“Real Rest”?

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
-Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV)

Matthew 11:28-30. And He will give me rest. Rest that is not like any other, but in Christ, there is real rest. I know, I’m still struggling trying to see that light – that with Jesus, there is nothing heavy or ill-fitting, but it’s all light, free, and unforced. It’s difficult ain’t it? All these voices in your head, these lies you’ve believed in, this pressure, the influence, the cycle of being better… it sort of leads us far away from the promise of Jesus that he’ll show us how to take a “real rest”.

It’s kind of hard, when everyone else doesn’t seem to see the same views on what you think about life and especially if you don’t have the guts to stomp negativism and all the world’s misconceptions and it creeps right into you, and in the end, you get distracted from Christ’s promises and offers, and eventually wouldn’t come to experience what a “real rest” would mean.

I’m not there yet. I haven’t experienced that peace, that lightness, that real freedom, of what it means to be in Christ. But I need it. This world has nothing to offer me, nothing to satisfy me, and I’ve known and realized that. and Christ is the only Way… He will find me. He won’t stop until I get to where He wants me to be.

I’m the Father’s son and it wouldn’t hurt to trust in such an amazing love. I know my Father will never let go until I am acquainted with the comfort of His arms wrapped around me, and He’s there, whispering in my ear, saying “Everything will be okay.”

Times of Honesty

Are you done forgiving, or can you look past my pretending, Lord?

I’m so tired of defending what I’ve become… what have I become?

Tenth Avenue North has hit hearts and their deepest, hidden questions we have of what we think about God in their song “Times“. It’s a very heartfelt song. The song shows the most honest questions one could ask to a Savior that we could not see with our eyes. Questions about apathy, doubts within ourselves that we just couldn’t open up and don’t have the audacity to reach to. Scars about our past that we couldn’t open up to our loving God. And that’s how we really should be – to be entirely honest with God.

Despite of myself, despite of all that I do, it’s such a good thing to know that God loves me and not because I deserved it. Despite of my past and my thoughts, my darkest secrets, His love is inside me, and is between everything. God proves He loves us despite who we are by dying for us, even while we’re sinners.

I’m there through your heartache, I’m there through the storm
My love, I will keep you by my power alone
I don’t care where you’re for and where you have been,
I’ll never forsake you, my love never ends…it never ends.

The band is great and they do a pretty good job to convey they message about Jesus. Jesus is not just some idol carved out of wood who we meet on Sunday mornings to sing praises to. He is a living person who is so in love with us. And we have to believe it. Because if we don’t believe He loves us despite of who we are — we’ll never know that it’s His grace alone that saves us.

I quote a certain part of Mike’s journal about the song:

“The message is that you’ll never be changed by the love of God
until you’re completely honest with yourself and how undeserving you are of it.
Only when we try to love God will we see our utter inability to do so.
And only when we understand that inability, will we begin to be in awe of his great love toward us.
In other words, to be a Christian is to live a life of response.
“God proves His love in this, that while we were still sinners, He died for us.”
And so, that should assure you greatly from your fears today.
Even though you’re a sinner, Christ loves you.
And if you’re really proud of how good you are, this should humble you.
You’re so bad Christ had to die for you.
His love is over and underneath.
Higher than the heights of our purity,
and lower than the depths of our depravity.
And not one of us are without our need of Him.”

One Big Truth

I have been an avid reader of Paul Ellis’ blog for quite some time now. The blog has a great purpose and that is to escape to reality and know the truth about God’s love that we are unaware of. It just makes me smile, ask, and truthfully no more about the complete Grace of God. Christian or not, I recommend for you to read.

One of his posts opened with a question:

“What is the most important lesson you have learned in life?”

Wow. Life has its ups and downs and eventually we learn from all of what we experience. But the most important lesson we have learned rises up above every knowledge and lesson.

Turns out, the answer you have to that question reveals your “One Big Truth”. As Paul Ellis puts it, “Your One Big Truth is the truth you cling to when all is lost. It’s the backbone that helps you stand and the keel that keeps you on course. It’s the spark in your imagination, the drive in your engine, and the peace in your sleep.

Our One Big Truth is our central belief. It’s what we truly, deeply believe in and what drives us to make our choices and actions.

So if you haven’t ask yourselves yet, think about it…

What is your One Big Truth?

Then, go ahead, post a comment and share.

Or check out Paul’s blog post here.

You Are Mistaken

Ugh…mistakes. We can’t help but commit them over and over again, can we? At times, we continue to do them even if we know their wrong. At times, we can’t stop ourselves. At times, we don’t know that the outcome of what we think is right would be a mistake in the end.

Everyone makes mistakes. Only the prideful would tell himself that he’s never committed any, and never continues to commit any. The problem with us people is that, we focus too much on the mistakes of others…don’t we? We motivate people to thrive, to continue going and then curse and beat down the people who continue to make mistakes. Some just continue to make them, though, and people call them foolish, and would beat them up with words saying they’d never be able to obtain success in their life if they continued like that.

Just now, I committed a mistake again. I was trying to be overly genius and wanted to fix the virus in our computer, but I’ve deleted a file in the root of drive C:/, an important file needed to run the computer (which I thought wasn’t, since I never knew that an important file would be found in the drive C:/ root). So, as an end result, our computer wouldn’t run. Ugh. Of course, my response would be to blame myself and prepare for another looooong list of consequences, like being called a fool, or being shouted at, or having my credibility questioned…well, all those stuff. Which I never called for in the first place.

It’s kind of a bit pressuring, frustrating and maddening at the same time. You know that feeling of regret, of guilt, of so much blame? It happens to me a lot and I don’t know how I could cure it with all these echoes from all the people around me (even from myself, my consciousness) resonating after all the foolishness that I’ve done–it’s really heavy.

I kind of ask God, “Lord, if I’m already a Christian, and I’m your son, how come I commit these mistakes? How come I fail? How come I’m not better than them? They all look like they keep themselves together pretty well!

And you know what? It lowers my faith a lot. It makes me think and feel like – I AM NOT MEANT FOR THIS. I fail, I make mistakes, I’m not like them.

But shouldn’t the Gospel of Christ be a hope for the failures and screw-ups instead of a means to bring them down and put a lot of pressure on them more? Shouldn’t God be for the weak? Shouldn’t we be reaching out to those who fail and make mistakes instead of punch them right in the face to see how wrong they are?

Well, it’s all pretty harsh right now. I see myself and I know I’m not doing well. I feel like I’m in the dark, based from my own actions and thoughts. The worst thing that I could think is – God might be against me. But, I know that’s a lie.

2Cor. 5:17 says that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The question is, do we really have to prove to others that we are indeed new? I don’t think we have to. It’s like… trying to save ourselves and prove to God, that, here I am – I’m worthy! I’ve done all these good things! That would be like saving ourselves.

My take would be the trusting. Instead of trying then ending up with pride and undermining others, I’ll just trust, nothing more. That’s why we need a Savior, right? Because we can’t save ourselves and we can’t do better. Some may make it to success, but some may fail, but in the end, still, we can’t save ourselves. As Tenth Avenue North’s Mike Donehey puts it in his video journal: You can’t save yourself, but I know Someone who can, and He’s strong enough to save you.

Now, it’s okay to make mistakes. I’m not encouraging you to make them – we all know that they have consequences. The point here is, if you’re in Christ, God doesn’t condemn you for them.

I am inferior and I make mistakes. I try my best, but I may not succeed. I’m not better than anyone else, I don’t have all the knowledge, all the strength, all the words, but there’s a God who’s always better for me, and will complete me to the very end (Php1:6). And that’s hope, even for the most hopeless case!

A Surname’s Worth

Surname. At times, we have a silly one that makes the people around us laugh and make fun of us. That may not be such a big deal, but, at times, though (which may be more difficult), our surname could be such a big weight for us.

One of my friends have a prominent and admired surname, and if you are from their province, if you have that surname, people expect you to be great, excellent and highly admire you.

They may expect you to do great and awesome things, and your family might expect that you’d be doing great like the others in your lineage. You might excel, you might study hard, you might do a lot of things.

But here’s the thing: What if it’s not enough? What if you fail and you’re not doing well and so you get beaten up for it – emotionally? What if you’re just not like everyone else?

Comparison. Yeah, it’s really heavy in the heart when your parents compare you to your siblings, your cousins or whoever. It breaks your heart and you tell yourself–“I’m just not better than them.” But, hey, relax.. my question is, is it really about our status, our dignity, our image, our success that matters?

            I look around and feel sad for my friend – and everyone else who suffer the same way with so much pressure. Some may try their best, but don’t succeed. Some may walk rebelliously and dismiss these whole things. They trust you but you just couldn’t do it. And as a result, you’re looking at yourself at how weak and unworthy you are.

Come on people! Let your children go free! Don’t put so much pressure on them and let them speak their hearts out! Don’t treat them like fledglingst to train to become an eagle. Treat them with love, and you’ll no what love means in the Bible (1Corinthians 13). Parent, listen, you’re the only ones right now who could love them truthfully and whom they could trust. Accept them for their successes, accept them for their failures–in the end, it’s God who holds our future anyway!

If you’re still trying to become worthy of your surname, then just stop… just let go… you’ll only lose your self-esteem in the process. Accept yourself, and learn to lay it all down to God. He loves you more than you could imagine–and He loves you despite of who you are. Don’t be pressured. Tell your parents about it. If they don’t listen, then just pray for them. God will be the one to move into their hearts.