Inauguration

Well, it is finished. The United States is now celebrating or sobbing for its 45th President Donald Trump. And it almost seems as though the world has gone mad in a sense. There’s nowhere I can go, especially here in NYC, where I don’t hear people complaining, debating, protesting, or rocking back and forth on subway cars muttering “The End Is Near Now!”

To be honest, by the looks of things, if I didn’t know God for myself I’d be looking for the next available bunker and stocking up on cans of vienna sausages and pork and beans. Fortunately for me (and my poor mother whose heart probably can’t take another Sutana antic) I do. And in knowing I have hope, I have security, I have faith and surprisingly to most I actually have peace about the whole thing.

“Gasp! But Sutana, how could you. I mean the man wants to deport immigrants and build a wall at our boarders. And what about health care benefits? Our low-income and impoverished communities like the one you’re living in now? Oh and the arts, my God the arts! Wasnt it the educational funding for music equipment and instruments the very thing that offered you the opportunity to have your very first instrument which in turn made creativity, music, art, words and expression some of the things intertwined into the very fibers that make you you today?”

Cant lie I agree with what you’re saying. In no way do I think its wrong to fight for what you believe in and stand up for what is right. In many ways I am not a supporter of many of the proclaimed changes President Trump intends to make. However, When all of this Trump business started I made up my mind that I was not going to fixate on the “America is the laughing-stock of the world” mantra, nor focus on the chaos, the riots, and the  “why was Kanye there?” of it all. Im going to fix my gaze elsewhere. I am going to look to the real ruler over all things. I my friends am going to look to God.

The bible says:

“Make your motions, cast your votes, but God has the final say.”

     -Proverbs 16:33 MSG

Let us not forget whom is really in control here. Especially as believers. We have no need to fret and fear as the world does.

Call me naive, perhaps I’ve watched one too many Disney movies as a child. If anything though, I’d like to think that at the least I am just a bit more hopeful than most. But here is an idea, and it might be a bit of a shocker: How about we just give the guy a chance and trust God for the rest. After all who knows? Perhaps he will have a massively positive influence and be a vessel to change the world for the better? I can see it now…

Peace in the Middle East, U.S. debt will decrease, and the love for our planet and all mankind will increase….

ooorrrr if not…

Then at least the most we can hope for is that this guy ain’t right.

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My Bookshelf

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Bookshelf : Relationships

                       

RL DAY 13: Love Always Hopes

“(Love) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:7 NIV

I was talking to my fiance a few hours ago about some of the funny things we used to hope for and believe in as children.

“I remember I used to breath under water in the bathtub as a kid.”

“Wait, what?” I laughed.

“Yeah, I’d try to breath it in and then i’d cough until one day I coughed really bad and then I realized this was a real thing so I just stopped”

“Oh man, see that’s what scares me about having kids… Why did you do that?”

“I wanted to be like a fish. I figured that if the fish could breath under water why couldnt I…? (silence) Then there was the time I was really into Peter Pan and I believed pixie dust was real, (aka glitter) so i would jump off of things…”

And as funny and terrifying as these stories were it really got me to thinking about hope and faith. How powerful and persuasive what we believe in can be when we have hope for it and faith in it.

What is hope? From what we see in scripture, hope is the knowing and believing. It is the desire we trust in, what we expect to happen, wait on, and have faith in. We are all kind of wired to hope, as children we almost always hope for something, even if those things are founded on our imagination or something we’ve seen on tv, we find it easy and necessary to hope. As dependent children we don’t have jobs, we can’t just go out there and purchase that huffy bike or my size barbie we want for christmas, that’s mom and dad (or Santa’s) job. We just have hope for it and expect it to be somewhere in the pile of Christmas morning rubble in the morning. And just like that child, reliant on mom and dad, we too are to be hopeful and reliant on our heavenly father who supplies all good things unto us.

God is a God full of hope. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13 ESV 

When we live in hope we do not live in a state of lacking. Just like the child knows that bike will be there christmas morning, the Christian knows his needs and desires are already met. And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.” Psalm 39:7

Hope in God brings security and direction. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Hope matured doesn’t fail. As we mature in our walk, we begin to know and learn the ways of God. We grow in faith, faith produces character and character produces hope. “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:2-5 ESV

Reflection

  1. What are some things you used to hope for as a child? How did your zeal and passion for those things changed as you matured?
  2. Name a time when something you believed and hoped for happened in your life. How did this make you feel?
  3. Are there some things you should be hoping for and expecting from God?

Rainbow Days: When God Feels so Far Far Away

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So today is not a rainbow day, AT ALL! And you honestly do not know why. What happend in such a short amount of time to make you feel so distant from Gods promise, His presence, and His power you so desperately need. You fall to your knees pleading for relief, for answers, for some sort of feeling or sign that He hears you. Today is not a rainbow day, AT ALL and you just don’t know why.

So, I guess before I go too far into detail I should probably explain what I mean by a “rainbow day.” Well, I’m currently reading a book by a favored author of mine John Ortberg called “God is closer than you think.” I picked this book up for several reasons, primarily because I’ve been on a quest to better know God, follow His leading, and thus hear and know his voice undoubtedly. I recognized that hearing God and knowing God intimately are fundamentally essential to everything I am and everything I want to be. When I’d seen the title by John I was immediately sure I had to have this book, plus this title had been suggested on my wish list for quite some time and since I’d had a free book credit on my Amazon account I was like “Let-go.”

Any who, John explains the concept of rainbow days as the times in our life, walk, or day where we can feel the closeness, the promise and presence of God so richly we are greatly reminded of His goodness, His power and His love for us. Just as we’d imagine, every time Noah saw a rainbow glistening in the stormy sky, he was reminded of Gods power, God’s presence and God’s promise to him to his people and to the world. Rainbow days are for us quite similar. Sometimes we can wake up and just feel the goodness of Gods presence radiating on and in us like the warm sun on cold skin in winter. Sometimes we can hear the Lords voice so clear as He draws near, beckoning our thoughts and answering our prayers. Then there are days where the very concept of a rainbow seems almost fictional. All we feel is the cold sting of rain on our brow or the hushed silence of anxious thoughts that fill our hearts as we lie in bed desperate for relief, desperate for rest.

When days appear to come in forms of the latter and I don’t always know why, I used to think that maybe it was because of something I’d done. Perhaps some days were more exciting with God because I’d done something to make them that way. Like I actually read my bible at 5am, even made a few highlighted notes and said a little prayer all without nodding off. Or that maybe God was exceptionally pleased with me for something I’d said, or prayed or accomplished in his favor. But the truth is, rainbow days are not based any more on what I do “right” than what I do wrong. And I know this quite well because if I were to be truly honest, no day is completely perfect, everyday is flawed in one way or another by some strain or version of my sinful imperfection.

The pleasure in rainbow days, or ordinary days, or any day for that matter is not trying to figure out why. In fact I’ve found that the answer to many of my “why’s,” if not all of them is as simple as “Because He is and so He does.”  Just like God’s mercies that are new every morning despite a perpetual sin, just like his grace of unmerited favor, just like his love that flows equally from the greatest to the least, rainbow days are too the mysteries of God the overflow from his never ending love. And it is to his glory and our benefit when ever he chooses to be as bright and as vivid as the morning sun or as subtle and muted  as the bellows of the wind. No the blessing is not in the why, the blessing is in the knowing that no matter how far, or how near God may seem He is always there. Maybe he is hidden at times daring you to step out and seek after Him thus finding him in ways and in places you’d never known before. Perhaps he is right before you speaking audibly through the voice of a loved one, a stranger or a friend. The trick is to be wise, for it is the wise, as John states,  “[that] learn to treasure rainbow days as gifts. They store them up to remember on days when God seems more elusive.”

So the next time you have a rainbow day remember to treasure it, to store it up and to save it in the memory banks of your heart. Let it be a reminder to you on days when life seems a bit stormy a bit gloomy and God appears to be somewhere over the rainbow as opposed to in it. Let these stored treasures remind you that He is always with you. Rainbow days, ordinary days, bad days and all days in between, He is with you…After all, He promised!

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5

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wp-1451879527233.jpg “Sometimes life can be so dramatic, but if you look closely you just might see the rainbow in the midst of the storm.”

@sutanamonae