“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Sometimes, it’s hard to keep hoping when we cannot see the big picture. But this is where faith comes in. Never forget that you have a big God who has great plans for you (see Jeremiah 29:11).
Life isn’t always fun and games, but know that there is always hope when you put your trust in God.
Happy Mother’s Day! Hug your mom today! :)
Moms are truly one of God’s most wonderful gift to us. She’s our best critic and our number one fan. Sometimes our enemy but always our best friend. She’ll give you curfews and rules to follow but will kiss you and hug you still even after you’ve broken them for the zillionth time. :)
This drawing is for my lovely mom, my best girl friend, who I will always miss for the rest of my life.
“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)
This is one of the Bible’s most famous verse and quite understandably so because it is such a powerful reminder of just how much God loves. It is cliche already to hear that “God loves you” but He really does; He loves you so much that He cares about all the little details in your life.
God wants only what is best for you. When He says “don’t do this”, it doesn’t mean that He wants to spoil the fun and keep you on a tight leash. Like a good parent, He just wants to protect you from heartache because He wants you to experience only the best. So reserve yourself only for His best!
So when God says “no” to this wonderful opportunity that you didn’t get, or when God says “not yet” when it comes to giving you a boyfriend, know that God isn’t doing that to make your life miserable. He knows what He’s doing and His plans are perfect! You’ll see! :)
Are you proud to say that the God of Israel is your God?
Sometimes, it’s still hard to grasp that the God who moved mountains and parted seas is the same God who loves and cares about me and my everyday life. It’s overwhelming to think that this same God is the one who is changing me every single day for the better.
I know I am so undeserving of His love and I know that I can never ever do anything that can fully express my gratitude. But I also know that one way I can bring Him joy is by sharing to others boldly about what He has done in my life so that others will know that they can also experience the same with Jesus.
So for me, this blog is my way of sharing about what He has done in my life. It’s my way of reaching out to people with the hopes that they can also find the same peace and happiness that I have found in my God. My life is far from perfect, but I will always cry out and shout about the Lord because He is with me. :)
And that is really all I need, actually.
Finding it hard to read your Bible?
Reading some of the Old Testament books isn’t exactly a walk in the park. If you’ve tried reading Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy (and if you’re a regular human being like me,) you know what I mean!
Here are some tips that I’ve gathered and learned along the way and I hope it can help you one way or another. Good luck to you and your goal of finishing the Bible this year! ;)
Choose a translation that’s easy to understand
Sometimes, all the “thou art’s” can get pretty confusing! ;) So I personally use NIV, NLT or NASB because they are simple, straightforward and easier to read! Plain modern day English!
It’s also helpful to check out two or more translations so that you can get a better understanding of the verse. Check out this Online Parallel Bible which I always use when I want to see how the verses is worded in the different versions.
Get a Life Application Study Bible
I always recommend the Life Application Bible to anyone who asks because the commentaries are full of either interesting facts or insightful thoughts to ponder on. There are also charts and simple tables to help you understand further.
The commentaries help you relate different verses, events and issues with your own life. Try to ponder on God’s perfect holiness and also God’s perfect love for all of humanity throughout history. It’s amazing to see God working then as He’s doing so now in your life, isn’t it? :)
Highlight verses that speak to you
I know not all people are like me, but highlighting while reading makes me understand and remember better. It’s also helpful when you decide to reread certain parts. I highlight verses that speak to me, sometimes verses that remind me of God’s faithfulness and also sometimes, facts that I feel are good to remember.
Learn more about the Old Testament times: culture & history
Learning more about the way of life of people who lived during the Old Testament times help you understand more about why they do certain things. Check out this article from Bible Gateway wherein they give a background on the Old Testament.
Do you have other tips you can add? :)
“Her husband is respected at the city gate.” (Proverbs 31:23)
I wanted to begin with the ever famous verse of submitting to your husband but this one is better! Submitting is the action, your husband being respected by all is the result (one of, at least)
Isn’t it curious that this is under the Bible passage of the Proverbs 31 woman? It says her husband is respected, not saying anything else about the husband, but simply because of his wife. I realized that as wives, our characters and the way we relate and treat our husbands can make a huge impact on how other people see them. I want my husband to be respected by others, but the respect must first and foremost come from me.
As a strong-willed girl, it’s not natural to me to submit myself under the leadership of someone else. But these are our God-given roles. I am to respect him as he is to love me in Christ. Meaning, even though we may not feel like it at a particular time, we can do this through the power of Jesus (see Philippians 4:13)
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This post is part of a series called “Lessons from the Proverbs 31 Woman” Click the link to see the rest of the series.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1)
Saying that God is my shepherd is saying that I let Him lead me in life. It’s saying He is the master of my life and that includes my schedule, my plans and my dreams.
Saying “I shall not want” doesn’t mean being lazy and not being proactive about my life. It is saying that I will do what I can with the best of my abilities to change the things I can change for good, but with regards to the things I cannot, I will be content to trust God about them.
“I thank my God every time I remember you.” (Philippians 1:3)
When I was 18, I had all these ideas of what my future husband will be like but I’m glad God knew better than to listen to me (haha) because my ideas didn’t even come close to the actual husband God gave me and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
God knew what kind of man I needed and what kind of man I could best complement. And I’m glad that I trusted Him. I’ve never met anyone in my life who has truly loved me as much as Mor does, who sticks with me during bad days, who isn’t afraid to be honest with me even when it hurts and who I can trust with all my secret hopes and dreams.
Mor is my best friend, confidante and favorite travel buddy. We enjoy beating each other during games night, watching travel shows together, thinking out loud and just having a simple good time.
I am truly thankful to God every time I think of him.
This drawing is for my crazy husband who’s celebrating his birthday tomorrow! You are the best gift God has given me (after Himself) and I am one lucky girl to have a man like you as my husband. :)
“Deleite-se no Senhor, e ele atenderá aos desejos do seu coração.” (Salmos 37:4)
In English, it’s “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
The Bible is a book full of God’s promises and stories about God’ faithfulness. If you need encouragement, there’s no better book to turn to. It’s really one of God’s ways of talking to us!
I know reading in general doesn’t come easy to some people so if you’re one of those, don’t worry! There are loads of wonderfully done audio Bibles out there, like my favorite, The Bible Experience. No excuse not to take in God’s Word. And trust me, you won’t regret it! :)
This bookmark is available for purchase at the Sheena Loves Sunsets online store!
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you. For My power is made perfect in weakness.’” (2 Corinthians 12:9 )
Sometimes we feel inadequate to serve the Lord. Moses certainly thought so when He told God that no one would listen to him preach because of his speaking disability (see Exodus 4:10) Don’t believe that lie. Just as God was able to do mighty things through Moses, so He can also do mighty things through you.
God says that His grace is sufficient; that it is enough. Yes, we have weaknesses but these weaknesses shouldn’t get in the way of us giving our best to the Lord. If anything, let your weakness be a reason for you to rely on God’s power more.
Let Him work in your life and watch in amazement as He unfolds things you cannot even begin to imagine!
“Clame a mim e eu responderei e lhe direi coisas grandiosas e insondáveis que você não conhece” (Jeremias 33:3)
Portuguese version of my original Jeremiah 33:3 drawing. In English, this translates to “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
My hope is in the Lord! ♥
Being a Christian doesn’t exempt you from the hardships of life. In fact, Jesus said “In this world you will have trouble…” But He goes on to say “… take heart! I have overcome the world!”
So don’t lose heart, God’s people. Life won’t always be pretty but have faith and hope in the Lord. Jesus will always come to the rescue and you can expect great things ahead! As the song goes, “joy comes in the morning!” :)
“A beleza é enganosa, e a formosura é passageira; mas a mulher que teme o Senhor será elogiada.” (Provérbios 31:30)
As promised before, here is an artwork translated in Portuguese. In English, it’s “Charm is deceptive, beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Original artwork in English can be found here.
To people reading this in Portuguese, I just wanna say, obrigado por compartilhar minhas ilustrações para seus amigos. Estou muito feliz que eu posso compartilhar com você a respeito de Deus, mesmo que você viver longe de mim!
In short, thank you! ;) What a privilege it is to share God’s word to people, no matter where they are in the world.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Today, Mor and I celebrate our 1 year anniversary! God has blessed us with so much more than we could ever have asked for or imagine, but for me, the greatest gift He has given me (after Himself) is my husband.
It’s such a wonderful thing to love and be loved by a man after God’s own heart. Ecclesiastes 4:10 says “When one falls, the other can help him up” and this is how it is with us. He keeps me accountable with everything that goes on in my life and he inspires me everyday to ‘press on’ in my walk with Jesus. Everyday, I thank God for him. :)
It is only by His grace alone that we can celebrate this day together today. Life together hasn’t been perfect, of course, and I know there will be many more challenges ahead of us but I know God is faithful to finish the work He has begun in us so we are both just very excited to experience His love even more in the years to come!
Sheena Sy-Gonzales is a 24-yr old illustrator & designer from Narnia.
Read more about her here.
Ask her a question on Tumblr
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Or send her a love letter at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Want your own personalized drawing? This artist is for hire! Click here to find out how!
How do you get to travel so much?
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On Being a Wife & Other Things
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Our Love Story in a Cartoon
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Staying Happy, Not Idle & Bored
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Advice to My 18-year Old Self
Congratulations to Paula for winning a glam pack c/o Black Beauty & Sheena Loves Sunsets!
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