Thursday, December 1, 2011


Africa by Emma Hardy

Forgiveness does not mean that I agree with what you've done or what you are continuing to do.
It does not mean that it is safe for us to build (or rebuild) a relationship, much less a friendship.
It does not mean we are okay to establish (or re-establish) even communication.
But it does mean that I have released all rights to be resentful, angry, or bitter towards you.
It means I am not letting thoughts of revenge or self-pity control my mind.
Forgiveness in itself is grace, because there is nothing of my flesh that could give something to someone that they do not deserve.
Only the love and power of God could make this whole.

Forgiveness means I am letting the blood of Jesus cover me.
And I can look at the situation, I can look at you, and it doesn't hurt anymore, it doesn't sting anymore.
And I know it inflicted wounds, but nothing too deep that His love could not go deeper still -
Nothing that He could not reveal, nothing that He could not heal.

It means that I am unclenching my fists and releasing the very chains that Christ already broke off of me.
Forgiveness means that I too am free.


currently reading: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

tonight's raw prayer

I don't know what to do.
I don't know what's wisdom, where to look, or if to wait,
I don't know how to be full of faith and full of wise actions at the same time,
I don't know how to pray.

I'm not asking for You to make things easier
-but You know my heart, You know I'd really like that-
yet, the little that I know You, what I do know is that
sometimes Your answer is the hard road,
to make me grow more, to make me learn more.

At the core of all this,
All I want to do is to Love You.
That's it-
to really Love You.

I better be honest...
What I also would like is to feel loved by You.
And feel affirmed that where I am is where You want me to be.
My heart is content wherever You are!
If You are in the heights, there I shall be
If You are in the depths, there too I shall be.
We belong to each other, You and me, and I want to be where You are!..

But God,
don't know where You are.
(well yes, You are here),
but I don't know where You are going.
It's so strange how I hear Your voice but yet You feel so far.

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. - John 14.5-6

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon the earth that I desire besides You.
- Psalm 73.25

I sought the One I love; I sought Him, but I did not find Him.
“I will rise now,” I said, “And go about the city; in the streets and in the squares, I will seek the One I love.”
I sought Him, but I did not find Him.
The watchmen who go about the city found me;
I said, “Have you seen the One I love?”
Scarcely had I passed by them, when I found the One I love.
I held Him and would not let him go
- Song of Solomon 3.1-4

As for me, the nearness of God is my good...
- Psalm 73.28

There are so many answers I need,
So many final decisions I want Your input
So many virtues I need You to help me attain
And yet, all of that is loss compared to the simple desire of:
God, I just want You.

Help me to trust You and help my unbelief
I want to be dependent on You...
Because there's not a care in the world
When I am trusting You completely...
- Jon Thurlow, "Dependent on You"


Sunday, August 7, 2011

the wasted life.

i could spend everything i am for the sake of Christ:
all my time, my efforts, my heart, my thoughts, my conversations
and people may say, "what a wasted life."

or, i could do what everyone else expects out of me:
in order to be accepted, to be successful, to be relevant
and Christ may say of me, "what a wasted life."

.....i know how i'll be wasting mine.. it's all for Him.


currently reading: The Forgotten Desert Mothers by Laura Swan
currently listening: Strong Love by Jon Thurlow [it's sooooo good!!]
currently watching: Jane Eyre, BBC Version

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Oh the breath of the Almighty God, it warms a cold and fractured soul
It awakens a dormant vision, it is a gentle breeze that flicks a fading coal
I arise with a trembling in my spirit, a quickness in my step, and adoration upon my lips.
For in His omniscience, He places a sword in my feeble hands,
   and a sachet of myrrh to hold near to my chest..

He calls me to follow Him. But oh! His call is simply that - His breath upon my soul.
It is neither a sound nor a sight, but the exhale, the release, of the Infinite God.
There is no time for a forgettable introspection or exhaustive doubt,
   or to question, "Did God really say..."

No, there is only a moment to arise and follow, there is only a moment to trust and obey.
For those who obey are those who love Him; He said, "If you love me, You will obey..."
And so now, with a sword in my hand and a sachet of myrrh, I have said yes to a life of surrender.
  I have said yes to a life which both suffers and fights, and yet beholds the gaze of my Lover.

I have agreed to run a race upon a cobbled road with bare-blistered feet and tenacity,
   and still, I have agreed to rest between the very shoulder blades that carry the world.
I have chosen to be hollowed with the finest of knives, I have chosen to be His flute of joy*.
I said I would be His symphony, and I wait upon His melodies.
I have said to Him, "I will be Your Warrior," He has said to me, "You shall also be My Bride."

I have chosen to follow Him into the chilled stillness of the night,
   or perhaps I am hidden in the shadows of His great wing.
I have chosen to follow Him into the depths of His heart,
   into the cavities of aching and groaning and sorrow;
   where His tears and blood have become my wine, and I yearn for more,
   though it pains both of us so...
And I fear Him, thus He confides in me, and I follow Him, thus He bids me, "draw nearer..."

I have known no greater joy than His delight, and yet no gripping sorrow than His yearnings;
I have not lived apart from Him, and I have not died except with Him.
I have known no fear except His holiness, and known no love except Himself.
He has breathed upon me, and so I come to Him,
   for I am restless unless I rest in Him.


currently reading: Ezekiel
currently listening: "A Life That's Worthy," John Thurlow
currently watching: Les Choristes

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

making choices

[a little peek into my life.  where the previous post came from.]

i vent a lot to God, restlessly waiting for an answer to a universal question, what am i doing with my life.  suddenly motivated to do something -anything- i had planned on leaving my job within the next few months.  well truthfully, i've toyed with the idea of leaving my job for two years already.  and then what happened: in the past three weeks, i've lost my job while i was away, rested and regained solace for two weeks while jobless, got a week-long substitute job, then in a time frame of two days, received six different job offers i haven't applied for.
wow, God.
In my distress, I called to the LORD; I called to my God.  From His temple, He heard my voice; my cry came to His ears.
- II Samuel 22.7
it's as though i have been pounding on the door of heaven with love, tears, and screams, hearing nothing but my pleas bouncing off the walls of a hollow room; and i will never say that God wasn't listening, because i know He has listened to every word that I have uttered, pondered, and harbored.  for all i know, He wanted me in that job longer than I planned, but out of it sooner than I planned.

six job offers?  really?  i asked God to speak, and oh, He is speaking!  now, the predicament at hand is no longer begging Him to talk, it is distinguishing His voice.
the sheep listen to the voice of [the Shepherd].  He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out... He goes ahead of them and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice.  But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice...
- John 10.3-5
here's the funny thing about choices:
maybe only one is the voice of God, and the rest are deceptions from the enemy.
maybe they're all God's voice and one is a shortcut to my destiny, one is a much longer and difficult tread.
or maybe they'll all take the same time, and the decision I am now making is not actually "what job i should take," but rather, "what fruit do i want to produce."

different climates produce different fruit.  different obstacles produce different values.

as in...
you want patience?
choose job #3 because the conflicting personalities you'll work with will get on your nerves.
you want more joy?
choose job #2 because the tragedies you'll encounter will weigh like sorrow on your soul.
you want more peace?
definitely #5 because your chaotic bosses will be like whirlwinds in your organized mind.


either which way i go, it's like i wrote on the previous post:
you can step out of the will of God, but you can never step out of His promises.
therefore, i feel a peace about the path i am about to take... granted, i am seeking His face to avoid making the wrong choice, but i know whichever path it is, i will find myself carried in grace and growing deeper in trust and faith.


currently reading: Ezekiel and Revelation
currently listening: The Ron Artis Family Band, Don't Worry, We'll Make It

Monday, May 23, 2011


Last week's devo session involved the book of Jeremiah and Lamentations, a sketchbook, some Bonhoeffer, and a dog at my feet.

Why should any living man complain when punished for his sins? Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.
- Lamentations 3: 39-40
Well yes, it's "Lamentations."  Written at a time before the Cross proclaimed a grace that covered sins, the verses the follow express a ripping sorrow and frustration of feeling abandoned.

Still- it's the Word, and the Word is True, and the Word is full of power.  God is just, and He is righteous in His judgments.  Although the prophecy of disaster and its fulfillment covers much of the Old Testament, it is easy to forget that, in the first place, God had always given His people options.  The torment we read of is, in fact, consequence for the choices the people have made.

In Jeremiah 42, the people asked Jeremiah to pray and ask God what they should do... saying, "whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the LORD our God," (Jer 42.3-6)  And so Jeremiah sought the LORD, and told them plainly what the LORD had said, holding nothing back (v 4)... It held both promises for obeying and consequences for disobedience.
‘If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down...
- Jeremiah 42. 10-12
‘If you are determined to go to Egypt and you do go to settle there, then the sword you fear will overtake you there...'
- Jeremiah 42. 15-16
The people would not accept this word... because it isn't what they wanted to hear.

And what I am about to say does not apply to all things.  But in reality:
There are times when God tells us to listen to Him, because if we don't, we'll suffer the consequences.
So we fight God, because what He asks can sound insensible, contrary, difficult - anything synonymous with "things we don't want to do."
And we choose otherwise.
Not surprisingly, we taste the consequences.  But as Jeremiah was alluding to, can we really say it's God's fault?  Where were our hearts in the first place?

Surely we cannot apply this to every painful experience we've had, dubbing our problems as "this is God punishing me."  No, we must realize that we do live in a fallen world; we are still in battle against darkness. And adding to that, we do live in a time of abundant grace. Truly,
You can step outside of the will of God, but you can never step outside of His promises.

I know this firsthand.  There are countless times when I haven't listened to the voice of God, downright avoided His voice sometimes.  And the path I chose was difficult to maneuver.  But it did not negate the promises that He's spoken, because He never breaks His promises:
Do not fear, for I am with you... I will strengthen you and help you (Isaiah 41.10)
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. (John 14.27)
In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world! (John 16.33)
I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him (Isaiah 57.18)

For He will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help... (Ps. 72.12)
The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3.17)
Yes, God gives us options, and in this walk of faith, there are times when we miss His voice.  But the wonder of grace is the endless chances He gives, and the unconditional love that accompanies His call to follow Him.  Oh yes, we must examine our hearts to find whether or not we are centered on listening to and obeying His will, rather than seeking His approval and rejecting His "opinions."  But in seeking Him, we will also find that He takes great delight in His beloved, knowing full well that regardless of her fall, if she so chooses, she can grip onto His promises and find herself back on the path He first ordained.


currently reading: The Cost of Discipleship, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
currently listening: IHOP-KC prayer room (Worship in the Word sets)
currently watching: Finding Nemo.  really.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Abba, where do I go from here?
Oh, I said I would run hard after Your heart, I said I would be faithful, I said I would forego any obstacle for the sake of beholding You....

I said these things, and then my knees caved in.

And now how can I run after You?

I see You vaguely in the distance, and I see Your children dance around You,
And now how can I dance with You too?
I am still yet far away, hearing You faintly.. muffled whistles in the wind
and not sure if You hear me.. muffled cries into the earth

Abba, where do I go from here?
All I long for is for You to come to my rescue, to carry me in my weakness, to affirm me of Your Love..
because You still love me, don't You?
My heart could not abandon You, even with this distance,
My memory fights to recollect the beautiful words of Life...
My troubled soul argues with my hopeful spirit, and Your Spirit always wins...

Will You fight for me, Abba?  You always win...

I am frail, how can I run after You?
Come and run after me...

Jesus did not say: you shall not be troubled, you shall not be tempted, you shall not be distressed.  But He said: you shall not be overcome.

- Julian of Norwich


currently reading: The Lessons of St. Francis by John Michael Talbot
currently listening: an assortment of Gregorian chants

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

a narrative on anger.

influx of wretched happenstances.
my immediate interpretation is that they are meant to teach me patience.
in reality, they uncover my impatience, my anger, my selfishness.

i'm not as strong as i thought i was.

yes.. these things are also uncovering my pride.
for a good bulk of this year (all 3 months of them), i have been edgy, antsy, snappy.
(is that externally accurate?)
i think we can word it as bitter, resentful, enraged, angry.  very, very angry.
it is untruthful to say i've "never been this angry," but i can say to my remembrance, my anger has not consistently outwardly manifested to this degree.

and God bless my dear friends who have run after me, prayed for me, loved on me.
in fact,

there was one instance when i came to the House of Prayer as a complete wreckage
so in that very moment, we dashed over to the neighborhood beach and..
jumped into the ocean.
in our work clothes.
until our skins were pruned
until the sun went down
until the moon rose.

then all intensity multiplied..

and there was only so much my heart could take.
i looked forward to Thursday, March 10, 2011.  because at 2:00pm, it indicated the beginning of ten days of absolutely no work.

and i anticipated utter relaxation, full of painting, chiropractic care, and absolutely - much more Jesus time.
but i came home, and the first thing i had learned was that my grandmother's sister, Apo Maria, had passed away.
at the beautifully ripe age of 105.  (her age secret?  she speaks no english, and she doesn't watch the news).
she was old, but i had not seen this coming.  my heart sank into a realm of numbness.

oh sorrow - you had the beginning of my break.

i tried to hide away in the girls' room that Thursday evening

hiding, yet surrounded by my comforting sisters.

i attempted to trek the night weeping silently and sleep early.
suddenly a hustling - our state of Hawaii had received a tsunami watch due to the tragic earthquake in Japan.

and our House, albeit right out of the safe zone, was full of transplanted young adults who had never experienced a tsunami watch or warning.
and they all wanted to dash out.
i was irate.
i wanted to be left in the house - let me sleep on the top bunk, if the waves come, it won't touch me.  i wanted full sleep.
but no.  i had to leave.

no one would leave me alone at the House.
we crowded about about 15 people into a friend's duplex
which meant that i was granted the floor mat in the laundry room.
[perfectly fine, except i have a bad knee].

oh yes, we were all feeling the effects of sleeplessness.

equals... terrible grouchiness.
it's expected to say that i would be, yet again, irate, and perhaps restless.

but instead, my anger had halted.

what was i to say to the LORD?
"Hey God, could You take my grandma's life on another day?  today isn't a good day for me."
"Hey God, could You hit Japan with an earthquake some other time?  i don't want to be around paranoid non-locals over a tsunami watch because i would like to sleep."

i have no reason to be angry!  this is pure selfishness!

and how terrible the things that the LORD uses to summon my attention.
if only i really had the fruit of the Spirit abounding in my heart
if only i was so full of His presence, that He could be seen and felt in my actions and words - without me straining to do so.
if only i were naturally patient, self-controlled, loving, peaceful.
if only i could know joy - true unfazed joy -
if only my praise was effortless, as a result of genuine love for my LORD....

then none of the things i have had to face would have compared to His beauty.
how terrible that we face numerous frustrations with a selfish pity call for comfort
- and yes, we all want comfort!
but we seek it in places other than His arms,
frustrated that the world does not cater to our longings.
and we are left angry at everything that does not line up with our lives.

needless to say, i am definitely in conviction mode.


currently watching: toy story 3

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


pray for Japan.  "wounded" is too light of a word.

on our end here in the islands, the reality of the tragic disasters in Japan were initially faded behind sirens that warned of a possible tsunami.  the rest of the world wrapped their heartstrings around a hurting nation, looking for hope or denying its existence.  meanwhile, we evacuated our House for higher grounds - a frustrating story i am telling later - waiting for a tsunami that didn't happen.  and so, when we finally caught up to sleep days later, we sat and pondered and cried with japan, asking for the heart of God, how to pray, how to feel, how to rightly Love His people.

their physical needs are many, their financial calls are rightly so, but their spiritual needs are immediate.

if there is one thing i pray above all requests for Japan, it is that hearts are drawn (sincerely) to the Lord.

lives have been lost, many are missing, both in the natural and also the spiritual.
and God is aching that His people, made in His image, find hope and rest and peace in His arms.

and if there is one thing i pray above all requests for the church, it is that they are prepared, always prepared, to give Jesus to the world.

when the sirens are blaring, there is no time to look at the handbook and figure out what to do.
when the sirens are blaring, you must know what to do, where to run, if to stay.

we all have a lot of work to do.

Poster by W+K Studio.  Funds donated for relief.


remember, this is also on :)

currently reading: A Wind in the Door, Madeleine L'Engle
currently listening: Abba, Jonathan David Helser

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


my dear readers,

just so you are aware, i have imported this blog into one place:  (your comments also found their way there!).  i will still keep updating this blog with the stirrings of my heart and spirit, and i am humbled and over-appreciative of the wonderfully faithful readers!  creating a blog for my website definitely helps me have all writings (creative inspirations, recipes, daily musings) in one spot.  you are very welcome to subscribe to that blog as well, but again, this blog will still be alive and running!


currently reading: A Wind in the Door, Madeleine L'Engle
currently listening: Songs About Jesus, Jon Thurlow

Monday, January 24, 2011


remember: when your wings are weak, and your spirits done, and you've flown as far as you can, you're halfway there.

- boron, the echidna, in legends of the guardians

i am spent.
i am weak.
i feel terribly alone.

He is the gust that pushes my frailness further
He is the rain that embraces and carries my tears
He is the lamp that illuminates the path beneath me
He is the path that steadies my swollen feat

He is the cloud that covers my sight from disillusion
He is the silence that tunes my heart to listen
He is the lightweight cloak, a welcomed burden
He is the chill that persuades me to cling to this burden

He is the night that envelops every distraction
He is the night that wakes my eyes to widen
He is the fog that asks me if I sincerely trust Him
He is the mist that settles when I whisper a yes.

He is the warmth in my hands when I yearn for His nearness
He is the poem I recite when I remember His face
He is the silence that listens to my heart as it's burning
He is the burning that aches in jealousy and zeal.

He is my lonesome journey, the small gate, the narrow road
He is the pulling on my conscience, the angst on my lips
He is the whispering breeze, the dancing leaves
the silence that asks me to  


and rest
within the mist

and to be quiet within my soul


currently listening: Jason Upton, Jacob's Dream
currently reading: Kahlil Gibran, Jesus the Son of Man

Sunday, January 2, 2011

on absolute brokenness... 2010 part 2.

lesson 1: aching, willing love.
lesson 2: brokenness.

absolute brokenness.  and not merely because of the circumstances surrounding me, but also perpetuated by Watchman Nee's book, The Release of the Spirit.  lessons are best seen in my post on Rebukes and Redefining Grace.

a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

- Psalm 51:17

The first requirement in God's work is a pure, not a powerful spirit.  Those who neglect this, though their work may be done in power, will find it destroyed due to the lack of purity... Though they may truly possess the power of God, yet because their spirit is mixed, they are destroying what they build.... You are giving to men that which is of yourself while ministering God's Word.  The LORD's Name does not suffer because of your lack of life, but because of your flow of impurities.

- Watchman Nee

believe me.  ultra convicted.

but there is something about brokenness... it reminds me of Christ.  He was broken.. beautifully broken... and glorious.  i am weak.  so weak.  and it is then that He can be strong.


listened to: Misty Edwards, Fling Wide, and Olafur Arnalds, Found Songs