Weekly Soap

We are now in the last week of July! Can you believe it? It seems like this month was super long and short at the same time.

Before we go into the Weekly Soap, thank you again for subscribing to this blog. This truly was a leap of faith, and with God’s instruction on how and what to write, I’ve garnered love and support from all around the world. I’m so grateful to all of you, even if this is the first time you’re reading my blog. You are not here by accident!

Now…

Let’s get into it!

This week’s SOAP is Romans 11. Although we aren’t studying the entire chapter, please read all of it. The Apostle Paul breaks down God’s mercy on the Israelites and on us.

Scripture:

19 “Well,” you may say, “those branches were broken off to make room for me.” 20 Yes, but remember—those branches were broken off because they didn’t believe in Christ, and you are there because you do believe. So don’t think highly of yourself, but fear what could happen. 21 For if God did not spare the original branches, he won’t spare you either.

22 Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe toward those who disobeyed, but kind to you if you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off.23 And if the people of Israel turn from their unbelief, they will be grafted in again, for God has the power to graft them back into the tree.

Romans 11:19-23 NLT

Observation: Paul was explaining how the unbelief of the Israelite people brought about the mercy/grace given to the Gentiles. Through the metaphor of an olive tree, he spoke of the broken branches/cut-off as the Israelites who had fallen to unbelief. However, those who remained in faith or the saved Gentiles, God rewarded them with His goodness, but still gave them a warning about being part of the fallen. God’s sovereignty is that even when we get cut off, if you believe and trust God again, He can reattach you.

Application: God’s grace on us is clear in our everyday living. If Christ wasn’t denied by His own people, we probably would not be where we are in faith. We, as sinners turned saints, would not experience the draw to salvation through Christ Jesus. But, thank God for His mercy and His grace upon us. For it is only Him that can do all these things for His glory to save us. He uses us all for this special purpose.

Prayer: Father God, I thank you for those whom you have set aside who are obedient to you through faith. God, I thank you for saving us and having mercy on us. Although you have a covenant with your chosen people, I am so glad that I was graffed in to be apart of your family. Thank you for accepting us. We are no longer fatherless, for we have a Father in heaven who looks after His children. Lord, continue to reign in sovereignty. Let your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

Screen Time

If you’re like me in quarantine, your screen time has gone up astronomically. I went from a couple of hours to about 8 hours a day. Am I slightly ashamed to say that? Yes! It’s 8 hours of my day devoted to my phone, which is the same time as a regular shift at work.

For quite some time before this situation, this addiction to my phone was how I filled much of my spare time. Through boredom, uneventful situations, and stress, my phone was my out. This was nothing new to me or to God. And that’s exactly why He intervened.

About three years ago, after washing dishes, I dropped my Google Pixel in the dishwater. Within seconds, I felt horror, devastation, and immense sadness. I cried immediately as I scrambled to find some rice to dry it out. (It’s funny how phones always have that “it’s waterproof” benefit, but they don’t really tell you how waterproof they are). After leaving it in rice for about an hour, I had hoped that it would turn on, but nothing. My parents tried to sooth me by saying things like, “Oh, it will be fine” or “You can always wait to get another one”, but I wasn’t trying to hear it. I could only see the blank screen of my device signifying my worst nightmare: my phone was dead, completely. So what do we do when we’re in trouble? Call God! But I wasn’t sure I was ready to hear His answer. In that moment, I heard God say to me, “This was the only way I could get your attention, and I shouldn’t have to do it this way.”

God had hit me with the 1-2-jab that convicted me. His words provided two very valid and scary truths.

  1. I had such an obsession with my phone that I couldn’t focus on anything else, including God.
  2. I had placed God as my last resort to turn to because of it.

Exodus 20:3-5 says,

“You must not have any other god but me.

“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me.

Now these verses are part of the Ten Commandments, and clearly I had violated them. I repented of my sin because I honestly wanted nothing to come between what I have with Christ or to affect me or my children. However, I had a lot of work to do to break this unhealthy bond.

In losing my phone for some hours, I cried, said I couldn’t live without it, and felt like I had just endured a lost of a best friend. (I know, very dramatic). All of this pointed to idol worship that I had no business doing and affected my relationship with God. It’s no wonder He stopped me. I was going off into the deep and in Exodus 20:5 that he was a jealous God and would not tolerate affection for any other gods.

So, if I could spend hours on my phone, why couldn’t I do the same with God?

And that’s the magical question to ask yourself today. If you are like me and you struggle to escape the claws of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., it may be time to reassess.

By no means am I telling you to give up your cellphone, social media and live off-grid for your entire life. That would be nearly impossible since so much of our society is digital. However, I am asking you to evaluate your time and how you spend it.

Recently, in my personal struggle, God helped me use the digital well-being features on my phone. You could say, “Well Chan, all phones have those features. You’re not special for using that.” And yeah that may be true, but in the usage of the parameters God set for me, my entire life changed.

I not only developed a plan for myself (I am disorganized, but I’m working on it), but I have searched for God more. My cut down of screen time gave God the space to work in my life the way He intended. I hear His voice more clearly, write the way I want, and found peace in many areas of life. I can’t even go to sleep peacefully unless I’ve read a passage from the Bible (lol). Also, I’ve developed so many more hobbies now!

John 14:15 says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

I’m committed to loving God and to keeping His commandments laid out in the Word and those He’s uttered to me. If that just happens to be scrolling through Pinterest and Twitter a little less, then so be it.

Romans 8:38-39 sums it up perfectly:

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Now if you’re nosey like me, you’re probably thinking, “Now why hasn’t she talked about her 8 hour screen time in quarantine yet?”

My answer is this: Youtube, Phone Calls, Spotify, and my digital Bible.

God Bless You!


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Be blessed!

Chan!

Song of the Week

Happy Monday wonderful people! I hope you’re having a magnificent day in the Lord!

Today, I come to you with a song that sums up everything I feel and you may feel right now. With the uncertainty of the times we live, I find certainty in God.

Psalms 18:2 says, “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” And right now, this is the scripture my heart holds.

Though your mind may race at a thousand miles a minute, God “leads you beside still waters” (Psalms 23:2). He brings peace to us in all that we go through.

In this song of the week, the artist, CASS, paints a picture of what it’s like to battle anxious, depressive thoughts. Verse by verse, CASS pleads to God for clarity in a moment of darkness.

I hope this song blesses your soul as much as it did mine!

Lo-FI Clarity-CASS

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Be blessed!

Chan!

Weekly Soap

I have a question for you today? I want you to think very deeply about this.

Are you living peaceably or are you raising hell?

source: Giphy

Now, I’m not trying to call anyone out and I’m not making this a bash post. As I grow in Christ, I realize that this part of myself (and others…) needed to be dealt with. Now what am I talking about exactly? Let me give you an example.

Amy, a newly converted Christian, pulls into a parking lot in a very crowded area. As she drives up and down every aisle, she comes across a space with her name on it. As she is about to turn the wheel into the parking lot, another car out of the blue, steals her parking spot. Amy felt the rage inside her come to the surface. Her face was red with anger and she could hear the myriad of expletives running through her head directed at this driver. As she was about to open the door, she heard clear as day, “No, not today.”

HOLD UP! Amy deserved to get those feelings off her chest, right? Her anger would dissipate and she could be calm after confronting them. Right?

WRONG.

Let’s dive into the Word.

Scripture:

17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

(Romans 12:17-19 KJV)

Observation: Paul highlighted that in this world, we may get persecuted, face hatred, and endure downright awful things from people. Our human reaction to this is to retaliate, to fight back when wronged. But, now changed, we need to live peaceable lives with all men, those who love us and hate us. It is not our job, our responsibility, or our place to seek vengeance, but God will handle it. He fights our battles for us.

Application: In faith, fighting evil with evil only creates more evil. Amy would have received temporary satisfaction from cussing out that driver, but what does it do for her spirit? We are examples to people of who Christ is in our lives and what He does inside of us. We are new creatures in Christ Jesus, so that means throwing off the old man and picking up the new (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 4:22). Even as Christ lived, people had hatred in their hearts toward him and sought to kill him, yet He met them with love and treated them fairly in peace. Know that God has the final say everything that happens to you. You no longer have to fight like the flesh wants, but fight with the Word! God fights for you!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for being an example of Christian living. As you walked peacefully among men, I pray that I follow in your steps. God, I pray that I do not combat evil with evil, but that I overcome evil with good. Remind me that vengeance is yours and that you will repay. Lord, let me be honest in faith and stay humble. Forgive me, Father, for not approaching every situation this way. I thank you for the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that I can use going forward. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.