Criss-Cross

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.  Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” – Psalm 62:5-8 (NIV)

Our family chose the “plaid-themed” outfit as one of our rare Christmas coordinated attire this year. As I looked at this picture it made me think of how life can be like the lines that criss-cross this design on our shirts. Lines that may be seen on smooth, ironed-out places, lines that wrinkle around the armpits, my little Gianna’s cuffs that constantly got stained on because of her wiping the chocolates off of her mouth, etc.

Funny how life can be seen as a plaid shirt….life can sometimes be (or most of the time) the way that we’d like it to be – smooth-sailing and just right. At other times, we see wrinkles (problems that come along), around the armpits life may even stink. At times, bigger problems come “dashing through” and they almost stain our lives as if they’re there to stay. Life is a mixture of stuff and we all know that. However, as I look closely at this picture, no matter how many “criss-crossing” of lines we go through in life, one thing remains – God intends our lives to be a beautiful photo – one that we can always look at with sentiment and say, “It was all worth it!”

Written by Thess Bernardo-Isidro – guest blogger

Looking forward to Christmas

“Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw His star as it rose, and we have come to worship Him.” – Matthew 2:2

There is something fascinating about Christmas being placed so close to the coming of the New Year.  Many of you of course know that the timing of Christmas is an artificial one decided by the early church in the fourth century. The more popular explanation is that the early church aligned its celebration of the Nativity with pre-existing pagan festivals, such as the Saturnalia and other solstice traditions, as a way to infiltrate the pagan world. Continue reading

Salvation is Still Free!

“For by grace have you been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” – Ephesians 2:8

Our son, Jed, recently celebrated his 9th birthday.  It always amazes me how time flies and even more amazed at how fast our children grow up.  I couldn’t help but recall memories of the remarkable growth of their observation and insight. Continue reading

Operation Child Box

“From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” – Psalm 8:2

My wife and I, along with our kids, laughed ourselves to sleep late last Sunday night as we read and studied Scripture together.  We’ve started a regular devotion in preparation for Christmas.  As is the case with our Bible studies, the topics tend to veer off in many different directions.  We blame it mostly on Jed, our son, who asks the most probing questions – and also comes up with the funniest of answers.  That Sunday night, he and his younger sister, Naomi, began a barrage of questions that tested my resolve [and even patience] to answer them. Continue reading