Thursday, September 2, 2010

Stroke Victim: My Love and Life Story

 Me, before the stroke.
Me, a year after the stroke.
Me, now attending church and happier, too. 

Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14
Friends, I want to share you my own story of coping as a paralyzed stroke victim in a place where there is no medical help for poor patients like me to get better except for strong determination and acceptance of my destiny,  the encouragement of a very dear one despite the ups and downs of the love relationship, plus the support of family and friends.  Best of all, I have the most powerful God to back me up!

My story:
I was a stroke victim and paralyzed for more than 3 years now (more reason was stress due to studies and my blood pressure went up). Based on me , I am more or less 80%-85% well because I can walk now and do some light work at home, go to the grocery store on my own, etc. than when I started as a bed-ridden patient. I am half-body paralyzed, right side, with little movement in the arms and hands but not opening the fingers (I can close them though). I can talk with a slur but still understandable.

I was a college teacher before the stroke (but no insurance as my length of service did not warrant the pension payment due to teachers serving qualified years of service). How I wish to undergo a speech therapy (perhaps on aid through a foundation or groups ) so that I can work online as a teacher-tutor and earn something for my daily needs.

At 43, I am still single, and living with my sister's small children and a house help (she and her husband are not with us for financial reasons). We are not financially stable so that I am not able to get the regular medical treatment I need. My last medical treatment in the hospital was more than two years ago and the daily complete medicine intake plus physical therapy were 6 months only immediately after the stroke (again due to finances). The only medication I get now are anti-hb tablet (1 variety only) and multi-vitamins given by my uncle from USA plus some mixture of herbal medicine as tea, green tea and non-fat milk that I drink every morning. I eat meat sparingly, usually boiled or broiled chicken without the fat. In other words, I am on a healthy diet. One thing I do twice a week is hot-stone and shiatsu combined massage from a trained lady friend in reflexology. It's the only thing I can afford paying (in my country, services like this is affordable). I am a Christian and truly believe God would heal me soon.

I have a more than five years boyfriend overseas (our relationship goes beyond the stroke). He is poor and a true Christian also. Our only means of communication is chatting through the internet or calling by phone (and he cannot understand me except when I laugh and say I love you). We saw each other personally once - three years ago. I quarreled with him many times to free him. Yet, he still wants to marry me next year despite everything.

Honestly, a lot of my friends consider my life as worth telling. There is only one thing I could tell about all these. God is amidst all these. One day, He will finish my story and it must be good. Why? I believe I am favored by Him!

(c) August 2010, Luisa Mercado (mermalu, lifebeyond)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Which One Are You?

And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. Luke 17:19

As I was reading my Bible this morning, I came across Luke 17:11-19. The LORD then stopped me and did not allow me to go any further till I settled what I needed to get right with Him. Conviction set in greatly that when I wrote want happened in my personal diary, what He had done and how I saw myself in that passage, I decided to share a bit with you, but not all as it is between Him and me. What I am sharing you now is just a few thoughts of the goodness, mercy, and grace of our LORD that we tend to overlook and take for granted.

If you read what I learned with your heart into it, you will be touched. What I saw were 10 lepers ALL cleansed, yet only one turned back to give Jesus the glory and thanks due Him. You see, all ten had to walk afar off from people due to their disease. They had to restraint themselves so as not to contaminate others. They lifted up and protrude their voices above normal tone to communicate with people. They did these for Jesus to hear them and He heard their plea of mercy.

But, after their faith had made them whole, who came back? Did all ten to thank Jesus for what He had so mercifully done for them? Did they made effort to glorify Him and shout the victory in Jesus for the great miracle that Christ the Lord had done for them? NO! Nine out of the ten left, went their good old merry way and took for granted what Jesus had just done for them. Don't you think after such a miracle, they all would of returned to give Jesus thanks and fall at His feet as one did?

So I ask you, which one are you? Are you 9 of the ten that the Lord has given everything? The you who constantly accept what He gives you, yet you NEVER return to Him to give Him the glory due Him? Do you give Him the thanks that He so faithfully deserves? Do you glory in yourself, your own lusts and indulgences and never give one iota thought of what God Almighty has done in your life? Do you get on your face to cry out to God and thank Him for the life He has given you by not throwing you in Hell yet? Do you even give Him one moment of your time in prayer each day, or do your bible studies on a regular basis? Or do you do so little that you think you are good and righteous enough to get by each day with reading and praying as little as you can, making yourself to be a spiritual giant for our God?

Now, about the one that returned, he came running back all excited, happy and thrilled to the bone because after he had gotten healed by the Lord Jesus, he acknowledge His greatness and went out to proclaim the name of Jesus to others. I saw in this one cleansed leper that he witnessed to others about what Jesus had done for him. I am sure he led many others to Christ by testimony. He was once spotted by the blight of sin and disease, he is now clean. I myself personally believe this one who 'turned back' with a loud voice, glorified and thanked Jesus at HIS FEET; probably in tears and his heart full of joy, is in heaven now.

So again which one are you young man or woman? Are you the one who glories, thank and praise God every day for ALL He has done for you? Or are you one of the nine who has been given everything by the grace of our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, yet ignore His goodness and mercy? Do you just live for yourself portraying as a just and righteous person who THINKS you walk with God, if saved? Or if you are not saved and born again, you may have that same attitude like many do, yet proclaim "saved" as they do.

In this great passage I can see our Lord Jesus Christ's great compassion as He healed the lepers. I saw His abounding grace as He decided to give to them all , even to the 9 who never returned to give Him glory, thanks and reverence. I saw the Lord Jesus' righteousness as He did not condemn those who did not return to give glory due to His holy name. I saw His mercy which He did not have to give, but He did because He knew they did not deserve it, yet He still gave to them His healing. I saw His goodness as the Lord Jesus immediately saw their desire and need to be made whole.

Though Jesus never had to do anything for them, yet, He chose to show them His unique goodness by allowing the bondage they were in to be released and cleansed. I also saw Jesus as He is the only one who can cleanse anyone who is under the chains of the self life. These lepers were under a chain of heaviness after which Jesus Christ lifted it off them. They were relieved and though the others may have been thankful in some little ways, they were not really like the one who returned. I felt this man who returned was convicted and he loved Jesus in a way that he was so excited when he thanked and glorified Him.

What about you friend? Do you want to have a walk with the Lord each day and have His blessings pouring down on you ? He can give you much. If you have never trusted Jesus as your personal Saviour, you will never be released from the bondage of your sins together with the chains of this old world. It's carnality will drag you down into an inferno of hellfire. You shall never see the face of the One who can save you from such a fiery, tormenting place.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and He will give you peace, happiness and joy. After salvation, you will still go through trials and bad times. Never listen to fake televangelists who say you will never go through any bad times anymore. They will just lead you astray. Listen to people who know better, even if they speak in biblical truth and hurt your ego. They do mean well and you will be directed to the truth.

Yes, as a Christian, we will all go through many trials, and will be tested by the world or by God Himself. We all go through things that are unpleasant, but that does not mean God is not with us. He is there with us through everything. We just need to keep our faith and trust in the Lord to help us through all things. He will help us in our walk each day with Him.

John 3:16, probably the greatest verse in the Bible on salvation, tells you that 'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.' God is where you are, the distance between the floor and your knees. Your religion, works, penance, or keeping His commandments will not save you. Only trusting in Jesus as your personal Saviour can. You will be delivered from a hell, and saved by the blood of Christ to be with Him in heaven forever.

My prayer is that the Lord will convict those who read this, and will do a miracle in saving a dear soul from the pits of hell. He will give that person His grace and that person will make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. He will be cleansed from the chains of sin and be renewed in soul, mind, spirit. He will call on the name of the LORD in humility and tears, and have a life that is committed in serving our risen Saviour. He will turn from all sins and live for Jesus Christ.

If you come to be saved, please drop us a line here on our blog. We love to hear how the Lord delivered you, how you are serving Him and all the blessings He is giving you.

God bless us!

(c) August 2010, Michael Carey

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Focus: Lessons From Charles G. Finney

Mike and I saw this on and thought of sharing these lessons from Charles G. Finney with you as they are very profitable to every true believers of Christ especially to the pastors, ministers, evangelists and preachers.  Happy reading!


By Charles G. Finney

  1. Let your supreme motive be to increase your own popularity -- then, of course, your preaching will be suited for that purpose, and not to convert souls to Christ.
  2. Avoid preaching doctrines that are offensive to the carnal mind, lest they should say to you, as they did to Christ, "This is a hard saying, who can hear it?"
  3. Make no distinct points, and do not disturb the consciences of your hearers, lest they become alarmed about their souls.
  4. Avoid all illustrations, repetitions, and emphatic sentences that may compel your people to remember what you say.
  5. Avoid all heat and earnestness in your delivery, lest you make the impression that you really believe what you say.
  6. Address the emotions, and not the conscience, of your hearers.
  7. Be careful not to testify from your own experiences of the power of the Gospel, lest you should produce the conviction upon your hearers that you have something which they need.
  8. Do not awaken uncomfortable memories by reminding your listeners of their past sins.
  9. Denounce sin in general, but make no reference to the specific sins of your present audience.
  10. Do not make the impression that God commands your listeners here and now to obey the truth.  Do not let them think that you expect them to commit themselves right on the spot to give their hearts to God.
  11. Leave the impression that they are expected to go away in their sins, and to consider the matter at their convenience.
  12. Dwell much upon their inability to obey, and leave the impression that they must wait for God to change their natures.
  13. Preach salvation by grace, but ignore the condemned and lost condition of the sinner, lest he should understand what you mean by grace, and feel his need of it.
  14. Preach the Gospel as a remedy, but conceal or ignore the fatal disease of the sinner.
  15. Do not speak of the spirituality of God's holy law (by which comes the knowledge of sin), lest the sinner should see his lost condition and flee from the wrath to come.
  16. Make no appeals to the fears of sinners, but leave the impression that they have no reason to fear.
  17. Preach Christ as an infinite amiable and good-natured being, but ignore those scathing rebukes of sinners and hypocrites which so often made his hearers tremble.
  18. Admit, either obviously or casually, that all men have some moral goodness in them, lest sinners should understand that they need a radical change of heart, from sin to holiness.
  19. Say so little of hell that your people will think that you do not believe in its existence yourself.
  20. Make the impression that, if God is as good as you are, He could not send anyone to hell.
  21. Make no disagreeable references to the teachings of self denial, cross bearing, and crucifixion to the world, lest you should convict and convert some of your church members.
  22. Do not rebuke the worldly tendencies of the church, lest you should hurt their feelings, and finally convert some of them.
  23. Do not rebuke extravagance in dress, lest you should make an uncomfortable impression on your vain and worldly church members.
  24. Encourage lots of church socials, and attend them yourself.
  25. Make it your great aim to be personally popular with all classes of your hearers.
  26. Aim to make your hearers pleased with themselves and pleased with you, and be careful especially not to wound the feelings of anyone.
  27. Especially avoid preaching to those who are present.  Preach about sinners, but not to them.  Say "they," and not "you," lest anyone should take your subject personally and apply it to their own life, securing the salvation of their soul.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Picture Perfect!

These are pictures I got from facebook (with owner's permission) that I thought are great!  They remind me of a Great and Loving GOD always.  Here they are:

and many others...

(c) July 2010, Luisa Mercado

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thinkers' Thoughts

THE PULPIT IS RESPONSIBLE: Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation. --Charles G. Finney, December 4, 1873

It would be a godsend if the Church would suffer persecution today; she hasn't suffered it for hundreds of years. She is growing rich and lagging behind. Going back.” --The Need for Revivals, from "Billy Sunday: The Man and His Message" by William T. Ellis, Philadelphia: John C. Winston Co., 1914

“I've stood for more sneers and scoffs and insults and had my life threatened from one end of the land to the other by this God-forsaken gang of thugs and cutthroats because I have come out uncompromisingly against them.” --Billy Sunday

“I'm against sin. I'll kick it as long as I've got a foot, and I'll fight it as long as I've got a fist. I'll butt it as long as I've got a head. I'll bite it as long as I've got a tooth. And when I'm old and fistless and footless and toothless, I'll gum it till I go home to Glory and it goes home to perdition!" --Billy Sunday

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On Focus: Missionary Biography

Samuel Porter Jones
(October 16, 1847 - October 15, 1906)

Samuel Porter Jones was one of the most celebrated revivalists of his day, at the close of the 19th century. Famous for his wry wit and masterful story-telling, he is credited as a principal influence on Will Rogers. Jones is particularly connected with the history of The Union Gospel Tabernacle, later named Ryman Auditorium. Riverboat captain, Thomas Green Ryman, was converted after hearing Jones on May 10, 1885 at a meeting which he and friends attended with the intention of heckling the preacher. According to the legend, Ryman decided on that day to build a tabernacle in which to hold revival meetings in Nashville, Tennessee (the building was home to the Grand Ole Opry for many years), and he soon approached Jones with the idea.

Early Life 

Sam Jones was born on October 16, 1847 in Oak Bowery, Alabama, the son of lawyer and real estate entrepreneur John Jones and homemaker Queenie Jones, the grandson of Methodist preacher Samuel Gamble Jones, and nephew of four additional Methodist ministers. In 1857, when Sam was ten years old, the family moved to Cartersville, Georgia, where John Jones’ parents had made their home. Jones ended up living there for most of his life. Sam had hoped to attend college, but he purportedly suffered from an unspecified medical condition (his eyes or his stomach, depending on circumstance) and began drinking heavily. Eventually, despite his Methodist heritage which included seven Methodist ministers, Jones decided to become a lawyer. He was admitted to the Georgia bar in 1868. At the age of twenty-one, Sam trekked to Kentucky to claim his bride to be, Laura McElwain (whom he had befriended during the Civil War). Though his reputation as a drunkard had preceded him to Kentucky, and Laura’s father refused to attend the wedding, Laura’s mother convinced her to keep her promise to Sam Jones—the two were wed and became lifetime companions.

Sam Jones did not stay a lawyer for long and, in spite of his hopes that marriage would save him from himself, he continued to drink heavily and destroyed his career. By 1872 Jones was stoking furnaces and driving freight wagons for a living. The death of his infant daughter sobered him for a time, before he fell off the wagon yet again. Then, in 1872, Jones was called to his father's deathbed where his father pleaded with him to quit drinking—Sam promised he would. A week later Samuel P. Jones walked down the aisle of his grandfather’s church, made his confession to God, and became a Christian. 

Sam Jones was known for preaching hard against sin and hypocrisy. He preached once at a Church dedication in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and in the middle of the service he stopped his message and asked the congregation how much they paid the Pastor. They were unwilling to tell him, but when the appallingly low sum was finally revealed, the congregation was so embarrassed that the next day he was given a substantial raise.
On October 15, 1906, Jones was returning home from a revival in Oklahoma City on the Rock Island Train. While the train was stopped in Perry, Arkansas, Sam suddenly collapsed and died. It is estimated that over 30,000 people came to view him as he lay in state in the rotunda of the Capital in Atlanta. Rev. Samuel P. Jones is now buried at Oak Hill cemetery in Cartersville, Georgia, where a stone monument marks the grave of Sam and his wife Laura.
At the time of Jones’ death, the sanctuary of what was then named Cartersville Methodist Episcopal Church was in the process of being completed. After a unanimous vote, the congregation officially changed the name of the church to Sam Jones Memorial Methodist Church (now known as Sam Jones Memorial United Methodist Church), which is still in existence today.

Evangelistic Career
Jones was accepted by the North Georgia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and began his ministry with the Van Wert circuit, a group of five churches spread over four counties. Before long his talent for preaching had him doing revivals in large cities before thousands of attendees. He was asked to speak not only for religious organizations but for the likes of state legislatures and President Theodore Roosevelt.

(c) Wikipedia