The title bares a double meaning. One of my many duties at York Apartments is entering work orders on our computer data base. While going through work orders I stumbled upon this work order. Even though it appears mundane, I believe it has a prophetic warning , exhortation or 'work order' to believers. It says "shower, 'hot' water is lukewarm, tenant would like to have it hot". I was reminded of the Laodiceans (Revelation 3:14-22) that were mentioned in Revelation 3:14-22. Furthermore, I felt God telling me in context of Hosanna that He wants us to be removed from the unclean thing and to seek holiness. I will keep it simple and sweet, you can pray how this fits into the context of your lives. I hope you do; it's important, for you, me and Hosanna. I really also believe the devil is being stirred because as I was writing this post I got an anxiety attack and was feeling condemnation and weird contortions in my stomach, prayers appreciated.
Wednesday May 28th:
Hi, it has been a while since I've written here. We get caught up in life and things I suppose. Well, I am grateful that I finished 2nd year. I am grateful for Oasis at York. God really gave me grace with my exams, because as I had mentioned before I was not enthused about school, but some how I was able to get an A in a class I barely attended (only God man Lol). But, I also changed my major to English, I believe with the new start I will have more enthusiasm and zeal for my courses. My spiritual walk had its ups and downs because when I was lost and going through the heat of it I became really discouraged. Often I was striving to progress in my walk with God and I would encounter a situation that would seem really discouraging and I would just retreat within myself. The devil had it all for me, the TA's for my courses were anti-theist, and would make snide comments about Christianity and God. I found that discouraging because I didn't want to say anything that would put me up for scrutiny. I prayed to find friends that would be Christian or at least open to the gospel. I did find one in my winter course who used to go to a Pentecostal church when she was younger and I was able to share with her quite a bit. We really hit it off. But, once the semester ended she stopped contacting me, which left me really confused and hurt to be honest. With the Creation Science group at York, I knew that it was what God wanted to do, but it was something my flesh did not want to do. In the natural I saw it as time consuming and I was not excited about being up for scrutiny (what if my TA saw me, the one who hates God and indirectly makes comments like he always does). So, I retreated within myself. I also sought counsel from one of my secular friends. She encouraged me last year to pray when I was upset with God lol. When I shared with her that I would be sharing at campus she stated in the most caring and sincere way possible : Habiba, I know you don't like being rejected and I don't want to see you getting hurt. I think you shouldn't do it.
A part of me was happy to hear that, but I knew in my spirit that's not what God would want. I seriously contemplated life and the vast emptiness of it all, a life without God. A lot of people use God as an accessory as their life. A lot of people say 'Praise Jesus' and 'God is good', but no one is really willing to give up their life. I know that I couldn't simply put Jesus as an accessory to my life, it just would be too fake. But, to radically sell out for God, was something that was honestly scary to me. I didn't know it but God showed me that I had a fear of failure. Every time I try to move forward for God, I hear voices of discouragement and just plain confusion. However, I know it's not how you start but how you finish. It's funny, when I was in my period of counting the costs, I ran into people from my past, people I kind of shared with and were praying for. I felt like if I was to give up, I'd be letting go of the potential plans God had for those people. My co-worker says he's content that he found happiness without the whole God aspect. He says he's not trying to convert me but states that I can do the same. Find happiness without God... Then when I try to be like them ( the world) fit in, be quiet about my faith, I feel a part of me is being suppressed. My spirit-man is crying out, but I want to fit in.
So, it takes me back to childhood and my adolescent years when people called me 'weird'. Always with a negative connotation; isn't everyone weird? I guess my weird is too weird. I remember a colleague at church stating I always knew you were different. So, I never really was comfortable with myself. I suppressed a lot of who I was trying to be like 'them', trying to please people.
However, God says I am unique. Over the past year God has been breaking off stuff. I started showing affection and being more expressive if that makes sense. This morning, after my routine workout I was watching it's Sid Roth supernatural. I watched the video a couple of days ago before I fell asleep, but this time the episode segment had my undivided attention. And it resonated with me. I did not have to try to be someone else. I did not had to suppress the innate talents and traits given. Or the unique career path that God has called for me. I secretly wanted that affirmation. I did not get it anywhere, and I was crying Lord won't someone validate me? Watching the video was like God telling me he validates me. I know my healing is not overnight and it is a long process, but so long as I trust God, I can be filled with the fire to finish strong.
Thursday May 29th:
Cue Thursday, the day of trepidation. Today I made a big boo boo at work. Well, actually on Tuesday. I gave a contractor keys to the wrong apartment (again), despite trying to be cautious . A kitchen reno was scheduled in the apartment, but not for this week. It was not until today when the guy inspected the apartment (the one that was suppose to have the kitchen reno and saw the unfinished beauty that it was), that cataclysmic reactions occurred. I've been working at this job for a year now. So, I thought I had it down now, but I guess I have a severe learning curb. At my work place there is a lady, let's call her Magdalene. She is the administrative assistant and schedules contractors. When she found out this mistake she flipped. And I hate criticism and scrutiny as I have mentioned. So I just felt like dung the remainder of my shift. I could not even function at work. I lost my appetite - and that is saying a lot considering my love of food. Like I said before, every time I try to move forward for God something happens to discourage me. I do remember reciting wedding vows to God, through better and for worse. I wished God didn't trust me so much sometimes. I know we are fallible, but I just feel like I am more fallible. To be honest, I don't sleep well and can't enjoy weekends and stuff because I fear work. I fear going to work, I anticipate the next mistake, and I am just not enjoying life at the moment. But, I feel like God really wants to break something off in my life, so I just have to stick for the ride. I've been praying, but I don't want to pray out of paranoia. I don't want to be a liability at my work. I want to feel secure in my God-given traits. Sometimes, I do have darker thoughts when these things happen like drinking or smoking. I know it won't answer anything but dealing with reality sucks sometimes. I want to believe God has something for me, but when this happens continuously I am left questioning everything I believed in. On the plus side, I was able to share with Brother Michael today at York. The girls I shared with were Sikhs and really open. Actually, all the people I shared with were really open. What if I let today's events get the better of me and not share? If you read this, I just appreciate prayer for whatever. Another positive thing is rather than retreat within myself , I am choosing to seek God. You know I don't want to seem ungrateful, but like Jeremiah says
Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously? Jeremiah 12:1 KJV
I pray that we can wake up and realize the potential that we all have in Christ. I have many doubts and lies that I believe in myself that I have to bring to the Cross. Rend our garments and mourn for deliverance, it's time to take our faith to the next level. A lot of us believe lies, even lies that have been planted years ago. I am a testament to that. Christ can renew us. I even see this week the struggle I had bringing truth to lies, because the lie was so deeply embedded in my mind that it became a tree of death. But resist the devil and he will flee. I sometimes get upset because I see people with instantaneous deliverance and I kinda have to struggle per se. But that in itself is a sin - comparing myself to others. But God is the faithful witness and He doesn't lie. He has plans to prosper us. It is only when we give up on God that He can't continue to work in us. It's through the brokenness of the heart, that he creates his masterpiece. There are two analogies I will use:
1. Someone once told me how our life is like a piece of tapestry. On the back it looks like a bunch of lines but once the work is complete and you see the carpet, it is quite the work.
2. A mosaic: Essentially a bunch of broken pieces but make up a larger image that we did not quite see when we started our work.
So you may not see why you are going through what you go through but God works in mysterious ways
I'll bring this home...
I don't remember this but apparently when I was a kid I had speech problems. Like, I was 4 and couldn't formulate proper words or sentences, my speech skills were severely impeded. People told my uncle that he should prescribe pills to help me with my speech. He objected and just trusted that things would work out. My cousin even told me that she thought I would be deemed a 'dumb' kid throughout school. Eventually, uncle said , to his dismay, that I became quite the chatterbox (I was 6-8 when I could talk normally). Throughout school, teachers always said that I talked too much and became the cause of much disruption in the classroom. At work, I sometimes forget that I'm at work and I communicate with people via screaming Lol. I remember my accounting teacher telling me that I have an announcer voice (now I don't know if that was sarcasm or out of annoyance, but I take that as a compliment). My cousin was even surprised that I ended being a straight A student. She told me twice, once in middle school and once last year that I guess God does work in mysterious ways. Now, I love to talk and write and hopefully would like to pursue such things. God saw life when no one else did as well as my uncle, who knows what would have happened if I took those pills....
PS. God is so cool. I'm trying to not indulge in worldly music and trust the pied piper has been bringing songs to my mind. Must resist Fleetwood (yes I am an old soul I blame my uncle), it is really enticing. I was raised with oldies like Springsteen and Young. It's carnal, but you gotta admit that was some 'good' music, the devil knows what he's doing. I remember saying to myself that I want some good worship music not some cliches. Because I feel a lot of worship is filled with all this unnecessary noise. I personally prefer acoustic things...but that's jut me. Anyways, God showed me this group, thanks God. Slowly I'm seeing how God can meet our innermost desires which is something I am just learning and learning to love.
So my midterm was blessed. I only attribute that to God's grace not because of my goodness. I had so much peace through this all as opposed to last semester where I had tormenting thoughts and actually quit my courses, but that's another story. So thanks for your prayers everyone. Just to tackle my two assignments. Through this I've been praying even more so. Often, when we are bombarded with things we neglect meeting with God because we think that will consume our time. But the more I sought God, the more grace I had in things. Anyways, two more assignments than blessed freedom. I can almost taste it...one more day of drudgery that is.
Off tangent, but I sense God really wants me to do a comprehensive study of the Bible. Just like I would do any other piece of informative text, because the Bible is literal history. And after my coworker telling me I don't know the Bible and seeing scholar Dr.Michael Brown being able to argue the Bible as a result of knowing the Bible, I think it's time to follow suit. I mean I read the Bible but I want to know it, and just have the sure foundation. Because I don't want to just go off the people's preaching because so much of it is sketchy now a days. We have people who water down the Gospel so much. People who take the Bible out of context. I just want to see for myself and be radically renewed in my thinking and formulate my own convictions and conclusions with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Anyways, Valentine's Day is tomorrow. I am not that bitter or jealous..maybe just a little. I kid you not, the video I posted is stuff I've heard people say to me. Be it friends or family. Like I have AIDS or something for being single, but at least I still have my sanity in tact and my virginity and my money and my freedom. Hey, I aint ready to wash a man's laundry and cook for him ;I am a wild stallion and this saddle is not ready to be broken (or is it...you never know with God). Kay, I sense I am rambling it's probably a result of the extra large coffee I had, so tata and have a blessed day.
Here are some random thoughts partly induced by coffee mostly by Holy Spirit:
So I have a limited window of time before I have to start cramming for my second and final midterm that's tomorrow, God sent me a scripture regarding this situation : A lazy person's way is blocked with briers, but the path of the upright is an open highway (Proverbs 15:19). Can we say ouch? I did repent and I am thankful for God's mercy and grace but He wasn't going to let this slide easily. Trust me after this week, with two midterms and two assignments due I never want to be stuck in this predicament again- unprepared that is. I even wanted to post a video regarding Valentine's Day and I have it done. I just need to edit it but I don't think I will have time to edit it until after Friday.
Anyways, at work I know this co-worker who is anti-theist. No she does not negate the fact that there's a God, just not the Abrahamic God that I love and know. She is very vehement in her beliefs, but through these months I was able to see that there's more beneath the exterior of anger.
So her daughter was rejected her work permit again and is considered non-existent in this country. Her daughter is potentially suicidal. And lonely. I've been praying if I can do something like hang out with her or something. She is finding it hard to make ends meet and she was quite overwhelmed at work today, so I kinda just asked " Have you ever tried praying, I know you're not religious and all..."
"It doesn't work, trust me Habiba I've been religious for 50 years and it's all hogwash (another word was stated but I will just censor)."
"Why would God let all this suffering happen."
"We live in a fallen world."
"Are you serious Habiba, do you really believe that?" (When she asks this question I can feel the judgement in her eyes as if it were saying Habiba how can you be so smart and yet so stupid LOL)
"Yes, faith is not logical."
So she goes on her typical religious rant on why she hates religion and stuff. She says I haven't read my bible blah blah blah. I know I haven't read it through and through (like from the beginning and end) and she tries to state that I am a 'selective' Christian because I've read certain passages. She has though. I try to explain to her that the difference between me and her is that the Holy Spirit gives revelation. Some time passes.
Then we talk about her bi-polar mom. This was after she asks about my upbringing in which I tell her I live with my uncle and aunt. But any whose, her bi-polar mom seen her dad's corpse chopped up in pieces post world war 2. She doesn't know if it was Germans or whatever, but needless to say her mom was never the same. At this point, I asked whether her mom died of natural causes. She did not, she had a severe manic episode and lets just say she worn her heart out. My co-worker regrets not being at her mom's deathbed, she was 30 minutes late. At this point, my coworker starts tearing up and I feel awkward trying to comfort her (like um you don't have to feel guilty, gosh I'm not Dr.Phil). My coworker hasn't had the greatest life either and perhaps she feels like a failure since her daughter who she intended to have a better than herself feels stuck . Perhaps there's some generational curse going on I really don't know but I do believe with prayer that God can reveal Himself to her.
Scripture Reading: The Valley of Dry Bones Ezekiel 37:1-14
God wants to restore that has been declared dead in this nation. In the context of CrossPower many people are in a lull. God is something you have to pursue for yourself. Pastors can only talk to us for so long until you have to make a critical decision about your walk with God. You have to be intentional about God. Only then will God will restore You. That which the enemy has taken can be restored in Christ Jesus. Seek him full heartedly and remove all idols. In my life, what is worth losing my eternal life over? Nothing. God is the only constant through the winds and storms of life. Do I live to please men or do I live to please to God; a critical question you should ask yourself. Seek holiness, seek truth and you will find it. Humble yourselves and pray. Deal with the sin in your life in order to hear God's voice.
Sometimes I get bouts of loneliness, although it is getting better. I always struggled with it. (Even when I was a kid I remember randomly feeling some emptiness that I could not quite explain and that kinda intensifying in middle and highschool. It climaxed last year, but I think now it's good. Of course there are the monthly mood swings, but I'm praying for God to take dominion.)
I pray up a storm at church and feel good for the week. Then I go to school and it just comes all over me. I get anxiety. And I know very darn well that I prayed and spent time with God this morning (which included asking for the covering of the blood ,the armour of the Spirit and dying to self). The reason why I am so confused is that those in the world are suppose to feel like this right, well I'm not in the world and I still feel it LOL. Of course there is spiritual warfare. Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy. He is always roaming waiting for his opportunity to pounce...Focus. Focus. Yet, I can’t help shake off the lonely feeling as I go on the bus. I tell myself to cleave onto Jesus. I meet some friends later on and randomly talk about God (thanks Holy Spirit). I didn’t go into detail but the typical “you’re name is Habiba and you're Christian”, which sparked some interest since they were muslim. Yup. We engage in nice conversation, but I can’t help but feel that I don’t fit in while talking to them. Hopefully, I will encounter her again to share the gospel. I go home feeling defeated (what battle I loss is beyond me). Then I try to find some positive scripture “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper” I’ll take that. Although my spirit doesn’t resonate with that I need to keep praying ,trusting and believing that one day it will all make sense. Anyways, time to blast some worship music and commence stu-dying for midterms that I 've procrastinated on. Lord have mercy on my soul and may reading week come ever swiftly and valentine's day go ever quickly.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. ISAIAH 43:2
Yes, God wants us to save multitudes or heal the sick and be nice. However, the most important thing is to have intimacy with God. All of these can be dead works, if we are not pursuing God on a regular basis. In my life, when I neglect to seek God, things don't go the way I intended. I start operating in my own strength. You can't serve a saviour you don't know.
I do acknowledge spiritual warfare. I have been experiencing a lot of it lately. Confusing thoughts, fear. memory lapse ( I kid you not i notice I have been forgetting things and my mind blanking out sometimes) and anxiety especially when I am trying to move forward with God. Like really lay my life down for the furtherance of the gospel. Often, I get discouraged and I'm like " I did not sign up for harassment, I'd much rather be comfortable. God, why are you letting me be tormented like this , I'm trying. And I know the devil doesn't like that. But can this happen less?". So I get angry with God and don't talk to him. Haha, I feel like a petty child sometimes. And then I start thinking who needs God I seem to be doing pretty fine. I have some friends, maybe worldly, but they're still somewhat decent. I don't need God.
And that's where one can become prideful and a hardness of heart occurs. Thankfully, God loves me too much to allow me to go astray. I kid you not when I know I'm not doing what God wants I can feel the Holy Spirit just prompting me to talk to God. "That means humility and no God I'm really upset with you.I don't want to Holy Spirit, God wasn't there when I needed him and he left me hanging, that is sooo not cool. " Ignore the message. I try to sleep and the Holy Spirit is like what if you die without God. And I don't know maybe I think I'm Chuck Norris but I'm like , "well I will figure it out." But I don't know something happens (perhaps I actually use my noggin) . Eventually, I realize the necessity of God and crawl back to Him. "God, you know I was kidding about all the stuff I said we still be homies, no seriously God, sorry for being bitter". It's not always like that, but I sense because God wants to really do a work in my life the devil really doesn't want that to happen. And I feel like I'm in the middle of a tug of a war. It doesn't help that I am being put in more uncomfortable positions to glorify God and I'm like can we just slow down a bit. I need to breathe.
I realized I need to always be humble and ask for prayer when I feel stuck in the mud. I know I get embarrassed asking Sis Deb for yet another prayer request, but the Word says there's no condemnation. Daniel prayed 3 times a day. Paul said pray without ceasing. The list goes on and on.
Prayer and the Word at first can seem intimidating and perhaps even boring. When we watch shows that show people jumping off cars and people showing off their jiu-jitsu, prayer and quiet time can seem unfulfilling in contrast to that. I used to struggle with other thoughts when praying, like food and surfing. You name it I probably thought of it. If you can't pray an hour at first, start with 30 minutes and gradually build your way up. Make a fixed time for prayer to happen, rather than just letting it happen. Have an accountability partner. Set your mind on the higher things rather than the world so quiet time can seem more exciting. Trust me, when we are not filled with the junk of the world everything heavenly seems more appealing. Spice things up, Go for a walk (ideally some where with pretty flowers) admire flowers and talk to God. Go to a coffee shop and just journal and talk to God. God is flexible and does not limit us to the confines of our room.
Just today I was having a talk with the senior pastor's wife. The wife mentioned whenever her mom had a problem she would just lock herself in her prayer room and pray. She would come out of the room with joy. God wants that for you and me. To be willing to come to him with every problem. When I lose things I pray to God to show me or bring it back. When I do assignments I pray for God's guidance. Before work sometimes I pray for wisdom, guidance and peace. He wants that, that dependency. There is nothing that we can't talk to God about.
It's just a matter of whether we are willing to make the time. We can get so busy for God that we forget God. I am not saying it's wrong to reach out be a part of a group and do various activities for God. But we should always strive to seek God first. The path is getting narrower and we can't just do what we want anymore. I'm thankful to be learning that.
Needless to say, some of my news years resolutions have not been the way I wanted it to be. It was initially good, but some warfare and lack of zeal caused me to not follow through. But I'm not giving up. I'm also grateful that God has given me opportunities to share with people in the midst of this. Please pray that these people would be open to the Lord.
God is so good and faithful. And awesome. How many times have we sinned and walked in carnality? If I was God, the majority of the world would have been destroyed because of my impatience ( one of my resolutions for next year). I don't get how God can love a creation who constantly neglects Him and does their own tidings. Any whose, I've been spending my last days of 2013 in Quincy, MA. It was to attend my cousin's blessing for her marriage. Bostonian's have a reason to be flaunting their Patriots and Bruins jerseys everywhere...they actually win. That is kinda off topic, but seriously Leafs' fans aren't you embarrassed?
My cousin and her husband became spiritual recently and it was a shocker to me. They are new Christians, so please continue to pray for them up. Within, my first few days of staying there I lashed out at them. It was nice for us to humble ourselves, because like my cousin in law said " Obviously God doesn't want us to be mad, so the devil is trying to use this opportunity". I was perplexed on what made them turn to faith. I mean they seem to have pretty comfortable jobs and they can live off their love right? But my cousin in law basically paraphrased what his pastor consistently re-iterates each week : You can't give God 60 or 90 percent, it's all or nothing. He appreciated the fact that his pastor doesn't tickle your fancy but just tells it like it is.
This Monday morning I had a dream. It looked similar to lets say Grand Central station. There were countless people just going to places. I saw people I knew and when I said Hi to them, they didn't even acknowledge me. Just too busy I suppose. Everyone had destinations and places to go and I was just watching people for a couple of minutes. Finally, I woke up and I was like : What is the meaning of that? I felt God telling me that most people are busybodies always trying to occupy themselves with seemingly important stuff that they forget God or even looking after themselves (could be spiritual or things like exercise). We all have time we just have to utilize it in the right way.
How does this tie in with the new year? Well, I think if we've experienced a less than stellar year, all we need to do is go back to God and give him our 100 percent. God is always willing to refresh us, to renew us, only if we are willing to receive Him. You can go murder someone and if you're truly remorseful God will give you a second chance. This year can be utilized for God's glory. But, one thing I think God wants us to really focus on is the discipline that we exercise in our lives. I don't think we can be Christian and eat garbage, spend copious amount of hours on TV, procrastinating, neglecting thy body...I think you get the point. I think God wants us to be like Navy Seals when doing tasks and pay close attention to detail. Although, the world may have lower standards, we must acknowledge that we are serving a higher purpose...a higher being. Below, I posted some videos that I strongly urge you to watch that I believe emphasize the importance of discipline as well as an article on why our prayers aren't answered. If you take the time to go through these I promise you that you will be blessed and perhaps even challenged and convicted. I'm not sure yet but perhaps I will do weekly updates on how my discipline is going to keep myself accountable and also be an example. Have a great year and let's be champions for Christ!
Discipline and Diligence in our Youth
Just because God gave us a body, doesn't mean we abuse it!
God we thank you for 2013 and the souls you have brought to your throne. We thank You for 2014 and the souls you will bring. We thank you for the diligence and steadfastness that we will adopt. We thank you that we can look ahead to greener pastures and the dreams you have envisioned for us. We will never give up. Amen.