Wow

2016 is HERE!!  It’s been here for 12 days!

As these past few days have flown by already, I’ve spent time reflecting on just how blessed I am and not to take one day for granted.

I’ve seen families have to deal with issues that I would wish no one to go through.

I’ve seen families have to say good bye to love ones who fought the long and hard battle with cancer.

I’ve seen families see their children fall ill.

The world around us is in chaos.  Our country is slipping away.

One thing I know is that I serve a God who is above all this.  Though we may not understand all the WHYS.. we can rest assured that in the end all will work out.

Now, I’ve also see God do some big MIRACLES this year as well.

In December 2014 while visiting my mother in law in Flordia for Christmas, we found out that she had stage 4 cancer.  At that time, it was still unclear the source of the cancer, but at that point it had already spread to two other places.  She had lost so much weight as well and was having a hard time eating.  After a few months of testing and getting a final diagnosis, they started treating her for Kidney Cancer.   At this point it was just to give her more time here as she was given less than a year to live.   Her first chemo treatment was tough and she ended up in the hospital.  They had given her the toughest treatment possible.  They decided to lower the dose so the 2nd treatment would be a little easier to cope.   The part of the story I haven’t told you so far is my mother in law’s reaction to the news of cancer.   She had this determination about her that this was not the God’s plan for her life and if it be so that cancer would take her life, she would be taking as many people with her as well… This started her ministry of witnessing to everyone.  She told everyone she ran into, friends and strangers, that God is going to heal me and then would begin to share more about God and lead many to salvation.  People around the world started to pray for her.

After her 2nd chemo treatment, they went in to do the normal test to see how the cancer is after 2 rounds of chemo.  The test did not come back with good news.  In fact, the tumor has grown.  The next option was to have the kidney removed.  More test were ordered to maker sure her other kidney healthy and that she could manage with one kidney.  So after getting these intense test done, she received a call from her doctor that the cancer is no longer there.  There was no sign of cancer on her kidney.   She asked about the other parts that it had spread to, which were on her shoulder and head.  They did more test and they all came back with “Cancer Free”.

One day, devastated with bad new that the cancer had grown to the following week to the news that you are cancer free is only something that God can do!  So, my mother in law continued on witnessing to everyone she could find to share of the miracle God just did in her life.  She would go on to share that God wants to do the same in your life as well.  She just turned 80 this past November and wow, what an awesome miracle!

With this, I have to remind myself that I’m viewing things(life) through my mere human eyes that can only see a mere fraction of the big picture.  I don’t have the best perspective at all if relying on my own strength.  I have to draw on the one who is greater than I and that is Jesus.  As I take each step I trust Jesus to guide and direct me.  As I take each step, I release all control and hand it to the one who has perfect vision for my life.

So what will this year look like?  I have NO IDEA.  All I know that my year is in the hands of God.   He will help me through the obstacles of life.

 

During this Easter season, reading scriptures about the events that took place that weekend are a common practice in most churches. While reading this particular passage, I couldn’t help but see that this is painting a picture of the church today.

Mark 14:32-42(NIV)

32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”

35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 

37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping.“Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep?  Couldn’t  you keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing.  40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.

41 Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

The disciples had spent a few years with Jesus, surrounded by him and witnessing all the miracles he has done. They even experience God using them as they went out to other towns in pairs of two. The disciples really didn’t understand what was going on at the Last Supper and so therefor never really grasp the seriousness of Jesus’ call to pray that night in Gethsemane. They really had no clue what was about to happen.

After Jesus had left Peter, James and John to go pray, he had returned to them to find them asleep. He had to wake them up to watch and pray.   Jesus left them again to pray and returned a 2nd time.  I can’t imagine what he felt when he came back and found them sleeping again. He didn’t even bother to wake them up. When he came back the third time, they were still sleeping and he said “Enough” the time had come for Jesus to be handed over.

So how does this paint a picture of the church?

We, Christians, have spent many years with Jesus, witnessing what he is doing in our lives and in the lives of others. Yet, through all this time, we really have no idea of what is about happen.

Jesus wants us to stand watch and pray, but yet we have fallen asleep. Due to us asleep, we have seen God taken out of our schools.  Jesus came back to us to wake us up, stir us up with rival here and there, but we end up falling back to sleep. I wonder at what event Jesus came to us but turn back,  could be the blood of innocent lives on our hands?? Look at the world now. The culture of our world is in moral decay, the enemy is rampart killing those who are Christians, our religious rights are starting to be threaten… WHAT ELSE NEEDS TO HAPPEN BEFORE THE CHURCH WAKES UP!!!

When Jesus came to the disciples a third time, it was too late.. The time had come. Their world was about to be completely turned upside down. Peter who professed that he would NEVER deny Jesus is found denying him 3 times that very night. What is going to happen to Christians these day? Our world is about to be turned upside down. Are we going to stand firm and stay strong in our faith or be like Peter?

As Christians today,  we can easily say, we know the ending of the book. We know Jesus is the Victor and we are forever grateful that He did take our place on the cross and through his selfless act of love we are reunited back to our Heavenly Father. Yes, we have eternal peace that we will be with Jesus forever. Our forever is taken care of,  but what about our Today! God still wants us to STAND and WATCH!

Luke 12:35 (NIV)  Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning. Verse 37,  It will be good for those servants whose master find them watching when he comes.  

After Jesus ascended to Heaven, the disciples WOKE UP and gathered together regularly at the temple praising God and on Pentecost, they were filled with the Holy Spirit which started their ministry in a powerful way. The church needs a Holy Spirit refresher! We need to be turning this world upside down instead of the world turning ours upside down!

It’s time for us to Wake UP and be praying even more!

1 Peter 4:7 (NIV)

7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.

Prayer is a powerful tool.