Rescue / NaPoWriMo Day3

A rescue army

Descending from the hills

To help me

A cavalry of warriors

Running to my voiceless cry


Coming for me


Running to me

This is my

Recurring fantasy

A song of deliverance

Sung from my pit


A remnant of a warrior

Trembled the valley with her cry


Coming to you


Running to you

This is my

Recurring fantasy

When will the night end

To reveal there is no knight

In shining armor

No one comes

Only a survivor

In ragged garments

Risen from the grave

When the morning breaks

Untouchable in the Valley (of Death)

My mom overheard someone scare their little boy with his shadow. When the kid is not obeying, they would point to his shadow and say, “Look! That thing is going after you if you don’t do as I say.” Troubled and scared, the kid, we suppose, eventually submits.

Of course, I don’t recommend this kind of parenting. I feel for the kid. But God reminded it to me as I was pondering on Psalms 23. Aren’t we all like that kid at times? Scared of a shadow that cannot touch us?

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.

Psalm 23:4a

When I was 6 or 7 years old, I was in critical condition for Dengue in a hospital. The doctors said I had 50% chance of surviving and 50% chance of dying. I obviously lived through it.

I was an unwelcome pregnancy. My mom was in despair and wanted to leave my dad when she had me. She didn’t think of aborting me but she was not excited about my dramatic entrance into her world either. I had hindered her plans of breaking free from (at that time) a miserable relationship. I imagined my 9 months in her tummy were not exactly fun.

Years ago I had lung infection without me being aware of it. Guess what? God healed me of the sickness even before I knew I had it! When the lung scans came out, what we saw were scar marks from a battle that has already been won! Who gets healed from TB without drinking meds or even praying for healing against it? It was God’s debonaire way of saying, “I got you.”

Could it be that Jesus’ cross was prophesying through my body years ago when I was healed without me asking for healing? And it’s still prophesying now to bodies and souls that are in need of healing:

You HAVE BEEN healed even before you asked for healing! You have been healed even before you knew you’re sick! The shadow of death is basically that–just a shadow. It cannot harm you, because what? Because there is someone walking beside you in that valley!

You are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 23:4b

You are walking with life Himself.

Dengue, my unwanted arrival in this earth, undetected tuberculosis… Depression, oppression, set backs, these close encounters to death cast shadows of gloom and doom. We are led through valleys where intimidating shadows steal our joy and praise.

But death never really touches us when we hold fast to Jesus. (At least not until we’ve fulfilled our life’s purpose. Until then…) It’s all a shadow and remains to be just that because it never could come near Life and Light Himself.

The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want. He is leading me somewhere good but that somewhere is already there. It’s been prepared in advance. And he is not sending me a ride that will take me from here to there. He is my escort. He walks beside me in that valley. That’s why death could not come near. Only it’s shadow lurks, hoping I’d take my eyes off my King.

But it’s only a shadow. Really, why should we fear?

Jesus wants to be our Shepherd. What shadows are lurking around you right now? Turn to Jesus, He wants to take away all our fears.

psalm23 #TheLordIsMyShepherd #Jesus #lovecastsoutfear

Photo by Jaka Škrlep on Unsplash

You’re Something, Stranger

There are words I wanna say
But I can’t seem to get them out
I would risk looking like a psycho
It’s been 10, I still remember you

I swear to God, I have changed
This is not what my ideal self would do
But there are words I have to say, yeah
I gotta say them or I’m exploding

Sometimes I wonder if you’re the real deal
And one too many times I feel I’m disillusioned
To think—that I feel and that I know you

When you say pain, I feel my heart throb
When you say love, I remember God
When you say nothing, I know that you’re travailing
Your emotions well up
Inside me, like vivid paragraphs

Do I know you
Or do I just want your company
On this road of the lonely
Your words console me
With empathy
But I’m freaking scared
This will be the end of me
If I’ll keep on thinking there’s a connection
Or consolation
When all there is, is my imagination

So this is me and my empathy
I’ll hear you out when no one’s listening
But these few lines, I really had to say
It’s the only way to get through this day

‘Coz I really think you are something
I wish you all the best in everything

And stranger, though we’re isles apart
It’s stranger that I seem to know your heart

Featured Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

He didn’t say “Kill me but respectfully please”

As mentioned in my previous posts, I found this awesome devotional called Keep the Blood Warm and I am so blessed reflecting and journaling with it. Here’s Day 2 – Morning:

Morning Verse:

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6:51)

My Journal:

The Man Who Gave His All

I seriously wondered if Jesus said these words primarily to offend us or the people at that time. Like seriously, people had always been slow to get His messages. Then this? They will obviously take this literally and NOT get it.

I mean, I don’t get it either. I’ve been taught that we partake of Jesus’ body during communion (a church tradition), but why does this act of partaking have to sound like a gross, cannibal act of eating human flesh?

Of course, bread symbolizes food, our source of energy and life, if you wish. And Jesus is our source of life, especially spiritual life. He gave our dead spirits breath.

By why:




Jesus, why so graphic and palpable?!

Why can’t he just say turn to me and you will find life? Which of course He did mention at another time.

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven.”

Then I suddenly remembered. Ah yes, God sent down manna from heaven when the Israelites were in the desert. (Bible scholars and non-… of course you already know this plain and simple.) I’m sorry it took me a while to remember. Jesus must be saying, I am God’s provision for you. I am the miracle you have been waiting for. I am the answer to your prayers. I am that. Yes, that.

That thing which you need that you couldn’t find in the desert you are in. I am all that. I am that which is in heaven that came down so you can taste heaven on earth. Please do not mistake me as a substitute for the bread (or rice?) you eat everyday. I am from heaven.

And if you feed yourself with who I am the way you satisfy your appetites with your favorite comfort food (or healthy food), the rewards will not be carnal but eternal. Where on earth, everything is finite and runs out, the sustenance I give you will not burn out (like calories) but live on infinitely. My life, if you let it in you, will not run out.

“And the bread that I will give… is my flesh.”

But Jesus, why do you have to keep on emphasizing your flesh? If this is something spiritual, why do you have to make us feel like we have to be cannibals to receive you?

I mean honestly, that’s the picture that comes to mind, right? We have to eat human flesh. I just don’t understand the choice of imagery.

Then I realized that Jesus’ point was not about “eating physical flesh” but HIM laying down His ALL.

See, I can tell you I’ll die for you. But that doesn’t mean I will give my body for you. I’ll just die. Sure. You can kill me, sure. But I am not offering to you my body. That’s mine. Why should you get it? I’d rather have is buried and treated with respect after I die. Or I’d rather have it cremated and its ashes gathered in an urn on an altar somewhere, immortalized beside my best-looking, instagrammable photo. Sure, I’ll die. But I won’t give you everything.

But Jesus here is saying, I will give myself. Every part. Not just my last breath, but my body, which is holy, sinless, and precious in my Father’s sight. I will lay it down. (For a moment just think about how precious your body is to you. Will you cut off a body part for someone you love? How about for a world in sin?)

I surrender my body so you can take it and feast on it. Feast on who I am. Feast on my sacrifice. Feast on my fullness. Feast on my brokenness. I was on the altar, broken. I didn’t just die for you Riz, I was BROKEN for you. I didn’t just lose consciousness. I was conscious through it all when I surrendered myself to the hands to sinful men to do with my body as they please. This is my act of surrender and love. This is me saying, I want to be yours. Will you be mine?

This season, I have really been struggling to surrender every part of myself to God. God has placed me in a rather secure and comfortable place physically. What would it take for me to be truly surrendered to the Holy Spirit? It is this: a more profound understanding that Jesus surrendered Himself, His body, to purchase my salvation. Like a Bridegroom to His bride, He held nothing back. Today, He still holds nothing back. He is mine for the taking. But will I give myself to Him as fully too?

Fighting the God who fights for us

My journal entry for Keep the Blood Warm book day 1 (again). Text in quotation marks are excerpts from the book.

Evening Verse: In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace. Ephesians 1:7

MEDITATION: My “sin and brokenness blind me and cause me to pull away from a loving God.”

“You have been brought near by the blood of Christ. It is the blood that constitutes your nearness.”

“This is your confidence for experiencing and enjoying the nearness of God throughout your day.”

“Keep your eyes on the cross… you will abide in him.”







Broken and pulling away. The story of my season. Can anyone else relate?

I want to be near but why do I pull away? I always say it’s because I’m broken. I apologize repeatedly for sinning and sometimes even simultaneously as I let a silent tide carry me away. Perfectly conscious of my will, perfectly in control externally, but internally in turmoil.

When the weather of my heart is peaceful, I go against the tide. But in an instant this weather can change. The next thing you’ll see is me going where the water could carry me away from You, my heart breaking in the process. I let my disobedience wound me, as if another wound has the power to heal me. Willful me. There is no debate that punishment is what I deserve.

This has baffled me over and over. That even when I feel strong enough to say “no,” I find myself saying “yes” to the enemy of my soul. I am not only broken but blind. Though the world views us as sensical and intelligent, we are silly and foolish and deceived. Until Jesus breaks our chains and heals our brokenness. Whereby light is restored to our eyes and the power to love and resist hopelessness is restored to our will.

It is true. My sin and brokenness blind me and cause me to pull away from a loving God! But what good is knowing this without the power to act on this knowledge?

But Jesus’ blood did not leave me stuck, bound, and dying.

It BROUGHT me NEAR. For the life of me, how powerful yet helpless I have been until I found assurance that I am wholly, unconditionally, and shamelessly loved. My heart would not have responded to anything else other than a powerful love that tore down my walls and vanquished shame.

He fights for me even when I fight Him.

From the raging tide, I was picked up and set upon a rock. It is not my work or energy or kung-fu skills that constitute my NOW NEARNESS to God. It is my Jesus’ blood.

Now if I could only keep my mind on that.

Not on my strength, power, or determination. Not even on my obedience or devotion. But on His. His perseverance to bring me near and keep me close–meant Him shedding His innocent blood. Oh what a Savior. Jesus, help me keep your blood warm.

You can also check my first journal entry on Keep the Blood Warm: I Was God’s Enemy.

I was God’s enemy

I found this awesome devotional called Keep the Blood Warm. I had been asking God for something like this, something that would draw me closer to Jesus, something that would help me understand more what He did for me like never before. The devotional encourages you to journal. I thought I’d share my journal, unedited (because I don’t have time) and raw. And maybe you’d be encouraged to start your own journey too–on how to keep the blood warm, to keep Jesus near, and nearer still.

First two parts were copied from the devo. Don’t worry, the author shared this too on his Facebook page so I’m sure he’s okay with this. At least for the first few pages of his book.

Morning Verse:

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13)


“For the weight of this verse to hit your heart, you must remember the feeling of being far from God. Of being cut off from the promises, from the new covenant. Your sin and brokenness blinded you and caused you to pull away from a loving God. But now in Christ Jesus, you have been brought near by the blood of Christ. It is his blood that constitutes your nearness. Not your good behavior. Not your feelings. His blood. This is your confidence for experiencing and enjoying the nearness of God throughout your day. Keep your eyes on the cross and your heart warmed to his blood and you will abide in him.”

My Reflection:

What first came to my mind was that I’m a Gentile. Oh how far is Israel from where I live? How far was that place where God appeared and became man’s friend. How hopeless was my lineage, my race, my geography until Jesus extended the possibility of salvation to non-Jews also.

Then I thought of the Vatican, the seat of Catholic leadership. Isn’t it interesting that it’s in Rome and not in Israel?! Isn’t it interesting that the Jews’ enemy, the Romans, had become one of the first converts to Christ? Isn’t it interesting that the first if the Pauline Epistles was addressed to the Romans?

I had watched the series The Chosen and you clearly see there the Jews’ relationship with the Romans. They were their enemy, their captors, their unwelcome masters. They brought the unjust life they desperately want to break free from! But after Jesus, Paul was called to preach the Good News to the Gentiles also. I am a Gentile. Once far off, but now included in Christ’s mission. Embraced in His family. What a shift in destiny!

In a way, I am a Roman. I was an enemy. But am now a friend.

I was far off. Too far off. Excluded. Unnoticed. Unthought of. Irrelevant. Until Jesus came.

But that was not just it. I was without hope and unloved. At least not unconditionally. My parents love me but their love always fall short. Always. In fact, some of my mom’s ways marred me deeply. Her wounded ways created a dysfunction that I need to wrestle with a lot of times. It made me hate myself, deeply hate myself. It decapitated me from loving myself unconditionally the way God does. And I felt trapped. Trapped in a cycle of self rejection. Even though I had become a Christian, the wounds and wrong thought patterns have been woven so intricately in my system. I could not untangle myself from them. I could not remove them in their clingy persistence. Like they were tattooed in my soul. BUT THEY WEREN’T. The devil just makes it feel and think and sound like they are. Jesus set me free from them.

How horrible my life was when Jesus was far off! The BLOOD did not just draw me near, but it permeated by soul and broke the chords and chains and ropes and spell of a cursed past. It did. How horrible to live far from Jesus and to not know and experience the power of His blood.

Were you once far off from Jesus? Are you far off from Him now?

Note: Just like all of us, my mom was a broken person who ended up breaking others because of that. But God is healing her and she is helping mend other people now. Although not perfectly, she still makes mistakes, but don’t we all? 🙂



Photo by Gage Walker on Unsplash

Sometimes, this is how God speaks.
His voice comes like a spray of rain.
It mists your face or a portion of your skin.
It unsettles you for a moment.
But then you let go.

Another shower comes and another spray of rain kisses you.
And another. Until you begin to pay attention.
Is there someone in the rain calling?

The rain stops.
You wait for it, now earnestly.
Until you fall asleep.

You wake up — the earth and plants are drenched.

You say the next one is yours to fathom.
You shout to the sky and ask the clouds to pour.
More silence.
More and more silence.

There will only be silence until you’re ready.
And when you’re truly hungry, it returns.

The first drops are unsettling.
The next ones are cold on your skin.
Oh the discomfort of wearing clothes half dry and half wet!
Big drops keep hitting you on the head, face, shoulders, back, arms, everywhere. You’re offended.
Should you run a way and save your ego before it’s too late?
You stay.

Moments later, clothes dripping wet, heavy and clinging to your skin…
You realise there’s nothing left to do but let your guard go.
Soaked. And soaking still. You let the rain break you.
And bathe you.

As it does, invisible chains break off you
You didn’t realise they’re wrapped around your neck,
Your body, your hands, your feet.
And you begin to dance. A happy dance.
A gotcha dance. A you-didn’t-get-me-this-time dance.
A thank you dance. A wild, free, undignified dance. A there’s-no-tomorrow dance.
An I’ve-been-waiting-for-this-my-whole-life dance.
A [fill in this bracket with what you’ve been dreaming of] dance.
You thought the rain was heavy.
It was the chains that were.

Sometimes, this is how God speaks.
He bothers you.
He triggers you.
He lets you sit in desperation.
He pours water on you and you freak out.
You in prim and proper clothes and all.
Until you pay attention.
Is there someone calling you into the rain?