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Trisha Sebastian with Mabel Lim and Sharon Aytona

You can be sincere with your intentions, but you could be sincerely wrong.

Intention does not show direction.

The truth is significant because it sets the course of life.
Wrong way means wrong target.
Intention does not specify the target.
Direction should be aligned with the truth so that we could get the goal.

The right direction is always the word of God.

Let us all be biblical in the way we relate with each other.
Let us follow the one who is the author of love.
He has not just commanded to love but also has modeled how to love truly.
Let us follow Jesus coz He is the one who was able to overcome and love.

The Conviction

Convictions determine conduct.

Conviction is much more than a strong belief. Conviction includes values, commitments, and motivations.
A person would argue about belief, but a conviction is something one will die for - Howard Hendricks.

Convictions direct actions and inspire us to act in certain ways.

When I first became a Christian, I usually did things just because other Christians around me advise or model them. I prayed, read the bible and attend services because I see others do it. This is alright for a new Christian since kids learn the same way, but, as a Christian grows, one must ultimately own personal reasons for doing what one does, which become one's convictions.

Biblical convictions are necessary for spiritual growth and maturity. 

It is ironic that nowadays we often have strong convictions about weak issues (sports, fashion, etc.) but have poor convictions regarding key issues such as a moral position. 

Reflect about your walk with Jesus and the convictions you believe now. Are they pale compared to major issues?

Conviction Leads to Spiritual Growth.

Without convictions, we would fall at the mercy of destiny.
If I do not decide what is necessary for me and how I will live, someone else will do. Someone without thought is like a lemming who mindlessly follows the crowd.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and accept what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
Maturity is being able to think first of the consequences before we do something.

Conviction helps us to continue growing spiritually. 

Growth requires time and effort, and without a compelling reason for doing things, we would certainly be discouraged. Without a strong conviction, it would be impossible for us to proceed with a difficult task. Conviction helps us to grow spiritually.

Leaders can teach people how to pray, read the Bible, and witness. 

Even so, without imparting the corresponding convictions, people will not stick with it.
  • Knowledge - is to know what to do.
  • Perspective is why we do things.
  • Skill is how to do it.
  • They are all useless without conviction.
  • Conviction is the one that will make us do things.
People who made the greatest impact in the world, were people with the strongest, deepest convictions. They are not needfully the competent, rich, or best schooled people, but their convictions motivate them to change the world.

Developing Convictions

We all have two sets of convictions - the attitude that we publish and the one by which we operate in life. A conviction is a belief that we love or prize highly enough that we practice it in our life. There is a significant difference between our belief and conviction.
Our belief system is something that we will fight for. Our conviction is something that we will die for.
Many of us do not have friends well enough to advise us. The main problems in this culture at this time are the barriers of the wealth of individual convictions. We need to know what we are up against so that we would avoid perpetuating the failures of the past because we are truly a part of this problem.

Developing convictions is a process. 

It is a form of taking a person from dependence to interdependence. The problem is not understanding it is obedience.

The prevailing attitude of passivity is a problem.

The prevailing attitude of passivity is a problem.

We know that leaders should not be passive or dependent; nevertheless we produce them in our church. We make passive-dependent leaders, who have noble intentions, but no plan of action, because of lacking clear and certain objectives and standards.

When dealing with others, we should not intimidate them so badly, or we will just produce in them a defective conviction. We should not do all of the decisions for them instead help them understand the consequences of their choices.

You achieve that for which you intend. What is it that will give you fulfillment at the end of your life?

There is also a problem in inconsistency.

We need to realize that:
  • Our convictions are different from that of the modern society.
  • Our convictions are different from our parents.
  • Oftentimes, we have a tendency to build our convictions based on culture.
  • The Christian conviction is always biblical.
Truth will not change according to our ability to stomach it - Mary Flannery O'Connor.

Study and follow the Word of God, and cling to the truth for it will set you free!
What we believe will impact our life, decisions and future.
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The Paradoxical Commandments

The Paradoxical Commandments

The Paradoxical Commandments by Mother Teresa 

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas
can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
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What is a Spiritual Mother

What is a Spiritual Mother?

  1. A spiritual mother will see spiritual daughters for who they are and will be a champion of their hearts.
  2. A spiritual mother will give her spiritual daughters an inheritance and a legacy—a spiritual DNA.
  3. A spiritual mother is generous in giving her time to her spiritual daughters, and will be with them through life’s storms.
  4. A spiritual mother will demonstrate her spiritual daughters how to live life glorifying God, with kingdom minded heart.
  5. A spiritual mother will not give herself the title of a spiritual mother. The title will be given by her spiritual daughters if she becomes one.
  6. A spiritual mother will prove her faithfulness over time, regardless of the faithlessness of a spiritual daughter.
  7. A spiritual mother is consistent, unlike many earthly mothers who have abused their daughters.
  8. A spiritual mother will qualify herself, by showing up in the life of a spiritual daughter over time in a deeply invested and personal way.

Outstanding characteristics of fake spiritual mother

  1. She takes out her anguish on the nearest person to her.
  2. She automatically reacts without listening and following the leading of the Holy Spirit.
  3. She holds resentment, makes extreme judgment and is full of bitterness.
  4. She blames others for what her life is reaping.
  5. She undermines her own authority by her own dishonoring behavior.
  6. She repeats many of the sins of her mother. 
  7. She controls, dominates, competes and pout. 
  8. She undermines women, even her own husband. 
  9. She manipulates to get her own agenda.
  10. She is too busy to spend quality time.
  11. She will cut you off if you disappoint her.
  12. She will avoid correcting or overreact in angry condemnation and correction.
  13. She will hold your failures over your head.
  14. She will avoid and hide from accountability.
  15. She wants to keep you dependent to her.
  16. She attends worship services, but seldom worships.
  17. She is threatened by another’s success.
  18. She threatens to expose, attack or hurt you.
  19. She will not admit her own weaknesses.
  20. She feels bothered and put off by your presence or interruptions.

Outstanding characteristics of a genuine spiritual mother

  1. She submits her fleshly reactions to the cross. 
  2. She quickly forgives others. 
  3. She goes to the Lord for directions to get over her childhood wounds.
  4. She takes responsibility for her own sins. 
  5. She honors and respect authority.
  6. She is flexible and open to find out the leading of the Holy Spirit. 
  7. She believes the best in others. 
  8. She seeks to be in agreement with her husband. 
  9. She finds time to help others and want nothing in return. 
  10. She wants to bless you before you leave her presence. She prays continually for you.
  11. She is not afraid to correct in a loving manner those under her care.
  12. She has a heart to restore the bruised and brokenhearted.
  13. She will teach you to depend on the Lord.
  14. She truly worships.
  15. She is happy when you succeed even more than she has.
  16. She is sensitive and kind in all her relationships.
  17. She is a terrific listener.
  18. She hears the voice of the Lord and seeks to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, at all times.
  19. She teaches truth from God’s Word.
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"Let us build up these towns," he said to Judah, "and put walls around them, with towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the LORD our God; we sought him and he has given us rest on every side."

So they built and prospered - 2 Chronicles 14:7.

Rest on every side means that Judah had peace with all her neighbors. King Asa recognized the period of peace as the right time to build his defenses. He discerned that preparing his defenses only on the moment of attack would be too late.

Times of peace are not just for resting. They allow us to prepare for times of trouble. 
It would be difficult for us to stand spiritual attack unless our defenses are prepared beforehand. 

Decisions about how to face temptation must be made with cool heads long before we feel the heat of temptation. 

Build your defenses now before temptation strikes.

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What is Sin

He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his laws and commands. He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him - 2 Chronicles 14:3-5.


Simply attending worship services is not enough to secure God's peace. Becoming more active in church attendance or good deeds will still leave us in turmoil if we failed to eliminate sinful practices from our lives. 

Like Asa, we must actively remove anything that is offensive to God.

We should continually ask God to help us remove any source of temptation from our lives.

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Abijah rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. Asa his son succeeded him as king, and in his days the country was at peace for ten years. Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God - 2 Chronicles 14:1-2.

Asa King of Judah

Asa's reign was marked by peace because he did what was good and right to the eyes of the Lord His God. 


Obedience to God leads to peace with God and others. In the case of Judah's kings, obedience to God led to national peace, just as God promised earlier. In our case, obedience may not always bring peace with our enemies but it will bring peace with God and complete peace in His future kingdom. 

Obeying God is the first step in the path to peace.

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Ministry Watch

Ministry Watch

To serve God is appealing.

We don't need to obtain pain to serve God. 
No, he doesn't want us to feel pain, and he wants us to be delighted serving Him.

But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)

For me personally, the things that I do enjoy before having a relationship with Him are the same things that He uses for His ministry. 

There is a reason we love these things. He made us with that desire. But he wants us to use it, for the very purpose that we were created, and that is to bring Him glory. 
Anything done for other than that is futile and a waste.

God wants us to enjoy it without sin because sin removes the beauty out of God's creation.

In my past life, I love dancing, hosting, singing and making friends. And upon knowing Jesus and friends through Him, I realized I could enjoy these things but are more enjoyable because there is no fear of consequence from sin but only blessings.
We should not act as if everything is simply OK when a Christian is immoral or corrupt. You can't just go along with this, treating it as acceptable behavior... we have some responsibility for those within our community of believers... We need to decide when our brothers and sisters are out of line and, if necessary, clean house. (1 Corinthians 5:12- 13)
Most of us were instructed that we should not pass judgment on others.
However, sin is sin.
It is exceptionally clear that a church has to be involved in rooting out and judging evil within the body of Christ.

The church is the Body of Christ.
Christ’s testimony on earth and a picture of glory in heaven.
It can’t be tainted by sin.

There’s a whole set of Standard Operating Procedure on how to confront someone with their sins, and we should carefully follow them. 

If we really love our family in Christ, and if we really care about His Church, we will not tolerate sin among us.

We should be diligent in identifying sin and confronting others with it, but we should be diligent in identifying it first in ourselves and repenting before we put someone else in the position to have to confront us.

It is the Church’s job to confront members with sin. 
We must do this but in love and humility.

Let's pray. Father give me the strength and courage to do as you ask. Give me the love and humility necessary to confront people with the darkness that sometimes engulfs us. Give me the courage to search myself for sin and repent. In Christ’s Name, Amen.
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  • Are your feelings hurt easily?
  • Are you annoyed when people disagree with you? 
  • Are you bothered when someone corrects your fault? 
  • Do you find acknowledging your fault difficult?
  • Do you think you are usually correct, and others are commonly wrong? 
  • Is it difficult for you to compromise with others?
  • Is it your style or no means?
  • Are you often stressed?
  • Do you find yourself to be criticizing than complimenting others?
  • Are you quick to judge another person based on first see? 
  • Are you usually more concerned with your wants than the needs of others with you? 
  • Do you hold bitterness and resentment against someone who did you wrong in the past or hurt you?
  • Do you look for praise for things that you do not have control like beauty, talents, or abilities? 
  • Do you feel violated or not valued when credit for something you have done is not given to you? 
  • Do you frequently contend or equate yourself with somebody? 
  • Do you always try to do better or own much more than someone else? 
  • Do you miss asking the aid of God in prayer and overlook the help of others in Christian accountability and community? 
  • Do you think that you have eliminated most sins in your life or have very little sin?


Take your “humility count” based on the following personal evaluation.
What are you willing to surrender to God to let Him increase your humility?
Read Philippians 2:5-8.
  • I put others’ interests before my own.
  • I am generous with encouragement.
  • I readily forgive those who hurt me.
  • I quickly reconcile with those whom I have offended.
  • I appreciatively receive correction.
  • I am kind to people from all walks of life.
  • I readily admit it when I am wrong.
  • I don’t mind if people disagree with me.
  • I give thanks rather than complain.
  • I always give God the glory for my accomplishments.
Read more ...


Dear Mommy,

Having you as my mother has certainly been the greatest strength and biggest vantage God could have ever given me. I don't imagine that there are several other mothers out there who could have bear what you have with me during this past year alone peculiarly with much glorious grace, incredible strength and unshakable faith!

Unconditional and everlasting love are the greatest gift a parent can bestow to their child, and you have given yours to me in plenty! You have been the utter evidence of Jesus' unconditional love for me, and it has been this passion and dedication that has enabled me to push through these early years. I am convinced that, without you, It is impossible that I would make it through. I honestly don't know how I can ever express in words just how much I love you. I appreciate everything that you did and everything else that you are doing for me, every day.

Today, on your momentous day, I just want to say thank you...

Thank you for placing your own life on hold for the early years to take care of me. No mom should ever need to see her daughter suffer in ways that you have had to. This must be terribly hard for you too, still, you continually ascertain my needs before your own.

Thank you for researching everything that you could learn about my situation and gall stones, for locating and bringing me to see the top doctors and for being my greatest supporter through it all.
Thank you for being there in prayer to hold my hand through so many agonizing tests and operations, for soothing me afterward, for being so tough for me, always.
Thank you for not letting me give up, even when at times that I feel I couldn't do it any longer. For always having faith, even when I had virtually little left.
Thank you for being beside me during the time that others didn't know what to do anymore with me or for me. Thank you for loving me through all of this, even when I felt unlovable.
Thank you for always making me smile, for having a sense of humor, even through the trying times. Thank you for all the things that you have done for me.
Thank you for each word that you said to inspire me. 
Thank you for all the times that you said nothing and just listened to me.
Thank you for being my hero, my biggest cheerleader, my inspiration, and my best friend.
Thank you for everything. There are many more things that I am grateful for in you - both little things and mighty things.

I love you so much. I know that I fail on telling you enough times just how much I appreciate your kindness, support, patience, and support, but, just so you know, I think that you are the best and most remarkable mother. I thank God for blessing me the distinction of being your daughter.
You were my strength when I was exhausted.
You were my voice when I couldn't talk.
You were my eyes when I couldn't realize.
You saw the best there exist in me.
Lifted me up when I couldn't gain.
You gave me strength cause you believed.
I am all that I am because you loved me.
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Fate be changed, look inside, mend the bond torn by pride.

I just saw brave last night. Thanks too my friend Glori for inviting and for my Nxtgen Family who made the experience extra fun.

The Throne room.

Merida fell on a throne room that could have been the kingdom in the story that her mother was telling her. The story with the princes. She saw a stone with three figures and a split stone with the fourth figure. It was like the tapestry.

pixar brave movie | Merida  in the throne room

It's happened before! The strength of ten men. Fate be changed. Changed with fate. The one-eyed bear is actually the prince, transformed. Mor'du, the bear goes to attack Merida but she starts shooting arrows at it and it starts chasing after her, Elinor then helps her to escape and they make a run for it.

After escaping Mordu, Merida realizesthat they need to get back to the castle. If they don't hurry, you'll become like Mor'du! A bear! A real bear! Forever! Mend the bond torn by pride. The witch gave us the answer. The tapestry!

The story of the ancient kingdom and the selfish prince.

Merida says that their alliance forged in bravery and friendship and it lives to this day.
I've been selfish. I tore a great rift in our kingdom. There's no one to blame but me. And I know now that I need to amend my mistake and mend our bond. And so, there is the matter of my betrothal. I decided to do what's right, and break tradition. The queen and I put the decision to you my lords.
Merida says that young people should decide for themselves who they will love.

Merida and her mothers tapestry

Mend the bonds. Mend the bonds! Stitched up! This will change you back, we just needle and thread.
As Elinor goes to look for needle and thread she suddenly turns wild and bear-like again.

After Fergus thinks that Elinor has been attacked by a bear, he goes to look for her and finds Merida in the tapestry room with Elinor who's turned wild.

After getting locked in the tapestry room and finding no way out, Merida starts crying and tries to call out to Maudie for help, then she notices three little bears coming out of the shadows.

The triplets have been turned into CUTE little bear cubs.

Fergus is about to strike Elinor, Merida stops him by shooting her arrow at his sword.

Some say fate is beyond our command, but I know better. Our destiny is within us. You just have to be brave enough to see it.

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Lakbay Aklat Program by The Orange Project

“Heavenly Father, loosen my grip on the things of this world. Lead me in the dance of spontaneous, cheerful giving, and let that generosity remind me always of your grace toward me, which I in no way deserve. In your Son’s name I pray, amen.” 

Trisha Claudine Sebastian in the Lakbay Aklat | The Orange Project  
Trisha Claudine Sebastian in the Lakbay Aklat | The Orange Project  

Photo Credit: Dan Rivera
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Spiritual Formation

Spiritual Formation

What a Church Leader Must Be Like

It is true that if a man wants to be a church leader, he wants to do a good work. A church leader must be a good man. His life must be so no one can say anything against him. He must have only one wife and must be respected for his good living. He must be willing to take people into his home. He must be willing to learn and able to teach the Word of God. He must not get drunk or want to fight. Instead, he must be gentle. He must not have a love for money. He should be a good leader in his own home. His children must obey and respect him. If a man cannot be a good leader in his own home, how can he lead the church? A church leader must not be a new Christian. A new Christian might become proud and fall into sin which is brought on by the devil. A church leader must be respected by people who are not Christians so nothing can be said against him. In that way, he will not be trapped by the devil.

What the Church Helpers Must Be Like

Church helpers must also be good men and act so people will respect them. They must speak the truth. They must not get drunk. They must not have a love for money. They must have their faith in Christ and be His follower with a heart that says they are right. They must first be tested to see if they are ready for the work as church helpers. Then if they do well, they may be chosen as church helpers. The wives of church helpers must be careful how they act. They must not carry stories from one person to another. They must be wise and faithful in all they do. Church helpers must have only one wife. They must lead their home well and their children must obey them. Those who work well as church helpers will be respected by others and their own faith in Christ Jesus will grow.

Why Paul Writes to Timothy

I hope to come to you soon. I am writing these things because it may be awhile before I get there. I wanted you to know how you should act among people in the church which is the house of the living God. The church holds the truth. It is important to know the secret of God-like living, which is: Christ came to earth as a Man. He was pure in His Spirit. He was seen by angels. The nations heard about Him. Men everywhere put their trust in Him. He was taken up into heaven.

New believers should become strong and certain in their faith before taking leadership. Too often, when the church is desperate for new volunteers, new believers are placed in positions of authority prematurely. New faith needs time to develop. New believers could have a right of service, but not into leadership positions until they are firmly grounded in their faith, with a consistent Christian lifestyle and knowledge of the Word of God.

Passages and Quotes

Above all, else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do. (Proverbs 4:23 NLT)

Do not yield any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and accept what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

You were taught, with respect to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the condition of your minds, and to build on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

The purpose of my instruction is that all the Christians there would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5)

Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is to Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. (Matthew 22:37-40)

My dear children, for whom I am also in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you. (Galatians 4:19)

But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and vulgar words from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge, in the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:8-10)

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)

Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20)

A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. (Luk 6:40) 

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the days to come. (1Timothy 4:8)

Do you not know that, in a race, all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to win the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave, so that after, I have preached to others, I will not be disqualified for the prize. (1Corinthians 9:24-27)

Solid food is for those who are wise, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong and then do what is right. (Hebrews 5:14)

Who we are in our inmost depths is the most critical issue. Being must always precede doing. What we do will be according to what we are. (Ray Stedman)

The greatest difficulty you and I have – the greatest need of common humanity – is renovation of the heart. (Dallas Willard)

The revolution of Jesus is first and always a transformation of the human heart. His revolution does not come through the process of social institutions and laws – the outer forms of our existence – intending that these would them establish a providential order upon people who come under their power. Rather, his is a transformation of character, which proceeds by changing people from the heart through ongoing personal relationship with God and one another. (Don Simpson)

Religion is the arch enemy of inner spirituality. Religion is a tedious routine of manmade do's and don't's, would's and should's – impotent to change human lives but tragically capable of devastating them – are what is left after a true love for God has drained away. Religion is the case that is left after the real life has disappeared. (Doug Banister)

I think one of the most prevalent problems in modern Western Christianity is that we mistakenly believe that information automatically translates into a change. But knowing something is true does not in and of itself ensure that this truth will make a significant difference in our lives. Faith for modern Western Christians is typically an idea about something, not an experience of anything. We need a way to do what we know in our minds real to our hearts. (Gregory A. Boyd)

The deepest ache of the soul is the spiritual longing for connection and belonging. To be human is to have been designed for intimate relationship with the Divine. In spite of the messages of Western culture, personal fulfillment lies in connection, not autonomy. Spirituality is the discovery of the fundamental connection that exists between us and God - a connection that properly aligns us to others, the world and our deepest self. (David G. Benner)

If I intend to obey Jesus Christ, I must decide to become the kind of person who would obey. That is, I must find the means of changing my inner being until it is substantially like his, pervasively characterized by his thoughts, feelings, habits, and relationship with the Father. (Don Simpson)

We do not become able to follow Jesus by trying to follow Jesus but by becoming the kind of person who obviously does obey. That means our goal is to obtain, by intelligent power and grace, the inward character of Jesus Christ himself. (Dallas Willard)

Character is about incorporating the realities of God's regulations into daily life. 

Religious people know the truth, but believers do it.

Many discussions about the spiritual journey give too quickly into strategy and principles without fully appreciating the relational dynamic of spiritual growth. What we are actually talking about is staying in love with the most influential Person in our lives. (Doug Banister)

The activities constituting the disciplines have no value in themselves. The intent and structure of spiritual life is not fasting, prayer, hymn singing, frugal living, and so forth. Rather, it is the logical and full enjoyment of working love of God and humankind in all the daily rounds of everyday life where we are placed. (Dallas Willard)

Conversion, as understood in Christian circles, is not the same thing as the required transformation of the self. The fact that a long course of history is needed for the transformation is not set aside when we are touched by the new life from above. (Dallas Willard)

If we are to benefit from the same kind of experiential and positive relationship with the Lord that God’s people in Scripture enjoyed, we must, through the Spirit, enrich the spiritual capacity for an inner life that they possessed. (Gregory Boyd)

A discipline is what you do to change your inner being. It’s a movement in my strength that enables me to accomplish what I can’t do by direct effort - Dallas Willard.

God’s intention for each of us is that we should grow in character and ability to the point where he can empower us to do what we need to do. The work we must do now is to educate our “Wanter" - Dallas Willard.

The disciplines for the spiritual life, rightly understood, are time-tested activities consciously undertaken by us as new men or women to allow our spirit ever-increasing sway over our embodied selves. (Dallas Willard)
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Toxic Spirituality

Toxic Spirituality

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (Proverbs 4:23)

Signs of Toxic Spirituality

1. Service without Joy

Joy is the defining mark of our relationship with God.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. (Psalm 16)

2. Performance without Rest

The approval of God is more valuable than the praise of men. 
The only reason we are now being because it is the will of God. 
Do it because this is God's will.

Limelight is never pleasant for me.

Once you know it is God's will for you. 

Do your best because God deserves nothing less.

It's primary objective to get as more people as possible set to expire and go to heaven. It trains to take people into heaven, instead of getting joy into people - Dallas Willard.

The lives of the “converted” testify against the reality of “life that is life indeed”.

In this style, they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm base for the arriving age, so that they may get hold of life that is really life -1 Timothy 6:19.
The way to see many people into heaven is to bring joy into many people. It is to understand the path of true spiritual renewal for disciples doing something at full speed, racing with his optimal energy and momentum for Jesus. When we expect results, we should also remember the multitudes of people who will not be in heaven because they never saw the truth of Christ in a living human being.

3. Work without Worship

It is a common mistake that when people work for God, tendency is they miss worshiping God. We should never miss seeing the Grandeur of God. The redemption of Jesus is at the heart of worship. I can't think of working without worshiping. Because my God died for me and drew me in His life.

4. Devotion without Discipleship

Discipleship is Spiritual Discipline. Without discipline, we cannot grow.
In the spiritual life, there are no shortcuts. Those who believe that they can develop spiritual gimmicks and put them to work for themselves generally ignore God’s will and his grace - Thomas Merton.
Spiritual disciplines are actions of mind and body, done to make our whole selves into partnership with the divine order, so we can handle more and more a passion and ability beyond ourselves - Dallas Willard.
Spiritual Discipline is something to bring us into  a more effective collaboration with Christ and his Kingdom. These are actions taken that helps us to receive His life and power.

5. Ritual without Reality

The spiritual life is a life. It is not just something to be read. It is to be lived.
Surely God is faithful to Israel, to the pure. But as for me, my feet had almost slewed. I had almost lost my foothold. (Psalm 73:1-2)
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The Holiness of God

God commanded His people to be holy as much as seven times in Leviticus, simply because He is holy.

God is Holy.

He, who called you, is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy. (1 Peter 1:15-16)
May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. (1 Thessalonians 3:13)
For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. (1 Thessalonians 4:7)
The one, who calls you, is trustworthy, and he will do it.  (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

What is Holiness?

To be holy, you need to have a knowledge of God's holiness. 
Understand that knowledge by taking the time to let the holiness of God shine on you.
Connect with Him and Surrender yourself under His guidance to have a thorough understanding of His extraordinary wisdom.

Take the time to be under the power of the glory of His holiness so that God can reveal Himself to you.

Have your solitude with God, to recognize His holiness, and fall under its influence and power. 

The holiness of God is the highest, most popular and most comprehensive of all the attributes of God. It is the most complex expression in the Bible.

Isaiah heard the seraphs with masked faces cry out: "
Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts. "(Isaiah 6:3)
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty. (Revelations 4:8)
Holy is the highest expression of God's glory in heaven. 
This is a statement by beings who live in God's essential spirit who bow down before him. 

No one becomes holy by merely thinking, reading, or bearing the holiness of God.

It is a blessing to be alone with God and to be able to pray to Him that He will reveal His holiness letting it shine more and more into our hearts and that we may become blameless. 

It is a shame to not pray and making it impossible for God bestow his holiness.
Seek God fervently for His forgiveness for this sin, that He may draw you by his divine grace, and strengthen you to have fellowship with Him - the Holy God.

The holiness of God is not clearly expressed.

His  Holiness involves His vile hatred and contempt with which He regards sin. 

He preferred to see His Son die  than to let sin exist. The Son of God gave up his life instead of allowing the least matter against the will of the Father. God detests sin that he preferred to die rather than let men be held in its power.

The holiness of God is an oath that He will do everything for you and me, to deliver us from evil. The Holy Spirit came down as fire because holiness is the spirit of God that will destroy sin in us and give us holy sacrifices, which are clean and acceptable.

The Spirit of God's holiness is the Spirit of sanctification in us.

Think of the holiness of God.

Be humble before Him until your heart is so sure of what the holy one will do for you.

Read and reread the words of God on this great truth until your heart is brought under the conviction that it is the glory of the inner bedroom, to communicate with God the Holy one.

Bow down in deep humility and shame before him, for despising him and his love,  through prayerlessness. And 
receive the promise that he will also lead you into fellowship with Himself. 

A person who is not often and long alone with God does not have a right to expect seeing and experiencing the holiness of God.

The holiness of God is the presence of the unspeakable immediacy in which His love longs to hold fellowship with you and dwell in you despite the indescribable length by which He in his righteousness is divided from us.

Bow in humble reverence, as you think of the immeasurable distance between God and yourself. Bow in childlike confidence with the unutterable courage of His love which longs to be united with you in the deepest intimacy.

Reckon most confidently on him to reveal something of His holiness to your soul, which thirsts after him!

Wait upon him and be still before him!

The two sides of the holiness of God are united in the cross. 
1. The hatred and wrath of God against sin was so intense that Jesus was left in the thick darkness when sin was laid upon him because God had to hide his face from him.

2. The love of God toward us is so intense that He did not spare even his Son but gave him over to unutterable sufferings, because He wanted to be united with us. He could receive us, in union with Christ, into his holiness. 

It was of this pain that our Lord Jesus said:  
For them, I sanctify myself, that they also may be truly sanctified. (John 17:19)

Therefore, Jesus is our sanctification, and we are sanctified in him.

Do not belittle the grace that you have. 

Our Holy God longs to make you holy. 
Do not think little of the voice of God which calls you to make time for Him, so that he can lay His holiness on you.

Receive Our Holy God. 

Any inconvenience is definitely worth it!
Its reward is sure and abundant. 

You will learn to hate sin, and consider it as anathematized and subdued.
Your new nature will give you a dislike of sin.

Jesus, our Holy God, will, be our strength and influence!

Accept the promise, that God Himself made. God will deliver you through and through. May your undivided body, soul, and spirit be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He, who calls you, is faithful, and he will make it . (Thessalonians 5:23-24)
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Sin vs Holiness

For us to understand grace, we must know what sin is.
To follow Jesus aright, we must know what grace is.
We come to this understanding only through the light of God and His word.

In the beginning, of the Bible, God created man after His image, and pronounced man to be especially agreeable.

Sin entered, as rebellion against God.
Adam was driven out of paradise.
He was brought along with the untold millions of following generations under the curse and ruin.
That was the work of sin.

What is the nature and power of Sin?

At the ark of Noah, godlessness became so intolerable among men that it pushed God to destroy man off the earth. That is the work of sin.

In Sinai, God wished to establish his covenant with a new nation, which is Israel. But because of man's wickedness God could only appear in black and lightning so terrifying that Moses said he was trembling with fear. (Hebrews 12:21)

All who rely on the works of the law are under a curse. (Galatians 3:10)

The law became necessary because of sin.

In Calvary, sin is, and hatred and resentment with which the world spread out and crucified the Son of God.
Sin reached climax.
Jesus was made sin and became a curse.
This is the only way to eliminate sin.
In the agony, Jesus prayed that he might not drink the vile cup.
In the agony in which on the cross and the deep shade of desertion, he cried out:
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Sin brings curse and unspeakable suffering.
Jesus on the cross should give us hate and abominate sin.

On Judgment day, countless souls will be put into hell.
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

These words should weaken our hearts and charge us with a never-to-be-forgotten fear of sin, so that we may regret it with a undefiled hate.

What is sin? 

See what the wrong in your own heart means - all the enmity against God, all the slaughter of men, all of its confidential nature of hatefulness, lie hidden in the evil you have committed, guilt of every transgression against God.

You are a child of God.
But you commit sin.
You let it fulfill its lusts.
It it not fitting that you should cry out with shame.
I am in deep misery. Depart from me, for I am a sinful man. (Luke 5:8)
Sin blinds men, so that they do not recognize its true nature.
Even a Christian has an impression that he can never be perfect and daily sin is an essential.
He gets accustomed to the idea of sinning that he loses control.
He loses the capacity of mourning over sin.
There can be no real progress in grace apart from an increased consciousness of sin and guilt of every sin against God.

How can you retrieve the lost tenderness of conscience?
How can you decide to give God the sacrifice of a broken heart?

Scripture teaches us the way.
Remember what God thinks about sin.
Holiness bums against it.
There is a solemn sacrifice which God made to overcome sin, and lead us from it.

Rest in God's presence until His holiness shines upon you and you relate to Isaiah:
It is bad for me, for I am destroyed! Because I am a man whose lips are unclean. And I live among a people whose lips are unclean. For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of All. (Isaiah 6:5)
Remember the cross, and what Jesus had to endure there.
Sin has caused Him that terrible suffering.

If this will not teach you to hearken to the voice which says:
'Oh, do not this abominable thing which 1 hate (Jer. 44.4). 

Let him take time, so that the blood and passion of the cross may exercise their greatest impact on him, and let him think of sin as nothing less than giving his hand to Satan and to his power.

This is a terrible result of our lack of prayer.
It is a result of our quick and hurried tarrying before God.
It is through that, we acquire true understanding of evil.

Think not only of what redemption has cost Jesus.
Think also of the fact that Christ is offered to you, by the Holy Spirit, as a gift of extraordinary grace.
It is through whom divine grace and purification and renewing have taken possession of you.

What form should this love be repaid?
If only time were taken to linger in God's presence and submit such questions, the Spirit of God would finish his work of conviction of sin in us and would teach us to make a totally different approach, and would allow us a new concept of sin.

The thought would appear to emerge in our hearts that we have in real accomplishment been redeemed.

This will allow us to live every day as partners in the great success of Jesus over sin on the cross.
We prove it in our walk.

What do you think you?
The sin of prayerlessness has had a better severe effect than you.
It is because of this hasty and lightweight converse with God that the sense of sin is so weak.
It is because of this that you are not motivated to hate and flee from sin as you should.

Only hidden, humble, constant fellowship with God can teach you, as a child of God, to hate sin as God wants you to hate it.

Only the true immediacy and uninterrupted power of the living Christ can give us right understanding of what sin is and to hate it.

Without a deeper understanding of sin, there will be no hope of appropriating the victory which is made possible for us in Jesus,  wrought in you by the Spirit.

I pray that God will cause us to understand our sins and teach us to wait before Him and on Him until His Spirit causes something of His holiness to lay upon us.

Daddy in Heaven, please inspire me to understand my transgression and let this sink me to listen to the promise that He that abides in you does not sin and to expect the fulfillment from you!
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A Father's Love

A Father's Love

My Child,

You may not know me,
but I know everything about you.
Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways.
Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image.
Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring.
Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived.
Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation.
Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake,
for all your days are written in my book.
Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth
and where you would live.
Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb.
Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born.
Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented
by those who don't know me.
John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry,
but am the complete expression of love.
1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child
and I am your Father.
1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father.
Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless
as the sand on the seashore.
Psalms 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you.
Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession.
Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you
with all my heart and all my soul.
Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart,
you will find me.
Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you
the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires.
Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you
than you could possibly imagine.
Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you
in all your troubles.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted,
I am close to you.
Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb,
I have carried you close to my heart.
Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away
every tear from your eyes.
Revelation 21:3-4
And I'll take away all the pain
you have suffered on this earth.
Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you
even as I love my son, Jesus.
John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being.
Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you,
not against you.
Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression
of my love for you.
1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved
that I might gain your love.
Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus,
you receive me.
1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you
from my love again.
Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I'll throw the biggest party
heaven has ever seen.
Luke 15:7
I have always been Father,
and will always be Father.
Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is…
Will you be my child?
John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you.
Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad 
Almighty God

Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications 
© 1999-2011
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