Tag Archives: pilgrim

High Places

High Places

In reading the storyline of the kings of Israel and Judah, there seems to be a love-hate relationship with the Lord. For a particular period, there’d be “he did what was right in the sight of the Lord”, then there’d be a total shift to “he did evil in the sight of the Lord”. Details that would characterize the former and latter would be “did not remove the high places”, “sacrificed in the high places”, “built for themselves high places”, “removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars”…the narratives of obedience and disobedience seem to ebb and flow as the evidence of following God’s command to follow Him only appear and disappear through the course of time.

What are high places?

High places seem to be places that are literally elevated. In ancient times, as is visually obvious, high places bear a certain reverence. Shrines, pagodas, altar, pillars–these are high places where worship is drawn. While Abram, Jacob, and Joshua put up high places in honor of the only one true God, others create high places to call on to their gods.

In the time of King Josiah, an old Book of Law was found that radically changed the course of worship. No other high places was to be put up because these shift the peoples’ devotion to the real God. He “broke down and pulverized” these altars and such blatant act stressed that God detests anything that we put before Him, even the seemingly glorious ones.

God, what are my high places? What are my pseudo-worship altars? What are the pillars of my pride and joy in building a pagoda of my work? Break them down, Lord, lest they take away the true worship of the heart that no high place can contain.


Double Portion

Double Portion

When I was working as a professional writer, I remember churning my brains out for words to fill the pages of our weekly newspaper. Hours would be spent threading words and weaving them into a web of a story. And while I struggled in my cerebration, I see my colleagues typing away as though the keypads weren’t fast enough to document their volubility. For someone who constantly feels like time is so fast and one’s actions are too slow, perhaps it’s not much to ask for a double portion of what is needed to accomplish a task.

When Elisha was asked by the prophet Elijah, who did wondrous miracles during the period of the kings in Israel, on what he hopes to be given before the latter would be taken away, Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”  Elisha was so bold to ask for a double portion, perhaps knowing that he does need the extra dose to get through the drama that the tumultuous times needed.

2 Kings 2:9 recounted the request of Elisha and I would like to ask God to do the same to me as I know full well that I am weak and He is strong, that I am easily swayed while His foundations are sure, that I succumb easily to temptations yet He will give me the grace to flee and overcome them, that my physical limits are incomparable to His enduring greatness, and in the end so that I may fulfill the task He has called me to do.

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.” Zechariah 4:6



Come Pilgrim, Come My Princess


God wants us to be more than His creation. He has invited us to be a member of His family.

To be created is indeed a privilege. To be breathed life into is a gift of grace. Yet to be led to enter into the presence of the Maker and dwell in His Kingdom is privilege beyond privilege. It is a prized invitation that should set our feet into dancing, our lips into unceasing praise, our hearts into rejoicing, our minds into leaping!

The invitation is not based on past merit nor of present excitement. Just as Jesus’ disciples, having been invited to become His followers, went on to sleep when they should have stayed awake at such a precarious hour (Matthew 26). Instead, it is an invitation based on the sheer choosing of the inviter. In Love Letters from Your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd, the King empathizes with the invited: “I understand that you don’t know how it started, nor do you know how to become the who I have called you to be.”

I can’t understand it, I confess. Why God?

Him who invites bids us, “Rise, let us be going.” (Matthew 26:46) It is a call to “let the past sleep, but to let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him.” (February 18 My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers) Just as how His calling is based on His redeeming love, our future with Him is all based on His redemption. We come because we have been invited. We are able to come because His grace and mercy enable us to do so. We are coming because His love sustains us. If His grace, mercy, and love were not overwhelming, we would have fallen away from our own despair. Yet His is a well that does not run dry.

He bids us to come. “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) He bid us to come, and to come as we are, not in princess clothes, but even in pilgrim sackcloths, because it is He, not us who will clothe us with the “garments of salvation” and cover us with “the robe of righteousness”.

“My princess, My child, I have chosen you, come, arise, let us get going.”

Wandering Morning


This morning–in one of the rare moments when I woke up reminded that the first encounter I should have is not with the toilet nor a nice warm water but God–I read through Psalms 6 and 7. I had thought of just reading a chapter but I just couldn’t find anything there that spoke to me. Psalm 6 was a prayer of distress, and distress I wasn’t feeling! So I continued on to the next, until I stopped at the last verse of Psalm 7. “I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.”

I recall times in my pilgrim life when I awoke to an overwhelming sense of praise. It’s like my night’s slumber had constrained me from this bursting fountain of delight. Well today wasn’t that day.

Morning Bed

Despite of that dryness, I slightly decided (yes, slightly because it wasn’t like I was so adamant about it as much as I was very reluctant, actually) to make a DUTY out of my DEVOTION. I told myself that there were times that I had forced myself to eat even if I didn’t want to eat, or had a conversation with someone even if I didn’t have a voice. So there would be times that I’d really have to come to the Lord even if my whole being doesn’t really FEEL like doing so. Then I recalled something I had read a few weeks ago about meeting God as a “get to” experience, instead of a “have to”. I GET TO hang out with the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Prince of Peace, Maker of Heaven and Earth, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Adorable, Amazing, Awesome God! That thought alone should make me enthusiastic in encountering God.

The verse states, “I will praise the Lord…and will sing praises..” Nothing much of praise on my end. So I thought I’d youtube a few songs to get me started. I thought of songs that wouldn’t distract. I thought of looking up on my music library. Minutes passed. After a few tries, I was led to a song that echoed my heart’s cry. It wasn’t a cry of praise, but a bare cry of slightly wanting (yes it’s still slightly even to this point) to come to God but not really getting there.

Come thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above.

God, please tune my heart to sing. Your mercy is never ceasing and so should my praise be. Could You please put songs in my heart and mouth pretty much what the angels sing up on high in sheer adoration? I’ve been singing songs to myself, to other people, to things that I enjoy, yet there are times when these things numb me and I miss the whole privilege of singing to You. I’m really sorry. Would You once again orchestrate my heart to strum the right strings, let my voice ride on Your melody? 

Oh to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constraint to be!
Let Thy goodness like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart
Oh take and seal it.
Seal it for thy courts above.

Here’s me asking You once again to bind my wandering heart to Yours, seal it with a kiss. And thank You for your grace and goodness. Amen.

Your Pilgrim Princess on the morning of the 29th of January 2015