May 29, 2011

Growing Closer to God

About a week ago, I read the post on (in)Courage: How Can I Grow Closer to God? It was a post by writer Lysa TerKeurst, who has written the book, Made to Crave!

It was an inspiring post that got me thinking of the need to distance ourselves from the whatever is is that distracts us from focusing on God!

I posted my comment, together with many others, to the question posed:
What distraction might you need to distance yourself from, in order to grow closer to God?  Leave a comment today and you’ll be entered to win one of 3 copies of “Made to Crave- satisfying life’s deepest desire with God not food.”  

Praise be to God! I just received an email from (in)Courage yesterday, informing me that I've won the book! Looking out for it in the mail, and can't wait to read it!

If you would like to get a copy of the book, do click to buy:

Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst
Made to Crave is the missing link between a woman's desire to be healthy and the spiritual empowerment necessary to make that happen. Author, Lysa TerKeurst, personally understands the battle that women face and has written this book to help women find the "want to" in how to make healthy lifestyle changes.....and grow closer to God through the process. Cover: MADE TO CRAVE Satisfying Your Deepest Desire With God, Not Food Product Details: Size: 5 3/8" x 8" Paperback Pages: 224 Published by Zondervan Lysa TerKeurst is a contributor to DaySpring's blog, (in)courage. Also, visit Lysa on her inspiring blog at

Well, just to let you know what my comment was, here it is!

Serena May 17, 2011 at 7:50 AM

Thanks so much for your sharing. Sometimes I think I am my own distraction. At times when I am doing my quiet time, I find myself drifting off to my own thoughts. I know I am supposed to wait upon the Lord and for His leading, and I am trying and learning how to do that. In a way I will need to learn to distance me from myself and my will and let Him take over.

May 7, 2011

Jesus Cooks Fish!

Peter, John and the other disciples must have been very tired and disheartened after not catching any fish after a long night of fishing. 

They hear a friendly and strangely familiar voice calling out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” John 21:4-6 . 

They had not caught anything all night. 

Then, they are asked to do something, which according to the natural mind, would have been mind-boggling: “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” 

They do so, and when they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. 153 to be exact, and they were all large fish. The net was not broken.

It could be a case of deja vu. 

In Luke 5, in an earlier encounter with the fisherman by the Lake of Gennesaret, Christ had similarly asked them to let the nets down for a catch, after Simon 

Peter had said that they had "worked hard all night" and not caught anything. Yet, cast the nets they did and to their amazement, "they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break". 

And when they filled both boats, the boats became so full that they began to sink! Talk about getting a good catch!

The ichthys symbol is also known as the fish symbol of Christian faith, and it alludes to the long-standing relationship between fish and Christians. There are many uses of fish in the bible!

Fishers of Men

I will make you fishers of men, fishers of men, fishers of men... 

I am sure many of us have sung that song as children, making the action of fishermen casting their nets into the sea or casting a fishing line. As a child, I remember actually being very perplexed by the song...what in the world is a fisher of men? Thankfully, I have since come to appreciate what the terms mean. "Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” Matthew 4:19

5 Loaves and 2 Fish

Another miracle concerning the fish is the enduring and amazing story of God's providence and care and concern in the story of the 5 loaves and 2 fish. Not forgetting the story of the 7 loaves and a few fish. God came to give us life and abundant life at that. There was more than enough to fill everyone, with leftovers. Also, if we could only give Him whatever small quantities of loaves and fish, He will do amazing things with them. Praise God!

The Fish and the Coin

Another story that would have astounded many around Him was when Christ instructed his disciples to get the coin out of the mouth of a fish to pay the tax! 

"But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.” Matthew 17: 27

Jesus Prepares Breakfast

Coming back to the story of the disciples catching fish that early one morning.  When they came to shore, a most beautiful sight (and I'm sure, aroma too) greeted them. There, by the beach, Christ had a fire of burning coals with some fish on it, and some bread. John 21:9. 

Jesus cooks fish. How amazing is that? How much tender love has gone into preparing that meal for His disciples. How much care and concern was shown by Jesus as He served His disciples. 

As for me and my house ... we will serve the Lord! 

This month, Dayspring has great offers on wonderful products that remind us of how God has called us and served us, and how how we should serve the Lord. 

One such reminder is the ichthys wood wall carving that is beautifully carved from mango wood. Hang it on your wall at home to remind you that Jesus cooks fish, and the significance of fish in the Christian life.
It is now on sale at US$29.99 (40% savings) at Dayspring.

Premium Art from DaySpring - Free Shipping

In addition, receive 20% off of your entire purchase with code MAY20!

May 2, 2011

I know the plans YOU have for me

Just the other day, I heard a reply that put a damper on my hopes. It was about a work assignment I was to take on in a couple of months' time, but somehow, due to scheduling conflicts, I could not be included in the team. That was a piece of disappointing news to me. I had looked forward to working in that organisation and on that particular assignment, and both parties had been in contact about it for close to two months now.

I realised that in the midst of the disappointment, I had to cling on all the more to Jeremiah 29:11:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

In fact, I personalise that declaration and promise from God to me: That God knows His plans for ME, to prosper ME and not to harm ME, and to give ME hope and a future!

How wonderful it is to also receive Roy Lessin's Confession of Faith. In fact, I see it as my prayer today:

"In Your unfailing love You will lead the people You have redeemed. In Your strength You will guide them to Your holy dwelling. Exodus 15:13 NIV
I believe my life is in God’s hands and keeping. I believe He has a plan and purpose for my life and that He is leading me in a path that will fulfill that plan and purpose. I believe it is a good plan, a right plan, and the best plan. I believe there is not a better, higher, or wiser way for me to live or way for me to follow. I believe God knows exactly what He is doing and that He will bring things into my life at the exact time they are needed. I believe He wants me to follow Him with praise on my lips for who He is, with thanks in my heart for what He does, and with obedience in my steps for what He asks me to do.
I believe God is true:
The Lord is the true God and the God of truth (the God Who is Truth). Jeremiah 10:10 AMP
I believe God is the true God. From Him, and Him alone, comes all truth. He is true in His character and nature. He will never speak a lie or live a lie. Every word He speaks is true, every promise He makes is true, every deed He does is true. I believe He is true to me. His love is true love, His kindness is true kindness, His concern is true concern, His comfort is true comfort. I believe God is my true north, my anchor point, my certainty, my confidence. I believe I can walk with my eyes set upon Him, with my faith resting upon Him, and with my heart fixed upon Him, knowing He will not and cannot fail.
Amen! God is a good and faithful God, worthy of praise and worship!
I'm choosing to trust in HIM, that when one door closes, He will open another one, a better one, the RIGHT one.

God bless!