Whatever is Worthy

My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. ~ Psalm 45:1

Beyond Me — Easter Weekend 2015 — April 7, 2015

Beyond Me — Easter Weekend 2015

I had a lovely weekend surrounded by family, friends and my church family. On Friday was my church’s Good Friday Music Night. Different church members formed into groups to sing songs reflecting on the death of Christ, the cross and His resurrection. I was part of a group that sang Charles Wesley’s hymn “And Can it Be.” It was a challenge to sing, but so worth it. It truly is a beautiful hymn. My son played the piano to a song called “Grace and Peace.” I had a proud mommy moment watching him overcome his nervousness and play the piano. Then my pastor gave a brief message presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The entire program must have lasted about two hours, maybe even short of two hours.

Excited about mine and my son’s musical presentation, I invited several people. My husband and friend were the only ones able to attend, the others could not make it. My friend brought along her aunt and son. The evening went so well. My son did his piano number and I sang my little heart out. My brothers and sisters also presented their songs so divinely.

Everything seemed to be going well and my guests enjoying themselves until my pastor preached. As he spoke I looked over to my husband and friend from my corner seat and saw to my surprise…restlessness. My husband was continuously yawning every so often and my friend uncontrollably shaking her legs. I tried to focus on the message as best I could and tune them out, but I was distracted. I kept thinking “Why aren’t they interested? This is good.” In the end, I was just frustrated and disappointed.

Finally, the end of the message arrived, believers partook of the Lord’s Supper and the service came to an end. We prayed for the food, the congregation was dismissed and everyone moved towards the dinner hall for fellowship. Much to further my disillusion, as the congregation was exiting the sanctuary, my friend quickly said her goodbyes and departed with her guests. She said that she had to quickly drop off her aunt because her son wanted to spend as much time with her as possible before she left back to Cuba in a few days. My husband, on the other hand, stayed a little longer but did not want to fellowship. He just wanted to grab the dinner and go!

And that’s not the worst part. The next day I see that my friend, who made it seem like her aunt had to be home by midnight like Cinderella, posts a picture with her aunt at a restaurant where they were having dinner nearly 40 minutes after they left. I was truly let down.

I thought I had gotten over Friday’s ordeal since my mind was occupied the rest of the day Saturday at the beach (Which was excellent!) and Resurrection Sunday was filled with sweet fellowship. On Monday, however, I found myself dwelling on the what occurred on Friday night. I was just so disappointed about the whole thing. I cannot begin to tell you how discouraging it is to invite people to church and see them leave pretty much the same way they came in, but with more speed. It is like you want them to respond to the message heard and feel deep conviction for their sins. You go through the week praying that the Lord may use the service and message to impact your loved ones, only to see that the only impact it seemed to have made is their desire to leave the premises as quickly as possible. What a bummer, I tell you!

Wallowing in my hopelessness for the souls of my loved ones, I start singing a song we learned at my church’s mission’s conference this past February. There is something special about music and God’s people that they resort to singing when they are feeling low. Praise God for hymns. 🙂  Anyway, the song is called For the Sake of His Name. I remember having a copy of the lyrics in my tote bag at work and so I started reading.

Go to the world for the sake of his name;

to every nation His glory proclaim.

Pray that the Spirit wise

Will open darkened eyes,

Granting new life to display Jesus’ fame.

Love the unloved for the sake of His name;

Like Christ, befriend those

Whose heads hang in shame.

Jesus did not condemn,

But was condemned for them.

Trust gospel power, for we once were the same.

Oh my goodness! The Lord immediately reminded me that my husband and friend (and the rest of my loved ones) are not saved. What else do I expect? Their hearts are darkened, their eyes do not see. They are in the kingdom of darkness as of now. And what’s more, I once was the same.

1 Corinthians 6: 9-11

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Ephesians 2: 1-5

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

Titus 3:3

For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.

I mean, what is up with me getting in my feelings and making Friday’s event about me anyway? The Lord is working, let Him do His job! I was reminded to trust my God, for our times are in His hands. He is sovereign and in full control of all situations. My prayer is that the seed that has been planted in my husband, friends and loved ones will grow abundantly. I am to plant the seed or water it, but only God Almighty will cause it to grow.

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Observation – The Elderly Laugh — March 13, 2015

Observation – The Elderly Laugh

Why is it that when we are young, we do not take time to weigh the consequences of our choices? Things are done without thinking, without knowing or caring about the repercussions of our actions. We go after immediate pleasure, instant gratification. Seeking to satisfy the things that our flesh desires. At times we do not deny anything that is pleasing to our eyes. But something happens throughout the pilgrimage of our lifetime. The once, self-seeking bliss, becomes plain nonsense. We no longer desire to do the things we once did. As we approach the end of our stay on this earth, we see a transition occur.

I’ve witnessed some of the elderly stare into space, laughing aloud at times. Youngsters may brush it off as if they’re crazy. But are they really? Could it be that they are thinking of the youthful follies they’ve committed? Perhaps the laugh is not a mischievous one of recalling all the “fun” they once had. But the chuckle can merely be one of contempt, irony, maybe even regret. All with the reality that they can’t go back and change the things they did. That they did not remember their Creator in the days of their youth and, thereby, forsaking the stupidity they engaged in.

Now most sit in a contemplative state. Again, just staring into space. It’ll be interesting to know what they’re really laughing for. I guess we won’t yet know until we reach the end of our course. (That is, if your choices don’t cut your life short.)

The Ant and the Grasshopper – a poem for my son — March 6, 2015

The Ant and the Grasshopper – a poem for my son

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I’m sure most of us are familiar with the fable, The Ant and the Grasshopper. If not, I’ve included here.

In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.

“Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper, “instead of toiling and moiling in that way?”

“I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant, “and recommend you to do the same.”

“Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; “We have got plenty of food at present.” But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.

When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger – while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew: It is best to prepare for days of need.

Having read the story one day, I thought about my son. I had been trying to teach him about the negative outcomes of laziness and being unprepared. The following is a poem that came to me after having read the story. I read the story and shared the poem with the family that evening. I’d like to share it with you as well.

Oh my son, learn at this tender age,
to avoid the same mistakes we’ve made.

In life you have to work hard for the things you want.
No excuses. No ifs, ands or buts.

You weren’t born rich, nor poor,
but to a family that gives you the world,

And oh, my boy, we have a story for you.
A story, to help you think of the things you do.

See we read the story of a grasshopper and ant,
followed by all the drama they had.

We hope you take heart and change your ways,
don’t be like the grasshopper that hungry he stayed.

Why? Because he was lazy indeed.
His parents must’ve warned him as we have thee,

The things that we tell you are for your own good.
Don’t let pride cloud your judgment and make you a fool.

My son, my son, we love you so very much.
We simply desire you grow just as much as God does.

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I love my children so much. I can just pray they heed to my counsel.

~ Ambism

Hey! That was intended for you, not me. — March 5, 2015

Hey! That was intended for you, not me.

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The perfect person does not exist. Let alone the perfect child. Yet, as a mother, I have a tendency to forget that and often impose things on my children that I do not impose on myself and, conveniently or ignorantly, bypass.

For example, I was recently waking my son up asking him to get his day started. I told him once and went into the kitchen. About 10 minutes later, I realize that he was still in bed. I told him again to get up, he opened his eyes and turned in his bed. He looked like he was finally going to get up, so I went back into the kitchen. Another 10 minutes passed and he was not up. I became annoyed, firmly told him to “Get up. Now!” and then went on to lecture him about how we should not be lazy and questioned him as to why it takes him so long to get out of bed when he should just do it the first time. As I scolded him for his laziness, it dawned on me that I do it too. The difference is that I do not have a parent waking me up, but an alarm clock. I have been trying to show my children that we should not be lazy, even drawing from scripture; when all the while, I did the same thing by repeatedly snoozing my alarm clock.

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I know how I want my children to be – a God-fearing, honorable, man and woman. I strive to shape that desirable character in them. Sometimes my technique is effective. Bam! They have learned their lesson. End of story. Other times my technique is questionable, even flawed. Such as when I am being repetitive in explaining why they did something wrong, why they need to aim to be a certain way without any compassion on my part, or just simply looking to change their behavior by making them feel bad. Another example is when I have had an outburst of anger if I was not obeyed. These techniques, while it may get their attention momentarily, does not have the lasting effect I want it to have – biblical repentance and a resolve to imitate Christ. Besides, God does not work that way in correcting and disciplining His children. He does not manipulate us to feel bad. In fact, I am reminded that it is His kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).

I forget that I must, above all else, model Godly behavior so that they may imitate me as I imitate Christ. If I desire my children to be more loving towards each other as well as to other people, then I have to model love in my life. I have to study love and apply love in my life. In my study, I must remember what God’s word says in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 that:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

It is unrealistic and even hypocritical of me to seek to cultivate patience in my children, if I am not interested in cultivating patience in myself or even trying to actively model patience. The same thing applies if I am trying to eliminate rude behavior in my children, while I am rude without the desire to be like Christ. While I understand that we have not achieved a perfect state of Godly character ( and we will not achieve a perfect state of patience, love, etc., on this side of glory, but will rather grow in them), we are admonished to seek after these good things, to pursue holiness. The Word clearly says that love is manifested by being patient, kind; not envious, boastful, arrogant, rude, demanding, irritable, resentful, etc. Oh what pressure! What a challenge!

Thank God that all believers have the Holy Spirit at work in them to remind, show and help cultivate the fruit of the Spirit. Thank God that we are growing in grace day by day. I am most reminded of my short-comings when I see them in my children. It is then when I know I must turn to God’s holy word and see what He has to say to me about these things. I have to go before my Lord in prayer, repent, and ask that He cultivate this Godly character in me so that I may be more effective in my children’s lives. I thank the Lord for allowing these situations to occur in which reveal my own short-comings, my sins.

As for my sleep-loving son, he still has to get up when I tell him. Though we are working on it. I still struggle with my alarm clock, but I am aiming to snooze less until the day that I get up at the first ring. Oh the joy that day will bring. In the meantime, as the kids say now-a-days, the struggle is real.

Stay encouraged, ladies. The Lord will complete the good work that He’s begun in us (Phil. 1:6). God bless you! 🙂

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Hello world! It’s nice to meet you. — March 3, 2015

Hello world! It’s nice to meet you.

I am delighted to pursue this new endeavor. I love to write and am very passionate about the things I write about. I have a lot to say (having been erroneously accused of being somewhat of a chatterbox), but I’m learning that there is a “time to speak and a time to be silent,” to be wise in what I say, and to make sure that what I say is profitable to others. The main purpose of this blog is to express my thoughts about different topics that are dear to my heart, scripture that I may be mediating about, encourage the brethren and, most importantly, to glorify God.

I hope you would join me in this new journey of mine. I would love to hear your thoughts. And may we pursue to dwell on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is honorable, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, whatever is excellent and whatever is worthy, for the praise, glory and honor of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

~ Ambism

P.S. In honor of the date, let us continue to March Forth! God bless. 😉