Sunday, December 27, 2009

Worthless RUBBISH

My treasures on earth -- my travel experiences, the many photo albums which remind me of the variety of places visited and people befriended; my health and fitness, the exercises and diet with which i disciplined my body; my artwork, the paintings and b&w photos; head knowledge collected through poring over spiritual self-help books and attending retreats and seminars...

i once thought all these things were so very important, but now i consider them worthless because of what CHRIST has done. (Philippians 3:7, NLT)

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing CHRIST JESUS my Lord. i have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that i may have CHRIST (3:8)

and become one with Him. i no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey GOD's law, but i trust CHRIST to save me. For GOD's way of making us right with Himself depends on faith. (3:9)

As a result, i can really know CHRIST and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. i can learn what it means to suffer with Him, sharing in His death, (3:10)

so that, somehow, i can experience the resurrection from the dead! (3:11)

i don't mean to say that i have already achieved these things or that i have already reached perfection! But i keep working toward that day when i will finally be all that CHRIST JESUS saved me for and wants me to be. (3:12)

No, dear brothers and sisters, i am still not all i should be, but i am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, (3:13)

i strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which GOD, through CHRIST JESUS, is calling us up to heaven. (3:14)

Not that i was ever in need, for i have learned how to get along happily whether i have much or little. (4:11)

i know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. i have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. (4:12)

For i can do everything with the help of CHRIST who gives me the strength i need. (4:13) He is the ROCK of my salvation.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Owned by GOD

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." (Malachi 3:10)

In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

The LORD merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. (Psalm 33:6)

Let everyone in the world fear the LORD, and let everyone stand in awe of Him. For when He spoke, the world began! It appeared at His command. (Psalm 33:8-9)

So GOD created man in His own image, in the image of GOD He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)

It makes sense that since i'm the created, i am the Creator's very own -- to do with me however He wants. Since i owe everything to my Creator -- every breath i take, the skills and talents He gifted with this body, the opportunities and environments He orchestrated for my physical well being and development, the family and friends and people He put in this Life 101 to impact me so that i may learn what He wants me to learn -- it's perfectly clear to me that He owns me... all of me.

i'm grateful that the GOD of the Heavens owns me. And because of GOD's abundant grace, i was given the priceless privilege of the gift of salvation through CHRIST JESUS. i owe my freedom and new life to my Beloved Redeemer. i have peace and joy which no worldly chaos can overwhelm. i enjoy the contentment and confidence that GOD, Creator of the heavens and earth, is at peace with me for i've trusted in His Son for my redemption. i have been given a new identity as child of GOD, an eternal home in Heaven and everlasting love In CHRIST... all these ultimate gifts which can't be given a price tag.

So what else can i do but surrender everything to JESUS? He gave me abundant life, He saved me from destruction, He made me a new creature, and He enables me to do all He has called me to do -- through the supernatural almighty power of the abiding Holy SPIRIT of GOD -- my Helper, my Counselor, my Constant Companion.

GOD already gives me everything i need to sustain and nourish me during this earthly pilgrimage, and yet He offers a promise i just can't refuse! He asks me to test Him even -- to trust Him by giving Him the first fruits of my labor -- and He "will throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that i will not have room enough for it."

i didn't claim this promise when i first got saved in 2003, even though i diligently gave GOD the first fruits of every dollar i earned or received. i wasn't yet a cheerful giver -- i tithed out of obligation, not from a joyful heart. These days, though i don't have a 9-to-5 job, i continue to tithe -- this time with a cheerful heart. What a wonderful difference to give out of my deepening love for CHRIST and overwhelming indebtedness and reverence that i feel for Him for all that He has done and given.

And GOD blesses me indeed! In CHRIST, i am continually blessed with His abundant grace -- greater faith and trust, peace, joy, contentment, health, cleansing forgiveness, emotional healing, loving family and good friends, genuine church family, acceptance, growth in the knowledge of His Word, simpler lifestyle, material needs met -- and the most important blessing of all: deeper intimate fellowship with Him.

It's true -- i canNOT outgive GOD!

(The t-shirt art above was meaningless until SPIRIT worked it out -- the design was just my usual meandering kind of "paint-it-as-it-comes" style of painting. Not until i was given the Bible verse about GOD's abundance did it make sense to me.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The LOST and The FOUND

JESUS spoke in parables about the Lost and the Found:

Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, "Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep." I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, "Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin." In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
(Luke 15:4-10)

It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. (Mark 2:17)

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. (Matthew 13:44)

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:45-46)

It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found. (Luke 15:32)

How many of us have fallen like the prodigal son? How many of us had to come from a broken place before we woke up to our Father's love? And how many of us finally got a glimpse of how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love really is (Ephesians 3:18) when He welcomed us back with the open arms of forgiveness?

The most wonderful and humbling realization for a child of GOD is that our Good Shepherd will search high and low, far and wide, to bring straying sheep back to His sheepfold. And that whomever the Father has given to Him, not one will be lost. Those whom you have given me I have kept. (John 17:12) JESUS is Faithful and True...He is the Good Shepherd. In CHRIST, we have everything we need.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


In GOD is my salvation and my glory; the ROCK of my strength, and my refuge, is in GOD. (Psalm 62:7)

Be my strong refuge, to which i may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my ROCK and my Fortress. (Psalm 71:3)

He shall cry to Me, You are my Father, my GOD, and the ROCK of my salvation. (Psalm 89:26)
He is my ROCK, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. (Psalm 92:15b)

But the LORD has been my defense, and my GOD the ROCK of my refuge. (Psalm 94:22)

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the ROCK of our salvation. (Psalm 95:1)

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the ROCK: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the ROCK. (Matthew 7:24-25)

And all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual ROCK that followed them, and that ROCK was CHRIST. (I Corinthians 10:4)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ad for GOD -- One Tshirt at a Time


GOD's overflowing favor
Remains ever constant and
Abundant to those who believe and
Call on the name of JESUS...
Now and forever!

Love one another as I have loved you.
(John 15:12)

Don't be troubled.
You trust GOD, now trust in Me.
There are many rooms in My Father's home, and I Am going to prepare a place for you.
If this were not so, I would tell you plainly.
When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I Am.
(John 14:1-3)

Bless the LORD, O my soul!
(Psalm 103:1)

You, O LORD, are a GOD full of compassion, and gracious,

Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.
(Psalm 86:15)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Know, Grow, Give, GO!

The mission of Midway Church is to produce fully devoted followers of JESUS CHRIST. Midway's strategy is four-fold:

KNOW GOD and His salvation.

How can a "baby" CHRISTian go from infancy to maturity? By immersing him- or herself in the Word of GOD -- our Savior's life instruction manual and His personal "love letter" to each born again believer. By fully trusting that GOD's Word is alive, active, amazing and awesome Truth. By "feeding" on the Word -- the True Bread -- which nourishes the new spirit within and changes the soul from its carnal persuasion to a GODly disposition.

By actively listening and obeying His still, quiet Voice -- the Holy SPIRIT, Who indwells each redeemed sinner at the moment of salvation. By praying, as best as he or she knows talking to Him as one would talk to a friend. By asking GOD daily to be filled with His SPIRIT so that he is enabled by the almighty power and infinite wisdom of the indwelling SPIRIT -- to obey GOD, to be able to discern His voice, to live out the gift of new life, which is the abundant Life of JESUS.

GROW in CHRIST and in fellowship with believers.

How does the fruit of the SPIRIT in Galatians 5:22 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control) grow in the new CHRISTian? Through surrender. Obedience. Denying oneself. By following the example of JESUS. By doing the Word (i.e., Romans 12), not merely reading it as "head" knowledge. By fellowship with other believers through church attendance, Bible studies, involvement in ministries, or personal sharing in small groups. By learning to see GOD's hand in all things, even the hard trusting that He is indeed in control of all Creation, including all the details of our lives...and that He causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)

GIVE of time, talents and treasure.

How does a CHRISTian, new or mature, let go of his (or her) natural desire to keep these things for himself? Here's the "secret" -- the indwelling Holy SPIRIT teaches the believer right desires -- the kind aligned with GOD's will and righteous in His eyes. He changes his heart so that he may love as CHRIST loved us...He re-forms his mind so that he will no longer conform himself to this world. When a sinner says Yes! to JESUS as Lord and CHRIST of his life, he is baptized and sealed by His SPIRIT, so that each CHRISTian receives the heart and mind of CHRIST, through the indwelling Holy SPIRIT.

How does this partnership happen? The Holy SPIRIT does the work of sanctification -- the life-long process of conforming us to the likeness of CHRIST -- BUT we have to cooperate and surrender to His directives. GOD gives us His best allways through the orchestration of His SPIRIT, but in order to receive the best that GOD has designed for us -- we must reverence and love for CHRIST.

Obedience is the key which sustains unbroken communion with GOD.

GO in GOD's power to all nations.

How do we do the go of it? By making a commitment to stand firm in the CHRISTian faith. By joining other CHRISTians, past and present, in fulfilling JESUS' Great Commission -- whether within our family circle, our immediate neighborhood, or farther afield. Wherever we are, right now, is where GOD has chosen to place us -- for His witness to the Truth Who is alive, the Risen share the Good News Himself, JESUS CHRIST.

So to be a fully devoted follower of JESUS CHRIST, one must not only believe unto salvation -- that is but the first step -- one has to work out the salvation that GOD has worked in. Knowing GOD becomes mere "head" knowledge unless we allow GOD full control of our lives so that we may not be a hindrance to His loving will -- for it is His desire than none perish, but that all may be saved -- saved by the hearing of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST.

These were His instructions to them: "The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. Pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest, and ask Him to send out more workers for His fields." (Luke 10:2)

Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)

(The above doorway is located inside the youth tent at Midway Church, San Diego.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Delight Yourself Also in the LORD

Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
(Psalm 37: 3-4)
i delight to do Your will, O my GOD,
And Your law is within my heart.
(Psalm 40:8)

Have mercy upon me, O GOD,
According to Your lovingkindness,
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.

For i acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have i sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight...
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

Purge me...Wash me...Make me hear joy and gladness...
Create in me a clean heart, O GOD,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me...

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous SPIRIT.
For You do not desire sacrifice, or else i would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of GOD are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart --
These, O GOD, You will not despise.
(Psalm 51: 1-4, 6, 7-10, 12, 16-17)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Where's the Ad?

Sometimes i do art which doesn't seem to have any messages -- hidden or obvious.
Sometimes when i paint what others have commissioned, i would covertly add my own two cents worth for GOD somewhere in the design.
Sometimes i would paint just for the fun of it, just to see what comes out. And i would have a casual conversation with GOD as i paint, in my head, or at times, even aloud -- "Okay, Lord, surprise me!" -- and He would delight me, each and every time.This sulu (or sarong) is the outcome of a design of stripes intended for May Goulding of Todranisiga, but a childlike spirit scotched those straight lines and just painted a willy-nilly stripes of sorts, which ended up as a curtain for my daughter's window.To me, it's always okay to be joyfully childlike, no matter if we're edging closer and closer to 60 or 80 or 100. Life is indeed short -- so i'm learning that being a follower of CHRIST is a serious commitment to living for GOD, but that He approves of my unrestrained joy and laughter, childlike trust and obedience, and living life to the fullest In CHRIST, for in Him, and Him alone, my cup overflows.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cozette's Cozy Restroom

GOD has a sense of humor, y'know? Of course, He's got a funny bone!
i've had this blog entry, GOD's Rest, ready for write-up for a few days now, but didn't yet have the photos to use for illustration. So today, after completing the artwork for Cozette's bathroom, i was given the go-ahead/insight to use her bathroom to decorate this entry. i thought it funny: GOD's Rest illustrated with Cozette's restroom!If you ever get to sit on Cozette's "throne," look for the butterfly with the Mickey Mouse ears. It's like playing Where's Waldo as you await nature's call.
Below is the other wall of Cozette's cozy restroom, a la rln Art.Cozette was very gracious in commissioning me to do her bathroom. The work was started with a heartfelt prayer the night before, petitioning for my Father's help -- that He would do the real work by granting me the necessary skill to paint the scene that would make Cozette happy enough so that she wouldn't have to roll her eyes up to a blank ceiling. (hahaha) After all, she would be the one sitting and meditating day in, day out, staring at whatever painting was staring back at her.

She had a look at The Wall done at Midway, which she liked, but minus the surfer kids and surfboards. Being a woman and a keen stylist, her color preferences matched her towels. Cozette had a vision of something beachy and sandy, with flowers and seashells. The finished work was an interesting mix of what she had in mind and my own very simple creative skills. My talent is this: i keep putting on the paint 'til it looks right! And when i'm artistically challenged, i just whisper, "O GOD, please help me!" And He always does.

There were no hidden messages or Bible verses in this work, and none of my work can ever illustrate Psalm 19's The heavens declare the glory of GOD, for i am not equipped to capture the amazing artistry of GOD's brushstrokes when He spoke Creation into being. There are gifted artists past and present who can copy a limited version of GOD's handiwork, but they are all but poor imitation of the real thing, for no one can ever re-create what GOD has already perfected. Who but the Perfect and Holy One is able to create perfection?