marriage. How do I respond when that particular weakness in my spouse arises again? Do I just keep insisting (aloud or silently), “I don’t see how that can possibly be a problem for you!” this is a particularly sad expression of self-righteousness. Rather than sympathizing with the weaknesses or limitations of others, we act in condescending and demanding ways. We are finely attuned to the weaknesses of others but slow to see our own.

When I grasp the mercy of God expressed to me, it opens my eyes to the bankruptcy of my own righteousness and sends me to the cross for the righteousness of Christ. I can then sympathize with my spouse weaknesses and rejoice in my own, for they reveal Gods strength (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Forgiveness and repentance is the powerful tool that repairs the damage done to sin-torn marriage relationships. And where forgiveness is employed, and repentance is lived out, it transforms. Forgiveness humbly sought, and humbly given, profoundly expresses the glory of God. Why? Because forgiveness is at the heart of the gospel-the true demonstration of God’s love for those who deserved his wrath. As John Newton said so well, “The unchangeableness of the Lord’s love, and the riches of his mercy, are likewise more illustrated by the multiplied pardons he bestows upon his people, than if they needed no forgiveness at all.”

We have been forgiven the greatest debt. Let’s learn how to forgive the debtor we married. It’s the way forward when sinners say “I do.”

When someone close to you is running from the truth, love demands that you speak. Sometimes love must risk peace for the sake of the truth.

It’s evitable. In navigating through a fallen world with a sinful heart, from time to time your spouse will experience a pattern of sin that extinguishes joy and saps the soul, revealing dangerous corrosion in one’s character or relationship with God.

We are called to be merciful and withhold judgment. But we are also called to challenge one another- to correct, exhort, and speak truth to the one we love (Hebrews 3:12-13). This can seem like a paradox, even an apparent contradiction in our call. But it’s not. On the contrary, God has set us in our marriage, at this time, with this person so that we can perform an extraordinary task of ministry. We can fulfill the call of reconciliation – turning a wandering believer back to God who saves. We can love by bringing truth in gracious ways; applying grace through speaking the truth.

It needs wisdom, courage and meekness.

According to Paul, feelings of sorrow alone aren’t necessarily conviction. We can be sorrowful for many reasons, including selfish ones. We can be sorry for the bad consequences of our sin, sorry we lost someone’s respect. This kind of worldly grief can’t begin to address the true offense of sin, and it can’t begin to change us. Only godly grief brings repentance. And only repentance testifies to the surgical effect of God’s truth applied to our sinful hearts.


In marriage, to be meek is not to be weak or vulnerable, but to be so committed to your spouse that you will sacrifice for his or her good. A meek person sees the futility of responding to sin with sin.

Sanctifying grace is good news. It’s the news that God gives persistent grace to run the race.

Grace is constantly at work in us, gradually and incrementally, so that we can patiently but diligently run the race set out for us. And a significant part of the race we will run is our marriage.

God promises persistent grace to help you run away from that sin and finish well. “Human sin is stubborn,” says Cornelius Plantinga, “ but not as stubborn as the grace of God and not half so persistent, not half so ready to suffer to win its way.” Stubborn, persistent, unrelenting grace that changes us. Now that’s good news indeed.

Grace: the Power to Renounce the Old

Here God reminds us that the biggest challenge in our marriage is that we tend to live more like the old man (or woman) that we once were, than the new man or woman we have become in Christ. But have no fear: God has made provision for change! Grace meets us right where we are, to take us to where God wants us to be. Grace in salvation gave us new desires to please God and live for his glory. Grace in sanctification works to overcome the remaining opposition of sin and move us toward the goal that saving grace has set in our hearts.

Grace: the Power to Live

There are two aspects to sanctifying grace: a renouncing and an embracing – a turning from what is wrong and a turning toward what is right.

Grace: the Power to Wait

We cooperate with God’s persistent sanctifying grace to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives. We understand that some sin, challenges, difficulties, and weaknesses may never be totally overcome, and that all change takes time. But because grace is so powerful, thorough, and comprehensive, even this waiting is for our good.

Grace interacts with time and eternity. Sanctifying grace settles our souls so that here in this waiting room we can both work and wait, trusting that God is exercising his perfect will, even in those areas where we wait and wait, and wait.

Grace: the Power to Want

Grace transforms us from within. Maybe things have drifted to a place where even the smallest kindness seems like the biggest step. Don’t despair, God has sent grace – persistent, sanctifying grace! It can work powerfully in you, not simply to call forth dutiful obedience but to make you “zealous for good works” in marriage.

Here are four things to keep in mind when encouraging your spouse in the grace of God.

1. Your spouse is inclined to drift from grace to self-effort.

I just need to do more, work harder, give it more effort.

- Preach the gospel to your spouse.

- Encourage meditation upon the riches of the gospel.

- Encourage resting in God even as the battle rages.

2. Your spouse may tend to become discouraged.

- Remind your spouse that God works beneath the surface well before change becomes visible.

- Celebrate what you can see, even if it is not directly to the area of desired change.

- Review the game plan for change. ~ sometimes grace comes through a simple willingness to take action. When it does, act decisively.

3. Your spouse can lose sight of the ultimate goal.

~ there is no one more fit to remind us of the ultimate goal of life than the person who is walking toward that goal with us in the bond of marriage.

4. Your spouse must be pointed not to grace, but to the one from whom all grace flows.

God intends for our greatest joy in marriage to come from being a primary source of joy to our spouse. John Piper says, “The reason there is so much misery in marriage is not that husbands and wives seek their own pleasure, but that they do not seek in the pleasure of their spouses.”

When it comes to your marriage, think of creativity as simply faith-inspired work, a natural outgrowth of your belief that God cares about your marriage and wants to help you improve it. The important thing is not how naturally creative or imaginative you may be, but whether you truly are walking in dependence on God in improving your marriage. As Gary and Betsy Ricucci have written, “There’s no such thing as a romance expert or passion professional. Romance must be continually practiced, like an art.”


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Loving Your Now

Kalau ditanya hal yg paling happening seminggu terakir ini – I think everyone would agree – kematian Steve Jobs. Oh well, at least – di blackberry, twitter and facebook, a lot of people talked (at least) a thing about him.

For myself tho…, ada perasaan like – “huhu baru aja, aku berpindah dari windows ke macbook”, or jadi realized one thing, kalo aku selama ini cuma bisa pake (baca=enjoy) itunes (saking gaptek-nya) – no winamp, no windows media player. Or, aku juga ga tau kenapa aku selalu naksir ipod sejak pertama dia keluar, walaupun kedua ipod yg aku miliki adalah hadiah! (yay!) Bukan karena aku ga nge-fan Apple, it’s just that aku gaptek (ga ikut perkembangan jaman), aku tidak pernah beli laptop (selalu dikasi, praise HIM :D) – jadi ga pernah milih :$ (yeah, rite, pertama x beli laptop yah = my one month old macbook pro itu) – iphone (blackberry chose me, karena tuntutan!) – ipad, aku ga pernah maen games! Oke, please don’t judge me, I know, I am a boring person! Haha!

So, harus kuakui – the only time aku mulai kasak kusuk ttg Steve Jobs adalah saat kematiannya, itu pun karena banyak yg nge-post.


Ada satu hal yg terngiang2 di pikiranku …

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.


To do what we love? Or to love what we do?

Aku jadi berandai2, alangkah indahnya kalo my “work” is what I love! I dance – I sing, and I make money! Apalagi kalo bisa menghasilkan billions dollar kayak David Beckham!

Then, what if – what I do AT THE MOMENT, it’s not the thing I love? Then, I need to choose to love what I do, at least, AT THIS MOMENT.


Aku tiba2 teringat Yusuf dan Musa --- entah kenapa ---

Yusuf, aku ingat saat2 dia di rumah Potifar (oke, dia adalah kepala dsana, so it wasn’t that bad!), tapi ketika dia di penjara! Did he love what he did? (He barely did anything kayanya ya :$)

Or Musa? Pengalaman 40 tahun menjaga ternak mertua.

Did they love what they did? Secara background mereka sama, remember, 2-2nya hidup enak, papa kaya – mama angkat di istana.

I don’t know the answers. Tapi kalo kita liat the whole picture of their lives, we know that masa2 Yusuf di penjara ataupun Musa di padang rumput – adalah masa2 Tuhan mempersiapkan mereka tuk hal yg spektakuler untuk hidup mereka dan bangsanya.


What I am trying to say here adalah…

Seringkali … kita compare hidup kita dengan orang lain! Oke, maybe Steve Jobs => “Gileee, dia DO .. dia bisa sukseeeesssssss…” it’s true for him, or for banyak contoh lainnya.

Atau, dengan orang yang lebih dekat deh … “Dia make money and sukses dengan nari or nyanyi or maen bola” or apalah, yg adalah hobi kita! Then, kita berpikir “kesiaaannnyaa kitaaaaaaa…ga ada kesempatan to do what we love for a living”


Jreng jreng!!! Oke, I agree! We’ve got to find what we love – sungguh indah dan sungguh ideal! Tapi remember, sometimes… there is a season for us, to learn, tuk dibentuk. Ada season dimana hal yg kita kerjakan adalah something yg kita ga bisa enjoy mau sampe kapanpun juga. (Pernahkah aku bercita2 tuk mencintai cuci piring atau menyapu ketika di Jepang?...NO!)

Bukan berarti ketika what we do at the moment adalah things yg tidak sesuai dengan cita2/hobby, kita ber-attitude jalanin dengan mengeluh – dan tidak bersyukur. Since, it’s not the thing I want to do for my life! NO!

Remember, once again, there is a season for everything. Ada masa di mana karakter kita dibentuk, salah satunya melalui pekerjaan dan tanggung jawab kita. (Ingat Yusuf dan Musa!) See it that way. Sambil terus submit our plans to Him.


You know, what I always said saat aku menyapu pagi hari jam 5.45 “Saya menyapu untuk Tuhan, saya menyapu untuk Tuhan”. Walaupun kadang2, aku harus menyapu sambil menangis. I remembered Colossians 3:23 => Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.

Bukan berarti aku content dengan hidup menyapu looh, namun aku memilih PADA SAAT ITU, kalo aku mau memuliakan Tuhan dengan pekerjaanku. Dengan attitude yang benar (walaupun aku tidak cinta menyapu), tapi I chose to love what I did. Dengan mengingat bahwa, it’s a part of hidup yg harus aku jalanin.


Then, kalo gitu? Berpuas dirilah dengan apa yg kita kerjakan saat ini kah, Lyn? (Should I quit searching?) Itu hanya kita masing2 dan Tuhan yg tau. Terus cari kehendak Tuhan dalam hidup kita. To find our callings, entah itu akirnya adalah (we think as) things yg we love or not (padahal He knows better than we do, yah?). Tapi pada masa2 pencarian, penantian…. Always choose to work with integrity. And, juga with LOVE and PASSION. As you do for HIM, so He is glorified in whatever we do.


Ada satu lagu yg aku suka banget dari Steven Chapman "Miracle of the Moment"

"We are who, and where, and what we are for now. And this is the only moment we can do anything about."

Tidak ada salahnya tuk terus mencari apa yg kita cintai. Tentu! Tapi, jangan abaikan moment ini, for this the only moment that we can do anything about. Choose to love your NOW!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Check Our Motives!

Outlive Your Life! by Max Lucado

Chapter 9: Do Good, Quitely

Hypocrisy turns people away from God.

“Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding.” (Matt. 6:1 MSG)

Hypocrisy turns people against God. So God has no-tolerance policy. Let’s take hypocrisy as seriously as God does. How can we?

1. 1. Expect no credit for good deeds. None. If no one notices, you aren’t disappointed. If someone does, you give the credit to God. Ask yourself this question: “If no one knew of the good I do, would I still do it?” If not, you’re doing it to be seen by people.

2. 2. Give financial gifts in secret. Money stirs the phony within us. We like to be seen earning it. And we like to be seen giving it. So “when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” (Matt. 6:3 NLT)

3. 3. Don’t fake spirituality. When you go to church, don’t select a seat just to be seen or sing just to be heard. If you raise your hands in worship, raise holy ones, not showy ones. When you talk, don’t doctor your vocabulary with trendy religious terms. Nothing nauseates more than a fake “Praise the Lord” or a shallow “Hallelujah” or an insincere “Glory be to God.”

Focus on the inside, and the outside will take care of itself. Lay your motives before God daily, hourly.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of ever-lasting life.” (Ps. 139:24-24 NLT)

Do good things. Just don’t do them to be noticed. You can be too good for your own good, you know.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Step

I forgot ... in 2005, berapa bulan aku bergumul setiap hari dengan pertanyaan (dan pilihan)...
~ mau akselerasi 3 tahun? ~ 3.5 tahun? ~ 4 tahun? ~ bikin skripsi or abisin credit dengan ambil kelas semua ~ kerja jepang or indo?
fyi, aku harus took the decision (karena satu dan lain hal) pada tahun ke 2 kuliah.. *yes, exactly, ketika aku ga tau apa yg terbaik untukku saat itu.
Dan jreng2, setelah setiap hari bergumul, I decided aku tetap kuliah 4 tahun, termasuk skripsi -- (tuk menikmati masa2 ku di jepang, sebelum kembali ke Indo...)
Aku berencana 'tuk tetap abisin semua kredit di 3 tahun awal. Sehingga pada tahun ke 4, aku bisa stay di Jepang, cuma untuk kerja part time sambil menunggu graduation.

Dan apakah itu yang terjadi? Ga tuh! Aku di jepang hanya 3 tahun 2 bulan, karena popo-ku sakit keras (kanker!). So, begitu aku beresin semua kredit-ku..aku pulang Indo! Waktuku cuma 1 minggu saat itu, untuk packing semua barang (untuk FOR GOOD! mendadak)...dan farewell dengan teman yg sedombreng banyaknya! Seminggu sebelum pulang Indo setelah aku ujian.. aku harus say bye2 dengan semua bossku tempatku bekerja part time (I worked di 3 tempat yg berbeda), tiap hari pulang malam karena tiap hari farewell dengan teman yg berbeda.. dan tetap harus packing malamnya! It was a crazy week... tapi I was glad, I did come home early. It gave more time to spend with my grannie on her last days on earth.

Rencanaku adalah rencanaku, tapi Tuhan bilang lain. Sebulan setelah aku pulang Indo, my grannie passed away. 1 month after that, I had started to work! Real job! (sambil kerjain skripsi), and I went back to Japan, only to attend my graduation.

Kenapa aku ceritain ini semua?

Dalam banyak kondisi dimana aku harus mengambil keputusan besar, seringkali aku berharap...
"Tuhan!!! Could u just tell me what your plan is? And I will just FOLLOW YOU with all my heart" Karena deep inside my heart, I know that God's plan is always the best for me.. Though, sejujurnya alasanku mau ngomong itu adalah, "Tuhan...eyn takut kalo eyn salah ambil keputusan.. dan salah jalan... cemeyangpan?????!!!"

And..pada saat ini, ketika aku harus dihadapi dengan choices... I, once again, said it to Him!
But I know that in my life, I do need to take part. I am the one who has to take the decision. To take the step of faith.
Hampir semua hal dalam hidup kita, kita harus memilih! *Kecuali tentunya, kita tidak memilih lahir di keluarga mana. Or..hmm pas TK juga kita ga pilih masuk TK mana, ortu kita memilihkan untuk kita.
Semakin besar though, seiring dengan semakin besarnya tanggungjawab kita.. again I would say it.. we are the one to choose! To take that first step to our next journey! A step of faith!

Beberapa bulan belakangan ini, aku "uring2an", yang setiap hari memikirkan setiap goods and bads 'tuk setiap options yg ada! Aku yang "Tuhan, let me intip sedikit kehidupanku in the future, biar bisa tau pilih yang mana........."
and today..tiba2 aku ingat kembali bulan2 di tahun 2005 itu. Dimana I was extremely clueless about my future. Yet, I am here now.. in a much better version of me than I ever could imagine.

And I do really think, at this very moment, walau aku ga tau anything about my future dan aku seakan ga bertenaga tuk berpikir langkah mana yang harus kuambil.. Tuhan begitu setia dengan mengingatkanku tentang perbuatanNya di masa lalu dan pimpinanNya dalam hidupku sampai saat ini.

Dia Allah yang setia!
Ketika Dia membiarkan kita memilih. Dia memberi kita hikmat 'tuk menjalankan hal itu.
I always like this verse = If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5
Ooooh, how we need wisdom! and what we can do? We simply need to ask Him!

Dan aku belajar satu hal, keterbatasanku tuk mengetahui masa depanku membuatku bergantung sepenuhnya pada Dia. Membuatku tidak berdaya! Dan aku suka dengan ke-tidak berdaya-an. Aku suka ke-tergantungan! Karena aku pasrah kepada Tangan yang tepat. Kepada Tangan yang tidak akan membiarkanku jatuh. Kepada Tangan yang memegang erat masa depanku. Dan bukan hanya janji palsu, Dia sudah membuktikannya dalam hidupku sampai saat ini.
"But I am trusting You, O Lord, saying, 'You are my GOD'. My future is in Your hands."

Lord, I know, most of the time in my life. I need to take a step of faith.
Sometimes, it is only a simple stuff, which road I take (literally, road di jakarta misalnya tuk menghindari macet).
Sometimes, it is very BIG......... which road I take too (though this time, it is a road that defines my future!).
But dear God, always remind me, that nothing is too big for You. And moreover, You got the bigger picture. Thing that is so big for me, it's nothing for You.
Though I am the one to take that step! The step, God! But dear God, always remind me, that You hold my hands while I take the step. I will never be alone.
You are here with me now. You are with me along the way. You are there waiting for me at the end of the road.
Lord, You hear my heart shouting for You. Shouting, "I surrender! ~~ grant me wisdom. I believe in You, that the answers will come out from the heaven at the very right time when I need them!"

There!!! I have taken my very first step, to surrender and wait for Him for the answers.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Let's DO FUN Learning!

Hello, finally ... saya melanjutkan our Preparing to be a Help Meet Journey ..
*i am really sorry for the long pause.. :(

The next chapter of this book, chapter 7, is about Knowledge.
I'll write the review short saja... (hmm, that's my first intention..haha let's see apakah tiba2 jadi panjang)

Since ini buku ttg preparing ourselves to be help meets - one thing yg we need to do while we prepare => gaining knowledge. About apa saja? Later!
First, why?
Marriage life is not all romance and passion - maybe five percent. The rest of your time is devoted to the routine of living. There will be unexpected trials burdens that will catch you and your sweetie totally by surprise. Whether your family, not to mention your passion, survive life's curveballs depends on knowledge..yours..

In this book, Debi Pearl shared her own experience, where due to her lack of knowledges tentang obat2an - vaksinasi bayi hampir merenggut nyawa baby-nya! (intinya, she let her baby di-vaksin, padahal harusnya belum boleh). Nah, the moment pada saat bayinya sakit keras hampir mati (karena dia sudah melihat ada Death Angel menghampiri....>.<), adalah turning point buat dia bahwa she has to learn stuffs!

Life is not complicated. There are only a few simple principles that God set into place that make the whole process not just run smoothly, but really fly.

Proverbs 24:3-5
"Through wisdom is a house built; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong; yea a man of knowledge increase strength."

We got choices..how we want to spend our youth..! After all, it's our own lives! (errr...not really, actually!)
Once, my friend cerita kenapa dia bisa il-feel sama satu cewe... "gile lyn, dia spend weekend cuma nonton film korea!" I am not judging her! Siapa yg ga suka? Tapi, spending entire weekend watching Korean drama (every week) only helps you to gain knowledge in Korean (annyongghaseeooo~!!) or maybe fashion, a bit. or making kimchi?
Remember girls....we are now being prepared (and prepare ourselves) for something! Something that you and I have dreamed for a life time, I know.
...and as in Proverbs 24:3-5 said...it is built by wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.
And the time to gain all of them...... is NOW~!

Since, I, myself, juga belum entering the marriage life (though I have met my prince charming)... aku ga bisa suggest apa yg perlu kita pelajari, tapi mari belajar sama2, berdasarkan pengalaman Ibu-ibu di atas kita :D
In this book, Debi Pearl bilang... ini2 yang perlu kita siapin dan pelajari..
jreng jreng jreng...
1. Masak!! of course ga cuma sekedar masak asal jadi, tapi yang sehat. Including, belanja bahan yang bagus. (trust me, girls, I read this book several times.. and skrg saat aku ketik ini pun.. aku super deg2an about this! >.< )
2. Birth control! and pregnancies....
What??!~!! To be honest with you, aku sama sekali belum tau apa2 tentang hal ini ..cuma pretty much tau kapan masa subur itu >.< Detail-nya belum.. dan one day, make sure we learn about this before we get married.
What we can do now, though~ Know your body well! Aku started tuk mencatat jadwal menstruasi, untuk tahu normal ga-nya, + ini juga to help me tau kapan aku PMS, supaya aku lebih berjaga dan kasi extra kekuatan tuk si emosi nakal >.<
And including di dalamnya, we need to have a strong healthy body for our babies tar... (deg2an juga ketik ini!) Mari ber-olahragalah wahai wanita~!
3. Hospitality
4. How to make money! :D (or at least to save money..)
Jangan cuma jadi single ladies yang jago to spend money ..... !!! Semangaaaat!! Do smart shopping!
5. Responsibility --> ga lagi2 jadi anak papi/mami yang manja ...
6. Homeschooling

Gmana practice-nya? Start to learn a new thing each week, Debi Pearl suggested. Rajin baca, bertanya, dan praktek... Kata kuncinya = rajin. A Godly woman doesn't eat the bread of idleness. (Proverbs 31:27)

Oh and btw, learning stuffs - gaining knowledge ga selamanya se-stress belajar geografi (tiba2 aja inget pelajaran ini... >.<), it could something fun too! Like today, aku nemenin bumil belanja perlengkapan bayi ..(aku bisa saja liat2 baju, since i am not having a baby dalam waktu dekat, rite?) but! it was totally FUN! Here's one of the fun things... this cute tooth brush :D Don't u think it's super cute?

Why do I tell you all about this weird stuff? I want you to know that walking through the door of knowledge will make you a stronger, healthier, smarter and more resourceful person. It will make you more capable wife, a wiser mother and an interesting person. It could save your life or that of your child.

Mariiiiii!!!!!!!!!
Who can find a virtuous woman? -- oh, for us... :
who wants to be a virtuous woman, for her price is far above rubies.....? I do I do~!
Semangat! :D

Chapter 8 = Italian Prince, next ;)

Monday, September 12, 2011

September

Last year.... this day~! God answered my prayer ....

My written on my diary prayer:
February 24, 2010
"Terkadang yah, eyn yang bisa berasa, udah deh eyn bisa jalanin deh...
bahkan tadi sempet kepikiran, eyn bakal kasi kesempatan sampe September.
Ga tau kenapa, September!!"
Ini bukan karena aku punya penglihatan ... kalo the man I've been praying for selama ini - bakalan "dor der" at September 2010 ...
Hmm to be honest with you, kenapa waktu itu aku doa begitu .. karena..... ooooh...I was really scared..! Aku ga berani risking my heart terlalu lama... and ENTAH KENAPA aku bilang "Tuhan... September deh, kalo ga eyn bakal mundur!!!"

Now we know, 'coz God knew! He has been in control, He always is!
He knew that this wonderful man would think and decide (and I so believe, it's all from Him) "harus sekarang or never..." and it was September :D

*I broke up with my first boyfriend after 8 years relationship -- en selama proses pemulihan aku tutup hati rapat2 (walau kadang2 ada juga celah-nya..haha)
-- and pas 2010, aku bilang... "Tuhan.. I am ready for a relationship" -- so, that's why, aku super takut 'tuk mulai lagi ...
Dan saat a great guy came~!!! Aku tambah takut kalo aku keburu jatuh cintrong, tapi ternyata bukan dia. Di sisi lain, I knew, kita sebagai cewe, juga harus do something, yaitu buka hati. (Bukan kejar cowo loooh - jangan salah), tetapi buka hati.
Kebanyakan takutnya nih, kalian mungkin berpikir begitu ... ! Yes... TAKUT!
Itulah kenapa, I started my whole PURE friendship with my Arief dengan sungguh berdoa ke Tuhan, supaya Tuhan jaga hati, sikap, dan perkataanku.

And...skrg, if I look back, aku sangat bersyukur kalo aku takut (baca= hati2). Dengan begitu, aku bersandar sepenuhnya sama Dia, and always chose to be still ketika hatiku gundah "ini cowo maunya apa sih?" atau saat aku ga sabar pengen tau the answer "ini cowo kapan bakal maju?" or "bakal maju atau ga sih?"
I learnt and put Psalm 37:7a into practice .. "Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act."
Remember, girls... we are to react ... not to act (kalian ngerti konteks ku disini) - bole lah kasi signal, jangan "ngerjain dan nyusahin" cowo!
Tetapi dalam hal pertanyaan "Mau dibawa kemana hubungan kita....?", aku ga tau gimana dengan kalian, tapi I did Psalm 37:7a sepanjang masa pertemanan, penantian, "ke-geje-an" (bukan TTM yah!)! I waited for Him to act through him!
Buatku pribadi, I experienced Tuhan sungguh bekerja pada waktu yang tepat dan terbaik. Aku sungguh merasakan bahwa He wanted this for me and for him! (So, I would suggest you to do the same = to wait patiently). And, yes, 12 September 2010, He answered my prayer! He kept His promise, He would act for me, what I needed to do was to be still.

"Gimana tapi kalo dah ga sabaaaarrrr, Lyn?"
Hmmm.... ada one thing yang aku suka banget dari buku Lady in Waiting, bahwa masa single kita adalah redeeming time~ Waktu yang ga akan pernah kembali.
So, daripada mikir "Kapan... kapan ..kapan..." pakai waktu penantian kita tuk menebus waktu kita di masa depan, yang ga akan lagi buat kita sendiri .. tapi untuk, pacar kita kelak, suami kita, dan anak2 kita! Tebus waktumu sekarang!

Kembali ke September ...
September 2011, aku juga udah ga sabar, tuk mencapai masa pacaran tahun, bukan hanya bulan. (haha..for those yang pernah ngerasain pacaran 8 tahun, ngerti banget rasanya :$)
At least, I wanted to say out loud!!! "YEAH, dah 1 TAHUN!!"
Though, aku menyadari dalam setahun ini ... really2 relationship ga cuma seberapa LAMA kita bersama, tapi seberapa DALAM kita mau berjuang tuk berusaha mengenal apa yang pasangan kita suka dan tidak, terus mengutamakan kepentingan yang lain di atas kepentingan pribadi, tuk mengasihi dengan kasih yang dimurnikan oleh Dia.

And, ternyata God did even better.. ga hanya aku sangat berbahagia ..... "it's one year, beibeh!!!", tapi much more than that! Super extra special one, yang akan aku share kapan2... ;)

To my special man,
I thank God for you... (ga akan bosen aku ulang2 saying it..haha, 'coz i really2 do)
Thank you for every decisions you made yang butuh courage and faith (so proud of you!)
Thank you for make me feel so much loved!
Thank you for all the magical things you do when I am with you.
We will go forth in grace alone.
'coz it takes three, Jesus, you and me, to make this relationship work!
I am so in love with you <3 and you make me wanna say I do!
12 September 2011


Monday, August 1, 2011

Lies Women Believe

When I first decided to buy and ordered this book, I never knew I would need the book this much. This book is really another "how God truly meet what I need at the right time" experience.
I don't know what lies you've been believing, girls. Whether you still lives in lies or you have experienced the truth that set you free, this book is worth to read. To help you break the bondage, through the Word and His Spirit. And, to help others you know still struggle with their bondage.
God bless you, precious daughter of the King! -eyn-

by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

But for women, there is a disconnection between what they know intellectually and what they feel to be true. And therein lies one of our problems: We trust what we feel to be true, rather than what we know to be true.

The truth is, God does love us. Whether or not we feel loved, regardless of what we have done or where we have come from, He loves us with an infinite, incomprehensible love.

He loves me-because He is love. His love for me is not based on anything I have ever done or ever could do for Him. It is not based on my performance. I do not deserve His love and could never earn it.

The God of the Bible is a compassionaate, tender, merciful Father. That doesn't mean He gives us everything we want - no wise father would give his children everything they want. It doesn't mean we can always understand His decisions - He is far too great for that. It doesn't mean He never allows us to suffer pain - in fact, at times, He actually inflicts pain and hardship upon us. Why? Because He loves us. Because He cares about us. Because He is committed to us. Hebrews tells us, "God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness"

The problem is that our view of ourselves and our sense of worth are often determined by the input and opinions of others. Sometimes the input of others is accurate and helpful. But not always. If, for some reason, the person we are listening to is looking through a defective "lens", his or her vision will be distorted. Some of us have lived all our lives in an emotional prison because we have accepted what a false, "broken" mirror said to us about ourselves.

The deepest longings of our hearts cannot be filled by any created person or thing. Every created thing is guaranteed to disappoint us. Things can burn or break or be stolen or get lost. People can move or change or fail or die. I would always live in a state of disappointment if I was looking to people to satisfy me at the core of my being.

The truth is that all I have to do is the work God assigns to me. What a freedom it has been for me to accept that there is time for me to do everything that is on God’s “to do” list for my day, for my week, and for my life!

The frustration comes when I attempt to take on responsibilities that are not on His agenda for me. When I establish my own agenda or let others determine the priorities for my life, rather than taking time to discern what it is that God wants me to do, I end up buried under piles of half-finished, poorly done, or never-attempted projects and tasks. I live with guilt, frustration, and haste, rather than enjoying the peaceful, well-ordered life that He intends.

Frustration is the by-product of attempting to fulfill responsibilities God does not intend for us to carry. Freedom, joy, and fruitfulness come from seeking to determine God’s priorities for each season of life, and then setting out to fulfill those priorities, in the power of His Spirit, realizing that He has provided necessary time and ability to do everything that He has called us to do.

The truth is that marriage is good and right, that it is God’s plan for most people, and that there can (and ought to) be great joy and blessing in the context of a God-centered marriage. Satan twist the Truth about marriage by suggesting to women that the purpose of marriage is personal happiness and fulfillment, and that they cannot be truly happy without a husband to love them and meet their needs.

The truth is that the ultimate purpose of marriage is not to make us happy, but to glorify God.

The truth is that God has promised to give us everything we need, and if He knows a husband would make it possible for us to bring greater glory to Him, then He will provide a husband.

The truth is that those who insist on having their own way often end up with unnecessary heartache, while those who wait on the Lord always get His best.

Many Christian wives do not realize that they have two powerful “weapons” available to them that are far more effective than nagging, whining, or preaching. The first weapon is a godly life, which God often uses in a man’s life to create conviction and spiritual hunger. (1 Peter 3:1-4)

The second weapon is prayer. When a wife consistently points out the things she wishes her husband would change, she is likely to make him defensive and resistant. But when she takes her concerns to the Lord, she is appealing to a higher power to act in her husband’s life – and it’s a lot harder for a man to resist God than to resist a nagging wife!

Mary was a woman who knew how to keep things in her heart and ponder them. (Luke 2:19) She could afford to wait and be quite because she knew the power of God and trusted Him to fulfill His plans for her life and her family.

If we as women focus on what we “deserve”, on our “rights”, or on what men “ought” to do for us, we will become vulnerable to hurt and resentment when our expectations are not fulfilled. Blessing and joy are the fruit of seeking to be a giver rather than a taker and of looking for ways to bless, serve, and minister to the needs of our families.

I have discovered that the fundamental issue in the relation to submission really comes down to my willingness to trust God and to place myself under His authority. When I am willing to obey Him, I find it is not nearly so difficult or threatening to submit to the human authorities He has placed in my life.

God said that man needs a helper. The true woman celebrates this calling and becomes affirming rather than adversarial, compassionate rather than controlling, a partner rather than a protagonist. She becomes substantively rather than superficially submissive.

The true woman is not afraid to place herself in a position of submission. She does not have to grasp; she does not have to control. Her fear dissolves in the light of God’s covenant promise to be her God and to live within her. Submission is simply a demonstration of her confidence in the sovereign power of the Lord God. Submission is a reflection of her redemption.

I can’t help but wonder to what extent we women have demotivated and emasculated the men around us by our quickness to take the reins rather than waiting on the Lord to move men to action. We can so easily strip men of the motivation to rise to the challenge and provide the necessary leadership. To make matters worse, when they do take action, the women they look to for encouragement and affirmation correct them or tell them how they could have done it better.

What can free us from the drive to control the men in our lives? We must learnt to wait on the Lord; in His time, and in His way, He will act on behalf of those who wait for Him.

God uses the rough edges of each partner in a marriage to conform the other to the image of Christ. Your mate’s weaknesses can become a tool in God’s hand to make you into the women He created you to be.

Love is not a feeling; it is a commitment to act in the best interests of another.

Regardless of what emotions are whirling around inside, by God’s grace, we can choose to fix our minds on Him and to “trust and obey”. When we do, we will experience His peace and the grace to be faithful, even though our circumstances may not change.

We must choose, without any regard to the state of our emotions, what attitude our will will take toward God. We must recognize that our emotions are only the servants of our will. Our will can control our feelings if only we are steadfastly minded to do so. Many times when my feelings have declared contrary to the facts, I have changed those feelings entirely by a steadfast assertion of their opposite.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee. Because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

Certainly what happens in our bodies does affect us emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually. We cannot isolate these various dimensions of who we are – they are inseparably intertwined. But we fall into the trap of the enemy when we justify fleshly, sinful attitudes and responses based on our physical condition on hormonal changes.

But every monthly cycle is also a reminder that God made us women, and that which our womanhood comes the capacity for being a bearer and nurturer of life. Even as a single woman, I find this to be gracious and valuable reminder of who I am, why God created me, and how I can best glorify Him here on this earth.

Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear; rather look to them with full hope that, as they arise, God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them. He has kept you hither-to, - do you but hold fast to His dear hand, and He will lead you safely through all things; and, when you cannot stand, He will bear you in His arms… The same everlasting Father who cares for you today, will take care of you to-morrow, and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations. –Francis de Sales-

Regardless of how we are feeling or what we are going through, our immediate response should be to turn to the Lord. Whether we are prospering or suffering, happy or sad, healthy or sick – before we do anything else, we should acknowledge God’s presence and ask Him to walk with us through the experience, to direct us in responding to the circumstances, and to provide His resources to deal with the situation.

When it comes to dealing with our emotions, we must remember that “feeling good” is not the ultimate objective in the Christian’s life. God does not promise that those who walk with Him will be free from all difficult emotions. In fact, as long as we are in these bodies, we will experience varying degrees of pain and distress. The real focus of our lives must not be changing or “fixing” things to make ourselves feel better but on the glory of God and His redemptive purpose in the world. Everything else in expendable. True joy comes from abandoning ourselves to that end.

God is far more interested in our holiness than in our immediate, temporal happiness – He knows that apart from being holy, we can never be truly happy.

True joy is not the absence of pain but the sanctifying, sustaining presence of the Lord Jesus in the midst of the pain.

His grace is sufficient to deal with the memories, wounds, and failures of the most scarred or sordid past.

The only way to experience true freedom and peace is to let go of the reins – to relinquish all control to God, believing that He can be trusted to manage all that concerns us.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World



by Joanna Weaver.
- a book for you who wants to live a balanced life. To please God with your intimacy with Him and bless people with your service. - eyn

Jesus is our supreme example. He was never in a hurry. He knew who he was and where he was going. He wasn’t held hostage to the world’s demands or even its desperated needs. “I only do what the Father tells me to do.”

Two completely different women undergo a transformaton right before our eyes; a holy makeover. The bold one becomes meek, the mild one courageous. For it is impossible to be in the presence of Jesus and not bechanged.

We can get caught in the same performance trap, feeling as though we must prove our love for God by doing great things for him.

The Kingdom of God, you see, is a paradox. While the world applauds achievement, God desires companionship. The world clamors, “Do more! Be all that you can be!” But our Father whispers, “Be still and know that I am God.”

When we first spend time in his presence – when we take time to hear his voice – God provides the horsepower we need to pull the heaviest load. He saddles up Grace and invites us to take a ride.

The only thing that came out between sobs was a broken plea, “Tell me the good news........... I honestly can’t remember.... “ perhaps you have felt the same way. You’ve known the Lord your whole life and yet you haven’t found the peace and fulfillment you’ve always longed for.

Matthew 11:28-29

While Martha may have been the first person to ask Jesus the question, “Lord, dont you care?” she definitely wasn’t the last. We’ve all felt the loneliness, the frustration, the left-out-ness and resentment she experienced in the kitchen that Bethany afternoon – doing all that work for others when no one seems to notice and no one seems to care.

That’s what i want when i’m feeling overwhelmed: soft, soothing words and plenty of helpful action.

“What you are doing is not good. You will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.” Exodus 18:17-18

“But even pure ministry for Jesus can become a weight we drag around....it’s called the ‘treadmill’ anointing’, and it isn’t from God”. –Dutch Sheets-

It’s easy to find a shady spot and feel sorry for ourselves when we’re distracted and discouraged. Especially when we run up against unexpected opposition. Especially when it feels like we’re running for our lives.

When we’re distracted and discouraged, tired and overwhelmed, there is no better place to go than to our Father. He alone has what we need. As you do, you’ll find healing for your hurting heart.

Five strategies for fighting discouragement.
1.Allow for rest stops
2.Get a new point of view
3.Have patience
4.Mingle
5.Set the timer

What is it about us women that creates such a desperate need in us to always “know”, to always “understand”? We want an itinerary for our life, and when God doesn’t immediately produce one, we set out to write our own.

I love the compassion of Jesus in this story. He saw Martha’s situation. He
understood her complaint. But he loved her too much to give her what she wanted. Instead, Jesus gave her what she needed – an invitation to draw cloes to him. With open arms, he invited the troubled woman to leave her worries and cares and find refuge in him alone.

Because when you have questions, there is no better place to go than to the One who has the answers.

“Worry is allowing problems and distress to come between us and the heart of God. It is the view that God has somehow lost control of the situation and we cannot trust Him. A legitimate concern presses us closer to the heart of God and causes us to lean and trust on Him all the more.” – Gary E Gilley –

“Any concern too small to be turned intro a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.” –Corrie Ten Boom-

Eyn, eyn ..do not let your heart be trouble. Trust in God. Trust also in Me. John 14:1

Now, this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.” Haggai 1:5

I realized then that, while there are many things that need to be done, things i’m capable of doing and want to do, i am not always the one to do them. Even if i have a burden for a certain need or project, my interest or concern is not a surefire design that i need to be in charge. God may only be calling me to pray that the right person will rise up to accomplish it. What’s more, i may be stealing someone else’s blessing when i assume i must do it all.

Make no mistake. Satan enjoys using our hectic schedules, stressed bodies, and emotional upsets in his efforts to put up barriers to our intimacy with God. That’s why we need to take a close look at any thought, feeling, or activity that diminishes our appetite for intimacy with God.

If you’re having a little trouble feeling close to God – or even wanting to draw close – you might want to consider what activities you are using to fill the empty places of your life. What’s taking the edge off your hunger for him?

Service without spirituality is exhausting and hopeless. But in the same respect, spirituality without service is barren and selfish. We need to unite the two and do it all "as unto the Lord".

When we do that, something wonderful happens to our work in the Kitchen. Sinks turn into sanctuaries. Mops swab holy ground. And daily chores that used to bore us or wore us down become opportunities to express our gratitude - selfless avenues for his grace.

Our sanctification, does not depend upon changing our works, but in doing that for God's sake which we commonly do for our own.

Jesus seems to do nothing of Himself which He can possibly delegate to His creatures. He commands us to do slowly and blunderingly what He could do perfectly and in the twinkling of an eye." - cs lewis -

Instead of expecting God to acquiesce to our plans, dreams, schemes - or frantically trying to impress him with our efforts on his behalf - we simply need to "watch to see where God is working and join Him"

Duty gets offended quickly if it isn't appreciated, but love learns to laugh a lot and to work for sheer joy of doing it.

"True love hurts. It always has to hurt. If you really love one another, you will not be able to avoid making sacrifies." Mother Teresa

Everyone starts at the same place - at the most humble point of service. But when you're truly a servant, a job title and a position are completely secondary. You're willing to do whatever needs to be done.

Working from out God-given gifts releases ministry potential in greater measure and helps the various members of the body work harminiously.

Rather than picking and choosing ministry opportunities based solely on our talents and interests. We are directed 'always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord'. -jack hoey

When we surrender ourselves ourselves to be used by God, we don't always get to pick the time, the method, or the place of ministry. In fact, sometimes, we may find ourselves doing nothing at all - except praying and waiting for God's leading.

A true passion for God will naturally reesult in compassion for people. We can't love the Father without also being willing to love his kids - even when they're less than lovable.

Checking your motives - Jan Johnson
1. Am I serving to impress anyone?
2. Am I serving to receive external rewards?
3. Is my service affected by moods and whims (my own as well as others)?
4. Am I using this service to feel good about myself?
5. Am I using my service to muffle God's voice demanding I change?

Because if our Kitchen Service doesn't point people to Jesus, we risk becoming surrogate messiahs. If we, not God, end up being their source of hope, we are setting them up for profound dissapointment and ourselves for profound burnout - because we, in ourselves, are simply not up to the task of saving the world. In ourselves, like peter and john at the gate called Beautiful, we have nothing to offer. But in Christ, we are given the power to give people what they most desperately need.

I want my relationship with God to be so real and vital, so like that of the apostles Peter and John, that people can't help but sit up and take notice.

All the things I'd been trying to accomplish were important, but I had lost my center. Busy being busy, I'd forgotten to tend to my inner self, the spiritual me. Like a wheel without an axle, I'd careened through life, bouncing off one duty and onto another.

Life is filled with Hula-Hoops. We all have responsibilites, important things that need our attention. If we're not careful, however, our hearts and our minds can be consumed with the task of keeping them in the air. Rather than centering ourselves in Christ and letting the other elements of our lives take their rightful place around the center, we end up shifting our attention from one important to-do item to another, to frantically trying to keep them all in motion.

It's easy to forget that while there is a time to work, there is also a time to worship -- and it's the worship, the time we spend with God, that provides the serene center to a busy, complex life.

We will all have trials. The question is not when the pressure will come, but where the pressure will lie. Will it come between us and the Lord? Or will it press us closer to His breast? - hudson taylor

Life works better when we know how to glance at things but gaze at God. Seeing Him clearly will enable us to see all other things clearly. - selwyn hughes

It is so easy to lose focus in life, to lose our center. Life conspires to drag eyes away from the face of the Savior, hypnotizing us with the unending swat of our problems.

First things first, the Lord was saying. Take care of my business, and I'll take care of yours. Make room in your heart of me, and I'll make room for everything else.

The very definition of sin is separation from God. So no matter how important the activity, no matter how good it seems, if I use it as an excuse to hold God at arm's length, it is sin.

Sometimes we have to slow down in order to take spiritual inventory and see where we stand with God. Sometimes we have to realize how empty we are before we're willing to be filled.

My personal times of devotion were erratic at best. My prayer life was quirky, my reading of the word was sporadic. And because I was not spending regular quite time with God, I was not putting myself in a position to be filled and refilled.

I didn't have to wait until I felt spiritual to spend time with God. I just had to make a decision of the will, and the spiriutal feelings would eventually come around.
On those crazy loopy days when I don't feel so "hoopy", I'm learning to reach for the Lord instead of chocolate chip sedatives. I'm learning how to leave the kitchen and head for the living room where Jesus waits, because that's where I'll find everything I need and everything I want. What I really need is more and more of the Master himself

Faith is about how you live your life in the meantime, how you make decisions when you dont know for sure what’s next. What you do with yourself between the last time you heard from God and the next time you hear from God is the ongoing challenge of a life of faith. –CeCe Winans – On a Positive Note.

There are times in every life when God writes the end to a chapter, when he asks us to say good-bye to something or someone who has been important to us. It might be a spouse, a parent, or friend. It might be a job we’ve loved, a city we’ve enjoyed, a prejudice or an assumption that we’ve always thought wes true.

Endings, in a sense, are inevitable. Dead ends, failed possibilities, and brick walls will dissapoint us all. And when toses endings come, we can fight them as Peter adivsed Jesus. Or we can accept them as Jesus did, as coming from the Father’s hand.

Let go one piece at a time. Sometimes we cling to control because we fear we’ll be asked to make drastic changes we’re not ready for. But God, in his kindness, takes us at a pace we can handle. If we simply obey what he asks of us at the moment, he’ll lead us the next step when we’re ready.

Martha thought she had value because she was productive. Jesus wanted her to learn she had value simply because she was his.

And being teachable, in essence, involves three things:
-Being willing to listen
-Acting on what we hear
-Responding to discipline

Obedience is an essential ingredient in intimacy with God and the key to having a Mary heart. Either we take Jesus’ words to heart and change, or we listen but disregard them. And to disregard the voice of God is worse than not listening at all. Especially if we say we love him.

All God’s revelations are sealed until they are opened to us by obedience. Obey God in the thing He shows you, and instantly the next thing is opened up.. God will never reveal more truth about himsefl until you have obeyed what you know already. –Oswald Chambers

Our loving Father will do whatever it takes to break that rebellion before that rebellion breaks us. Eve it means giving us a time-out (like having to wait for something we’ve wanted), taking away our toys (like the new computer that just crashed), or allowing some affliction to come our way.

If we find ourselves becoming critical of other people, we should stop examining them, and start ecamining ourselves. -
William Barclay

At the same time, it's important to remember that saying yes to God doesn't mean saying yes to everything! When our lives are overbooked, it's easy for us to become spiritually dry and undernourished. We can barely hear God's voice above the busy noise, let alone say yes to what he is asking. In this case, we do need to learn how to say no, but only so we are able to say yes to God when he wants to give us an assignment.

It's a great release to know that the secret to 'doing it all' is not necessarily 'doing it all' but rather discovering which part of the 'all' he has given us to do and doing all of that. -Jill Briscoe

It's increasingly hard to resist the temptation to use the Sabbath as a catch-up day instead of a day of worship and rest.

How does she keep a balance? I asked her not long ago. "It takes a ruthless commitment to first thing first. I am constantly having to ask the Lord to do the Psalm 139 thing on me: "Live in my heart. Search and examine me. Know my heart."

"Take my struggles and use them for your glory. Change me. Give me a Mary heart in my Martha world."
And with those words would come a quiteness, an awareness that the Lord was working. I began to realize that if I was yoked to Christ, then I could trust him to set the pace. He knew what I needed and what had to be done. I could trust him to accomplish what he'd started. My part was sto partner with him. So I'd get up from prayer and go back working and waiting some more.

I fear our generation has come dangerously near the "I'm - getting - tired - so - let's - just - quit" mentality. And not just in the spiritual realm. Dieting is a discipline, so we stay fat. Finishing school is a hassle, so we bail out. Cultivating a close relationship is painful, so we back off. Getting a book written is demanding, so we stop short. Working through conflict in a marriage is a tiring struggle, so we walk away. Stricking with an occupation is tough, so we start looking elsewhere..
And about the time we are ready to give it up, along comes the Master, who leans over and whispers: "Now keep going; don't quit. Keep on"

When it comes to our spiritual lives, a lot of us are all-or-nothing people. If we aren't automatically perfect, we just give up. When Christlike virtues like patience and kindness seem hard to come by, we abandon our character development and decide holiness is for those better equipped. But when we give up, we're giving up on our part of the partnership. Perseverance is one of our responsibilities in this process of being changed.

When we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, we release the Lord of the process to do his work. For it is in our weakness that Christ is strong. It is in our inadequacy that we find him more than sufficient. And it is in our willingness to be broken that he brings wholeness - more wholeness and completeness than we ever dreamed possible.

O Christ, do not give me tasks equal to my powers,
But give me powers equal to my tasks,
For I want to be streched by things too great for me,
I want to grow through the greatness of my tasks,
But I shall need your help for the growing.
E. Stanley Jone