Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Engagement Ring

I have always wondered how an engagement ring would look on my finger. Will I get an expensive one or a “cheap yet priceless” kind? Will it have a diamond or a pink-colored precious stone? Will I ever get to wear one? I sure hope so!

Just like a lot of women, I have dreamed of a perfect wedding, too. But as time passes by and I grow up, I find myself praying more for the marriage and my future husband and kids, rather than the wedding or the engagement ring.

Five nights ago, God showed me, through a dream, how an engagement ring would look on my finger. 

Here’s the scene: My father handed a gorgeous tiny gift box to me. I opened it and was most delighted to have found an ENGAGEMENT RING! I immediately wore it but my ring finger got wounded…it bled – several drops of crimson-red blood! As I was still wearing the ring with my finger bleeding, my eyes turned to see an open big box with so many engagement rings. I frantically searched through it hoping to find another ring. Then, I woke up.

I asked a number of my Godly friends what the dream could possibly mean. They had different interpretations. Somehow, I was still looking for more. I knew God was telling me something and I was so eager to finally unveil the message from that dream.

Earlier, I was having a conversation with Ate Zen-y (wife of our Lead Pastor). I was sharing with her what God has been teaching me in this season of my life. And then we talked about the dream. I was telling her that I have been sensing in my heart that the vivid picture of the blood on my ring finger presents an important message.

Then, came this: the ring on my finger with the blood reminded me of what it took to demonstrate real love – the sacrifice of my Lord and Savior Jesus on the cross. He is a gift – given by the Father…out of His great love for us.

A lot of times, I don’t seem to remember that. When I go through tough times, I want to be assured that I am loved. I frantically look for ways to satisfy that need and rely on people, situations and even things. And most often, these fail me. Then, I get lonely and disappointed. Why search through a box of engagement rings when I’m already wearing one, bought at a price I would never be able to pay – the blood of Jesus shed for the forgiveness of my sins and so that I could live an abundant life.

And when I’m in that deepest valley of sadness, I realize that every low point, every down moment, every gloomy time,each time I just couldn't cheer myself up  – these are invitations to a sweet time with God. They point the way to God’s intimate and warm embrace. And there, you are secured. You know without a doubt, YOU ARE LOVED.

Through seasons that keep changing, God's unfailing, unchanging love remains our hiding place, our home.

 "My child, give ME your heart, and let your eyes observe My ways." Proverbs 23:26

Monday, April 09, 2012

A Boaz-Kind-of-Man (A Ruth-Wannabe's Insights on Biblical Manhood)

This will be my first attempt at writing about men - a topic I'm definitely not an expert at :)

As I was reading one of my favorite books in the Bible (the book of Ruth), I found myself jotting down notes not about Ruth's character and how to be like her, but about Boaz and some glimpses of what a Godly man should be. 

Anyway, I believe that what I've learned is meant to be shared. So, if you are a man reading this. I pray that you are (or are already in the process of becoming) just like Boaz. And if you are a woman reading this, may you see (and perhaps, help pray for and  bring out) the Boaz-kind-of-man in the men God has placed in your life.

A Boaz-Kind-of-Man....

  • Showers a Ruth-kind-of-woman with favors that bless not only her, but the people she loves, as well. (Ruth 2:8-10 and 14)
  • Takes notice of a Godly woman and finds ways to get to know her more, beyond the physical. (Ruth 2:5)
  • Looks at a woman's faithfulness to God and commitment to people God has placed in her life. He speaks words of encouragement and comfort in a way that honors a woman, without the intention to get her affection prematurely. (Ruth 2:11-12)
  • Is not concerned about putting his best foot forward to impress a woman. And, if needed, he even does things in secret for the best interest of and to help others. (Ruth 2:15-16)
  • Knows how to appreciate a woman for all she is and for all she has done and makes an effort to reward that appropriately. (Ruth 3:10-11)
  • Does not sit and just hang around when something important needs to be settled. He gives himself no rest until he does what God is nudging him to do - whatever it takes, no matter the cost. This eases women of so much worries and confusions. In order to protect a woman, he strives to be certain, clear and consistent (Ruth 3:18)
  • Is a man of faith, integrity and God-led actions. He does the right things in a way that restores, enriches, and blesses a woman. (Ruth 4)

Disclaimer: I'm not a theologian nor a Bible-student so this may not  be exhaustive. Please see this more as personal insights on Biblical manhood from a woman who prays that she would be just like Ruth - faithful, committed, and obedient to the Lord.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Gaze Deeper

Gaze [geiz]) - to look steadily, intently, and with fixed attention. (from the

Gazing is much more than looking or staring. It’s done with wonder, fascination, awe, and admiration. It cannot just happen – it has to be deliberate. The eyes stare or look. Gaze involves and engages the heart.

This week, as we are taking time to remember (in a special way) what our Savior Jesus Christ has done for us, I send you an invitation: Let’s GAZE DEEPER.

We exercise faith when we trust God to answer our prayers. Going beyond waiting for our hopes to be fulfilled and our dreams to come true, may we enjoy every step and embrace His unchangeable faithfulness, until we realize He is indeed all that we need. Only HIM satisfies.  
Deeper than having sentimental gush over His love for us, I pray that God will enable us to grasp (the best way we can, with our limited minds) the pain and sacrifice it cost Him to demonstrate that love. May we never take lightly what should make us offer all and fall head-over-heels in love with Him each day.  
Stronger than just getting emotional and teary-eyed when we pray or worship, let our unwavering faith and complete obedience prove our love for Him. As we get encouragement from His Word, may it go beyond just a “feel-good-reading time”. I pray that its truth will pierce our hearts and go through every fiber of who we are…change us, mold us, conform us to what is most pleasing to Him.  
Far from being just good people, may God reveal what LOVE really means through our relationships: patience in the most irritating situations; kindness to those who don’t deserve it and don’t care at all; rejoicing when the truth wins out, even if it causes us pain; constantly hoping, keeping the faith and persevering in times that are beyond challenging. And being able to do all these not because we’re good but only because of the GRACE God generously supplies. May His grace never stop amazing us!  
And above all – more than just enjoying life and feeling blessed for what we are receiving from God, I pray that we will ever be grateful for the most precious gift of all time – JESUS. When we have Him, we have more than enough!

As I begin to gaze deeper, I am seeing that I could never go too deep enough to fathom how great God’s love is! Could it be that He really makes the thirst unquenchable and the hunger unsatisfiable so He could have more of us and enjoy a relationship with us all the days of our lives and beyond? He really delights in us that much, huh?

I am in awe! And so, I’ll keep gazing deeper :)

"My child, give Me your heart, and LET YOUR EYES observe My ways." - Proverbs 23:26, NRSV