Saturday, July 28, 2012

Book Review: Great Day Every Day by Max Lucado

Can every single day be a great day? Even those days when everything seems to go wrong? According to Max Lucado, the answer is "yes!" It depends on our perspective. This book is an excellent book of encouragement. Mr. Lucado directs readers to embrace God's perspective and to focus on God's grace, mercy, peace, hope, purpose, and promises, instead of any challenges we may face. He also shows us examples from Jesus and other real life people such as "the Society of the Second Mile" (demonstrating a servant's heart/kindness).

I've always enjoyed reading Max Lucado's writing. This one is no exception. He's a gifted writer who has a great sense of humor. I sometimes laugh out loud while reading his books :). He occasionally uses sarcasm and exaggeration. I like "Daily Compass", the section after each chapter, which sums up the take-away points. At the end of the book, you will find insightful discussion questions for each chapter and Scripture reading suggestions for digging deeper into God's Word. In addition, this book includes a bonus section called, "Change Your Day, Change Your Life: A 30-Day Journey” written by Lance Wubbels and based on the Grace-Oversight-Direction formula (Saturate Your Day in His Grace, Entrust Your Day to His Oversight, & Accept His Direction). It is there to help readers apply the concepts learned in the book through daily exercises including Scripture, prayer, and practical application. Great Day Every Day is an easy, encouraging, and enjoyable read!

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:
"To take up the cross, then, is to take up Christ's burden for the people of the world." (p.90)
"Daily do a deed for which you cannot be repaid." (p.101)
"If today were your last, would you do what you're doing? Or would you love more, give more, forgive more? Then do so! Forgive and give as if it were your last opportunity. Love like there's no tomorrow, and if tomorrow comes, love again." (p.105)

~I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Shelter Me by Selah

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God, in Whom I trust'...He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." Psalm 91:1-2, 4

I'm very saddened by yesterday's tragedy (shooting in Aurora, Colorado).
Please continue to pray for the injured (physically and emotionally), the families, loved ones of the victims and the gunman: . Yet we know we can always trust God who is our Refuge and Strength. 

Trusting God doesn't ward off evil and suffering
but trusting God gives us hope and life everlasting.

"Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song;
He has become my salvation."
Isaiah 12:2

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge

Psalm 62:5-8

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday's Fave Five #71

It's time for another Friday's Fave Five (hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story).

My Fave Five this week:-

1. Last weekend, we had fun playing Super Scrabble (Eric got 94 points twice!)...checked out a Krav Maga class...enjoyed yummy burgers and fries (cajun style) at Five Guys...shopped at Goodwill...then back to Scrabble and Krav Maga practice at home :).

2. A Thai Christian made the largest Bible in the world (5.2x7.2 ft.) to attract Thai people to read God's Word!

3. Datenight at Golden Leaf Thai Cuisine. Fabulous food...fabulous time with my fabulous hubby ♥!

4. Watching fireworks with my family. We think we had the best seats in town (since we live on a hill with a panoramic view) :).

5. I shared my testimony of God's goodness and faithfulness during my week in Thailand here. The theme of the week was: "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible!" (Matthew 19:26).

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Impossible? For Man, But Never for God!

 "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible!"
~Jesus (Matthew 19:26)

Where do I start? June 2012 was a month to remember. On June 5th, I received a phone call from my aunt in Thailand informing me that my dad had been in the hospital for the past 2 months; he was very ill and was not expected to be alive much longer. He suffered from a stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, liver damage and kidney failure. The next day I received (via Facebook) two photos of my dad lying in a hospital bed looking so different from what I had remembered (I had not seen him in 20 years). I was in tears. He looked thin/bony. I wanted to go visit him so badly. My husband and I took our sons to go get their passports made that day. However, we were told that it would take 4-6 weeks for their passports to arrive. We also looked at the cost of 5 plane tickets and realized that we couldn't afford it. We prayed and asked others to pray for God's will to be done. Finally, we decided that I would be going alone. Our travel agent gave us 2 options: leaving on Thursday and arriving on Friday there or leaving on Sunday and arriving on Monday there. The second option was a little cheaper and had less layover stops. Nevertheless, we prayed for God to direct our every decision. And He did. We felt led to go with the first option (you will see later how thankful we were for God's perfect timing). I left on June 14th and arrived in Thailand on June 15th near midnight. My aunt picked me up at the airport.

I wanted to go visit my dad immediately but my aunt said it was too late and told me to wait until morning. Early Saturday morning, we went to visit my dad (he was already moved from the hospital to his house). A little background story: My dad left my mom, my brother, and me when I was in junior high school. He remarried and had 2 children with his new wife. He stayed aloof and uninvolved with my brother and me. I personally forgave him a long time ago. I wrote him letters, sent him pictures and gifts, shared my testimony and gave him a Gospel tract. But I have no idea if he did read my letters/the tract or if his (unfriendly) wife kept them from him. He never wrote me back or called me. Now back to the morning I visited him... I tried to share with him about salvation through Jesus Christ. I touched him and kept talking to him but he did not open his eyes or respond at all. I was quite discouraged. Yet I would be seeing God's fingerprints everywhere during my week in Thailand. This post will be way too long if I write about all the details. Therefore, I will try to make it concise and only mention the main things. If you have any questions or are confused, please feel free to ask me. 

My aunt and her family already booked a reservation at a beach resort (before she knew I was coming). Since I stayed with my aunt, I had to go along with them. My friends (whom I had not seen in 20 years also) set up a get-together at a restaurant on Sunday night (after we came back from the beach). After dinner, I wanted to go visit my dad but my aunt said that she had to go to bed and get up early to go to work the next day (Monday). Again, I couldn't do anything but comply with her. That night, I couldn't sleep at all. I stayed awake all night long and prayed (for my dad, my family back in America, my relatives, and others). At about 4 a.m. (on June 18th), my aunt's cell phone rang. My half sister called to tell her that my dad passed away. I broke down sobbing, wishing I could have spent more time with him. I did not know what to think about his salvation. 

When I was in the USA and was unable to go visit my dad yet, my husband and I (and probably others, too) prayed that the Lord would send a Christian to share the Gospel with my dad. I didn't know how or if the Lord would grant that request. On the first night (the same day my dad died) of his funeral (which took 3 nights plus a day of cremation), I was sitting alone out in the temple's courtyard because I requested to be excused from all of the Buddhism ceremonies. While the people listened to the monks' chanting, I was praying for them to be delivered from that bondage and to come to know the true God. A lady (whom I did not know but recognized as a friend of my dad's wife) came to sit opposite of me. She asked me if I was a Christian. I was taken by surprise. I said yes! She then said she also was a Christian but my dad's wife didn't know. She told me that she went to visit my dad when he was still in the hospital and shared the Gospel with him. She said he didn't open his eyes but when she asked him if he believed in Jesus, he squeezed her hand. I couldn't believe my ears! I kept thanking God out loud! Both she and I were crying because we were totally overwhelmed by how awesome our God was. God was so gracious to me; He sent that lady to let me know that my dad did indeed have the opportunity to hear the Good News about Jesus Christ even when I couldn't be there to personally tell him yet. Truly amazing!!! I was and still am in awe at how God showed His love and power. He filled my heart with peace, hope, and joy. I have been sharing about this God-ordained encounter and this testimony of God's faithfulness, grace, and mercy! Everyone who has heard it is amazed, too. To God alone be all the glory!!!

What a whirlwind week of emotions, activities, and reflections! The theme of that week was definitely this: "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible!" (Matthew 19:26) I am still amazed by how God worked everything out. Only God knows whether my dad was saved or not. I, of course, would like to think that he was (the Thai lady assured me he was), especially after all that God allowed me to experience. My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude. Nothing is impossible for my God!

"God is bigger than any limitation, circumstance, impossibility, or insufficiency you may be facing." (Nancy Demoss)

You're invited to share your thoughts about the quote above (Matthew 19:26) on your blog and then link up your post here. To learn more about "In Other Words"(what it's about, how it works, and how it originated), visit here.

This post is also linked up with Faith-filled Friday @Beholding Glory, Spiritual Sundays, Sharing His Beauty @The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates with God at The Wellspring, and "Hear It, Use It" @Graceful.

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