It’s Hard to See Grace – A Rant


I just realized that, often times, it’s hard to see grace.

Especially if you keep messing up all the time, and people demand you actions, and shove the regrets you have and the mistakes you’ve got from your past right into your face. Often times, that how it is, right?

It’s hard to see grace, when often times…people LOOK at someone, and while they don’t, they actually really intend to throw stones at them for being in the ‘wrong’.

Continue reading

Greyskeil Stories #1 – When I’m Alone


Note: This is a short story I’ve worked on. Happy new year, everyone.

He’s at his room, and everyone else in his family was out. There he was, sitting cross-legged on his bed, head rested on the wall, staring at the ceiling…thinking.

Sigh. The silence. It’s not that pretty much a good thing, I guess.

I used to be so accustomed…to silence. Yet now, it is all but a harsh thing to deal with. It was a gap that needed to be filled. That’s why it feels so uncomfortable…

Back then, I was used to the stillness. I find its comfort a sweet treat during all my times. Yet now…it’s different. Things change and time moves by.

Back then, when things with God seemed so clear…so simple. Now it’s full of confusion. I don’t know which road to take…

He was always thinking, always had those gears in his mind moving – rotating and winding.

There was a lot of discomfort in that aloneness.

Should I do something? Like, work on a long-time goal?
This stillness is getting uncomfortable.
So, who am I, when I’m alone?
Who am I in this distinction, of being locked up in a cage where it’s all me and myself riding the mount towards the path of life?

He knew he seemed crazy. He knew that no ordinary person would be questioning himself with such matters. Perhaps he was just way too introspective. Perhaps…he was just way too confused and psycho.

To break the silence – there it was, his phone, ringing on the end table. He discarded his thoughts for a while and immediately answered the phone.

“Hello? Jenro?”

He knew who it was immediately.

“Oh, Munin. It’s you, as always…uh, glad you called.” Jenro said. Forming a smile on his face.

“Yeah. Sure. What’s up, man?”

Jenro stood from the bed, and walked towards the window to catch some signal.

“There’s no one at home, and I’m just…thinking out loud here. It’s kind of weird.”

“Figures, Jenro,” Munin replied, “I remember when you used to be so acquainted with your aloneness. I remember you muddled at a corner when we were younger, always mysterious and still. So calm.”

“Yeah…I kind of like myself in that way, rather than now. I’ve certainly changed Munin. I’m losing that acquainted feeling…I have… with my aloneness.”

With that, Jenro breathed a sigh.

“I’m sorry if I’m not able to be there, like, right now…I’ve got errands.”

“No, no, that’s fine. Thanks a lot.”

“Sure. If you need help, I’ll be right here.”

“Thanks again, Munin.”

With that, Munin ended the call.

Phew. Now, what to do?

Jenro put down the phone and looked at himself in the mirror. He just…looked at himself. He saw…how different he was. How he changed through the years.

I’ve changed, huh? I mean. I look different. I act…a little bit different. It’s quite a shaky thought, really…

As Jenro was looking, the doorbell rang. He went downstairs to see who it was.

It was Jethro, one of his cousins.

“Jenro. Hi.”

“Jeth. What brought you here?”

Jethro cleared his throat, before speaking. “I kind of felt like I wanted to check up on you, so I did. You know, jjust wondered if you wanted to talk about things, or share a deep conversation.”

Jenro smiled. He liked deep conversations.

Jenro motioned Giosef inside his house, and both of them sat on their living room sofa.

“All alone?” Jeth mentioned.

“Yeah. Well, partly. I’ve still got God with me, remember?” Jenro said, putting up a smirk.

What Jenro and his cousin had in common was their same faith-roots, and they had almost agreed about everything concerning faith. They were both from a Christian family, and Jenro always liked talking to his cousin.

“You’re right. God will never leave us. He’s a faithful God.” Jeth said, “So what you thinking about as of recent?”

Jenro thought about his words. “Well, as of recent, I’ve been think about…umm…changing. You see…I’m…not that kind of person that I was before.

“There are a lot of things that I’ve went through, and a lot of stuff that I’ve adapted to bring forth the change within me, and I don’t know if that’s positive or negative, at all.” Jenro added.

“I get your point.” Jeth nodded.

“I still feel weak. I still feel as if I’m not strong enough…to overcome these things. I’m caught between having the will to fight them, or just letting them be and just doing nothing, waiting, for God to make His way into these changes.”

“And what are those changes within you that’s been springing?”

“First off, I’ve lost my acquaintance to being by myself. That stillness that I once had isn’t there anymore. Second, I’ve been a lot more frustrated and I’ve been worrying a lot…especially about this thing about faith and God, and about my salvation. It’s making me grow thinner, and lose my appetite a lot more.”

“But, Jenro…you have nothing to worry about. We can’t earn salvation. It’s a free gift, and it’s God alone who keeps it.”

“But, I want to make sure…but then, I’m still doubting a lot. I’m doubting myself so much, thinking that I’m not good enough for Him. Something tells me I shouldn’t dismiss these thoughts either.”

“OK…before I talk, do you have any more concerns?” Jeth asked.

“Well…yeah. Third, I’m sort of…pressured. I know I’m not doing my best, especially for my family. Something makes me feel guilty about the little things. Dad thinks I should be more tough. But, I’m…not…”

“Anything else?”

“Well…”

“There must be something.” Jeth said, affirming Jenro, “You don’t have to be afraid about me knowing it.”

“Okay. Jeth…it’s about…my thoughts….somehow, my mind digs into…places. Places which I shouldn’t be moving into. I don’t know…it’s…it’s just…..”

Jenro sighed. And his heart felt a lot burdened by all that he said. He knew he couldn’t keep up with himself. He knew he couldn’t keep up with the people’s expectations of him. It’s hard, and he just felt his heart filled with so much weight.

“Jenro…listen.” Jeth held Jenro’s arm tightly, and looked him straight in the eyes.

Jenro tried to look back at his cousin, but he couldn’t.

“Jenro…this is not about you.”

“This is not about…what you should do. It’s not about what you should change… It’s not about trying harder to be better, to be more right than where you are now. Of course, the people around you may pressure you, to insist what they want that you just couldn’t.

“Jenro. All you need to do is rest. That’s what Jesus said to the weary and broken. You don’t have to do anything. Believe that God loves you so much. He will never do anything bad to you. He will never send His wrath upon you for the things that you do. Stop focusing on your sins, your shortcomings, and focus on the glory that is revealed in Christ Jesus, who gave up His life, to clothe you with rigtheousness. To make you right before God.

“You are a new creation now.”

Through all of Jeth’s words, Jenro was thinking deep. He knew…he just couldn’t seem to believe that. There’s something in his heart that makes it so hard…so hard to swallow.

Even if he wants to…even if he knows it’s the way through all this.

“Jeth, I… I can’t seem to get myself to believe that…” Jenro said, “I’ve heard it many times, but, I just, I can’t seem to–to get myself to a point where that’s what I breathe. I can’t seem to prove it…”

“Don’t try to prove it, because you’ll only hurt yourself. Rest and believe in God’s Grace. Allow His Grace, His Love, to complete you, and to know, and to experience that…you are loved.”

Jenro frowns. He knows all of that already. He has that realization about Grace as much, yes, but–there’s something wrong.

“I don’t know.” Jenro just shakes his head.

 

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.