God Answers Prayers

Unlikely Answers

Lessons Learned from My Sickness Part 22: Unlikely Answers

God Answers Prayers

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

Isn’t it true that we all wanted our prayers to be answered?

And isn’t it true that the answers we expected are the answers that we already framed in our minds?

In other words, when we pray for a ganta of rice, we also expect to receive a ganta of rice – not just 2 cupfulls.

Most often, we wanted God to follow what we already formulated in our thoughts.

But God’s ways are not our ways and his thoughts, not our thoughts. I affirmed this truth in my sickness.

I discovered that God was in the business of giving me something which I haven’t asked, but something which was for my own good.

An article I’ve read articulated this truth. It says,

I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked God for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn to obey.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power and the praise of men;
I was given weakness to sense my need of God.
I asked for all things that i might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing I asked for, but everything I hoped for;
In spite of myself, my prayers were answered –
I am among all men most richly blessed!

Posted on FB: 13 March 2015 – 2:52 PM

Jaro Evangelical Church

About the Author

Rev. Ronny Luces is the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He and wife, Martha have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.

Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.

In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he has lung cancer. He is undergoing chemotherapy.

Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny writes his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness”.

May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles. Please pray for Pastor Ronny’s healing.

Advertisements
God Knows Best

God Knows Best 2

Lessons Learned from My Sickness – Part 21: God Knows Best 2

God Knows Best

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26

As promised, here are the remaining stanzas of the poem which greatly inspired me, and gave me a positive outlook as I face the challenge of my sickness:

For growing trees are strengthened
When they withstand the storm,
And the sharp cut of a chisel
Gives the marble grace and form.

God never hurts us needlessly,
And he never wastes our pain
For every loss he send to us
Is followed by rich gain.

And when we count our blessings
That God so freely sent
We will find no cause for murmuring
And no time to lament.

For our Father loves his children
And to him all things are plain,
So he never sends us pleasures
When the soul’s deep need is pain.

So whenever we are troubled
And when everything goes wrong,
It is just God working in us
To make our spirits strong!

Posted on FB: 12 March 2015 – 6:47 PM

Jaro Evangelical Church

About the Author

Rev. Ronny Luces is the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He and wife, Martha have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.

Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.

In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he has lung cancer. He is undergoing chemotherapy.

Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny writes his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness”.

May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles. Please pray for Pastor Ronny’s healing.

PHOTO CREDIT: House Sparrows by Jose Telesforo Limbaga. Used with permission. The photo has been resized to fit website requirement.

God Knows Best

God Knows Best

Lessons Learned from My Sickness – Part 20: God Knows Best

God Knows Best

Certainly, God knows what’s best for you!

All of us have our favorite poems, sayings or mottos that bring comfort to our beleaguered souls when times get hard.

I remembered watching a movie about Nelson Mandela and how the poem “Invictus” figured prominently in his life.

When the doctor revealed to me the devastating news about my sickness, the words of a certain poem also rang true in my heart.

It brought me peace of mind and a calm understanding of what I’m going through from the perspective of someone who has fully surrendered herself to God’s power and will.

The title of the poem is “God Knows Best” and it was written by Helen Steiner Rice.

I would like to share the first three stanzas of the poem to you, my dear readers:

Our Father knows what’s best for us
So why should we complain –
We always want the sunshine,
But He knows there must be rain.

We love the sound of laughter
And the merriment of cheer,
But our hearts would lose their tenderness
If we never shed a tear.

Our Father tests us often
With suffering and with sorrow,
He tests us, not to punish us
But to help us meet tomorrow.

If you are undergoing some very terrible experiences right now, just commit yourselves to God and His ultimate power.

Certainly, God knows what’s best for you!

I will share the next lines of the poem on my next lessons. Good day everyone.

Posted on FB: 12 March 2015 – 2:15 PM

Jaro Evangelical Church

About the Author

Rev. Ronny Luces is the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He and wife, Martha have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.

Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.

In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he has lung cancer. He is undergoing chemotherapy.

Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny writes his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness”.

May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles. Please pray for Pastor Ronny’s healing.

peace and quiet place

Sensitivity – Important Caring Ingredient

Lessons Learned from My Sickness – Part 19: Sensitivity

peace and quiet place

Peace and quiet bring healing to the body and mind.

This word, according to the dictionary means – the awareness and understanding of needs or feelings of others; the ability to respond to perceived inadequacies; the strength of physical and emotional reaction.

The opposite of sensitivity is apathy, numbness, unresponsive, unfeeling and hard-heartedness.

To be called “sensitive” is to be able to have a positive description.

Many favorable things happened in the lives of people because actions made by sensitive persons had helped solve their problems or eased the burdens they were carrying.

I owe a great debt of gratitude to many people whose sensitivity eased my pain, answered my needs and brought me joy.

The day after my release from hospital confinement was the Jaro fiesta. For those unfamiliar with the event, it means that traffic is closed, streets are filled with all kinds of vendors, noise and dirt pollution proliferates.

For us living in the central part of the district (near the Jaro plaza), it means being vulnerable to 24-hour noise, smoke and dirt pollution, and difficulty of transportation.

Being newly released from the hospital I still suffer from shortness of breathe and have difficulty in my physical movements.

The question which occupied my mind in anticipation of the fiesta was, “How can my body rest in the middle of such discomfort?”

Without my knowing it, sensitive members of Jaro Evangelical Church had already prepared for such an eventuality.

They had already made a reservation in a nearby beach resort to have a cottage to accommodate me and my family for two days so that we can avoid the inconveniences of the fiesta celebration!

The sensitivity of these concerned church members enabled them to plan in advance what to do during my time of need.

How wonderful to have Christian brothers and sisters like them!

I praise God for giving us sensitive members in the family of faith!

Posted on FB: 11 March 2015 – 2:56 PM

Jaro Evangelical Church

About the Author

Rev. Ronny Luces is the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He and wife, Martha have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.

Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.

In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he has lung cancer. He is undergoing chemotherapy.

Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny writes his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness”.

May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles. Please pray for Pastor Ronny’s healing.

PHOTO CREDIT: Boracay by Karl Hipolito; used with permission.

Praise Be TVNZ

Joining Praise Be Timaru 2015 of TVNZ

Praise Be 2015 Timaru edition 1 I have the opportunity to join in the Praise Be TV show filming on 16 March as bass guitarist.

Praise Be” is a Sunday show of TVNZ that started in 1986 and ranks among New Zealand’s longest running television shows.

Filmed at the Sacred Heart Basilica, the Timaru 2015 episode has, among others, a contemporary praise and worship band accompanying the choir.

The music director, Rosie Staite really wanted some lively praise music played by an electric band. She requested Brent Duncan to form his band.

Brent is one of the praise and worship leaders at Wilson Street Baptist Church. He invited me to play the bass. He played the keyboards. The other band members are Tony Zweis (drums), Lauren Foster (sax) and Katie Vincent (flute).

This was the second time they recorded at Timaru, the first was ten years ago at the same venue. Some of the choir members were part of Praise Be Timaru 2005 edition.

Playing the bass was quite challenging because 4 of the six songs weren’t familiar to me and I can’t read sheet music. I only play by ear.

The four practice sessions and listening to the music through the internet helped me learn the songs.

I believe that my musical talent is God-given and I find happiness in sharing it whenever there’s opportunity.

Such great joy joining the Praise Be Timaru episode and be part of history. To God be the glory!

Praise Be TVNZ

Coming from different churches in Timaru, the choir members numbered around 100.