Losing to Gain

Sometimes things are more right than you realize

Koolau Mountain Range, Oahu

It’s trending on Twitter that many who had saved up a rainy day fund, as they should, are facing its depletion. I don’t know why this jumped out at me so much, but it did.

Have you ever felt like you were doing everything right but still losing? It’s like being a “sand cookie” (Admiral William McRaven’s Make Your Bed) – life will sometimes toss you around for no apparent reason. The sooner we learn to accept life for what it is, we are free to actually move forward.

How many times have you needed to lose “everything” to gain it all?

As humans, something about us is just naturally off. We focus on the things we think are important in this life. Yet we struggle to pay any mind to what really matters.

It’s funny how it’s the little things in life that mean the most

Not where you live, what you drive or the price tag on your clothes

There’s no dollar sign on a peace of mind, this I’ve come to know

Chicken Fried, Zac Brown Band

While we face financial uncertainty as a whole, may God give us a spirit of endurance so that we can testify to His unwavering strength. May He help us to realign and to shift focus to what truly matters – His peace, our love for others, and the cultivation of Spirit.

Every challenge we face in life, we can face peacefully because we know that God has already won. God is in control. Let us bring this message forth to the world.

Hope for a Thousand Years

Are you ready for God to do something in your life?

David in Vintage Beach Boys Reyn Spooner

No matter what you’re going through right now, I hope that you know how much God loves you. It may seem like all is lost, like things are hopeless. You may be having relationship difficulties, or be facing financial troubles. Yet I believe and know that God can rush in and do something miraculous in your life – no matter the circumstance.

I was listening to the radio today as I drove around aimlessly. Driving has always been soothing to me and I’m really grateful for my car. (I also want the new Hummer EV!). Anyway, I heard a verse that I used to think about a lot, but that I hasn’t come to mind in a long while.

Beloved, do not let this one thing escape your notice: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3: 8-9

The ancient Greeks had two words for time: χρόνος (Chronos) and καιρός (Kairos). Kairos is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment, while Chronos refers to chronological or sequential time. Kairos signifies a period or season, a moment of indeterminate time in which an event of significance happens. Chronos is quantitative, while Kairos has a qualitative, permanent nature. 2020 has been a crazy year and this coronavirus season has given God the chance to do deep healing work on us all.

The truth is, I haven’t thought about this quote much lately because I struggled a lot with hope this year. Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen or a feeling of trust. Have you ever found it difficult to trust God? Maybe it’s easy to trust Him with certain things, but more difficult to open up other parts of your life to Him. A different sermon I heard during my drive brought up how Jesus multiplied bread and fish for 5000. Even though we are facing a season of famine, are we going to allow Jesus to perform miracles – to multiply what we little we have?

As November nears, it’s crazy to realize how quickly this year passed by. Things were so different in the world just a year ago. It seems like this year really took a toll on so many of us. For me, I started to lose hope in what God has promised me. It’s easy to question the true abilities of God, and of ourselves. It’s difficult to hold steadfast to your hope and faith through all the trials and tribulations of this life.

Let us all remember to trust in God’s perfect timing, handiwork, and plan. Cultivate hope even when things look bleak.

For in this hope we are saved; but hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he can already see? But if we hope for what we do not yet see, we wait for it patiently.

Romans 8: 24-25

Keep On Keeping On

Powering through uncertain times

Elise in Acacia at Kailua

Having faith when times are uncertain can be tough. It’s something I’m dealing with today… what does the future hold for me? Where will I live, what will I do, who will I be?

The song Que Sera Sera comes to mind.

Whatever will be will be. God is always in control. It’s time for us to realize it, to embrace it, and to surrender to it.

If we take on all the concerns of our day to day life, it’s too much for anyone to handle! That’s where God comes in.

One of my favorite songs is Just a Closer Walk With Thee says, “I am weak but thou art strong.” It’s a beautiful thought to know that our weakness reveals God’s strength.

How is God revealing His power to you?

The Power of Fellowship

Wherever two or three gather…

Being that I still consider myself a new believer, fellowship has been difficult for me to establish. I visit numerous churches and haven’t joined a small group. My sister in Christ, Nicole, who I actually knew before coming back to the fold, was recently telling me about how she was looking to be more involved in the church, as well.

For those who are shy, or just not ready to take things to the next level, finding just one friend at church can make a huge difference. You’ll have someone to sit next to during service, and you can stay updated on each other’s lives.

The text pictured above is one illustration of how this relationship has been such a light to my life. Before I decided to give my life to God, I really didn’t have any people I could talk to about spirituality. The majority of my friendships in law school were centered around partying and that was my world. Luckily, God brings just the right people into your life- just when you need them.

Who’s in your corner? During some of the lowest points in my life, I felt that I had no support. However, feeling alone in this world allows you to truly be the most secure through fully leaning on the power of God. The thing about the Lord is that He is always in your corner – and, He is all powerful and has already won the war!

Who’s in your circle? Do the people around you inspire you, want the best for you, and uplift you? Or do you have a cage, instead?

Who’s in your heart? Having Jesus in your heart can truly bring you peace like no other. If you care a lot about others, that’s fine- so long as God remains #1.

Accountability is my personal favorite thing about fellowship, as I need it more than most. Having others to hold me to my beliefs, to help me when I’m feeling down, and to walk with me through different chapters is a huge blessing. I hope you are all able to connect and fellowship during this time.

For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.

Matthew 18:20

Staying in God’s Peace

Peace is one of the greatest gifts in life

Edited by Patrick

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

Philippians 4:4-8

It’s been a pretty hectic few weeks moving out of the apartment I inhabited for three years during law school. There were a lot of emotions that rose to the surface because it really felt like the end of an era. I’m so blessed to have grown the last three years, to have experienced the miraculousness of God, and to have made such amazing memories.

Now, I am in a more peaceful and quiet environment that hopefully will prove to be very healing for me. During this crazy time, full with uncertainty, it is a blessing to be able to stay in connection with God. By staying in the peace that only He is capable of giving, we are able to be who we are intended to be.

I have personally been struggling with spiritual attacks and need to remind myself to stay rooted in the truth and focus on what really matters. At the end of the day, your ministry is your day-to-day life. With this perspective, we are able to look beyond the struggles of today and realize that we have consistently shown ourselves who we are. We don’t have to prove ourselves to others, to live in regret over the mistakes we made, or to question the worth of our contributions. God designed each of us perfectly and intends for us to live in peace and happiness.

How do you maintain peace?

Sunset Stroll at Waimānalo

Grateful for the beautiful sunsets here on Oahu

One of my favorite places to start at end my days is Waimānalo Beach. This is a broad sandy beach on the east side of Oahu.

This evening, there were people fishing, body boarding, and walking as the sun went down on another beautiful and blessed day here in Hawaii.

Over the last six months, there have been many ups and downs. Luckily, routine can provide us with the solace that we need from the stress and craziness of this oft overwhelming life.

God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening. And there was morning – the second day.

Genesis 1:8

God is the ultimate creator, the most talented artist, and the great refresher. Through feeling His presence, we are able to be renewed and restored. We are able to truly become the individuals that God created us to be.

In what ways do you experience God in your everyday life?