Month: March 2015
Only a few days to go, and the lent season for 2015 will come to it’s end. This whole lent season to now has been a journey that made me stop life for a bit, and really capture the difficulty of allowing God to strip me back, to make me realize even more so, the importance of living life with God full-time! I hope that whether or not you participated in Lent, you too are learning how to abandon yourself to Jesus and the ways of His love. 🙂
As preparation for Easter, something on my heart is telling me to share the video at the end of this post. I can’t even describe how important, and powerful the message in this video is. Watching it for the first time, I had the biggest heart-check moment that humbled me to the uttermost.
The message is a sermon delivered by Judah Smith, and for me, it captures the core as to why Easter is so important in the Christian faith! The video I’m posting is one of two I found on Youtube. The one that I won’t post, is the same sermon, but in that video, there is footage from the movie, Passion of Christ (I think) which goes with the words of the sermon. I suggest you try watching that if you are more of a visual person, but I warn you it’s graphic, the kinda graphic that is needed to emphasize the Jesus` journey to Calvary.
I wanted to post up the video before Easter, as a way to hopefully plant the need to appreciate this world-wide Christian acknowledgement. It’s beautiful that all the different Christian denominations celebrate a victory together and I pray that just as Jesus was able to, you too are able to die to old and become alive in the new!
Have a good Easter, and above the Easter eggs and day’s off, remember the reason for this season!
Thank you for all our gifts. Every moment of everyday is a gift from You. Thank you for making us worthy of all that we have or don’t have. For bestowing on us the responsibility to use all these precious gifts for Your great Glory. The gift of family, friends, education, suffering, talents, creation, fresh air….
Because the lives we live are temporary, so are these gifts. I ask for Your strength Lord when You ask for my gifts back; I ask for Grace to use them wisely; I ask for confidence to use them fearlessly and I ask for humility to appreciate them daily.
Sometimes I forget that I have these amazing gifts Lord, and sometimes I forget to use them. In those times, remind me Lord that You have fully equipped me with Your Love, there is power to Your name when we ask!
I love You.
In Your Holy and Mighty Presence.
Wow, took me long enough to get something up. The timing is evidence that I found it hard trying to write up something to describe my journey, something to testify on. Tried to write a poem, tried to be creative… sadly, couldn’t think of anything so I’m going to do what I know best and write a big long novel 🙂 It’s a lengthy read, but bear with me. I purposely left out intimate details of experiences I’ve had growing up, partly because it’s not easy to write about. In some way I’ve already shared part of my testimony and that’s in the posts I’ve already shared on this site, so when you’re up for the read go through some of my stuff and hopefully you get an account of why I love God so much. I know reading isn’t for everyone, so search up youtube for someone else’s testimony. If there’s one thing I’m adamant on, it’s that the God I experience love from, is the same God you encounter, the same God in the bible, so on and so forth. So if you hear someone else’s testimony, even though their journey is different and the details of their life are not the same, I am certain that God’s Presence and the way He has showed unto them love and mercy is the same way I have experienced God. (Also, don’t hesitate to skim through all the wordy bits haha I’m a wordy kinda gal, can’t help it.) Enjoy.
If you are someone who has a broken past, and you have done things you are not proud of; I want to tell you that I was there too….
Fortunately for me, I grew up in a Christian home and had the teachings embedded in my school, and through my family.
All glory to God that I have never suffered from alcohol or drug abuse, haven’t rebelled from my parents, nor have I been a broken tale of boys and heartbreaks.
By grace, I was saved from that walk of life. But don’t get me wrong, I’ve experienced some of those things, like any other teenager going through high-school or univeristy’; it just so happens to be I wasn’t satisfied to be about ‘that life’.
I was a wreck in the sense that I thought I needed no-one, at times, not even God. I was so convinced that I had a good head on my shoulder’s, I was on the right track, so my relationship with God was not the priority for me. Like a person who craves the wild party life, I craved success and self-achievement. I never exploited my dignity as you would see on the tv with girls who wear barely anything, or crowd around guys, but I wouldn’t see myself any different from them, because like those girl’s…. I had insecurities. I wasn’t quite sure of my worth, so I didn’t feel confident in myself, so I lied to be safe and I was safe because I lied. Does that make me any different from a criminal?…. I don’t think so. You might think “Okay Giovanna, it’s a bit dramatic.” But what I’m trying to show you is that sin is sin and when I thought I was a good-girl, who didn’t do what society defined as ‘bad’, I was doing the one thing God never wanted, and that was to continue living as though I was okay with God.
What made me decide to commit to my faith is when I saw the way God had worked miracles in my life. The first, most vivid time I remember was when I was about 10; when I made my first prayer in distress. I had a scalp problem which hurt, and caused bad migraines and broken sleep. In order for my scalp to heal I was told that I had to shave my hair off. You can imagine what a 10 year old girl like me felt like. I remember being in my room, crying so hard because I loved my hair, and long story short, it was the first time I can remember vividly that I got on my knees and begged God to save my hair (lol not my scalp), and take away the pain. The day after that my hair stayed, and the year and a half after miraculously my scalp was completely healed. Since then I have never had problems with it, and in a beautiful way God blessed me with beautiful hair that is a physical reminder of the way God see’s me as His jewel.
That among so many other stories is a time I’ve cried out to God, and He answered, 10x more. You would think that after that experience of a miracle I would drop life and commit to Him straight away, but nope, He let me experience my teens and go about living a materialistic life, living as if a relationship with Him wasn’t important.
I talk about another really important milestone of my journey in the post I wrote called ‘Falling in love’. In regards to what I wrote about in that post, it was the first time I appreciated, properly, the magnitude of God’s love for me. I won’t pin point an official time I decided to commit to God, because even now, I’m still learning what it means to abandon myself to Him. I’m just so very thankful that He gifted me the spirit of wisdom, and hope because without it, I wouldn’t know where I would start.
If I had an opportunity to speak to people who were non-believers, or who desire a stronger relationship with our Jesus; as an account for my hope, I would say this:
The bible is not made up of fictional stories passed down from generation to generation. If this was the case, why has this one book not disappeared in history like other historical evidence? A man called Jesus walked the same world as you, and I. He lived a life dedicated to spreading love and hope; in His teachings he showed us how to love, to forgive, and remain faithful in the goodness of the Holy Spirit. This wouldn’t cut it with the people of His time, so He willingly accepted His fate and endured pain, beatings, and carried a cross to Calvary to be crucified.
With this death He paid the price of any sin we have ever committed before God; this was how much he loved us. He knew that when we do something sinful there was a price to pay and this was a life with no hope; continuously seeking redemption. So he did what no other person would do, and was nailed to the cross to show us, that nothing we will do could separate us from the love of God. He also showed us that we too, can die to sin, and overcome the devil, and all bad things that come from his lies. Just as he resurrected three days after, Jesus proved that there is a better life after death, but to have it requires that we work towards it
. I can’t express enough how fulfilling it is to believe in something higher than this world.
Most people are sitting around waiting to have proof before they will believe in God. There too many people focusing on other people’s way of living but forget that love is a domino effect. When we learn to love God, we learn to love ourselves, and then we are able to love others. There is no wrong or right way to follow Christ, He dwells in us (Acts 17: 28) so all that is required is a heart willing to commit. People are living in too much time, until soon, time will not be enough and we are made to face all that we have done on this temporary time on earth.
I can testify that committing to God doesn’t mean that you switch lives. As I have said in other posts, change comes gracefully. The commitment comes when you give God more than an a few minutes of your day thanking Him for the life we live, and then asking Him to walk His will. But what is His will? It is always that which is best for us, because God is love.
My life now is a testimony I’m working on. My testimony is the life I could have had if it weren’t for the people who came into my life and reminded me that a relationship with God is a growth experience. It takes times. It requires a sacrifice of lifestyle choices, or behaviours that don’t have God as the priority. It requires prayer, devotion, and forgiveness. This relationship requires your will to live as an example of God living through you.
I’m far from perfect, and I have a long way to go, but often, I ask myself; “Is all that I am doing in life giving other people around me hope that there is more to life than the world we live in? Do I love people as much as I know God loves me?” If I feel I’m not doing so, then there is something I’m doing wrong. But if I am, then humbly I thank God, and all the people in my life who have done so, so I am able to live as a proud Christian.
Thanks for reading! 🙂
Had a good catch up with friends this evening (nz time). One of the reasons that makes me love God all the more is because of who He places in my life, esp.my ‘mains’ (lol gang name I have for the three girls that I’m unfortunately friends with :p I can’t say any more about them though because I know they read my blog and I don’t want them to think their special, because their not…lol and I’m kidding, it’s not a gang name, it how we refer to each other)
Anyhow. we were talking and they suggested that I shared my testimony. Now, don’t judge me but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I understood what a ‘personal testimony’ was. In my church we knew it as something else. (Without getting too much into the differences in Christian denominations, if your Catholic, I’ve read that a personal testimony is what we know as our ‘conversion experience’) An account of how we came to know of God, and what it took, ‘personally’ to make a commitment to Christianity. I used to be a tad confused because I’ve known and believed in God all my life, but I understand now that it’s not enough to know ‘about God’ and it’s not even enough to ‘sub-consciously’ know that I ‘love God’. Based on the testimonies I’ve heard from so many other people, I can see that believing in God and committing to God is two different things. Committing to Him includes a lot of sacrificing of lifestyle choices and behaviours that we have become accustomed to because of the way society has defined ‘fulfillment’.
I find it hard to talk about my testimony because 1. I have never shared one. 2. Does it make sense that I feel like I’m still living in an ongoing testimony?
If you’re wondering why a personal testimony is important to tell 1 Peter 3:15 explains perfectly
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect
If you’re like me and you have never shared a personal testimony, or you’re unsure of where to begin,in the blog posts coming soon I will attempt to write my personal testimonys and hopefully encourage you or even to think about your own. It’s always nice to revisit where it all started 🙂
(p.s. a thank you to my friends for encouraging me to share mine. Have to wonder why I have bad joker’s as friends lol but I’m thankful for your wise words and God-fearing hearts. Any God-fearing guys out there want their number? hahahahah kidding!! )
Have a good weekend, God bless!
Lord Jesus Christ; Let me seek You by desiring You,and let me desire You by seeking You;let me find You by loving you, and let me love You in finding You.
Psalm 42: 1-2
‘As the deer pants for streams for water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirst for God, the living God.’
Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage.Yes, wait for the Lord.
-Psalm 27: 14
Some encouragement to start the sort-of start to the week. I think ‘the wait’ or ‘to wait’ is something we all do, esp. in terms of the future .. waiting on a job, school, family, baby. marriage, travel, big or small lifestyle changes. The wait on our future and the ‘what’s-next-in-life’ is all that everyone thinks about. And even though the bible tells us that we shouldn’t worry about what tomorrow bring’s, God definitely understands that we get a tad anxious or stressed or worried or fearful about what next?
Waiting on God is never the easiest thing to do but God asks us to do it. I’ve got all the patience for about a month, a week, a days or even hour’s in, but I won’t deny that it gets hard, if not too hard to wait… and wait… and wait lol it’s only weakness or maybe even temptation that I start getting anxious or worried or stressed… or all of that at once lol. We have faith in a humorous God who doesn’t just ask us to wait, but in the process he’s chucking in some challenges, adding on some detours, and maybe even road blocks. We end up finding that it isn’t just a wait, He makes it productive, makes us do things outside our comfort zone. (and it’s not easy haha for me anyway). One thing I know for sure is that God doesn’t do it for no reason. Just as it says in Romans 8: 28 or in Ecclesiastes 3: 11, if God is controlling the situation, you can guarantee that it will all work for our good.
It’s not about the promise of what God can do in what we are waiting for, it’s how we change and who we become as a result of ‘the wait’ and coming to know how God so loves us. What can knowing of God’s love do for you? It can do everything that’s missing in your life and more. It’s actually not something I can define, I guess the only way to know is by finding out yourself.
Your wait might not even be that long, your wait may have just started… but remember it’s worth it! Also remember that sometimes it’s not going to be a wait of patience. Wait faithfully.
I’ll pray for your wait 🙂
Saw this tumblr photo on the net today, had to share it! Are you having a rough day today? Is it a bad day at work, are you having trouble studying? Or is it family problems, relationship heartaches or are you close to giving up whatever it is you’ve worked hard to start?
Want to share 2 Corinthians 12: 9 (please look it up!). In the moments when you feel that you have hit rock bottom, in the times when you are most tired, when you’ve given up on hope, when you have nothing left…God is most closest to you. In Matthew 5 Jesus says, ‘blessed are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God’ I remember being in those difficult times myself, it’s like being stuck for what to do or say next, yeah? A spiritual poverty where there is emptiness, and we come to realise that actually, ‘I need God. Who am I without Him?’ …. It’s in that release of faith that God has the chance to pour into Your heart the fullness of His love, mercy and strength. If you believe, the situation you are in now is where God needs you to be, He needs spiritually stripped so that He can piece you together again.
So when you think bad days exist, I hope you know that there is no such thing as a bad day, a hard day yes, but not a bad one!
Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start over.
Have a good day!