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Your blessings

Thank you Lord for your precious gift and your endless blessings to our family.
Arlene has completed her singing recording with Your loving guidance.

 

 

Voices are around us and it is our choice to decide which one we want to listen.., and only by constant prayers will lead us closer to the voice of the Holy Spirit..

I attended novena masses at church, prior to the Feast day of St.Anne’s Church.  Homilies have been very comforting for me for the past few days, especially on the 4th day, “Happy are those who mourn, they shall be comforted”. What caught my attention so much was that Sacrament of Confession is indeed very powerful granted from our only God. From the day when we confessed, God has forgiven all our sins in the past and left nothing..Yes, it is that POWERFUL.

I was, for many times, wondering whether I am worthy to see God, to pray to God, let alone to serve God. I am a sinner, and each time I did confession, for some time I didn’t feel the freedom from sins. I sometimes heard some voices telling me ‘you have disappointed God from first time, from your past, ..and you’re not worthy to see Him’. My past wound and sins have been around me for so long and I was bounded with guilt and thoughts ‘how can I pray for others while myself is surrounded with past sins’.

Yesterday I read an article that moved me so much. It explained that God knows every sins we make, even when we have forgotten about it, with our good intention to confess and regret for the sins we made, God will forgive, ….yes, all of our sins! No exceptions. We then have to start our life to where God wants us to go, and it requires lots of prayers and guidance from the Lord.

From the past week I’ve been praying for a friend-in-faith who is carrying a baby and is now in the hospital for medical control and treatment. As a friend, who wouldn’t pray for those who are not well and needed help? So, I pray and hope the Lord will lead them and embrace them with His healing hands, without looking at me whom for many times have disappointed Him. I am really hoping that the Lord will hear my prayers, the sinner.

I also encountered another article regarding noises around us. The “I’m feeling guilty” voices were definitely NOT from God. He is a very merciful God and He has washed away all of our sins, and He wants me to walk my “today’s” life with Him.

Just this morning, He showed me even more! He built up my faith that infact all my thoughts and prayers have been well heard and He is always around and watching those who need His help.

This morning, I came back from my breakfast alone.. when I arrived home, took out my keys from my purse and was about to open my door, suddenly heard a cracking baby’s voice –  a baby’s crying.. and the voice came from inside my house.. I gasped, heart was pounding, and shed tears. I opened the door with silent prayer, “Lord, I heard the voice again, the baby’s crying, it needed help and lots of prayers.” I then quickly went into my room, sat in front of our praying corner and continued my prayer, “It happened before when I prayed for baby Gian, and I believed that You were watching and would save him. This time, I now believe that You will save baby Jeremiah, he wants to live and be loved by You and mostly by his loving parents. Let Your will be done, oh Lord..Let Your will be done”

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I thank You for washing away my sins and my guilts. I thank You for making me worthy. Help me to understand and listen only to Your voices… and allow me to always be Your most effective instrument, to share Your love, by praying for others and to be firmed that prayers are indeed very powerful. Use me..guide me..and strengthen my faith to You, oh Lord. Amen.

Cry Out With Joy To God, All The Earth
ps.65

“You finally did it!!”
A moving encouragement I received from Jo after finally being able to cantor last Saturday. Indeed from the past few months I’ve been learning, and praying for my soul to be saved from negative thoughts and the tiring burdens.  Letting go past wounds and letting God take charge weren’t easy! However, His helps are consistent. He came to my silent prayers, He encouraged me through my family and friends, and He showed me that everything will be ‘just fine’ if I let Him take charge.

I realize that He has big plans for everyone. When I see things are getting worse (to my eyes), to Him is actually the moment He is at work. He listens to all prayers, and He will fulfill His promises.

Last week, Web called and mentioned the possibility for me to cantor. With no doubt I answered yes. However, surely with my humanly nature, the nervous came back. I began to pray to God “If it’s Your will God, then let it be done”

I received Ben’s psalm tunes last Sunday, indeed a beautiful arrangement as always.
Then, the practicing began, not so much time though since it was a busy week due to my parents’ visits. My hubby has been my powerful listener and critics, he said that my singing hasn’t touched him.., it didn’t deliver the message to him. I didn’t have such confidence like others have. What should I do? Well, I didn’t stop praying and I’d do my best and hoped for the Lord to lead.

On Saturday morning, I tried to practice again, … the more I practice the more I get farther from confidence.  My daughter said “mom, just rest, or you will lose your voice” I humbly asked the Lord to never leave me and allow me do this psalm.

Then I went to church. Mrs. Panicky me was told that we might not have pianist today. What’s that supposed to mean? I had to cantor without music, and everyone would notice if I make mistakes. Ben’s playing would be the only beautiful thing for a first-timer like me to cantor. Nervous!

Secondly, Web mentioned that a cantor shouldn’t wear slipper, it didn’t look good. Ok, I could go back and change, but I didn’t think I have any appropriate covered shoes.

“I will borrow someone’s”. Again Nervous!!

I was looking at choir friends’ feet :p  No luck! All were wearing sandals, or, shoes which size weren’t the same as mine. Then Yunita said “Eh, Evelyn might wear shoes”, and guess what, she did and shoes did FIT! What a relieved!

Few minutes later, my heart jumped for joy seeing Ben came into church :) YAY! Thank you God!

Ok, everything was back in control.

I prayed for the last time before cantor, I asked the Lord to walk with me. I saw many smiling faces, many uplifting encouragements from brothers and sisters, and I was reminded that letting God take charge would make things easier. Web said ‘when we sing from our hearts, we will do well and pleased God.’  I looked behind, John gestured to me to just let God lead.

A minute before walking to the pulpit I had this sudden worries, “oh no! I suddenly forget the first tune, how did it start?” Stage fright attacked!! I quickly reached my phone inside my bag to hear the resp. tune again. But no time! Seeing my panicky face, Lucy tapped my back and said “He is walking with you, just go”, and Yunita assured me that I will be alright. I kept reminding myself to just focus on singing without looking at the congregation, or else concentration will fall apart!

Voila! I walked from my seat, and with Evelyn smiling at me, I could feel that I really wasn’t alone.  I did feel that the Lord was with me, provided me with the beautiful shoes, and walked me with more confidence!

Then, I finally reached the pulpit, and amazingly had this courage to face everyone’s faces. First time in my life! “So, this is the view from up here!” I thought.

Ben started the intro, and suddenly only JOY was around me. I could feel every words and tunes were beautifully harmonized. Looking at the congregation I could feel their thirst to worship God. They were listening and many were mouthing word by word of the song. Beautiful moments! The more I sang the more I could feel His love to every one of us, and He wanted me to pass this message by proclaiming His words. I feel that the air I breathe was Jesus Himself filling up my empty soul.
Praise be to God!

Then I walked back to my seat, again seeing brothers and sisters smiling at me, gave me strength that God is indeed nowhere far, He is among us, and He lives in us.

When I think back, “Where have the nervous gone?! The stage fright…, the worries…?” I can’t even remember how my singing up there.  However I believe that it was beautifully taken care by God, and surely “I will tell what He did to my soul”

 

Praise be to God, and let the Glory just for Him!
I thank the Lord for trusting me to proclaim His words,
I thank the Lord for giving me strength and courage,
I thank the Lord for every blessings and love He gave to me,
and I thank the Lord for giving me lovely family, brothers and sisters in Christ,
who always stay beside me and comfort me at all times.

Amen! Amen!

 

This year’s month of lent has been tough for me. I am faced with obstacles which have torn my heart so much. Hearing pains and broken hearts from close friends and relatives, face to face, keep me questioning to the Lord “How and when is it going to end?”. Imagine myself carry such heavy crosses in life, I don’t know how I would handle them.

Not few times that I prayed, for God to send His help and guidance for everyone who needs His hands..it’s been years and years.. should I stop praying for them?

Last weekend I had a peaceful dream with God again, yes, ..again.. it felt very nice that He never had me worrying for so long, He answered my questions, within 24hours.. indeed He never sleeps! In that dream, I was half dead, my soul raised and left my body with God leading to answer my uncertainty. Then He brought me, again, to my kids future and said “they will be all right”. Then He asked “what do you want to see now?”, then with my anxiousness I said “This guy. I wanna see how he’s doing..what’s going on in his life, I am exhausted thinking about him.” Immediately He showed me His future and said “I have him, he will be fine”.
This stubborn me wasn’t quite happy for the fact that in his life, this guy, is very far from ‘fine’.
He asked again, “Do you want to come with me? or do you want to stay?”, I quickly said “I want to stay” – which I wasn’t sure what He actually meant. Then He said, “You can stay, and have to FOLLOW MY LEAD” –yes, He strongly said that.

When I woke up, I had this peaceful feelings that ‘this guy’ is really fine. Until that afternoon, I was very upset and had a pity on him again hearing the pains that he encountered. “Oh, what is fine!?!?” my brain and heart were struggling. “I hear enough” I thought. My brain felt want to burst.

Hours later, I went to church for choir duty.
From the moment I entered the church, I couldn’t stop tearing, yes, my HEART was tearing badly too.. in my prayer at church, I shared to God “talk to me Lord, talk to me, I’ve been hearing sadness again, although there was a soft voice telling me that it’s gonna be just fine, but I’m losing that voice now”…

Before I went to bed, I shared with hubby, I told him that I am this stubborn not trusting the Lord, and couldn’t let Him lead. Many times he asked me to let go, and I actually haven’t. “Letting it go has just been in your lips~ not your heart”, he added. “When you let go, you shouldn’t ask for peaceful answer in your version, let Him lead! He came to you and answered to your worries many times, but you don’t give Him space to work!”, “You don’t know that it might be part of His plans, this guy might have to go through so many things first. However you must know that God himself want you to believe that it’s going to be fine! he will be alright in His hands. Will you just follow?”

I couldn’t pray much last night, I felt ashamed to come to Him in heavy hearts. I just said to Him to help me to stand firm, I felt that I haven’t let Him take over. For many times I ask Him, I knew what He would answer, “It’s going to be fine”.

However, this morning, I saw a beautiful rainbow after the rain, I felt so relieved. This guy talked to me, and said “I have made mistakes, I hope to be given a chance to fix it, I will start over, even from the scratch”.
I realized from the way he said it, God is indeed working in his life. God knows he has made wrong turns for so many years, and God is ~and always~ giving him a chance to find his way back…and I should not interfere, it’s between him and God.

What do You want from me Lord?
Pray. He wants me to pray, and not pushing God to answer my prayer with my will. He has plans for me, I believe BIG PLANS. Also, for this guy. My plans for him isn’t gonna do good, but HIS plans will do the best. When people came to me to share their pains in life, it didn’t mean I had to help solving them, but God want me to pray for them, and let God takes the wheel.

*thanks Jo for the beautiful gift, haven’t been able to listen to the CD since last week. I took it from the shelf, and listened to it yesterday.
Just the perfect time as I need it the most. ..it’s all part of His plans..
Jesus, take the wheel.

Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days

Lord, Who throughout these forty days
For us didst fast and pray,
Teach us with Thee to mourn our sins
And close by Thee to stay.

As Thou with Satan didst contend,
And didst the victory win,
O give us strength in Thee to fight,
In Thee to conquer sin.

As Thou didst hunger bear, and thirst,
So teach us, gracious Lord,
To die to self, and chiefly live
By Thy most holy Word.

And through these days of penitence,
And through Thy passiontide,
Yea, evermore in life and death,
Jesus, with us abide.

Abide with us, that so, this life
Of suffering over past,
An Easter of unending joy
We may attain at last.

I surrender, Lord

This past few weeks I have been so unsure, disappointed, and again.. LOST!

Started from 2 weeks back.., I was scheduled, for my first time, to cantor at church,.. I was very excited that I’ve finally answered to His call. Yup, after a year, back and forth, couldn’t put myself up together just to say “Here I am Lord, use me as Your most effective instrument, as your messenger, to proclaim Your words”. And I finally said yes to Ben, I said yes to God! I was so glad that He chose me, and that time, there was no hesitation, or scared… I was so firmed! With the help of prayers from brothers and sisters in Christ, of course!

It was Saturday that I said yes to Him. On Sunday, I started to pray, to be able to surrender to the Lord, and deliver His message to His people – to the congregation.
Yes, I started my Novena. On the third day of my Novena, which was Tuesday midnight, I received the psalm arrangement from Ben. A beautiful psalm arrangement which until now touched and moved me so much. It was extremely beautiful and I felt that the Holy Spirit works through our powerful pianist, and delivers the message to me. The arrangement was meant for me, I felt it! For what I went through, my past, my wounds, what I felt that day, … it was meant for me. I thanked God and Ben for the beautiful message.

The next day, I practiced, I saved it on my phone so I’d be able to listen more and more each time. It’s so powerful. Each time I listened to it, brought tears to my eyes!
“In God alone… is my soul at rest!”

On Thursday, I fell sick. It was from the prolong cough I had. But, still okay, at least I could take a deep breath and sing. Then, that afternoon,  because of my tiredness, I fell asleep.
I had a dream that Jesus came into my room. He was standing above my head where I laid down on my bed. Then, I hold His feet, … I was clinging on His feet, sooo tight that I didn’t want to let go. Oh, He raised even higher.. then I got scared, then I fell down…fell HARD to the ground… my bed and my bedroom was a mess! all broken! Then I woke up in pain…all body aching. Shared with Korene and she said “Jesus wanted to raise you up high, it is depending on you how much you want to give yourself to Him. Just surrender to Him. Let the Holy Spirit take charge!”

Oh whatta dream! Then I prayed for God to have me, I give all to Him. I surrender. *first time I used this word.

The next evening, I had even more horrible dream. Yes, I tend to have terrible dreams when I am sick. I dreamed that I was fighting with exorcist in my body. I tried to pray in my dream, then after awhile, I was okay. Mother Mary whispered to me in the dream to pray the rosary, and wear the rosary from now on. .. and I did that. It’s been 2 weeks I’m with my rosary wherever I go.
When I woke up, I felt so much pain in my back, sooo much pain until I could not lie down anymore… I walked like a stiff pole, and screamed many times when I tried to lie down.

Friday afternoon, I went to see the doctor. Things were better as I took this anti relaxant pills, moreover, the cough was gone. Yay!
Until Saturday morning…, I woke up with 38.9C, I was shivering.. and I was so scared with what’s going on!
I asked God on the 8th day of Novena..”God, what’s going on, this way I can’t sing, I can’t even walk steadily, my head so heavy, I feel want to faint every time I walk!  Please help me! If You really want me to sing, I need Your miracle today”

Oh, sounds very selfish prayer indeed!

But what can I do?
Only to God is my soul at rest. I really felt that psalm coming right into my bones.

It was 2 o’clock, I was on my way to the doctor for the million times, Ben called and asked “U ok? Can u come earlier, say 4.15 so you can practice?” and I still said “YES. Should be no problem” I can do it! I will do it! I was so sure of God’s miracle. I asked God “God, if only You could walk with me to the pulpit, I will be okay! I don’t mind the sickness at all. I am not complaining.” However, my hubby kept telling me “It’s good to have your faith on God’s miracle. But look at yourself? It will be troublesome for others if you faint by the altar! You cannot push God to create miracle in your will! It has to be His will!!”
Then, I gave up! I tried to sing, but couldn’t even take a short breath. I felt disappointed that I didn’t TRUST Him. I felt that I was giving up on Him. What is it that He cannot do? Only if I came and sing that day, I knew He would help me.

Yah, that guilty feeling has been with me since then.

What happened on the next Sunday? I was FINE. Totally fine. Well, I had other stomach problem, but at least I could take a deep breath and sing, not as miserable as I was the day before.
Then I asked God “Why did you let this happen to me?” Yes, I was very upset. “I answered to Your call, then You let me fall”
I was mean! I was very disappointed.

On that fine afternoon, I was shared a beautiful scripture from my sister, it was from Matthew 5: 23-24
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
It really brought me to tears.. so, is this why, Lord?
I had to go through all these because He wanted me to come to Him with a free mind, loving heart, and no burdens… I hear You, Lord!
Big *sigh* to myself!

But He didn’t leave me just that! He made things beautiful for me. He came to my prayer this very morning, and explain to me why I should let things GO, and let GOD take charge.

Many times I heard that phrase, from Nic, John, Jo, from Fr.James’s recorded homily, Let Go and Let Godif you want to do things your way, you won’t give space to God to work in your life, Let GOD TAKE CHARGEBut did I listen? No. When Jo told me “The truth will set me free”, I thought I was already free! but again, big NO.
I understand now why He let this happened to me, ..and only with His grace, He has to come himself into my prayer at 5am today.

….I was awake at 5am, even before my daily alarm rang…, then I crossed my hands and prayed.., this time, I didn’t say much to God..
Oh, yesterday I went to the adoration room at St.Anne’s and read this writing on the glass wall of “One Hour with God”, and John shortly shared with me that God wants us to give one hour of our times, just to be with Him..
so.. I did that this morning… I came to Him by prayer, and He brought me clearly seeing myself, kneeling down, however was bringing these BIG and HEAVY ROCKS with me.. so heavy for a little person like me.. and yes, I felt the weigh so I had to open my arms and put them open-up on my knees, I felt it so HEAVY and HUGE on my hands and shoulder..

….Then He whispered to me,… look at yourself,  been carrying heavy burdens with you in your lives, let go.. one-by-one, ..
He brought me to the past, my past wounds, my families in Jakarta, my brothers, my brother’s family, my parents, my friends, my enemies back in college, many people who has crossed my path in the past,.. then He showed me ‘my version’ of future, my dreams, my kids future, …and many more

Then I asked Jesus, “Oh, all of those… JESUS, Please help me to let go, I should not worry about all these”, ” I surrender and lift them all to You” *I used this word stronger than ever
That moment, I could feel lighter rocks I carry, with Jesus help to carry the rest..  then I sighed, “I am sorry that I have to ask You to carry most, I can’t keep all these with me anymore”

Everyday in my life, I have sinned! I worry. I think too much about  how my future should be.. now I realize how important it is to have an hour with God. He will set me FREE. *Yes, Jo, I understand what you mean now.
and yes, for many times, in prayers, I don’t have to say so much, God knows what’s been going on in my life, He knows! This time, I will LISTEN! I believe for many times He has sent many people to talk to me, He has sent my closest friends and family to talk to me, and I have my heart and ears shut!

Prayer:
I thank You God for coming to my prayer this morning. I thank You God for never give up on me. You have sent your angels, your humble people just to touch my heart and have me listen to Your word. But I guess I was just too busy planning things with my OWN strength, not Yours. Until the psalm hit me, ..In God, is my safety and glory, the rock of my STRENGTH…
I am tearing now as I type this Lord, I have abandoned You. But You still care. Allow me to begin this month of Lent, with loving hearts, free from burdens.. free from any scars from the past..I will trust You at all times, and will pour out my hearts before You. Amen!

and to Ben, this psalm will stay forever, I won’t forget.
Thanking all my sisters and brothers in Christ for your prayers, and for standing beside me.

burdens

‘Let Your will be done, Lord.’

That’s the only verse I always keep in my mind whenever I come across hard situation. I know that God never sleeps and He has prepared a wonderful plan for me and my family.

My name is Fanny. I’m a primary teacher in one of Christian schools in Jakarta. On 10 December 2010, I delivered my baby boy. It was the most miraculous as well as thrilling moment in my life. I experienced so many wonderful things given by God that I could not think of.

First, I was pregnant after 6 years of waiting. My family and I were so excited to see our new family member. Unfortunately, my pregnancy was not going well. I got bleeding in the first trimester. It turned out that some part of the placenta were off. One doctor asked me to terminate the baby but there was another doctor telling us to keep it and monitor the development of the placenta until it was 4 months old (16 weeks).
Thank God, the placenta developed really well.

In 19 weeks, God wanted to see our faith in Him. My amnion fluid broke. I thought that was the time we could not keep our baby any longer. The doctor asked me once again to terminate the baby since he was afraid that my baby and I might get infected. With my great belief in God, I asked the doctor to give me one more week to pray waiting for another miracle. I told him if there was no good sign from Him (the amnion fluid didn’t increase), I will let the doctor do whatever he needed to do.
But, then again God did His work on our baby. Even though, with very little amnion fluid, my baby was still growing well in normal size. The doctor was quite surprised and decided to let me keep the baby.

In 24 weeks, I got bleeding heavily. The doctor asked me to be hospitalized up to the delivery time but I refused to do it. I believed if God wanted me to take care of the baby, He would do something to help me. So, I just took  a bed rest at home until the delivery time. Informatively, the doctor told me that there was no chance for me to deliver the baby without any operation since I had very little amnion fluid. He told my husband and I  that my baby’s case was a lost case. One of the lungs was not developed well.  We were required to be ready for any bad condition and my baby might not survive. Then again, I told the doctor that I believed there might be a miracle and I did believe that my baby was in God’s hands and he would be okay.

Finally, in 30 weeks, I delivered the baby spontaneously  with very little amnion fluid. During the process, all I could do only calling Jesus to save my baby and me. In 1.5 hours, my baby was successfully delivered. He was able to cry for a moment then he was directly taken to NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unity) for further treatment. Amazingly, his condition was stable.
Six hours later, due to the fact that my baby’s right lung was not developed well and the hospital where we stayed did not have sufficient equipment for the treatment, the pediatrician asked us to transfer our baby to another hospital. The process of transferring was not complicated but it might give dangerous effect  on the baby. Once again, we trusted God would make his way for us. There were two people we even did not know praying for our little baby on his way out to another hospital.

Thank God, our baby was fully protected and his condition was stable all the way.

Now, my baby is 2 months and 19 days old. After being taken care for 49 days in NICU and undergoing lots of treatment, he is able survive because God Almighty has given him strength.

For that reason, we call our baby Gian Amadeus. Gian means ‘God is Gracious’ and Amadeus means ‘Love of God.

My family cannot imagine what would happen to Gian if God did not send his Holy Spirit and Guardian Angel to help and protect him. He sent good doctors and staffs supported by excellent equipment as well as beloved friends and relatives who supported us in prayers and financial matters.

I have faith that God has planned to use Gian to praise and glorify His name. I really trust Him that He will completely heal my baby Gian and make him able to breathe well and drink milk without any difficulties.

Thank you God for saving my baby’s life and for listening to our prayer at all times. Thank you Lord for fulfilling our needs.
My family will always be faithful to You and put our lives into Your hands. Praise the Lord.


This article is contributed by, a best friend of mine, Fanny Gertrude

Praise The Lord! May He always use you, your family, and especially baby Gian, as His most effective instrument, only to Glorify His name.

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