Times of refreshing here in Your presence
    No greater blessing than being with You
    My soul is restored, my mind is renewed
    There’s no greater joy, LORD, than being with You

    From November 17-19, I was blessed to be given the opportunity to take part in the National Prayer Gathering at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu. It was indeed a life-changing experience. It wasn’t in the grandeur of the event or the joy of fellowshipping with fellow believers that made the experience so memorable (although admittedly, those factors were awesome bonuses). It was in those precious moments at the wee hours of the morning and those still evenings as we retired to our respective rooms – those moments when His presence was real and personal and felt. Those moments are what made this event memorable to me.

    More than the little Cebu and Bohol trinkets and the sweet, fun photos, it is the feeling of His indwelling presence that I am carrying back home with me.


    Oh, to sense Him! What Christian’s heart would not leap at the thought of it!

    One of the key issues tackled during the event was our pursuit of God, our quest to have a more intimate relationship with our Savior, our journey to see His face and hear His voice. It is paradoxical how simple in theory, but how utterly complex in application this quest is. The mind races off in advance even before the heart, the soul, the flesh is completely prepared to handle the consequences. The mind races off to say “Yes!” with a heart that is indeed willing, while the soul, the flesh gears itself for the pain dying to self will bring about. Still… His grace abounds, and because of that, the answer will remain “Yes!”

    The Lord stands witness to the contents of my heart. He knows my desire to completely be His, and by faith, I am holding on to His promise that by His blood, indeed I have been redeemed. My heart soars with anticipation even as I dare to imagine what He has in store, praying that I never lose sight of the fact that it is all Him and I am but a vessel made to contain His glory. I am nothing apart from Him; thus, I have nothing to boast of apart from Him.

    “Humility is sought, never claimed. The moment you claim it, you forfeit it.”

    I wait for Him. I wait on Him. I wait, but more than that, I long. I anticipate. I pine…

    For that sweet day when I will see His face, and hear Him say, “Yes, my daughter, you are indeed Mine.”

    But while I wait, here I am, in pursuit… yearning… chasing… for those times of refreshing spent with Him.

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    Joanna Alonzo

    Author/Founder at Almond Tree Publications
    Joanna Alonzo is a walking paradox. She is a beautiful, albeit messy, mixture of thought and emotion, expressed in the form of hopefully readable – and relatable – stories. She is a kingdom kid, who looks forward to being a writer and storyteller even when she reaches heaven. She is passionate about the unreached, about those who have yet to know the Love she found in the arms of the Almighty. She is intrigued by the world and its people, who day by day, continue to convince her that God is the greatest Storyteller of all.
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