kirakawakami

You are an Intricate Creation of God

So God created human beings, making them to be like Himself. He created them male and female, blessed them - Genesis 1:27-28   Isn’t it simply incredible how intricate and detailed you are from head to toe? From the structure of every bone in your body that holds you to the unique detail in your smile and eyes and every other physical part of you- you were touched and Blessed by God. Every inch of you has the Name of God written all over it. You alone are a God’s gift to this world. You were sent with a purpose and a goal. No matter how big or small it may be, it has the potential to change the face of the earth and result in bringing Glory to His Name!   You are a living and breathing masterpiece. The very beautiful existence of you proves that God is alive. You are beautiful. Never forget that you are a child of the King!   ____________________________________________

Series: A New Creation by the Color Movement  (#cmdesign #creationseries)

Posted by: Kira \  Personal // Walk the Same // Color Movement

He Never Fails

Never in life were we put into situations where we failed without reason. As a Christian, we need to remember that God has a great plan for us in our lives and that our time is not His time and our time is never the correct time. 

Although we might get the impression of failure in situations where nothing positive seem to happen, God works in those moments in accordance with the plan that He has for us. He never failed us with anything and He won’t start now.

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Image Series: General (#wtscreatives #general)

Posted by: Kira \  Personal // Walk the Same // Color Movement

It is much more than lust and it is more than just going against God’s word

One of the many areas that you may come across, when trying to discover what it takes to live as a Christian, is pornography. As far as I am aware, I usually hear similar arguments as to why pornography is considered bad. This is because:

  • there is lust involved,
  • it means going against what the Bible has to tell us,

And one of the most popular answers that I have heard for these arguments is non other than accountability. Accountability is where you entrust someone close in your life to be accountable for what you do - someone who will help you overcome your struggles and pray together with you. 

Now I am not trying to blow away the whole accountability side of the answer to the wind because I think it is a great approach to help, in stopping such a vicious addiction but I do believe that it is not too effective of an answer to help come against something as sticky as pornography. 

Faith is so much more with the deep richness than can’t be explained and the issue of pornography is way too big than to pin it on lust and disobedience of the Bible. We need to push forward much more than those boundaries. 

This is a problem

Just like any form of media in our society today, pornography shares with us a slice of a story of what it means to be human. The message or plot that the story has to share through pornography is that we all like sex. The people around us are attractive and the very thought of being intimate with these people is quite addictive and just makes every part of you tingle inside. 

But the story within pornography doesn’t end there. Rather it has a stronger tale to share about what it means to be of a particular gender. Just thinking about it, we’ll come to the shocking realization that pornography is nothing but a destructive and dangerous medium. Lust and disobedience is nothing compared to how evil pornography is and this can be seen by the messages that it shares with us about a male and female. 

However, before we get out our thinking kasas (this is the Japanese coming out of me. Kasa // 笠 means hat) on, and think about the issue, we need to stand upon solid foundation so that we can grasp this message. So to begin with, I think it will be really helpful for all of us to find out what the Bible has to say about being a guy and a girl. 

What God sees in people

Starting off in Genesis 1, we come across the famous story of God creating man and woman and something to note here is that He makes them out of His likeness and image. What this means is that God gave both man and women, the honor of bearing His likeness which is amazing (and crazy at the same time) because the thought alone is mind blowing. 

Moving on to Chapter 2, the story narrows down to the roles that either person has to play. God made man to cultivate the garden and God didn’t want either of these two beings to be alone so He united them and brought them together which should also tell us that God is a social and a relational God. Therefore the woman became the companion of the man - not to serve him as an object of entertainment and not for the primary purpose of satisfying his happiness, but for the role of aiding him and supporting him, as his partner. But don’t let this partnership mistaken you into thinking they are equal. The man and woman complement one another. One of their roles in creation is to bring family and if either of these two were the same by all means, then raising up a family wouldn’t really work, would it?

Then we move on to chapter 3 where sin shows its face and what it does to relationship when it joins the equation. The beautiful rhythm that was once so steady and peaceful now rocks with confusion and goes havoc. The blame game starts and the man points his finger at the woman for all that had happened and even goes as far as to point fault at God for creating her. The woman defends herself by blaming it on the snake for leading her to sin. God in His mercy does not kill them, but nevertheless extends judgement on both of them, saying that both man and women would compete for dominance but that eventually- men would rule over the women (Gen 3:16).

So to narrow everything I ran through above, both man and woman bear the likeness of God. Either of us and given the honor of bearing His image. We share the God given role of taking care of God’s creation and raising families together. Then sin came into the picture and destroyed the rhythm in creation that God put in which now has changed how things work. Relationships are now damaged and under stress. There is now a battle for dominance (where the men often win) resulting in the oppression of women.

The Woman and her value

Now that we have an idea of how God created man and woman to be and how He sees either of us - equal in terms of status and value of being created after the image of God, we can now think about pornography much more critically. The story of porn is that a girl exists for the purpose of entertainment for the men and making business transactions a success. It is all about the dominance of men and making money. 

Why porn is nothing but evil and destructive is because, it takes away the very thing that God has given her- the equal status and honor of bearing the likeness of God. Pornography degrades her from being created in God’s image to being a thing to be dominated and controlled over. Porn shows nothing but the likeness of evil because it enhances the status of a man, not in the sense of being an equal holder of the image of God, but rather into a “sort-of-a-God” who can do whatever it pleases him, to this woman. Control and dominance becomes his aides.

It’s funny how so many people today are against slavery but fail to see that pornography is slavery in of itself. Women become slaves to men through porn. Equality, humanity and companionship is thrown out of the window because pornography dehumanizes her to merely being a slave and an object to the desires of man. Pornography turns a woman from being human into nothing more than cattle. With than image in mind, does the thought still arouse you or disgust you? 

Are you a soul that struggles with the evil temptation of watching porn? Dig deep into the beauty and wealth of the Word of God and discover for yourself what God has to say about His wonderful creations- man and woman. I have explained nothing more than a tiny slice of the pie here. The word of God has to say so much more so take time time to read His word. Pray always and pray in faith because there is not powerful weapon at your disposal than prayer. When you pray, you talk to God and God hears you. Always. Evil cannot stand the presence of God in your life. Also make it a point to pair all of these thoughts and the goodness of the word of God with action. You need to stand up for what is right, and by the grace of God, the Holy Spirit will lead you always as you push away all that is evil in your life. If you feel you have material in your home that contributes towards your temptation to pornography, dispose or destroy them. Trust someone who is close to you to take up the role of being an accountability partner. Meet up with them, talk to them and share with them your struggles. It is so amazing to have a close brother or sister in Christ to hold your hand and be by your side as you walk down the road of overcoming your struggle. Make use of online resources to help you over come this addiction. One that I would highly recommend is XXXchurch which is an online church that is wholly dedicated to helping those struggling with addiction to porn, overcome it. They have an amazing resource which you should have a look at and this is called X3watch. X3watch is an Internet accountability and porn filtering software  which you can download into your computer and your portable devices as well which is amazing. 

The goal with overcoming an addiction is not simply to break yourself out of a bad habit. It is the goal of growing a deeper and vast understanding of God, what it means to be created in His likeness and what it means to be in relation to each other as the image of God. Destroy anything in your life that dehumanizes another human. Accept and understand that Jesus is the ultimate expression of love for all of us and the only one that gives us freedom and life - not someone who imprisons and enslaves. 

 

 I love you (ღ˘⌣˘ღ)

<3 Kira

 PS: I would also like to add to the above that guys aren’t the only gender that struggle with this issue of pornography. The above is directed towards anyone struggling with temptation for the likes of pornography. Pornography singles out women as objects for the purpose of entertainment of guys but I have also come across instances where I have known women who have take on this addiction of porn by men as a tool to get what they desire relationally, by making use of their sexuality to seduce men, wholly knowing that men easily fall prey to this area in temptation. Both genders are equally fallen on in this area and oppresses both genders and God’s essential plan, purpose and meaning for sex. 

Do you know you are Loved by the King?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16   If I were to ask you right now if you feel loved, how would you respond? Some would say they do feel loved. Others would have mixed feelings. The there are the others who would say they don’t feel loved at all by anyone. Whether you fall in either category, never forget that no one loves you just as much as God does. Knowing that we were headed in the wrong direction, God sent His only Son to take our place on the cross? Why? Because that is the immense and indescribable love He has for us.    Are you having one of those days when you feel like you aren’t loved by anyone. Remember God and His perfect sacrifice. He has always loved you and always will and He loves you where ever you are, no matter the situation, even right now!!! 

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Series: Life in Color by the Color Movement  (#cmdesign #lifeincolor)

Posted by: Kira \  Personal // Walk the Same // Color Movement

 

Culture here in Japan is pretty strict when compared with most countries in the Western world and one of these areas is within dating and relationships. Well if that fun fact is statistically wrong, I am positive that it isn’t in my household. As awesome and amazing my dad is, he is super protective of me and tries to always make it a point to be on his guard just so that he knows that I am on the safe side of things, regardless of the situation. I know he means well and he does what he does to protect me but I know that he is aware that he can’t protect me 24/7 and I know myself that I can’t have my dad tail me around all day (even if I wanted him to). Life has so many moments and events to which we all have to manage our time so that we can take part in them and actually live the life that has been given to us the fullest. With that in mind, hurt is something that will collide with me, no matter how hard my dad tries to protect me from it. It will come one way or another and it is inevitable. Therefore it made me realize, with time, that it is important for me to have a right view of my heart and its ties with Jesus Christ. 

There is wisdom in the Verse

You would have heard this pretty often quoted verse before-

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life

  • Proverbs 4:23 

I feel that this verse has been spoken of and said around all too often that it has come to a point where the verse seems hollow and doesn’t resonate as much as it used to. But like everything else in the Bible, every word and verse is spoken by God for our benefit and well being and therefore, this verse too means well for our lives in our walk with God. That being said, we should caution ourselves to not let complacency be the result of familiarity. We may have heard certain verses in the Bible a couple thousand times but, as mentioned before, each of these verses are full of power by the Holy Spirit and to apply them into your own life would mean that you will always walk in righteousness. So, how do we apply this particular verse into our own life?

The heart in the Scriptural Sense

The heart is much spoken in the Bible. In culture, when we talk about the heart, we usually refer it to our emotions, but when it comes down to the Bible, the heart means so much more.

In terms of what the Bible has to say about our hearts, it is the fullness of whom we are internally. This includes our emotions, intelligence, desires, will, our attitude and so on. The words we speak out flow from our hearts (Matthew 12:34). The choices that we make on a daily basis flow from our hearts. However Jesus came into this world to redeem us of salvation and in doing so, Christ takes our dead heart of stone and replaces that with a new heart of flesh. Within this context, guarding our hearts mean that we need to pay close attention to our emotions, thoughts, desires and the choices we make. 

Destination Hurt

In this “journey” of guarding our hearts, apart from that road that we really should be taking as a Christian (I will share that in a bit), there are two roads that lead up to hurt and pain, should we decide to take them. 

  • Road 1 - Protecting Yourself: This is the means where we take the guarding act a little too seriously. We tend to keep our relationships as shallow as possible and people at a safe distance and most of all, we create this moat surrounding our heart so that it doesn’t make it any easier for people to get close to it. I love what C.S. Lewis had to share about this very topic in his book The Four Loves; To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable. The Bible, being the most honest book ever written, does not note that by guarding our hearts as mentioned above, that we will be exempt from the pain and troubles that life has to throw at us. God is all about community and He most certainly does not want to see us walled off from the rest of society and isolated. The life that God gave us was never meant to be lived that way.
  • Road 2 - Careless and Silly:  This is the extreme opposite of the first mentioned above and that is to completely ignore the wisdom that the verse or the Bible (as a whole) has to share. We put on the robes of chivalry and put ourselves out there right in the middle of the world, putting ourselves in a position- so exposed that we are highly prone to getting hurt unnecessarily. We invest our time and energy in sinful relationships, share information with those that we shouldn’t rush to trust and most of all, we turn a deaf ear to our brothers and sisters in Christ who try to help and guide us. The truth is we can’t afford to put ourselves out there the way we sometimes do. We live in a world that is fallen and we need to remember that all of us have a real enemy that is so bent on his desire to kill, steal and destroy from us that he would use any moment in our lives when we are the most vulnerable to catch up on us. It is the will of God for us to be wary of our surroundings and watchful.

It’s time for Jesus to come be the guard

There is another beautiful verse in the Bible that speaks on the subject of our hearts. But this time, our awesome Jesus is in the picture too.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

  • Philippians 4:7

We have no need to protect our hearts by our own strength but rather, God has provided that protection for us through His son Jesus Christ.

On that cross, Jesus put Himself and His heart out there and exposed Himself so much so that He became vulnerable to the worst kind of pain and hurt ever imaginable, The disciples freaked out and took off, The unbelievers laughed and gloated at Him and His closest family were helpless and couldn’t do anything much to help Him. Why did Jesus go through all of that? He did so that people like us who are hurting, sinful and broken can receive salvation that God wanted us to have. 

In Christ, I always assure myself that I do not need to wall myself up from society and be selfish and over protective. I also tell myself that I shouldn’t act foolishly without much thought and put my self out there, exposing myself freely to hurt and pain. Why? Because I know that God has given me an invitation to pursue Him, to pray, to call out to Him when I am lost and lonely and to ask Him to be close to me during the times when I am hurting. In that place, I know that my heart is truly protected in Jesus and I know that it will be the same for you as well. 

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

  • Psalms 28:7 

I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday. The heavens have decided to shower our land here in Tokyo and I can feel the presence of God near. I am praying for all of you around the world and for the lovely people who have not yet heard of our Lord Jesus Christ. May all of your hearts be filled with His joy and gladness today. 

I love you (ღ˘⌣˘ღ)

<3 Kira

Hi lovelies! How are all of you doing? It is a beautiful morning here in Japan and I am yet to have my breakfast because I am feeling a bit lazy today. The weekend is just around the corner and I am really excited. But what I really wanted to share right now is a list of some of my favorite books. 

Reading always opens me up to a whole new world where I learn new things or go on this really fun exploring trip in my mind. The christian based titles have helped me so much in my walk with God and have always encouraged my faith so much. Below are some of my favorite Christian based books.

My Favorite Christian Books -

  • One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp // Joy
  • Overcoming Fear, Worry & Anxiety by Elyze Fitzpatrick // Fear
  • Love is… by Jenna Lucado Bishop // Love
  • Answering the Guy Questions by Leslie Ludy // Dating
  • When God writes your Love Story by Eric & Leslie Ludy // Dating
  • Sacred Singleness  by Leslie Ludy // Dating
  • Pure Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Integrity by Shellie Warren // Sex
  • Real Marriage by Mark Driscoll // Marriage
  • The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller // Marriage
  • Praying for your Future Husband by Robin Jones Gunn // Women
  • Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney // Women
  • Girls with Swords by Lisa Bevere // Women
  • The Lost Art of True Beauty by Leslie Ludy // Women
  • Untamed by Lisa Harper // Women
  • Trusting God by Jerry Bridges // Trials 
  • When Life is Hard by James Mcdonald // Trials
  • Glimpses of Grace by Gloria Furman // Lifestyle
  • Popular by Tindell Baldwin // Lifestyle
  • Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren // Lifestyle
  • Making Good Habits, Breaking Bad Habits by Joyce Meyer // Lifestyle
  • Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller // Lifestyle
  • Pursuing Justice by Ken Wytsma // Justice
  • The God who is There by D.A. Carson // Purpose
  • Jesus Is ____ by Judah Smith // Faith
  • Gospel Centered Discipleship by Jonathan Dodson // Discipleship

Apart from my love for Christian titles, I do read a large variety of other genres too. I love my manga (which I won’t list here since there are too many) and I love my fiction genre and also the classics.

My Favorite Non-Christian based books - 

  • Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
  • The Pact by Jodi Picoult
  • My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • House Rules by Jodi Picoult
  • Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • One Day by David Nicholls
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene
  • The Famous Five by Enid Blyton
  • The Naughtiest Girl in School by Enid Blyton
  • The Poirot Series by Agatha Christie
  • The Devil’s Disciple by George Bernard Shaw
  • The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  • The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas

These are some of my super favorite books to read and have read most of them more than once. I love my books in their physical format. There is nothing like actually feeling the pages of the books and call me weird but I love the smell of a new books. Quite addicting :D I do have most of the titles on my iPad as well and it comes really handy when I travel especially around in a crowded city like Tokyo. 

I hope you have a beautifully blessed day. 

I love you (ღ˘⌣˘ღ)

<3 Kira

Do you think God is calling you?

Early today, while I was praying with my dad and spending time with God, I felt the need to share this topic which I myself found pondering about sometime ago.

I have heard so many times, people say that they feel as if God is calling and pulling them towards a particular direction in their lives. 

In that case, how would I be able to hear this call too when it comes to the many decisions in my life- maybe become a missionary? find a new career? The list is endless.

The Call. What does it really mean?

A calling to a specific role or a certain direction is something that we do not find in the Bible. However, what we do find is a calling towards Godliness. The following verse highlights this really well:

But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 (NRSV)

What is implied from the above is that God has called all of us to live a life that brings glory to Him. God is supreme and He is in complete control of all that happens in our world which naturally makes God deserving of Glory and Praise.

So what do I do in making those decisions?

The answer is really simple. Love the God with all of your heart, strength, soul and mind. Whatever you may do, do it to bring glory to God’s beautiful name. In all your decisions, ensure that you honor God and that you have placed God in His rightful place. If you do have more than one choice that you truly believe that brings glory to God, then you are more than free to choose either one- something that you like the best. I say this because God will use you regardless because you have His favor and blessing. After all, God gave us the freedom of choice. But we need to recognize the fine line between the wise and the silly decisions before making them. 

God sent His son who died for us so that we can be free and that includes the freedom to make choices as well. With that in mind, we need to be cautious when we ‘listen’ to the the call of God. God doesn’t promise us that He would speak and direct us in a physical sense but rather, He has promised us that we will not fail in our direction and purpose if we devote our time to His word and being intimate with God. Bringing Glory to God should always be the motive behind our decisions and as long as we are well aware of that, we are free to live and make decisions.

Love,

Kira , Walk the Same

It is normal for every Christian to have at least one single favorite verse. Most Christians that I do know have at least one. I guess it is only normal because as a Christian, we have that one verse or passage in the Bible that inspires and drives us forward. But what’s so strange (and startling) is that most non-Christians have one as well. Non-Christians may know nothing about the Bible, buy as certainly as the sun rises from the east and sets in the west, they can quote most fluently, for you, from the all famous Matthew 7:1 - “Judge not, that you be not judged.” Infact I have heard this verse quoted so much when someone is confronted with the sin of Homosexuality. It is infact a cheap street level argument for a person practicing a homosexual lifestyle and they just love to bring this up. (And just to keep it clear, a person pursuing a homosexual lifestyle or any other sin is by in no means a Christian because s/he is actively pursuing sin. Those who actively pursue sin and still claim to be a Christian as sadly mislead and we all Pray for you and the people around the world who claim to be these kinds of Christian). The ironic part is that, this verse which they love and cherish so much is the very one they understand the least.

Abusing the Text

This specific piece of text has to be one of the most horrendously abused text in the Bible and even worse- is wrongly understood and wrongly applied to life applications. This is a verse that is used by several non-Christians as a weapon that they just brandish away to vent their displeasure at those who make the effort or try to expose sin and the shortcomings of others. No one shall dare speak against homosexuality, gossip, adultery, abortion, fornication (and the list goes on) without feeling the wrath of the bunch of people who are super convinced that Jesus, whom they blatantly reject and push away, said that we shouldn’t judge one another. 

I find this problem exists mainly due to the fact that large groups of people hate absolutes especially when it comes to the moral stuff. They squirm and fidget when it comes to that and to even point out that there is a clear cut line that separates good and evil and the truth from the false, is to risk yourself being labeled old fashioned with a self contained head. 

What I find to be a jest is that in judging us for judging others, they themselves are throwing the very commandment to which they wants us to hold accountable, out of the window. 

All that Jesus never truly meant

Jesus does not forbid us from sharing our opinions and feelings and this can be demonstrated by taking note of two important factors:

  • the context that follows immediately
  • the rest of the New Testament’s teaching on the subject of judging.  

For example, take the situation of the Sermon on the Mount. Virtually everything about it is based on the assumption that we should and that we will make use of our critical flow to make logical and ethical judgments. Jesus clearly tells us that we as Christians need to be different from the rest of the world, to pursue righteousness and do more than what the unbeliever would just so as to avoid being the hypocrite when it falls down to praying, giving, fasting, etc.

It doesn’t end there however. Immediately after Matthew 7:1, Jesus shares with us two more commands: don’t give what is holy to the dogs or pearls to the pigs, and the and that we should take caution against false prophets. To follow either of these commands would be utterly impossible if we were not free to make use of our critical judgement because in order to ensure what our behavior, towards dogs, pigs and false prophets, should take shape, we must be able to recognize them by using our critical judgement. 

I also suggest that you also take the time to pay attention to texts such as- 

  • Matthew 18: 15-17
  • Romans 16: 17-18
  • 1 Corinthians 5: 3
  • Galatians 1:8
  • Philippians 3:2
  • Titus 3: 10-11
  • 1 John 4: 1-4
  • 2 John 9-11
  • 3 John 9-10

(You’re welcome)

What does Jesus really mean?

So what is Jesus really getting at in Matthew 7: 1-6?

What Jesus essentially means in this passage is that He forbids the kind of judgement that is destructive, hypercritical and self-righteous. It is when we pass judgement on others, not out of concern for their well being and spiritual growth, but just so that we can flaunt around our supposed righteousness, when it considered wrong by Jesus Himself.

In short, The command to “judge not” is not a requirement to be blind but more so a plea to be generous. Jesus does not suggest that we should cease to be men and women but rather we should give up on our ambition to be Gods.

Context is key

By isolating a single verse to back your claims, one simply distorts the true meaning behind that verse. There is more to it than 7:1 because Jesus says more on the subject in the verses that follow.

The reason for His saying that judgement should not be passed in a self-righteous or destructive manner is that “with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure that you use it will be measured to you”. The issue that we come across here is trying to determine whether this statement refers to the judgement that we may have to experience by man or God. 

We all have the problem of conforming to standards and when we set them up to which others should abide by, we end up being no better than they are trying to conform to it. This is exactly why humility and love must take control of any judgement, and all criticism followed by confession. Let us make it a habit to confess fault in our own lives before we point it out on others.

So what is stuck in your eye?

This principle is excellently illustrated in Matthew 7: 3-5 and can be applied to several (sinful) situations that we deal with in our daily lives. In relation to this is our drive to point out the faults of those around us so as to take away the spotlight from our own sin. There is nothing more than self-justification in this form of judgement. We feel that we can come out of a tight spot- clean and pretty when we make known to others the weight of their sin. 

There is also an equal danger which Jesus points out in Matthew 7:6. Here Jesus says that we may face the danger of failing to discern between right and wrong when we love our enemies by not judging unjustly. 

Jesus is not saying that we should keep away the Gospel from the select few we understand to be unworthy of it, but being a realist Himself, Jesus acknowledges that fact that after rejection and mockery of the Gospel on multiple occasions, the time would come to move on to others. You must remember that there are those who are persistent in wickedness and viciousness. These people only delight in mocking the Scripture rather than accepting its truths. 

The Gospel in Context

Before we come to a close, I would like to point out a few things to take note of.

First of all, take note that Jesus speaks of pearls and not mud or sand. This is because we need to keep in mind that the Gospel message is like treasure where no price can be put on it.

Secondly, if you take a look at Acts 17: 32-24, we need to discriminate and discern between people since there are so many kinds of people that we meet.

Thirdly, me must not present the Gospel to others in a mechanical robotic manner. Being weighed down by sin, these people need to hear the love of God in Christ. Some others may need to hear the holiness and the wrath of God. Some of the others may need to understand the emptiness within their hearts whilst other may needed to be confronted with forgiveness. We need to remember the context where we are to love our enemies. Therefor while we should be aware not to cast out our pearls to the pigs, we should also keep in mind that we have no place to be uncaring and vicious. 

This whole judgement issue was something that I came across on several occasions and simply hearing how misused it got over time, I ended up being so disturbed by how people are being mislead by taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ out of context. I do hope that I was able to shed some light in this area and make it clear on what the verse really means. God Bless You all.

- Kira \ Walk the Same

Some helpful pointers to love those that are hard to love

Christianity isn’t easy and that is something that I learned first hand while I was maturing in my faith. But as far as I have heard,  it seems like others have had it served way harder. When I was speaking to a friend a couple of months ago, he told me that as a follower of Jesus Christ, being a follower came with an extensive list of what and what not to do. Apparently this was to help pick out the devout from the deceived in the pool of those that claimed to follow Christ.

Go to Church EVERY Sunday.

Do not Fall Asleep at Church.

Memorize the 10 Commandments.

Do not socialize with Non Christians.

Those that were previously listed above are just a couple of examples from the thick volume of the self-regulated code of conduct that a large portion of Christians seem to have adopted into their faith and lifestyle. Although my friend said he had his doubts with it all, he spent most of his time living by the rules since he was told that they served a purpose. 

In reality, the list that Jesus comes up with is vastly different- shorter and somewhat harder too. 

Visiting Matthew 22:34-40, the religious experts of His time, ask Jesus to tell them the most important commands that they should all live by. Instead of blabbering the usual list of commands, Jesus offers up a short list enough to fit the size of a post-it note: “Love God and love others.”

That was all His list contained. 

By what Jesus says, love tops all other spiritual acts. It’s something that should be considered the most important command of all. 

So what does this mean for us then? This means that we can’t ignore our crazy co-worker, our nosy neighbor, the weird relative and our mean boss. In short- whether we like a person or not, we are told (commanded) to love.

One person that i know, who knew how to love people that weren’t exactly the likable kind, was Jesus. Think about it, He spent three years with Judas following Him around, who was in the process of manipulating, stealing and scheming to betray Him.

If Jesus could love someone like Judas and you and me, we can, in turn, try to love those that aren’t really on our list of favorites. After all, we strive to live and walk the same as Jesus did in our faith. 

I am sure there are plenty of ways to help you get the ball rolling, but here are just a couple of ways that I have found effective in my own life trying to love people that I really don’t like.

+ It is vital that you get over yourself

A condescending attitude unfairly expects people around us to reach up to our levels of approval before we could like each other. 

In reality, you and I aren’t as perfect as we paint ourselves to be. We have just as many flaws.  If we took a minute to hit the pause button really hard on our over active egos, those people you thought were crazy and annoying wouldn’t be as troublesome as you thought they were. 

Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.

+ Philippians 2:3

It’s not exactly roses and honey but it sure is a good place to start.

+ Diva or Discipline

You aren’t the only person who has to go through those days where you truly feel like you’ve got off the wrong side of bed. Everyone has their share of bad days including that one annoying person who holds a grudge. Days like these bring you an important choice - choose being a diva, or choose discipline. 

Taking the easy road out is that way to become a diva - getting angry at everything, storming out, proving their point, quitting and so on. When it comes to the disciplined person, they know that to win, all you have to do is be patient in your walk of survival. You just have to bite your tongue some days and give people their space. 

Don’t give up way too fast because tomorrow will be greater and better. Tempers don’t last long, but it does take some time to cool off. There is always a tomorrow to have a go at it again.

+ Zoom in on Common Ground

The broth of trouble starts frothing the moment two or more groups of people place their efforts in focusing in all that they disagree rather than what they agree on. This applies to all working relationships in society from the married couple to the relationship that you hold with your “worst enemy”.

Rather than fueling the fire of disagreements that you both share, try to break that funk by finding a common ground that all of you agree on. 

if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things

+ Philippians 4:8

+ Cultivate your Curiosity (within boundaries ofcourse)

Assumptions make us ass-es sometimes (I had to extract the ass out of assumption therefore forgive my language) and we choose to reject people solely based on what we assume about them. Something that we all need to keep in mind is that assumption doesn’t necessarily end up being the truth. But what if we actually got to know that person on a much deeper level than simply passing judgement on what our eye see? 

Building relationships require you to be curious (asking healthy meaningful questions) which would help us dig in a little deeper rather than scratching the surface of that person with our sight. There is always a reason behind how people act. Instead of getting yourself into a fit, it would be a wise move to ask them their story. Everyone has a story to tell. 

Jesus was always curious about the people He hung out with and took the time to get to know them. (John 4 - the woman at the well, Matthew 16 - His own disciples, Luke 18 - the rich young ruler, John 5 - the lame man at the pool of Bethesda)

If Jesus cultivated a healthy sense of curiosity, I am sure we could take the time to do so as well.

+ Be the Servant

No one likes someone who always tries to elevate him or herself above others. During his ministry, Jesus never harped on His greatness but rather chose to play the part of the servant and went down as much as to wash the feet of His disciples (including that of Judas).

Being humble goes a long way. 

Remember that loving difficult people is God’s example more than it is a good idea.

I love you (ღ˘⌣˘ღ)

<3 Kira 

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Category: Articles (#wtsarticles) by Walk the Same

Posted by: Kira \ Personal // Walk the Same // Color Movement

Walk in Him

 “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.”+ Colossians 2:6

If we have received Christ himself in our inmost hearts, our new life will manifest its intimate acquaintance with him by a walk of faith in him. Walking implies action. Our religion is not to be confined to our closet; we must carry out into practical effect that which we believe. If a man walks in Christ, then he so acts as Christ would act; for Christ being in him, his hope, his love, his joy, his life, he is the reflex of the image of Jesus; and men say of that man, “He is like his Master; he lives like Jesus Christ.”

Walking signifies progress. “So walk in him”; proceed from grace to grace, run forward until you reach the uttermost degree of knowledge that a man can attain concerning our Beloved. Walking implies continuance. There must be a perpetual abiding in Christ. How many Christians think that in the morning and evening they ought to come into the company of Jesus, and may then give their hearts to the world all the day: but this is poor living; we should always be with him, treading in his steps and doing his will.

Walking also implies habit. When we speak of a man’s walk and conversation, we mean his habits, the constant tenor of his life. Now, if we sometimes enjoy Christ, and then forget him; sometimes call him ours, and anon lose our hold, that is not a habit; we do not walk in him. We must keep to him, cling to him, never let him go, but live and have our being in him.

“As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him”; persevere in the same way in which you have begun, and, as at first Christ Jesus was the trust of your faith, the source of your life, the principle of your action, and the joy of your spirit, so let him be the same till life’s end; the same when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and enter into the joy and the rest which remain for the people of God. O Holy Spirit, enable us to obey this heavenly precept.

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Devotional Series: Morning & Evening

Posted by: Kira \  Personal // Walk the Same // Color Movement

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. - Matthew 6:24

だれも、神とお金の両方に仕えることはできません。 必ず、どちらか一方を憎んで、他方を愛するからです。- マタイの福音書 6:24

God has given us the gift of choice. But what are we prepared to choose? The path that leads us to freedom, or the path that will hold us back in chains?

I love you (ღ˘⌣˘ღ)

<3 Kira

Why is life Sacred?

What is it exactly that sets us humans apart from the rest of all other living creatures that walk our earth? It is our ability to make use of our minds to think, assess, judge and execute? Is it the fact that we are able to work together as a community in all our smartness and knowledge? Genesis 1:27 provides us with the answer to the above. The piece of scriptures shares with us the fact that we were created in the image of God and we alone, out of all creation, were moulded and shaped to bear His image. What this essentially means is that, though we are not God (Gods), we are more like Him in comparison to the rest of creation. We are different because we reflect that very image of God Himself. 

You might say dolphins are smart. But I doubt they would be able to work out abstract philosophy. Dogs and most creatures alike, run and hunt in packs but they lack community that should be relational. Lions have always been compared to the powerful but the last time anyone noticed, no lion ruled over cities (in real life). We have extreme and priceless value because we alone in creation, bear the image of God and God gave man the right to rule and cultivate all creation and make it all grow and prosper.

 My reason for starting off in this stance is because I wanted to share with you an important (and controversial) area of conversation that we probably hear about all the time these days - murder. Have you ever thought why the Bible forbids murder? Murder does not only show contempt for them but in parallel shows our contempt for God. Why? Because they/that person was also made in the image of God. The Bible teaches us that we are all little image-bearers of Him from the very start of our conception. Unborn children are regarded by God as a living human and God goes on to say that He knows them before they are even born (Refer: Psalm 139:13, Luke 1:15, Galatians 1:15). Because all humans (including unborn children) are created in the image of God, abortion, genocide, infanticide, suicide, homicide, and euthanasia are all regarded as sinful by God. 

Our God is a God of Grace and Forgiveness

Allow me to encourage you in the gospel if you have had an abortion or in some way or another have been affected by abortion, suicide, homicide or euthanasia. There is no act of taking away human life that is bigger and beyond the redemptive salvation that is made possible in Jesus Christ. Why? Because our great God brought for us the forgiveness of sin through His only Son - Jesus, for all those who choose to believe. For anyone who is repentant, God’s grace flows down on your like a waterfall, washing away all stains of sin from your life. 

My hope and prayer for you today is that you will find shelter in the love, grace and mercy of our lovely Saviour. If you know Jesus, then your identity is in Christ and not in your sin. You are seen by Him as your beloved child.

Application into our Life

Saying that we are pro-life and such can be such an easy thing but when it comes down to practically supporting pro-life through actions, we stumble down a bit. Just to help us understand and see how we can better support the position that the Bible holds on the importance of life, below are a couple of questions for you to think about.

  • Are you passionate for preserving and caring for human life? In what ways do you try to support the life of the unborn and for the life around you in general?
  • In what ways can you bring about awareness to issues concerning pro-life?
  • Where you have the opportunity, do you support social and political initiatives that protect the sanctity of human life? 
  • If you are a Christian struggling with the guilt in regards to any of the above mentioned issues, will you accept the forgiveness and the cleansing that was purchased for you by Christ in His death on the cross? 

I love you (ღ˘⌣˘ღ)

<3 Kira

Receiving the Gift of Grace (#CMDevo #GodsGifts) Read : Romans 8:1-11, Psalm 51:1-19, Luke 15:10 Several years ago, when I was new to Christianity, I remember finding myself praying “The Sinner’s Prayer” countless times over and over. I had this paranoid feeling that I may have “missed a sin” when confessing them to God, so the prayer felt like I was trying to wash the dirty spots that I had missed with detergent. After all these years of following the steps of Christ, I have realized something. There is nothing magical about the prayer I spoke and it sure didn’t do anything to “wash detergent” on my sins. The truth is Jesus saves me, not the empty words that I speak. I only needed to believe. In my belief, I am saved.  “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved… For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” + Romans 10:9,13 The scripture above is so beautiful and true, yet most of us tend to scratch the meaning from the surface and assume that all we need to do is speak out our love for Jesus, that we trust in Him and this will grant us a free one-way ticked to salvation. I wonder what Jesus was saying when He saw my desperate attempts to push on forward with rather meaningless prayer full of fancy words and empty thought.  “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.“ + Galatians 2:20-21 Unlike me, the scripture above clearly tells us that Paul grasped the true meaning of God’s grace. It was never about the how, the where, or the word with which I came to Christ. It was never about what I was doing at all. It was ALWAYS about what He did … for me! The grace of Christ, who took our sin onto that cross and continues to live for us every day, is available for us now and is all ours. All we need to do is repent and believe.  My dear sisters in Christ, what we need is Jesus in our lives. Our needs are as deep as the depths of the oceans, but this is not news to God. He knows this and He continues to love us. He is to us the same way He is the father of the prodigal son. He celebrates when we come running to Him. When He sees us coming towards Him, even from the distance, He has already started to plan a party and a feast. He is excited for you! I know us girls have this deep constant worry about our situations and circumstances, but if you long to come for Him today, you need not worry at all. You do not have to clean and tidy yourself up first. Just come as you are. If you are bare, then come. If you are broken, then come. If you feel empty, then come. If you feel lost, then come. If you are sorrowful, then come. If you are happy, then come. If you are joyful, then come. If you have great news, then come. Just come as you are.  It is never about fixing ourselves so that we can be the right person for planting the right words in our tongues. It will always be about His grace. So what are you waiting for dearest? Come!   ____________________________________________

Devotional Series: The Gifts of God (#wtsdevo godsgifts)

Posted by: Kira \  Personal // Walk the Same // Color Movement

Come to Christ (#cmdevo promises)

Read : Psalms 103:14 I am not sure about you but when time times are rough and when I crave for help, things in my life can get pretty wild. Trying to figure out what to do next, dreaming up all kinds of scenarios that might happen, figuring out the solutions to problems can get pretty crazy and in my head is is usually havoc when all of these start dancing around. While this dance goes on in my head, something that always crosses my mind is, if someone only would come to the rescue… how nice would that be. The bottom line is that what we crave for in times of trouble and worry is someone who is able to understand our situation and someone who is able to help with our problems effectively and solve them. Well as I grew closer and closer with the Lord, I realized that there is someone who fits that description perfectly. He knows our ever weakness, all our worry and feels our hurt. The Lord is that person and in Him we can trust that when we seek Him out and ask for His help, He always cares more than enough to do something about it.  So what is God’s Promise for me today? In God’s promise to us today, He tells us that He understands us inside out and top to bottom. He promises that He WILL do something about our problems when we call out to Him and ask for His help. He promises is comfort and grace in our times of worry so that we don’t have to go through hell but rather be in the calm and peace of His beautiful presence. Join me in Prayer All of my weaknesses, troubles, worries, stress, and temptations - you know Lord. You are always there and come to my aid when I need you. For this, I want to thank you Lord. Thank you for always being there for me everyday of my life. Thank You!

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Devotional Series: His Promises by the Color Movement (#cmdevo promises)

Posted by: Kira Walk the Same | Color Movement

Hope // 希望 (Day 02)

This is my second day exploring the theme of Hope in the Bible. Join me in reflecting on them:

  • For I know the plans I have for you,“ declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11
  • Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. - Lamentations 3:22-23
  • For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet  have, we wait for it patiently. - Romans 8:24-25

Such amazing verses on hope and was totally something I needed today. I hope that these give you encouragement and the strength to move forward. God always works and He saves. 

I love you (ღ˘⌣˘ღ)

<3 Kira

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy,cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.  “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. - Ephesians 5:22-33

 

妻は、主に従うのと同様に、夫に従いなさい。  なぜなら、キリスト様の体である教会がキリスト様にゆだねられているのと同じように、妻は夫にゆだねられているからです。 〔キリスト様は教会のために心を配り、その救い主となるために、実にいのちさえも投げ出されたのです。〕  そういうわけですから、妻は、教会がキリスト様に従うのと同じように、どんなことでも、喜んで夫に従わなければなりません。

また、夫は、教会のためにいのちを捨てるほどの愛を示されたキリスト様にならって、妻を愛しなさい。  キリスト様のその行為は、バプテスマ(洗礼)と神のことばで教会を洗いきよめ、きよく、汚れのないものとするためでした。  こうして、一点のしみも、しわも、何の傷もない、きよく完全な栄光の教会として、迎え入れようとされたのです。  これこそ、夫が妻に対してとるべき態度です。 つまり、夫は妻を、自分の体の一部のように愛さなければなりません。二人は一体なのですから、夫が妻を愛する時、実は自分自身を愛しているのです。  自分の体を憎む者はいません。 愛し、いたわるのが普通です。 それは、キリスト様が自分の体である教会をいたわってくださるのと同じです。 私たちは、その体の各部分なのです。 夫と妻が一体であることは、聖書もはっきり証言しています。「人は結婚する時、父母のもとを離れなければならない。 それは、完全に結びついて、二人が一心同体となるためである。」  これは、なかなか理解しにくいことですが、私たちがキリスト様の体の各部分であることを説明するには適切な例です。 そこで、もう一度言います。 夫は妻を、自分の体の一部のように愛しなさい。 そして妻は、夫を心から尊敬し、従いなさい。- エペソ人への教会 5:22-33 Ladies! Always pray that your partner in life would be a man of God because a man of God will always lead you towards Christ and He will truly love you because He knows and pursues the Lord and those who knows the Lord, knows Love.  

Love (ღ˘⌣˘ღ)

<3 Kira

       

Hi lovelies,

It has been such a lovely morning and I have just been hit by inspiration. I like to doodle when I have nothing better to do and what hit me today was, why not start doodling verses from the Bible itself. I mean I love it so much and why not use some of my creative juices combined with the most amazing book in the galaxy and start something new. 

I am not the best doodler but my love for it just makes me want to go ahead with it. I will be posting my doodles on my blog and on Walk the Same and Color Movement. I am super excited :)

I love you (ღ˘⌣˘ღ)

<3 Kira

Speculating Destiny and Will

 “Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep?” + Job 38:16

Some things in nature must remain a mystery to the most intelligent and enterprising investigators. Human knowledge has bounds beyond which it cannot pass. Universal knowledge is for God alone. If this be so in the things which are seen and temporal, I may rest assured that it is even more so in matters spiritual and eternal. Why, then, have I been torturing my brain with speculations as to destiny and will, fixed fate, and human responsibility? These deep and dark truths I am no more able to comprehend than to find out the depth which couches beneath, from which old ocean draws her watery stores.

Why am I so curious to know the reason of my Lord’s providences, the motive of his actions, the design of his visitations? Shall I ever be able to clasp the sun in my fist, and hold the universe in my palm? Yet these are as a drop of a bucket compared with the Lord my God. Let me not strive to understand the infinite, but spend my strength in love. What I cannot gain by intellect I can possess by affection, and let that suffice for me. I cannot penetrate the heart of the sea, but I can enjoy the healthful breezes which sweep over its bosom, and I can sail over its blue waves with propitious winds.

If I could enter the springs of the sea, the feat would serve no useful purpose either to myself or to others, it would not save the sinking bark, or give back the drowned mariner to his weeping wife and children. Neither would my solving deep mysteries avail me a single whit, for the least love to God, and the simplest act of obedience to him, are better than the profoundest knowledge. My Lord, I leave the infinite to you, and pray that you put far from me such a love for the tree of knowledge as might keep me from the tree of life.

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Devotional Series Adapted: Morning and Evening

Posted by: Kira \  Personal // Walk the Same // Color Movement

What is God’s Will for You? (#wtsdevo takeaction)

Todays Reading: Thessalonians 5: 16-18 For those of you who are still trying to figure out what the will of the Lord for you today, I would love to list it out quite simply right here. It is very straight forward too!!!
  • Pursue Joy and be joyful always.
  • Pray constantly without ceasing.
  • No matter the circumstances, give thanks to the Lord for His goodness because although your circumstances may change, His goodness doesn’t.
This is God’s will for you in your life, put simply. Today is a beautiful Friday and no matter the plans you have got and no matter where you may be or what you may be doing, do not miss an opportunity to live His will for you out.

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Devotional Series: Take Action (#wtsdevo takeaction)

Posted by: Kira \  Personal // Walk the Same // Color Movement