Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Whale's Stomach

Sin is the act of willfully disobeying God, when I first heard this it dawned on me how much I've been disobeying the Lord in areas of my life I've been having a hard time to give over to him. God wants everything from us, EVERYTHING, our family, our careers, our education, our ministry, our friends everything! He wants to be glorified with all of our relationships and everything we do.

My gracious Lord has been pointing my eyes to the truth I've been avoiding for so long. I've been going through a lot of things in my life that were confusing as I continue in this journey of exploring this amazing world of grace.

You know, through this time of confusion, the Lord clarified a lot of major things in my life, especially my calling in the ministry. I've always known that the Lord has called me to full time ministry BUT have been terrified of accepting this call and starting the walk of faith FULLY. I've done it partially and have seen how hard it is, because with the Lord you either fully submit or you don't. There are no half decisions and half surrendering in the kingdom of God.

Disobedience is not fun, I'm sure I got a taste of the whale's stomach as Jonah did after disobeying the Lord and trying to run away and follow his own dreams. I felt the sting of other's sin, I got a taste of my own sin, a taste of discomfort and discontent to the fullest. The interesting thing is that it all pushed me to the Lord. No matter how hard Satan tried to discourage me and push me to lose hope and flee from the place the Lord planted me to be in, I held on and stayed because the Lord is my strength.

I never want to be in the whale's stomach again. I want to remember the lessons I learned from this long hard time and obey the Lord one step after another so once obedience will lead to another. I'm super excited to be taking the next step of faith and step into the unknowns that open up opportunities for me to see God's mighty hands in my life.

My God is gracious and wants me to follow Him because I love Him and I will.

In Christ,
Mekdes

Friday, October 22, 2010

Newness of seasons

Seasons change, and our lives follow along. It amazes me how my life is affected by the season (actual season) we're in. Right now it's Fall and the leaves are turning yellowish, reddish and they look gorgeous, BUT it's starting to freeze at night and early in the morning. I feel the change in my spirit as well, my heart is full of peace and joy which is purely from the Lord as I know His will is the only thing that fulfills me even though there is this unanswered prayer hanging over my head.

I so want God to answer me, I so want him to say YES my child NOW, you have it! But He won't, He says not now, and that sometimes hurts BUT I will continue to ask, to knock the door and to say please Lord upon your timing let this not pass from me.

It's like the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18:1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'
4"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' "

6And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

Therefore, I will ask, and keep on asking, keep on kneeling before the Lord and trusting that He is the only God that could ever answer any of my prayers. He is the only God that can fulfill my dreams and the only father that could ever care for me so deeply to deny me what is not beneficial to me.

Just as the widow chose to be persistent because she knew where to get her answer from, I choose to only stick with the Lord and ask again and again but only ask Him. Lord help me to wait in faith and not look toward another but you! You are my strength...Help me wait in Faith!

Love you,
Mekdes

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

School of Character....

I think I've been praying the hardest and toughest prayer of all times. Teach me your ways, let me be an imitator of Christ and not men. And God placed me in the school of character where things don't go the way you think or want but according to God's design and timing. Where all your masked self comes out from the length of the journey and from the frustration of not knowing how long you can keep it on. So, you take it off, you start living like BEFORE you knew Christ and started imitating believers (not Him).

In the school of Character who you are truly shows, whether you are seeking truly after His heart or man's heart. It's like when Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt and the minute they got tired, hungry and thirsty and couldn't see any means of getting food they started to say TAKE US BACK TO EGYPT!! I mean what could they do? they could only hold on for so long, they were going to lose their families, their lives, their money, everything they hoped to gain by leaving Egypt would be lost in the desert! There was no way humanly possible they could know about something called 'Manna', how are they to know right? But they knew God, and He revealed to them what they needed to know to have Faith and wait,Himself. Even if it meant dying in the desert.

I at times get tempted to start wishing for Egypt...asking the Lord, why does the desert have to be so long? I'm tired, weary, bored, Arrrrgh, angry at the people in the journey with me, am I the only sane one? I can't do this anymore, then it changes to I can't do this alone Lord, I need you, cover me with your grace, surround me with your love, speak to me gently, and I will follow, I have no other hope but you, and I will stick with you till the end, you are my savior and nothing else matters.

You know, I thought I can out do God, pretend through the school of character and show up always energetic and encouraged but I've learned that it's part of the course to be discouraged, frustrated, agitated and letting God know of those feelings...then it's also part of the course to find encouragement and satisfaction only from HIM my daily Manna provider. Whether that Manna is patience, genteelness or kindness.

God is a good God and I am so thankful that my journey is not in vain. I'll persevere through it, because I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Thank you father,
Mekdes

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My life as a Burnt offering…

I’m reading “Passion and Purity” by Elizabeth Elliot and ran into a chapter that talks about bringing every emotion before the Lord so that He may shine through, our Pain, joy, longing, anxiety and such…

His word says in 2 Cor 10:5 “….we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” What sweetness there is to this verse…can you imagine? Every thought, being brought forth to the Lord, so that it may obey Him? So in a simple example it would be, my desire to be united with my loved ones RIGHT NOW will be brought to Jesus and obey His will for me to serve him as a single woman alone for the season He’s placed me in. My longing will obey the will of God for me to preserver and produce Character and fruit. Isn’t this beautiful?

My heart jumps at the thought of God being ever present in those moments that seem so low and so lonely. To know that’s EXACTLY where he wants me so that he may speak to me…love me and let me know HIM the lover of my soul. Hosea 2:14 is so real in my life right now....

"Israel, I, the LORD,

will lure you into the desert

and speak gently to you.

I will return your vineyards,

and then Trouble Valley will become Hopeful Valley.

You will say " Yes" to me

as you did in your youth,

when leaving Egypt.

There is a joy I can’t express in my heart right now, a joy that can only come from above, that proves to me that God is working and is active in my heart. That no matter how hard things seem in my life and when people look in from the outside and wonder how in the world does she live like this, deep down in my heart there is a complete rest in the Lord because I know he is sovereign and that He is in control of my life.

I often tell my friends…God is not concerned about the destination but the journey that He takes us in (I'm sure I heard it from somewhere). Unless we’re able to follow Him with complete obedience, the destination makes no sense or would add any value to our lives when we get there. God refines us through the journey, by giving us manna when we’re hungry and teaching us that He is enough. By giving us water out of dry stones when we’re thirsty and showing us He is the Spring of life. By comforting us when we are tired and renewing our strength and by being our compass when we lose our way. When we get to the destination, all we have left to do is praise Him in awe for the impossible journey that He made possible. The destination...well it will be a blessing added to the REAL DEAL, KNOWING HIM!

God is concerned about His children worshiping Him and not idols. May our idols be made as nothing in our hearts because of the purifying journey He takes us in and may we be obedient enough to bring our lives as burnt offering.

LOVE knowing you my savior....
Mekdi

Monday, April 19, 2010

When all You NEED is Him!!

Have you ever came to a point in your life where no matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to see the positive... I mean you're not a negative person, you love and trust God and deep down in your heart know that the Lord is your strength. BUT, there have been so many hard situations that have bombarded your life and you're swamped, you just can't get out of it. No matter how many scriptures you quote and squeeze your eyes shut and PRAY...it seems like God has chosen silence.

It's hard, it's very hard to not have answers for your painful circumstances and it makes you wonder, why God? What's the possible good out come from this painful situation, it HURTS God, my heart aches in pain and I soooooooo need your peace. Then, you're forced to fall on your face, and ask God for peace and joy and meaning in life... You turn to him instead of your loved ones because none of their solutions will ever make it ok or better or is a lasting solution.

My Pastor told an amazing analogy yesterday during service, he was preaching James 1st and about persevering through trials. He gave an example of how we use a for to check if something is cooked or not...we poke through and check, he said if we are cooked / dead for Sin and alive for Christ, we won't bleed as the fork/trials go through us. But if we do bleed, then God will leave us on the fire till we are well cooked and the fork going through us won't make us bleed/ nothing of our fleshly desire will come out.

This totally stuck with me, and got me out of my self focused why me attitude? I must say...the word of God is sooooo powerful when you pray through it. Praying through James 1 brought a sense to my situation and God started to speak, move so powerfully and completely heal my heart. Oh how I love and thank the lover of my soul for choosing me as his vessel to go through many trials and be molded to imitate the image of Christ.

James 1:2-8 "2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."

It's not about me, it's about HIM! Jesus Christ who gave it all that I may have eternal life.

Love you my father,
Mekdes

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I entrust my life to my Lord!

I woke up this morning with an urge of missing a dear someone in my life who lives in a far while I'm here in the U.S. I didn't know what to pray or how to pray or for what to pray...all I said was GOD PLEASE DO YOUR WILL whatever that may be. well, I got up and got ready for work then opened my e-mail before I head out to work to find a precious e-mail from my bff Lilly.

It read,

"Consider the lilies, how they grow."(Matt. 6:28.)

"I NEED oil," said an ancient monk; so he planted an olive sapling. "Lord," he prayed, "it needs rain that its tender roots may drink and swell. Send gentle showers." And the lord sent gentle showers. "Lord," prayed the monk, "my tree needs sun. Send sun, I pray Thee. "And the sun shone, gilding the dripping clouds. "Now frost, my Lord, to brace its tissues," cried the monk. And behold, the little tree stood sparkling with frost, but at evening it died.

Then the monk sought the cell of a brother monk, and told his strange experience. "I, too, planted a little tree," he said, "and see! it thrives well. But I entrust my tree to its God. He who made it knows better what it needs than a man like me. I laid no condition. I fixed not ways or means. `Lord, send what it needs, 'I prayed, `storm or sunshine, wind, rain, or frost. Thou hast made it and Thou dost know.'"
--- Selected


Yes, leave it with Him, The lilies ad do, And they grow ---

They grow in the rain, And they grow in the dew ---

Yes, they grow: They grow in the darkness, all hid in the night ---

They grow in the sunshine, revealed by the light ---

Still they grow.

Yes, leave it with Him, 'Tis more dear to His heart, You will know, Than the lilies that bloom, Or the flowers that start `Neath the snow: Whatever you need, if you seek it in prayer, You can leave it with Him for you are His care. You, you know.
--- Selected.

It was the perfect message for my day...God is the giver of all the dreams I have in my life and I don't want to have a say in it because I want to see the Olive flourished not dead.

I love you Lord, please take my life, my relationship...everything and do what you like with it and may it flourish in your timing.

Love you xoxoxo
Umi

Sunday, March 21, 2010

40 years for a 40 days long trip.

Wow, it just made sense last night. I was sitting in the metro, coming back from Eastern Market and It hit me in the long train ride - it took me 2 years to get to where God wanted me instead of one.

You see God had offered me an opportunity to take 2 years ago to serve him fully but I wasn't ready to give up my "career". I was a new college graduate who wanted to explore Washington, DC and see what's out there for me. God had opened up a door for me to serve him at a church in full time ministry which by the way has been my passion since I could remember, but I said no thank you. I wanted to see what's out there, so he let me but lead me back to the church again.

But this time not in full time ministry as I had always felt called to do. It was as a support to the full time ministry. Hmmm....very humbling. I supported knowing that I was placed here for character building. Was it productive? YES! I finally got it, it's like David serving Saul even though he knew he was called to be king. Humility is learned not inborn.

I am now fully surrendering my life to the Lord, that he may use me as he pleases, full time or not. I'm all his. Lord I thank you for allowing me to see your will sooner than later.

I love you,
Mekdes

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Love is not self seeking

Had a long day yesterday, went to a bible study directly after work and when I got home it was 10:00pm. I hardly had time to do anything b/c the next morning I’ve to be up and do my devotions/which is something I promised God I’d be consistent about/ so I had no time for anybody. Didn’t even call my friend who ‘s been trying to get in touch with me for the past 3 days because I needed to sleep and be up and ready for God in the morning. I get in bed around 10:45 ish and force myself to sleep, I fall asleep.

I wake up hearing my roommate laughing loudly and talking very comfortably which I presume is on her cell phone. Then I check my phone for time it is 1:45am….what 1:45am doesn’t she know that I have a meeting with God in the morning, and that this is not just her house. Arrgh…. I’m now wide awake mad at my roommate, talking myself out of not getting up and telling her to keep it down b/c we’re sleeping. Then I sense the Holy Spirit saying to me, isn’t the reason you want to be up in the morning to speak with me so that I’ll teach you to walk like Christ? Yes, and then it clicks, I am not being Christ like at all...I'm only looking at what my needs are, then these verses flooded in my head.

Love
1 Corinthians 13 (New International Version)

1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

John 13:34-35 (New International Version)

34"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

Romans 12:17-22 (New International Version)

17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord. 20On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

It’s not what I do for God (reading his word, praying, fasting) which btw is something I do for my own spiritual enrichment but it’s what I do for the people around me that count as what I do for him. If I want to please him and practicaly love him, I need to love those around me and serve them b/c everything else counts as nothing….all my so put together efforts are nothing unless I do them all with Love.

God showed me at 2:00am in the morning that LOVE IS Not Self Seeking at all. So friends, our responsibility is to be found faithful where God has put us. Oh what a joy when we are found faithful.

Glory be to the Lord,
Mekdes

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Who are you?


I had a fun evening with one of my close girl friends last night and we got talking about our experiences with dating and what we've learned through all those unique people that came into our lives. It got me thinking about the reason that I had decided not to continue with almost all of these men was because I realized that they had an idea of the woman they wanted to be with and whether it is knowingly or unknowingly they tried to make me change to fit their mold. Now, I'm not opposed to changing of Character, growing to know myself more and realizing my areas of growth as a person so that I may serve the Lord better. BUT, Most of these people just wanted something different that I couldn't offer and instead of fighting to hold on to them and change myself I chose to let them go, and I PRAISE the Lord for allowing me to recognize that whom he is making me to be is more valuable than a life-long partner I so longed to have.

What I wanted to share today is not about how many people I've dated...not too many I promise....but what gave me the strength to move on with my life believing that God has the right person for me, not a perfect man but just the perfect fit. Truly, I know that God has not invested this much time in me making me the person that I am and shaping and molding me into the likeness of Christ so that I may throw it all away one day when I meet a man!

I think the most mistake women make is placing a man before the Lord and completely loosing ourselves in a relationship that when we finally come to the realization that this man is "human" and will hurt us we can't find anything to protect ourselves with because we've already let go of our cover, which is our identity in Christ.

I read somewhere once "...When I go shopping I always consider the fabric, the fit and what I already have in my closet. Will my next purchase be a complementary addition to what I already have? If I find that I am going to have to buy shoes and matching accessories to go with a new outfit, I leave it right on the rack. It is too expensive a proposition. If the man you meet makes you feel that you need to completely reinvent yourself, something is wrong. This is where I ask you to consider the relationship in terms of cost. Is this relationship expensive spiritually, emotionally, or physically? Does your longing for a mate make you willing to forfeit who you are in the process? Or does he see you as the gift that you are? The man in your life should consider you as a rare find, a priceless jewel—because of you he is getting ready to get blessed big-time! Any relationship that causes you to feel unworthy, unlovely, unacceptable, undesirable, or that you have to work for love, is too expensive! God has called the man to cover, protect, and provide not only materially for a woman, but emotionally and spiritually as well. You should be richer in mind, body and spirit for your union with the man of your dreams. The man in your life should make rich deposits into your heart and spirit, not withdrawals." How true this is?

I thank the Lord for allowing me to know myself and my calling through knowing Him; therefore, I wouldn't compromise my vision, my calling, all in all my identity to have a man fit into it or vice versa. All it matters is how you view yourself not how the people around you view you, be encouraged that God did not bring you this far in your unique and purpose-filled walk with him that you may be emptied of all that to please a man or people. Stand firm on what you know to be you and if it so pleases Him let only the Holy Spirit change you, NOT MAN!

Love,
Mekdes

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Not my will but your will be Done!


What a hard prayer to pray? It wasn't till God started opening up my eyes to the true purpose of my calling into his kingdom that I started learning to pray this prayer. I mean as a young believer for me it was about "being more spiritual", memorizing more verses, sharing the Gospel with others, alway being on a spiritual high...which was amazingly great but kindda wasn't what truly goes on in this journey with the Lord. I discovered that even though this is all wonderful and great but the CHARACTERS of Christ being manifested in my being was the most important thing I could ever capture. These characters also don't just appear in me because I "believe" but because I constantly choose to walk in complete obedience.

There are times that I pray sooooo hard that I feel like God is going to just show up and magically fulfill all my dreams, but in reality that is not the case and "The purpose of prayer is that we get a hold of God, not of the answer."(Oswald Chambers) When I pray I get a hold of patience and obedience and complete peace and surrender to the will of God.

Isn't it amazing how we feel like God owes us something and we go at it as if he must answer now? I just learned that when we do that...the whole begging him PLEASE do it at once we're actually lusting...it made perfect sense to me when Oswald Chambers explained it as "Lust means "I must have it at once."" Spiritual lust causes me to demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Himself who gives the answer."
"If we will only obey, and do the task that He has placed closest to us, we will see Him." How so true that is.......

God puts some occasions in my life to allow me the chance of obeying him but what do I do? I use my humanly possible means to get out of them, to reason my way out of them and just put myself at ease. This week God really took away that liberty and put me in a position where I couldn't run away from the chance to obey him and I did...and it was not pleasant...but it was peaceful. Yap, I didn't enjoy humbling myself but my heart was so full of God's peace that I knew that I was right where he wanted me and that gave me the ultimate peace and joy...a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

That's truly what I want...all I want is for his will to be done through me and for me to receive the pleasures of having Him reign in me. I praise the Lord for His gentle ways of guiding me to discover Christ living through me.

xoxo
Umi