Merry Christmas!

Photo: Google Images

Photo: Google Images

Time to change your desktop calendar. December is officially here! This is love! Oh how did this year fly by so fast?

Anyway, I love December because Christmas season is my favorite time of year. Filled with family, foods, gifts, Christmas lights, Christmas decorations and Christmas music. But in the midst of the busyness, shopping, crowds, and activities let’s be sure to take some time to stop and reflect on why we celebrate Christmas.

Christmas represents the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In selfless sacrifice, God gave His One and only Son to die in order that we might be reconciled to the Father. I cannot even begin to fathom the level of love God has for each one of us and I am so thankful for it!

Another aspect of Christmas that I am so thankful for is the time with family and friends. I always get so excited to watch Mom and my siblings in our Christmas morning open the gifts I wrapped for them and are always so surprised by the gifts they wrap up for me (but sometimes they just give it on hand to me! Haha!). In the midst of all the joy and celebration, I am still very mindful that there are a lot of people in the world who do not have family to celebrate with, food to eat, or a safe place to call home. Let us be intentional this Christmas to bless those around us who are in need but remember them not just this season.

Let us always return to our first love: JESUS. And as we take time this month to celebrate the birth of our Savior, let’s remember the motivation behind God sending His Son to earth: LOVE. Because of God’s love for us, we no longer have to remain asleep (spiritually speaking) or live from a place of anxiety, doubt, and fear. Rather we are able to choose to be awakened and live from a place of rest, consumed by His love, and empowered by His grace. I am so thankful for the incredible gift of salvation we have been given, and I believe for many more people to come to know God’s love for them this Christmas.

I pray to you and to your family to have an amazing Christmas this 2014 and that you are refreshed and filled with new vision as we enter into the New Year. One of the verses God has really laid on my heart for this next season is Isaiah 43:19 which says, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” This next season is going to be a new and a good season for you and your family.

Merry Christmas!

 

Your sweetest Melody, ❤

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

In oceans deep, my faith will stand

In oceans deep, my faith will stand

 

This year around April, I heard “Oceans” by Hillsong United for the first time. This song has been taking me to realities of such a radical trust in my heavenly Father that I never have experienced before. With each verse, I know the Lord spoke directly to me and just this week where I struggle a lot and I felt like drowning and giving up, He brought “Oceans” back to me several times.

“Will your faith stand in the oceans deep?” The question I ask to myself and I remember the story when Jesus called Peter out of the boat.  As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he was able to walk on water.  But the minute he took his eyes off of Jesus, He began to sink.

Let’s go to Mathew 14: 28-33 NIV

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water. “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” 

It is when we take our eyes off Jesus that we begin to sink into our circumstances and lose our peace.  But when we keep our eyes focused on Jesus the peace that surpasses all understanding in the midst of the hardest places is manifest.

And I will call upon Your name and keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest”.

Mathew 11:28 NIV

Will You go to Him?  Will You trust Him even in the midst of the toughest places? Keep asking God to bring us deeper in faith with Him, no matter where He leads us. Step into the place of freedom from anxieties, the place of resting in His embrace!

 I encourage you to take a few minutes and listen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy9nwe9_xzw

My prayer:

Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior.

In Jesus’ name AMEN.

 

Your sweetest Melody, ❤

PEACE + LOVE = JESUS CHRIST

“Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 (NIV)

I wouldn’t be a part of a ministry if it were not for the grace of God and if it were not for my faith. I realized that God is my Maker, He made me, and I owe worship to Him. But I also realized that sin is my failure. I have sinned and rebelled against Him and I deserve His condemnation and I realize that Christ is my Savior, the only Savior who came to die in my place that I might be reconciled to God and that I must rest and trust on Jesus Christ alone for salvation.

It’s a pleasure for us to live in that new life where we’ve been freed from the bondage of sin. That’s what brings a church together. I’ve heard a sermon one time and he said, “A Gospel church is a family. It’s a family loved and chosen by God.” Tama nga naman, we are brought together by God in the first place. Kaya dapat we manifest God’s life in us in the graces of the Christian life, especially yung love. Ang “Christian love” ay dapat nagma-manifest sa ating relasyon sa bawat isa, from pastors, elders, workers at maging sa congregation.

Yes, kaya nating magbasa ng bible mag-isa, mag-pray ng solo pero may mga bagay na di natin kayang gawin sa sarili lang natin. Ako mismo I can’t grow and become more mature in Christ kung wala yung tulong ng aking mga leaders at mga kaibigan . We need one another. We can’t grow to Christian maturity apart from one another because so much of our growth is in our relationships with one another. Families get on one another’s nerves, families have to learn to forgive. Families can be places of tension and contention but we don’t want it to be that way. Syempre gusto natin at gusto ng Lord yung family that is shaped by the Gospel. We want a family with RESPECT, ESTEEM, AND LOVE FOR ELDERS WHO LABOR, LEAD, AND HELP YOU LEARN.

Family is amazing pero makikita natin na lahat ng members have very, very different aspects of their characters and personalities. There are different kinds of people. And Paul tells us that we don’t respond to everybody in the same way. Wala tayong karapatang husgahan kung bakit ganito siya, bakit ganyan siya. From my past experiences, I’ve learned that everybody who surrounds me is a blessing. Whether I hate that person or I can even accept her/his attitude but God used them for me to grow.

God wants us to have a peaceful family. Kahit minsan ikaw na yung nasasaktan, ikaw na yung nagsasacrifice, ayos lang! We are going to act like Jesus acted in His earthly ministry to us. We’re going to seek to do good to one another. Lagi nating isipin na mas matindi pa yung dinanas ni Jesus Christ para lang maligtas tayo.

 

Peace and Love and Jesus Christ

PEACE + LOVE = JESUS CHRIST

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word. I ask that You would enable me to respond by seeing my own sin and repenting of it and by aspiring to this beautiful vision of what a church shaped by the Gospel should look like. I ask this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Your sweetest Melody, ❤