The travelers’ hymn

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I love traveling! I have this wanderlust in me that kept me on thinking: “Where to go next?” I have a dream on visiting every countries and territories in this world. I believe that God put this will, this passion in me for a reason.

I stood in awe every time I am out in nature. I am in pure joy seeing the great nature; those towering mountains, the lush jungle, those crashing waves, crystal clear streams, the turquoise sea water with abundance of life in it… I am in absolute awe and wonder. Always… and somehow those experiences connect me in a very special way to God. In those moment this hymn “How great Thou art” always come through my mind and subconsciously  sing it every time I encounter that unique connection with The Creator.

O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

And when I think of God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And lead me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And then proclaim, “My God, how great Thou art!”

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Credit to the creator of the hymn as cited from Wikipedia:

How Great Thou Art” is a Christian hymn based on a Swedish traditional melody and a poem written by Carl Gustav Boberg (1859–1940) in Mönsterås, Sweden in 1885. It was translated into German and then into Russian and became a hymn. It was translated into English from the Russian by English missionary Stuart K. Hine, who also added two original verses of his own.
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Not only that this hymn reminding me of God’s almighty power in creating and carefully crafting everything in the universe there is, but also of His ultimate work of wonder: the salvation through Christ Jesus. The amazing grace that made my soul sings.

This is one way of God reminding me of his love… and I cherish it dearly. And cannot wait for other special moments God has in store for me… showing how great He is! Hallelujah!

The promise that is not vain

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I took the photo above over lunch somewhere in the Icelandic western peninsula earlier this month. We were at our table enjoying our meal overlooking a tall glass window when suddenly the sky painted a rainbow just above this church. What a sight to behold. I took it as a reminder of God’s covenant with the entire humanity. Not only Christians but THE ENTIRE humanity. Forever grateful.

The line, however, is taken from the third verse of the hymn by George Matheson entitled “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go”. I knew this hymn from the devotional I read. I listened to the song and I connected deeply with the beautiful lyrics.

Just so happen this morning my reading lead me to the David’s Song of Praise as written in 2 Samuel 22:1-20 (NIV).

22 David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield and the horn of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—
    from violent people you save me.

“I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
    and have been saved from my enemies.
The waves of death swirled about me;
    the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
    the snares of death confronted me.

“In my distress I called to the Lord;
    I called out to my God.
From his temple he heard my voice;
    my cry came to his ears.
The earth trembled and quaked,
    the foundations of the heavens shook;
    they trembled because he was angry.
Smoke rose from his nostrils;
    consuming fire came from his mouth,
    burning coals blazed out of it.
10 He parted the heavens and came down;
    dark clouds were under his feet.
11 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
    he soared on the wings of the wind.
12 He made darkness his canopy around him—
    the dark rain clouds of the sky.
13 Out of the brightness of his presence
    bolts of lightning blazed forth.
14 The Lord thundered from heaven;
    the voice of the Most High resounded.
15 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
    with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
16 The valleys of the sea were exposed
    and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at the rebuke of the Lord,
    at the blast of breath from his nostrils.

17 “He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
18 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
    from my foes, who were too strong for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
    but the Lord was my support.
20 He brought me out into a spacious place;
    he rescued me because he delighted in me.

As I recite this passage, I can feel the passion of David in praising the Lord for saving him. I can feel from that GOD went all out to defend him! He showcased his sovereignty in every way to rescue David. I was awestruck! How great is our God!

I reflect that once God promised to take control, He would not go in vain. He will act ALL OUT and David himself witnessed that resulting in this powerful song of praise.

I might not today facing a great danger like David was but I believe through every challenges I face, every trials I was put into I could call on my God for He is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer. I am reminded every now and then that His promise is not vain. It is as what it was, is and will be forever and ever.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Inexpressible and glorious joy

Why would someone feel joy?

Let us try to compile some of the possible reasons.

The birth of your child. Finally finding the love of your life. The day you finally graduated. Getting that dream job you have always wanted. Being accepted for a scholarship. Mega promotion at the office. Being out in the nature and get to the top of that mountain. Have a happy family and being able to be together every single day. …And many more personal moments, successes and happiness that may happen in ones’ life could bring joy.

In my personal experience, one or two occurrences mentioned above have made me feeling joyful. Let alone feeling an inexpressible and glorious joy! I wondered how that feel? Don’t you just want to feel that way?

It was two days ago when I was in the midst of completing my reading plan from shereadstruth.com called “Holding tight to permanent”, that I came across this beautiful part of The Scripture that made me feel full of inexpressible and glorious joy as I was reminded of my salvation by the amazing grace!

1 Peter 1: 3-9 (NIV)

3. Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4. and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,

5. who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in  the last time.

6. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kind of trials.

7. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

8. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

9. for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

!!! 

The moment I read that passage I was overjoyed. How amazing was that. Here’s how I swallowed that passage with my limited mind.

We were reborn into a new hope. a LIVING HOPE through JESUS CHRIST.

It is all by GRACE.

That hope is ETERNAL.

That eternal hope is safely kept in HEAVEN for US.

That precious treasure of hope can be accessed through FAITH. GENUINE FAITH.

The earthly trials we got to face is only a LITTLE WHILE comparing to life in ETERNITY.

FAITH in CHRIST JESUS resulting in the SALVATION of OUR SOULS…

That is the SOURCE of INEXPRESSIBLE and GLORIOUS JOY, people.

SALVATION IN JESUS CHRIST.

Be faithful that is our part whilst we know for sure that God was, is and will be there all along. He is the only thing permanent… He IS the living hope that can never perish, spoil or fade. I guess we all now know for sure whose hand to hold each and every day?

Reading and understanding this had my heart sings with joy. With an inexpressible and glorious joy. That feeling when your heart so full you just want to smile all the time and share the joy! That is why I am writing this. Hoping you will as well feel that.

I can’t wait until the day He is coming. Yes, indeed… I could imagine that the joy would be so inexpressible and glorious to finally come face to face with our King.

Soli Deo Gloria.

The Questions

I turned 27 this year and I just came to the point of my life as a Christian where I felt the urgency to study the Holy Bible and understand it as a whole.

I was born and raised in a Christian family. I was born from a family of believers and received a privilege to be dedicated to God by the faith of my parents. I claim (sort of) my own faith in the age of 16. From there on, I grew up seeing myself as a Christian.But, the fact is I do not fully understand my faith. And I did not ask questions! Because of that, in my college years I was turned into a skeptic then agnostic then sometimes a church-goer and started to think that morality is the only thing that matter… so every faith is the same. But, I did nothing to satisfy my skepticism. Well, I could say I only ran away from God and sometimes came back to Him to ask something (that’s when I became a church-goer). During that time, my off-on relationship with God was always made me reflect to the year of 2006. The year where I am reminded of God’s faithfulness and to surrender fully to his will. That He has the master-plan for everything.

2006. I went through a personal turmoil when I was 17. I was so thrilled when God answered my prayer with a “Yes” to be accepted in the nation’s best university. I was also in denial when He answer “No” for my Mama recovery. I lost my Mama that year. God taught me to surrender and “see” everything in His plan in this hardest possible way. But His plan is indeed beautiful. The joy and lessons coming from that year and the life without my Mama has made me the way I am today. This year has always been my ultimate reflection in faith, that during my doubtful time in college I always had the calling to come back. And though I was retracting, He kept on pursuing me. He has always been so good to me.

In the last four years, I had a turning point in 2012 where I was reminded that Jesus is the center of everything. I believe again, in a sense that I tried to dive back in to my old believe. I tried to come back in but I felt that Christianity (actually, the church, the pastor, the humans) had failed me.  I understand now that my misunderstanding is merely because I didn’t study and understood the unique message of the Bible as a whole!

And now I have the urgency to study it.

The first driver was because recently I was given an opportunity to see the bible afresh from a series of Scripture engagement sessions and sermons in #YLG2016. Let alone that I had those sessions with the global church. Wow, it was an amazing experience! Life changing, rather. I give thanks to The Lord for that opportunity. Also, during the conference, my friend introduced me to this fantastic resource: jointhebibleproject.com !!! Check it out and you can see that God has His faithful servants do a marvelous job in making everyone got the unique and true message of The Bible, especially when you are a visual learner like I am! I am forever grateful to find their work!

The second driver was because of that amazing encounter with sermons and bible-teaching, I started to realize that I do have doubts, questions about Christianity- the doctrines, the bible, the law… yes… A LOT of them!  I am starting to list them now in this post and i’s kind of this post (this blog rather)  is all about: my journey in answering my questions as a follower of Christ.

My faith told me to be still and just believe, but my human mind kept boggling with these questions. I am so happy and excited, because that means I am entering my student mode in reading the bible! I ask questions! I want to search for answers to those questions.

I googled.

Yea… so me, LOL. Thank you, Lord for Google!

The phrase I typed was “Question your Christianity” and the top article listed was from this site: http://www.lifeway.com/Article/ministry-Why-its-OK-to-question-your-faith

And I found a comforting and confirming quote from that article:

Doubt is not comfortable. But don’t ignore it. Be honest with yourself and others about it. Allow the tension you feel in your heart and mind because of your doubt drive you into God’s Word and prayer more regularly. You might just come out on the other side with a greater, deeper, more meaningful understanding of God than you’ve ever had.

…your doubt drive you into God’s Word and prayer more regularly.

Wow! I stopped for a while. I do feel that tension in my heart and mind to dig deeper into God’s word from now on. I never thought I will ever have this feeling before! Never before! I believe that from this very moment God wants to teach me and all I have to do is making myself available. Yes, Lord, I am available! Teach me!

Continue reading “The Questions”

YLG 2016

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Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering 2016: United in the Great Story

God sent me this amazing blessing of joining @lausannemovement Younger Leaders gathering 2016 #ylg2016 and it made me realize the major truth that all you have to do is open your soul, receive the grace and made yourself available for God’s calling.

all you have to do is open your soul, receive the grace and made yourself available for God’s calling.

I was awestruck by the wonderful occasion where I got to be together with the global church, the younger leaders: engaging The Scriptures, sharing life stories, connecting (simply that! But how divine those connections are, Praise the Lord!), listening to the most brilliant speakers exposing the Words of God and praising and worshiping God in our diverse self but united faith in Christ the Lord. HOW GREAT THOU ART!

For me Christine Kaharmen this is yet another beginning. I proclaim my faith that LORD JESUS, you are THE WAY! You are worth dying for and for that You are worth LIVING for!

All the glory be to God.