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Baby Shower Blessings

                                 Psalm 139:13

God's gift“For you have formed my inward parts: you have covered me in my mother’s womb.”

Isaiah 44:24

“Thus said the LORD, your redeemer, and he that formed you from the womb, I am the LORD that makes all things; that stretches forth the heavens alone; that spreads abroad the earth by myself;”

One of  the things I’ve been busy with has been assisting my younger sister in her event designing/planning of her best friend’s baby shower. My sister amazes me with how gifted she is in her ability to create crafts and art pieces “out of nothing”  resulting in an entirely beautiful event for her friends. Her artistic abilities confirm the creative qualities God shares as a gift with us to enjoy. However, I am even more in awe at God’s love & creation of a new life. I have yet to experience motherhood or giving birth, yet I cherish the moments I had during medical school of not only assisting natural and C-section births, but also caring for the beautiful newborns in the nursery. I’ll never forget participating in the C-section birth of twins and being trusted to hold them & prepare them for their parents during their first breaths of life.

Psalm 127:3-5

“See, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that has his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”

If it be in God’s Will, I hope to enjoy parenthood with a worthy husband in Christ, as children are truly gifts of Our Loving Creator God. This is my sister’s friend’s second child, and she is looking forward to celebrating his coming. It is interesting how celebrating the anticipation of her son’s birth tomorrow, it reminds me of how Believers in Jesus, the "be fruitful and multiply"Church, is anticipating Christ’s return & celebrated His first arrival, or birth (Luke 2: 10-12; Rev 19: 6-9).

However, I’ve also unfortunately witnessed the frailty of life in the NICU and the brief life of conjoined twins. In knowledge of God’s Word on what a precious gift each new life is, it is crushing to know there are systems in place to destroy God’s most cherished creation. Can anyone on earth or in heaven create a new child from the complexities of genes, cells, and order without God’s creative power?? The ability to bring forth new life, especially in spite of the many assaults on health, is a not a force to  be reckoned with! Yet, just as Satan sought to “devour” Jesus Christ as “the child” of “the woman”, or Church,  in Rev. 12, that same Destroyer seeks to destroy our God-giving ability to procreate in our present day (Rev. 12: 17)

From abortions, contraceptive drugs, to food/environmental toxins and nutritional deficiencies, our bodies created with the ability to present new life in our children is constantly being attacked. Father God wants us to understand that His Love created us to then, in love, continue to procreate & be fruitful with joy in the world (Genesis 1: 26-31). Even Christ blessed children as those who have faith as them will inherit God’s Kingdom (Mark 10: 13-16).

Luke 17: 1-2

“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that temptations to sin will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It would be better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he was cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble.”

Therefore, take great care to not only protect and enjoy the children God has blessed you with, but also to nourish your body in order to support new life under the right spiritual circumstances under Christ. Your love & parenting in The Lord will be a blessing to others & reflect God’s Glory.

Christian fathers

Ephesians 6: 4

“And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

  Colossians 3:21

“Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged”

Parable of 10 Virgins

For those who would like to delve further, here is a great illustration of the 1o Virgins Parable by Jesus in Matt 25. Remember, Jesus gave symbols in the parables to depict certain simple truths:

  • Oil= Holy Spirit
  • Lamp= physical/bodily vessel=Christians
  • Virgins=chaste women= Christ’s Church as a body

Do you have enough Oil when it gets as dark as midnight to meet Jesus?? Prov 20:27

Happy New Years…?

2012Why do we celebrate New Years Eve/Day?

While the world parties in drunken bliss, counting down the last seconds of the year, have you ever stopped and wondered why New Years Eve/Day is celebrated? Even if you & your loved ones are resolved to enjoying a more conservative transition into the new year, when was the last time you questioned why is it even in existence? As Christians, we know God reveals so many truths in His Holy Word (Bible) about what His Will is, and surprisingly New Years Day is no exception…

Is December 31-Jan. 1st the ending/beginning of the year for God?

Exodus 12:1-3,11  “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house:….(11) And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S Passover.”

Did you know God told us in His Word when He began the year for us, 10 days before Passover?? As a small note, Passover is one of God’s Holy Feast celebrations (Leviticus 23) to commemorate how He utilized the blood of an unblemished lamb to save the Israelites from God’s 1st born plague against the stubborn Pharaoh of Egypt. The literal Passover lamb was a forshadow of Jesus Christ being our final and spiritual Passover Lamb, covering us who believe in Him as Savior in his blood over the cross (lamb covering Israel’s door posts in Egypt). Jesus’ sacrifice saved us from the death of sin just as the lamb’s blood saved the Hebrews from the 1st born plague God sent over the Egyptians. We presently don’t need to sacrifice lambs in honor of Passover as Jesus was the “final sacrifice” for all sins (John 1:29, Hebrews 9:28). However, Jesus did instruct us to remember His Last Supper in honor of how He was to save us through His death & resurrection ( Mark 14:22-25, I Corinthians 11:24-26).

Therefore, God began His New Year when Passover was celebrated in the SPRING season, when nature blossoms anew! This is in complete contrast to Dec. 31st-Jan. 1st in the dead of WINTER! Hence, again, if God told us His year begins 10 days before Passover, where did traditional New Years Eve/Day come from & why are we (especially Christians) celebrating it?!

For more intense study (including historical evidence), I’d invite you to review this video and pray over what is being revealed to you. God loves us too much and sacrificed too much to keep us in the dark about things which are not pure in His sight. Freedom of Choice is a gift from God, however He always provides us wisdom & truth to base decisions on. Let’s be mindful of what we are indirectly celebrating and paying homage to. Why not spend some time meditating on this and resolve this year to live in God’s truth? You’ll be truly blessed as a result!

Attention Present & Future Christian Husbands!

As I was spending time meditating on God’s Word, a particular verse stood out to me:

~1 Peter 3:7  “Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” ~

Now granted, I am not married, therefore I can’t speak on my sentiments of this verse from personal experience, however it  did make me ponder on a few characteristics of a prospective Christian husband that I should consider. Therefore, to the gentlemen out there that will be reading this, please accept my following comments in the love and peace of Christ :)….

“Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge…” Christian love

What does it mean to “dwell with them according to knowledge”? Well, for my future husband to actually be my husband in the first place, the first “knowledge” he would  have to possess is, of course, a knowledge of Jesus Christ. Christ is the Head of the Church, particularly the “covering” (lead) over the man (1 Corinth 11: 3), therefore that prospective man must know who His Lord is. And, how would a man know The Lord? He would need to be actively engaged in a deep relationship with Christ & His Holy Word ; I want a man who will pray for me and with me, to pray over our union and be fully surrendered under Jesus’ Lordship. If my future husband has not put his entire life/mind/body/soul/spirit under Christ’s guidance & blood, who is he serving & what’s guiding him in how to treat me & our relationship (Lk 16:13, Eph 5:25) ??

Additionally, my husband must also have knowledge of me (a man cannot honestly know me if he doesn’t know Christ first!) & of himself as a believer. This may sound like an obvious point that doesn’t need to be made (of course your husband would know you, some might say), but as I mention throughout this blog, being “equally yoked ” goes beyond he & I just being Christian. How many times have we become aware of married partners who go through life never really learning about each other, marrying only to find out afterwards incompatibilities ignored before, or married for years only to end up “growing apart”? Slow down men (& women) & take the time to know the intricacies of a woman’s heart, spirit, hopes,& mind! This way, when we’re married & have to “dwell” together, we’ll be equipped to bear with each other & appreciate each other…

giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel…”

Here, I recognize that a Christian husband should give his wife honor & respect particularly in regards to two reasons: as being the “weaker vessel” and as “being heirs together of the grace of life”.  Under the former reason, I should look forward to a husband who will appreciate & respect me not merely because I’m weaker in physical strength to him (although, that is important to the physical traits God endowed men with as opposed to women for enduring strenuous toil as in Genesis 3: 17-19), but that my feminine emotional nature should be addressed with tenderness and kindness. Husbands should refrain from harshness in speech or treatment, as well as are prohibited from cruelty (Col 3:19).  We are not “1-of-the-boys”, nor are we any “chick” on the street. As Christian wives, we are women/ladies/your sisters in Christ, and therefore are to be regarded on a higher level from other women as Christ loved the Church (Eph 5:29-30) .

and as being heirs together of the grace of life..” Christian Relationships

The 2nd  reason supplied here for a husband to honor his wife is because Christian wives also share in the inheritance & rewards of Christ’s salvation (Eph 1: 3, 14; Phil 4:19). Husband and wives are complements to each other on the same path to Christ’s return. I wouldn’t even venture to say that a married couple is on “parallel” paths to Christ, because that would still denote a level of separateness, when the Bible clearly states that in marriage, both become one (Gen 2:24). Therefore, in Christ we have both received the gift of God’s grace & blessings, in order that we may be ambassadors of Christ to others by way of our union.

“that your prayers be not hindered.”

Now, THIS element is a bombshell! Christian husbands, future husbands…please take heed to this warning, as this strikes to the heart of the result of striving to be “equally yoked”. It is so paramount, Christian men, to regard your wives with such honor that if you fail or fall short of the previous elements in this verse, your prayers to God would be in vain! This is a major responsibility & calling on men (not to say wives don’t have their own responsibilities in respect for their own husbands, which will be discussed in another post), which makes clear sense because an unbeliever could not meet this calling. Hence, how could a man under Jesus pray for God’s blessings when he physically/emotionally/verbally abuses his wife?? How can a man of The Lord expect God to listen to his petitions when God hears the louder cries of the wife at night from disrespect?? How can you face God in prayer with an unrepentant heart constantly degrading your wife?? It simply cannot work! The man would not only be acting “unequally yoked” to his wife, but also unyoked to Christ’s commands. Just as a wife is not independent of her husband, so is a husband not independent of his wife (1 Corinth 11:11-12). Therefore, if a husband treats his wife with disgrace, he is actually treating himself with disgrace (Eph 5: 28-30).   Christian men

Although I didn’t mean for this post to be lengthy, it is with necessity that this snippet of God’s Word be meditated on for the profound life applications it holds for married couples. Christian men & husbands, God has called you to a high state, a “cut above the rest” in this secular world…don’t see it as a burden, but as the distictive honor that it is! As a follower of The Savior, you are a leading example to others for how men can be whole in Christ. You may not be perfect, as none of us are, but as a Christian woman, I can say that there is nothing like the authentic love of a Christian man. When a man is “taped into” the power of Jesus (as well as the wife), that relationship can move mountains and defend against demons!

So, to my future husband, if it be God’s Will and you are preserved out there in it, I am waiting & preparing  for you!

May not your prayers be hindered! 🙂

Love & Rest

Despite having and enjoying another delightful Sabbath Saturday, I find myself extremely exhausted as my hopes to complete some tasks tonight slipping away. When I go through my day struggling to maintain my energy, I know it’s the result of my slowly recovering Adrenal Fatigue. This is a condition that I’ve struggled with since the chaotic stresses of medical school and working without replenishing my soul, body, & spirit. Conventional medical schools don’t teach nor truly encourage medical students (or resident doctors) to properly take care of their holistic wellbeing, especially under the immensely brutal work load & schedule. Therefore, when my labwork earlier this year confirmed it, I was not surprised as I had researched it  for some years already.

However, when I feel the fatigue flow over and permeate my body, I know that my body is telling me to rest and recoup before going any further. As a single Christian woman, I admit that there are times when it would be nice to come home to a caring husband whom I can just rest my weary head on his shoulders and be nourished by his tender words. Nonetheless, I appreciate the single season God has maintained me in, because it has revealed to me that I already have a spiritual husband in Christ that DOES care for me, DOES allow me to rest on his shoulders, and DOES replenish my spirit with his tender words!

Isaiah 54:5 “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called”

Matt 11:28 “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Jeremiah 31:25 “For I have fully satisfied the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.”

Isaiah 40:29 “He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength.”

Hosea 2:14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.”

Therefore, I will listen to my body’s need for extended rest and know that I am not resting alone, but in the safe arms of My Lord Jesus.

Psalm 4:8 “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for you, LORD, only make me dwell in safety.”

 

I’m so glad to be loved by a Lord like that!

 

 

 

 

Image by Free-StockPhotos.com

Miss-Understood

freedigitalphotos.net

Do you go through life feeling misunderstood? Are there times when you wish you had someone who “gets” you and you can feel comfortable with? As I continue meditating on the notion of being unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14), I reflect on how on the surface you can have the veneer of Christian unity in the Church yet feel disjointed socially and emotionally. You can be in a room full of brothers and sisters in Christ, yet still feel alone. You can be what seems and feels like the misfit in the family whose voice falls on silent ears. Your partner can look straight into your eyes and you’re still invisible to them. You can even be the employee whose efforts at better quality work goes unnoticed.

There are many ways to experience being unequally yoked in life, and the resulting effects can range from a slight annoyance to utter devastation. Some of the roots of feeling misunderstood can stem from:

  • Lack of communication
  • Lack of the ability to empathize when (ineffective) communication is present
  • Lack of acceptance/tolerance of the other’s personality traits, frailties, and tendencies
  • Low or excessively high expectations of the other person

On the 1st root, how can anyone understand each other when there is no discussions of feelings and perspectives? Where there is no communication, there is no union of heart, minds, or spirit. It is one thing to have moments of self-reflection and “down-time” to process the stresses of the day (I am one who benefits from periodic solitude, not too often though!), and it is a completely different situation to consistently neglect/ignore each other, many times attempting to avoid conflicts. Even our Living God highlights the importance of communication not only with each other, but especially with Himself through a relationship with Christ (Ephesians 2:13-18, 1 Timothy 2:5), honest prayers (Matthew 6:6, Psalms 55:17) , study of Scriptures (Romans 15:4, Romans 16:26), the counsel of His Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10-14), and throughout His Creation (Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:20, Hebrews 11:3 ). Therefore, actually communicating with your partner/other party is one of the first issues to be addressed.

When it comes to the inability to empathize with the other person, this is where I’ve seen and experienced alot of difficulty in feeling understood. Eventhough one may try to discuss their feelings and thoughts on an issue/topic, how far does mutual understanding go when the other person can “see” where you’re coming from mentally, spiritually, and emotionally? This is not to say that the other person must always agree with you to understand you. But, to empathize means you can, as the ol’ saying goes, “put yourself in the other person’s shoes”, which doesn’t mean you end up agreeing with their opinions. In other words, you should be able to take a moment to take stalk of what your partner is trying to say, put yourself in their mental-emotional “space” or environment/situation, and then try to envision/experience how you would feel/think if you were in the same predicament as them. This doesn’t require being “like” them or changing your personality to fit theirs, but it does require the neglected art of listening. Being empathetic not only helps you gain a better perspective on the other person’s feelings, but also offers a glimpse of their personality which leads to being better understood.

Lack of tolerance or acceptance of another’s traits, etc. is also a challenging problem to overcome. Are you constantly frustrated with your partner, friend, or colleague? Do you find more tranquility when not around that person? Are there certain ways or nuances of the person that lead to friction, arguments, and annoyance?  The first area I believe is worth acknowledging is the simple fact that no one within themselves is perfect and according to Scripture, we have all have “fallen short  of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23-24, 1 John 1:8), however through Jesus we are given  His righteousness where His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:19). Knowing this allows us to bear with one another as we recognize the need to encourage each other in Christ (Colossians 3:13). That being said, it is also important to honestly review your compatibility status, if you actually like the other person and have basic respect for them as a fellow follower of Christ (James 2:13). Look at each other’s “deal-breakers” and see if there are areas that you can compromise on outside of those “deal breakers”. If there are too many deal-breakers sought to be compromised on, you may have a very “unequally yoked” situation on your hands!

Last, but certainly not least, is the gravity of/complete absence of standards placed on the other person. If expectations on behavior are too high, you leave an imperfect fellow member in Christ no room to breathe and authentically be themselves. You not only create an impossible ladder in character to climb, but also develop an environment of exaltedness that should be humbled (Matthew 23:12) and unnecessary grief. It also reflects how inflexible you are with your own shortcomings and human frailties. You should not only forgive others of their imperfections, but also forgive yourself as The Lord has so graciously forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32). Don’t make it impossible for others to be in your presence! However, not having any expectations on how to be treated is also not beneficial in any relationship. You cannot expect another person to understand who you are if you don’t understand yourself in Christ (1 Corinthians 6:11). It is also unfair to assume someone can understand you without expressing some type of framework on how you’d like to be treated. It showcases the point that you should “treat others as you’d like to be treated” (Matthew 7:12).

As you can see, there are plenty of grounds upon which a person can be misunderstood and a relationship can be plagued with strife. The world we temporarily live in (until Jesus Christ’s return John 14:3) is filled with so much strain that it is truly refreshing to experience an earthly relationship with a believer whom you feel “at-home” with. We as true Christians are already “foreigners” in this world (John 15:19) and “peculiar” to the ways/treatment of this world (1 Peter 2:9), therefore why make it harder on ourselves by not seeking to comprehend each other? I certainly know there are things that I can improve upon to understanding others, and the first step in that is awareness of the reasons why we feel misunderstood. My prayer is that in reading this, you will also be encouraged to find better ways to communicate, empathize, forbear, and respect others that will transform you from being “unequally yoked” to Equallyoked!

Sincerely,

Miss-Understood