Archive for April 2010

Vidal Junction

April 7, 2010

This is a post that I have wanted to write for a long time. I want to share something that happened to Ann and I in March 2009 on a lonely desert highway that gave us another reason to believe that our faith in the God of the Bible is correctly placed.

We decided to visit Phoenix, Arizona and the Grand Canyon during my spring break in 2009. We were driving on our way from Reno to Arizona on US 95 S and had just left Nevada and entered Needles, CA. I believed that the route through US 95 to I-10 would be a better and shorter way than taking I-40. I did not expect it to be so lonely or so long. It would be another 80 miles or so till we reached the junction to the Interstate. It was so beautiful to see the lonely desert road and distant mountains in the background.

We were talking and enjoying the ride when Ann suddenly felt a sharp pain in her lower abdomen. The pain quickly became unbearable and she was really hurting. I had no idea what it could be and told her to recline her seat all the way back. My thoughts went to gas. After a long time, the pain was still there. I then thought that it may be a kidney stone. There were no cars in front of us or behind us for miles. No towns nearby. Just miles and miles of featureless California desert.

I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I thought of pulling over and calling 911 for an ambulance. But how long would that take in the middle of nowhere? Would she make it to wait that long? By hearing her I knew that this was serious. I decided to keep going driving fast but surely, until I saw the first inhabited place I could stop at and asking for help there. That is when I started praying. I prayed like I never have in my life. I kept asking God to come down and help us since we have no other option. My mind was racing with prayers and my throat became so dry from the tension.  I drove the next 40 miles in literal white-knuckle driving passing into the oncoming traffic lane to overtake numerous cars and trucks on the one-lane road. We drove a good 40 miles with Ann in intense pain and my mind racing with prayers. I remember specifically praying from the promise that God would be with his righteous in time of trouble and asking Him to make good on that promise because I had no other option at the time. I knew that we had no one else to help us on US 95 that day and asked God to take away the pain from my wife. That is when we came upon Vidal Junction.

Vidal Junction, CA. The cross roads of US 95 and state route 62 with nothing more than a couple of gas stations. It felt so good to see some signs of life! I stopped at the first gas station and wanted to run inside to ask if there was a hospital nearby. My wife said she wanted to go inside and try to use the bathroom. I escorted her inside to the bathroom ($1 charge to use it if no purchase) and told the lady at the counter our predicament and asked if there was a hospital nearby. She said the nearest one was a small hospital about 18 miles away across the border in Parker, AZ. Our intended destination to the junction of I-10 was another 40 miles away in another direction. That junction was in Blythe, CA and it had a much larger hospital but would take us much longer to get there. I did not know if the pain would get worse or what would happen. Going to Parker would be definitely out of our way  throw our schedule out of track. But that did not matter. I just wanted her pain to go away.

So there I was. At the cross roads literally with a decision on which road to take. East or South. When Ann came out of the bathroom, I told her the situation. She told me she felt a little better. We decided to go South and continue on US 95 to Blythe. We prayed at Vidal Junction and started on our road south. The whole time I remember praying that her pain does not get worse and just get us to the junction and Blythe. That’s all that was on my mind the next 40 miles.

We reached the junction to I-10 and I asked her how she was feeling and what we should now do. Should we continue east to Phoenix or head west into Blyte and the hospital. She said she was feeling better and we decided to go on our original route to Phoenix. After driving a few miles on I-10, Ann drifted into sleep. When she woke up about an hour later, she said that the pain was gone. We still took it gingerly and I kept praying till we reached Phoenix that night.

Her pain was completely gone for the rest of the trip and we were on track the next day on our original schedule and got to see Phoenix and the Grand Canyon. It was a memorable trip but the most memorable part for me will always be that 80 miles in the California desert that afternoon with no one to help and everything resting on prayer. It could have gotten much worse, but it never did.

Later that year, we would find out exactly what the problem was when she had a recurrence of the pain (which I’ll write about later). The second time we were at home in Reno and had the comfort of the hospital nearby. But on that afternoon in March on that lonely road in California, we had nobody. Just our faith that God would be there when we prayed just as He had promised to us in His word the Bible.

I can safely say that God answered our prayers that day. While driving, I had asked Him to keep His promise… and He did just that.  I witnessed it and I will always testify of it. I have written down in a secret place all the times that God has come through for me. Not every little minuscule prayer that He has answered, but the most memorable ones are when there was no other option and no one to help us like that day in Vidal Junction.

Psalm 34:15 says the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry for help. If Christianity is true and you are a true Christian, there must be experiential evidence in your life to the the things that are promised like this in the Bible.  Not subtly, but powerfully and unmistakably. This is one of those times in my short life. The way the events of that day played out are memories stored deep within in my heart. I still ponder the mystery of how God operates in this world but I know that He is trustworthy when everything is on the line and there is nowhere else to turn. From this and many other experiences, I know I can take Him at His Word.

Vidal Junction. Another junction in my life where I chose to trust God and continue on my journey of faith in this life. One more event in my life that helps me know that my faith is well-placed. The pictures below would not have been possible unless God had helped us at Vidal Junction.

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Not just another blog!

April 6, 2010

Ajo & I have been thinking about starting a blog together to share with each other and the world about our faith.  Today, out of the blue,  Ajo emails me about the blog. It was an inspiration and a spur of the moment decision but I am tremendously excited to start-off a new chapter in life through this blog.

The name of our blog is very apt and meaningful in the life of a Christ follower.  After reading what Ajo had written in the blog, I turned to the Bible and read a few chapters from the Gospel of Luke. I would like to share my thoughts here based on a few verses on Luke 8 and Luke 10.

1) Why the name “fruitfulness” is inspired and not just another blog name?

Luke 8:15 But the ones that  fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. (NKJV)

Ironically, the passage I  started reading today was the “Parable of the Sower” in Luke chapter 8. I don’t think it was just mere coincidence that I read that portion today.  It talks about the “seed” which is the “Word of God” and how it fell on four different types of ground.  Some seeds  fell along the path, some on the rock,  others fell among the thorns and still others fell on good soil.  Only one yielded crop or produced fruit. Only one!  That is what our God has called us to do, to receive the word like the seed that fell on the good ground. Think about it, a heart wholly committed and receptive  to our sovereign God and His teaching. It is definitely not as easy as it sounds. In fact it  is really hard to put in practice while living this life of vanity. Hence, as I share my thoughts and experiences, it is my challenge to persevere to the fullest and above all it is a journey to attain “fruitfulness” according to what God desires in my life.

2) Why a shared blog and why not  an individual blog?

Individuality is imperative in the society today and hence it is not the trend. Once again, I would like to draw your attention to the Gospel of Luke, chapter 10: 1.

1After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. (NKJV)

The true meaning of Christianity and  the duty of each Christian is seen here. Our Lord Jesus Christ sent them two by two to proclaim about His kingdom and the “Good News” to others. From reading few commentaries from John Mac Arthur, I was able to infer the following:

1) To validate the testimonies

Matthew 18:19- 20 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. (NKJV)

2)To multiply the work

Ecclesiastes 4: 9 Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.

3)To strengthen each other

Ecclesiastes 4:10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.

I am not worthy, yet I am forgiven and granted life through “Grace”. I have no theological background to write about many things. Here I am blogging about my experiences.  I am learning how to crawl. I pray that my words be fruitful to others and edify myself.

Welcome to our blog where you will encounter our thoughts, read our words, and furthermore it a stepping stone to gain boldness to put our words into action through works and speech.

God Bless

Friend of God

April 5, 2010

This morning I read an email newsletter in my inbox from Pastor James MacDonald with this verse

Psalm 25:14 (New Living Translation)

“The Lord is a friend to those who fear him.
He teaches them his covenant.”

Reading that verse struck a special chord in me. I wanted to write down my thoughts on how that verse has become alive in my life. I had no place to write it down and it’s the reason I started this blog.

As Pastor James explained, the Hebrew word there for friend refers to the intimate counsel that one would get from a close friend. This intimacy is only reserved for those who fear him.When I look at that verse, I feel so unworthy. That the infinitely powerful and infinitely holy God of the universe would call me a friend. Understanding who God is and what his wrath is capable of (fearing Him) is necessary but this verse also teaches us that once we fear God our relationship with Him changes to that of a friend. That comes from his amazing love that He would grant us that awesome privilege.

I can certainly attest to this. When I became saved, I saw a change in my thoughts and actions. I started to see the world the way the Bible says. When I pray, I pray for much different things now. I feel things that the Bible says God cares about. When I read the Bible, I see the things that God cares about. That is his secret counsel as a friend in my life.

Knowing who I am, and the wretchedness of my life, I am humbled beyond explanation that the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and every saint in the Bible is the same God who says that I am His friend as well. I pray that as I live this life I will grow in holiness and become more worthy to be known as a friend of God the same way Abraham and David was known.

I was once an enemy of God but Jesus’ work on the cross made it possible for me to put away the enmity with God and become friends with God. What grace! I don’t have many friends in my life but I am a friend with the One that matters. Thank you Jesus.

Romans 5:10 (New Living Translation)

“For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.”

Hello world!

April 5, 2010

This is my first post. I wanted to start this blog to chronicle some of the things that I experience knowing the God of the Bible. I have only gotten to have a deep relationship with this God in the past 3 years and his stamp on my life in that time is worth mentioning.

My wife and I will add posts to this blog and will hopefully edify and build up others.

This blog’s address is named “fruitfulness.” I tried a lot of names before trying this name and finding it available. But I think it is a fitting name because as Christians we are told to be fruitful in our lives with the help of God. So I leave you with that teaching from our Lord.

John 15:4-5 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me. “