Sunday, January 16, 2011

In Memory -- THELMA BOBO

Friends are GOD's way of taking care of His family...

Thelma Bobo was GOD's way of befriending many to Himself. He blessed many a soul, including me, with our "Momma Bobo" -- a grand lady who generously shared her chocolates and opened up her heart to all with endearing warm hugs and quickness of wit: a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck!

Yesterday evening, on Momma's day of stepping forward into the precious Presence of GOD -- Ann, Gloria, Sarah and i celebrated her glorious entry into Paradise, by experiencing a glorious sunset at the shores of Imperial Beach. What unsurpassed joy and incomprehensible peace did our Father in Heaven impart to us as He painted the skies with fiery colors that only He can create. Our hearts exulted in jubilant unison -- Bless the LORD, oh my soul!

Thelma Bobo, daughter of GOD...forevermore! (click on her name for her candid video interview)
A poem -- in memory of Thelma Bobo,
our blessed "Momma"


Be still, oh my soul, rest assured
in the satisfying peace of the LORD's embrace.
For as in the eye of this hurricane called life --
There is steadfast calm and sure safety
in the center of GOD's will.

Praise the LORD, oh my soul! Taste and see
that He is infinitely good and indescribably lovely.
Delight, oh my soul, in the LORD JESUS.
For He is the Key who unlocks
the everlasting fountain of joy
that opens to blessed eternal contentment!

Mortify, oh my soul, this prison of flesh
so that the Life of my LORD JESUS
may shine forth in radiant splendor --
that He may reign supreme
over this unredeemed body of death.

Starve this flesh by emphatically denying
this world's array of empty fast-food junk --
all unsatisfactory morsels for the new creation within.
Nourish, rather, the wholesome fruit of the SPIRIT.
Be replete and fully satiated
with the transforming Word of GOD.

Trust in the LORD in all ways always,
Lean not at all on my own understanding;
but in all my ways, i gladly surrender!
Let CHRIST be my faithful Compass
as i sojourn briefly on this earth --
leading and directing me as my Good Shepherd,
caring with all power and tenderhearted mercies
this nearsighted sheep that i am.

Bless the LORD, oh my soul!
All that is within me, bow down before Him
and reverence His holy name!
Rejoice evermore! Rejoice -- come rain or shine,
stormy skies or double rainbows.

Dance, oh my soul, in joyful abandon --
for JESUS is more than enough!
Joy in the LORD -- forevermore!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

IN MEMORY OF John AKO and Patricia (PERRY)

John AKO became a good friend of mine at work -- everyone liked him! He was a hard-working young man, who also attended Grossmont College and played drums at his church (St. Luke's Episcopal Church). He was always ready to greet me with a ready smile on his face. Never did i hear a complaint from him about standing up the whole eight hours at work. He worked patiently and diligently, and he got along well with the other men working with him. Jose told me today that he misses Ako -- we all do!

i liked the foreign uniqueness of John's name, so i called him Ako -- and i felt a special kinship with him because i too lived in Africa for a few years. Because he is my brother In CHRIST, i sympathized with his family's plight -- escaping from southern Sudan, which is torn by civil war and CHRISTian persecution.

It was very difficult not to feel a sorrowful ache at seeing the vacant emptiness of Ako's work area, for when i would look up from my sewing machine, i couldn't help but see him as he was usually in my line of vision.

Ako was a very special person to me. The t-shirt i painted for him reflected his ongoing relationship with JESUS -- All things i can do through CHRIST who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

This was Patricia's rLn original -- she hadn't yet worn it to work...

Patricia -- though we called her "Perry" -- was also a very special woman to me as she went to my church and she was my sister In CHRIST. We were family! When she showed up at work on her first day, i thanked GOD for the blessing of sending a CHRISTian sister to me... who even goes to the same church!

Perry and i would hug every morning (real bear hugs...none of that stiff European stuff!) and share goodies. We usually lined up together to clock out, then i'd drive her and Maia to the trolley station, where she would always rush out of the car to race to her bus.

So to go to work Monday and not see her cheerful face wrung my heart -- then to discover that Ako was also gone was almost too much to bear.

But yet because Ako and Perry were my family In CHRIST, my sorrow was tempered by the Reality that they were already in Heaven with our LORD JESUS. They were in His Presence, enjoying His glory and majesty! No more 8-hour "nine-to-five" -- no more dealing with this fallen world... no more tears, no more pain -- no more sin! Hallelujah!

We are here still -- left behind to experience the pangs of missing them. And yet rejoicing, for those of us who are JESUS' own -- we know that GOD causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him, to those who are the called, according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

As for me -- i am strengthened in the knowledge that GOD is Sovereign GOD. He is all-powerful, all-wise and in all ways always good. His thoughts and His ways are beyond man's comprehension, for how can the finite understand the Infinite? And shall the clay say to the Potter, "why did You shape me this way?" or shall the canvas say to the Master Artist, "don't paint me with those dark pigments -- i only want the rosy colors"?

i will say with Job, "Though He slay me, yet will i trust Him." (Job 13:15)

Please donate. ALL donations will benefit the Naselesele Village school children in Taveuni, Fiji. VINAKA VAKA LEVU! 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

my Daily Delight: Magnifying CHRIST JESUS

Oh, MAGNIFY The LORD with me, and LET us EXALT His Name together! Oh, taste and see that The LORD is GOOD! BLESSED (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who takes refuge IN Him! (see Psalm 34)

LET those who DELIGHT in His Righteousness shout for JOY and be GLAD and say EVERmore, "GREAT is The LORD, who delights in the welfare of His servant!" DELIGHT yourself IN The LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalms 35; 37)

WHY do i DELIGHT IN JESUS? WHY is He MOST Precious to me? WHY is He THE Treasure of my life and THE Passion of my heart?

Because HE DIED for me...while i was YET a TRULY wretched SINner.

Because HE bore ALL my SINs upon Himself and imputed (credited/attributed) to me HIS OWN Righteousness. HIS shed BLOOD cleansed and washed away my FILTHY rags of SELF-Pride, SELF-Righteousness and SELF-Sufficiency. HE made me a NEW creature -- with a NEW Heart -- BORN AGAIN of The SPIRIT of GOD.

Because HE is breathtakingly beauty-FULL -- His Countenance INdescribably attractive and ALL-together lovely (even though the prophet Isaiah said that -- in His earthly Incarnation -- the Servant-King had "nothing beautiful or majestic about His appearance, nothing to attract us to Him). Because HE has INfinite Compassion and UNfathomable TENDERness. Because HE is ALLmighty, utterly POWERful beyond man's comprehension. Because HE is faith-FULL and TRUE -- HE canNOT EVER lie and will NOT EVER break His promises. Because HE made PEACE between The FATHER and me.

Because HE IS GOOD...Perfect and Wholesome in ALL ways -- always -- forEVER and EVER more!

Because HE (with The FATHER) sent the Holy SPIRIT to be my Comforter, Counselor, Helper. HE intercedes for me. HE prays those prayers i cannot utter. HE orchestrates and causes ALL things to work together for my BEST -- not just the good enough. HIS Righteous Right Arm guards me from harm...from that father of lies, that utterly evil one. HE emPOWERs and equips me to do the work that my heavenly FATHER has ordained to accomplish through me. HE gives me DAILY Provision. HE sustains and nourishes me in each moment...breath to breath to breath.

Because HE FULLY accomplished the work of saving sinners like me. i OWE Him my ALL. HE obeyed The FATHER's Plan of SALVATION -- even the DEATH on the Cross. HE gave up His Majesty and Glory with The FATHER by HUMBLING Himself -- becoming human, born into poor surroundings, REJECTED by His own. HE who had EVERY thing... HE who was the apple of His FATHER's eye, Who was in His FATHER's bosom in PERFECT ONENESS and HOLY Intimacy, for Whom the whole Creation was made -- HE gave up ALL to prove The FATHER's LOVE for the world. JESUS DIED to exemplify TRUE AGAPE-LOVE.

Because without CHRIST's completed work on the cross, i would STILL be part of the Walking DEAD -- living a pointless, meaningless, EMPTY life! i would STILL be captive to this illusion of being alive, yet never quickened to TRUE Life. Without JESUS' Good News, i cannot call GOD my FATHER -- my Heavenly DAD; but only tremble in fear of His WRATH in the coming Day of JUDGMENT. Without CHRIST's gift of ETERNAL Life, i would be RESURRECTED in a physical ETERNAL Hell.

But i REJOICE and EXULT IN CHRIST JESUS my LORD -- my Savior, my Friend, my Good Shepherd -- GOD of my life. HE goes before me in ALL things -- even death... and grants me VICTORY over death with His promise of BODILY Resurrection. For as HE Himself defeated the grave, SO HE GIVES LIFE! in the Heavenlies to those who BELIEVE (trust in JESUS' sinLESS Life, His atoning BLOOD shed on the Cross, His Resurrection from the Dead) and willingly OBEY and FOLLOW Him, even to the uttermost parts of the earth.

My very real DELIGHT is IN JESUS, the Person who is GOD. HE is the ultimate Husband -- NEVER disappointing, ALL-ways Faithful and True. My TRUE joy is IN CHRIST -- there is NO thing, NO person, who can fulfill ALL my needs and desires. Oh, reader, DELIGHT also IN The LORD JESUS, and HE will make your heart OVERflow with DELIGHT as you delight in HIS delights.

Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together!