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“Oh, I’ve loved you from the start In every single way And more each passing day You are brighter than the stars Believe me when I say It’s not about your scars It’s all about your heart” – It’s All About Your Heart Last Saturday, my aunt, Carol Lozano, celebrated her birthday with some friends and the kids of the Real LIFE Foundation. If you haven’t been to a Real LIFE event, make sure you contact Real LIFE at www.igivetolife.com. While playing with the kids, I told one of the kids to get up from the floor and held my hand out to pull him up. I was caught off guard when the child extended an arm that ended oddly in the palm of my hand. I don’t know what happened but he didn’t have a hand. I took hold of him, lifted him, and walked him to a chair. Later, while eating, I saw him using his good hand to hold his spoon and his stub to keep his bowl in place. I had a thought, “One doesn’t need two hands to eat. One only needs to be hungry. Success is the same way.” But then I remembered the story of Nick Vujicic, a man with no limbs, not just no hands, no hands, arms, legs, and feet, and I thought of how many lives he inspires and brings hope to, including mine. I looked at this boy and could feel God speaking to me, “Man looks at the outside. I look at the heart. There are so many limbs out there I can’t use because their hearts are so far. Watch what I can do with when you give me your heart.” So I sat the boy on my lap, looked him in the eyes, and told him, “You’re going to be a great man someday.” I gripped his stump and continued, “You’re going to be great. Your hands are going to shape the lives of others. Thank you for teaching me something today.” And I thanked God for using this child to remind me of such a fundamental truth of what Christianity means: A Christian is someone who has a heart that is exclusively offered to God. Man looks at our achievements, our looks, our success, our behaviours. God, who sees EVERYTHING, who does not miss a thing, focuses His sights on our hearts.  I was reminded of a beautiful song I stumbled upon after uncharacteristically purchasing Mindy Gledhill’s album on iTunes. I first liked the song It’s All About Your Heart because it starts off by saying, “I don’t mind your odd behaviour. It’s the very thing I savour.” The people that know me know that I have quite a set of odd behaviours, and I like the idea that someone might not just be able to stand my idiosyncrasies but actually like them. I also like it because it reminds me of a failed attempt to tell a girl how beautiful she was. At least now, if a similar event ever presents itself I’ll just tell her to play this song. Haha! Sometimes the perfect song comes too late. Anyway, here’s the song but please read on.
I think too many times, we live out our Christianity trying to prove to others, particularly our “leaders” that we’re Christians. It’s like a guy who spends more time trying to impress everyone he deserves a girl but fails to do the necessary things to win her heart. Guess what the outcome is going to be? He’s going to lose her – even if he manages to convince everyone else. It’s the same way for me. If I don’t spend the necessary time with God, if I don’t love Him on my own, in my isolation, in my difficulties, if I don’t spend more time seeking Him, if I spend my time seeking the approval of respectable people, if I waste my time trying to convince everyone and become an example without daily, consistently, truthfully, sincerely spend my energies on having a relationships with God than I am wasting my time.  If I don’t seek Him I will lose Him, not because He remains aloof, but because my heart will inevitably seek something or someone else. Even if I manage to convince everyone, even if everyone thinks I’m blessed, even if everyone calls me a “leader”, even if I check every box on man’s approval list, if maintain a heart that is still self-centred than I am going to lose. It’s really that simple. Again, Remember… I’m a very forgetful guy. I’m very forgetful of the fact that I live each day only through the grace of God. I forget that everything I enjoy is His goodness. I forget that everything I don’t enjoy, every worry, fear, pain, is still His grace showing me something, teaching me, moulding my character, teaching me to see past comforts and trappings. It’s still Him reminding me that what is important to Him are not the things people admire, not even the things “Christians” admire. What is important to Him, what He admires, is a heart, broken, whole, wounded, healed, hurting, joyful, in whatever state, offered daily to Him. Again, I am reminded, “Watch what I can do when you give me your heart.”
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It is truly my privilege to be a part of Habitat for Humanity. I may be on the video, but I would like to say that the true heroes of Habitat for Humanity are the men and women who, though remain unrecognised and unrewarded, give their life daily to the cause of building decent homes for others. Greater honour awaits them, than this honour I am receiving on Earth. Greater is the honour that God prepares for those who choose to live for heavenly treasures and are not motivated by the rewards of man nor the recognition of man. Greater is the reward of those who know, who understand, that the best of our lives, make that all of our lives, are meant to be lifted as worship to our maker. I’m sharing this video of some of my motivations for helping. A part that was not included in the edit is when they asked me what verse has influenced my lifestyle of service and giving, and the first one that came to mind was this: But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8 While I was still poor, while I was broken, while I was far away, while I was offensive, while I was ugly, while I was stinky, while I was undeserving, while I was dying, even dead, Jesus Christ, loved me. And even during the times I fall back, He still loves me. Those who have been loved this much, forgiven this much, love much. The mark of someone who has truly experienced the love and forgiveness of God, is not merely a philosophical understanding of what is right and wrong, neither is it a shallow acceptance of anything for the sake of getting along with others. The mark of someone who has truly experienced the love and forgiveness of God is a life poured out in worship to God and in excellent service to others motivated by the greatest motivation of all: love. By the way, the last part of the video, when I’m supposed to invite you, took me so long to get, and it still comes out quite awkward. Haha! Thank God I’m not an actor, not just because I can’t act, because it seems acting talent is quite absent in many actors anyway, but also because I can’t pretend I enjoy something I’m bad at.
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As with many of my other posts, I seem to have polarized reactions. Some super agree and others super don’t agree. And this is fine. People can have their own opinion, and more importantly, people should have their own conviction. Convictions are the things we are convinced about. They are the things we hold to be true. So many opinions floating around, few convictions. An opinion is an idea in the head. A conviction is an idea lived out. Convictions are the things you are wholeheartedly convinced are true. What you hold to be true dictates the course of your life. We spend too much time on preferences and opinions, too little time on laying our convictions, leading to weak foundations. We can easily identify our favorite car, gadget, brand, show, book, but have a difficult time identifying our convictions. No wonder we are lost, confused, anxious with storms and shakings. We haven’t identified our anchor. We don’t have a foundation. I encourage you today, to begin identifying and setting your convictions through prayer, study, and commit to them.  Does a builder unearth his foundations during the shaking? Does a captain replace his anchor in a storm? A builder lays strong foundations. A captain sinks a solid anchor. And they trust through shakings and storms. They trust. If you do not trust, it is either because you have not committed to an anchor or your anchor has proven weak. If you have not committed to an anchor, you have no anchor. If your anchor has proven weak it will not secure you. Prayer for Today: Father, You are my strong anchor, my sure foundation, I trust in You. You will keep me safe. You will help me stand.  #db
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