Cheer Up, He’s There For You

Cheer Up, He’s There For You

I miss a good conversation wherein you just don’t talk about problems but talk about life in general. I had a great time listening to my cousin, the topics were about bikes and videos. He can just go on and on. He was fun and interesting to talk to. The lady who sold lunch and the elderly lady who happened to be a student in our school was there too. We talked about food and life in the province. It was great. They were blessings. When I needed to ease my pain of not being understood and the feeling of being dead in an area in my life, they reached out to me in a simple yet relevant conversation. I’m thankful God just uses anyone, people to show me that I don’t walk alone. I don’t have to feel sad all the time, I don’t have to be pressured to make decisions because he is there patiently and cheerfully accompanying me as a friend.

Being with family and talking random stuff even if I hear their rants, make me feel at home. They are my home.  They are blessing from God. They’re not perfect, but they’re the ones who stick to you when you are sick and they’re the first ones who can sense if something is wrong with you.

What a great way to wait for sadness to disappear and allow God to work His plans for me.

I honestly cannot imagine what I’d think, feel and do without a God who guards my thoughts and my heart. Thank God for His Holy Spirit in me. “I can do all things through Christ who strenghtens me!” (Philippians 4:13)

No amount of going to church services or serving in ministry, work, counsel and advice could ever replace the comfort of having the Lord around and just allowing Him to speak to you in your daily quiet time with Him.

Fellowship is important, but prayer and a conversation with God comes first above all else.

Praise God for this season! Praise God for the gift He gave me to share to YOU!

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Learning Repentance @ Recharge Camp 2019

Learning Repentance @ Recharge Camp 2019

Days before our church’s camp which falls every Holy Week, I was loaded with a week’s worth of work to finish and at the same time, preparations to lead a small group and assist in registration of campers. Other than that, I knew I had to say YES to sharing to Grade 10 students in my previous school. I also had to insert a few things, make sure I myself would be prepared spiritually, pay in full for registration in camp and prepare an anniversary gift. 😊

Hello eyebags!!!

Imagine just days before camp and I already lacked sleep, but I knew I had to prepare, I had to be ready, I had to set aside things that are distracting me.

I was about to back out on sharing to my school since there still was a lot to do, but then I remembered that I had already said YES, I had already committed, no turning back, so I continued.

First time and last time on stage hahaha!!!

I prayed for wisdom and was amazed at how I was able to compose a message quickly just two days before I was about to speak in our school. It felt very nostalgic, I remembered perfectly that in our high school retreat, I received the Lord there. I got baptized in water right there, I received His direction for my life as well.

Come day 1 of camp, I found it a bit messy in the registration part, but The highlight I was looking forward to was meeting ladies whom I would be serving for three days.

Most are first timers and during plugged-session, we each learned our names. I wanted to orient them of what will happen in camp itself so I shared chapters from the bible about the Work of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 and 1 Corinthians 12:1-11.

My devotional group 😍

I was even amazed how I became profound in explaining it, because I never, never actually thought my bible reading and journaling can be translated into actually sharing the Word in a level that anyone can understand. (Fingers-crossed, I hope they did!) It was the Holy Spirit leading me to turn to chapters and explain what God had told us.

I remember way back, asking for the gift of prophecy, as mentioned in the letter of Paul to the Corinthians. It was referred to as the gift that edifies the church. So Paul said in 1 Cor. 14:1 to “desire gifts of the Spirit especially prophecy.” In. Verse 3 it said that “the one who prophesies speaks to people for strengthening, encouraging and comfort.”

That night, I felt everyone’s hunger for the Lord. As Pastor Ru preached, the Holy Spirit just stirred up each one, some in surrender of all the burdens in their lives and some received spiritual gifts according to what had been given to them and a few were tense while some remained calm.

There I told God, “Lord I’m tired, are you pleased with that?” He replied, “YES” and there He comforted me.

Day 2 came and we studied Mark 2:1-12. I shared my burden of being one of the volunteers handling a lot of tasks, getting tired and asking God for committed people to run with the church. Quite similar to the story in Mark of 4 friends trying to help a paralyzed man get to Jesus. I challenged the group that if only we could be the 4 friends to some people we meet who really committed to bring the man to Jesus in order to be healed. Just a very interesting thought, before Jesus healed the man, He said, “your sins are forgiven.” What faith Jesus saw that He interceded with the Father and forgave his sin!

Same thing He did for us!

The man didn’t even ask for forgiveness, but he knew he had to go to Jesus. He believed there was something Jesus had that was bigger than what he was experiencing, and with the help of his friends, he saw Jesus face to face.

Whatever you are going through, good or bad, COME CLOSER to Jesus.

Grab every opportunity to see Jesus, but remember to take some friends who will walk in faith with you, so you will be successful in coming to Him. No one can do it alone.

Church was meant for people even to the most broken one, to come to God. Spiritual gifts were meant to glorify God, let people know of the second chance God gave us. The new life He promised us that “those who believed in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

In our last devotional, Luke 13:1-9, it spoke of repentance. That those who do not repent shall perish.

What did repentance mean in that story?

Repentance is coming closer to God in faith, believing He will forgive us, heal us, restore us, and with that faith working in us, the Holy Spirit will He himself bless us with all strength, power and wisdom to change our way of thinking, make our ways pure, if only we allow Him to. If we removed unforgiveness, doubt, fear, worry, hurt, bitterness, wrath and malice in our lives, then the Holy Spirit can work in us, day by day. Putting His righteousness in us is a process, and He said that those that persevere in faith will have complete joy.

So when you sin, come closer to God, when you are troubled, come closer to God, when you feel like a hypocrite, come closer to God. Walk towards obedience in His call for your life. Love Him, please Him, because He loved you first. ❤️ ✝️

📸 Credits to Jessa Taleon for the photos!

A Woman’s Pains and How God Protects and Loves as a Father

A Woman’s Pains and How God Protects and Loves as a Father

It’s difficult to be a woman. There are some things you just can’t explain. Everyday our body and mood is forever changing, but thank God He is a Father who protects and loves us.

 

I love how books and female Christian authors tag women as strong and spirit-controlled, even when celebrating International Women’s Month, women are now portrayed as independent, strong and successful winning challenge over challenge and conquering the world with their unique abilities, but sadly, not every woman is okay with the fact that she is struggling, she is weak and she is pained. Overwhelming situations like a break up, an illness, a loss of a loved one, an abuse, a wrong decision, a deep need for love are all hidden in the face of a strong, independent and successful woman. No one can really connect how deep the pain, fear and desires are other than our Father in heaven himself.

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God has been very faithful. Trying to get every woman’s attention today. Trying His best to divert us from life’s cares: our family, our relationships, our friends, our work, OURSELVES to His wonderful plans for our lives. From the moment we wake up, He is there calling us to spend time with Him in prayer and reading the Scripture. He is there in our work, trying to cheer us on when we think we can’t do it. He is there comforting us, when it feels very tiring and when people are against us. He is there encouraging us when we feel unmotivated and useless. He is there ready to redeem us when we feel like trash because of what we did, and all the more, He is there to HUMBLE us when we feel so proud of ourselves and when we think we have got to get everything in the snap of a finger to attain our so called SUCCESS.

 

God knows our thoughts and He protects us with His discipline, His rules, but He does not deal harshly towards us. He disciplines us in love.

 

Psalm 103
New Living Translation
A psalm of David.

1 Let all that I am praise the LORD;

with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.

2 Let all that I am praise the LORD;

may I never forget the good things he does for me.

3 He forgives all my sins

and heals all my diseases.

4 He redeems me from death

and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

5 He fills my life with good things.

My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

6 The LORD gives righteousness

and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

7 He revealed his character to Moses

and his deeds to the people of Israel.

8 The LORD is compassionate and merciful,

slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.

9 He will not constantly accuse us,

nor remain angry forever.

10 He does not punish us for all our sins;

he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.

11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him

is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.

12 He has removed our sins as far from us

as the east is from the west.

13 The LORD is like a father to his children,

tender and compassionate to those who fear him.

14 For he knows how weak we are;

he remembers we are only dust.

15 Our days on earth are like grass;

like wildflowers, we bloom and die.

16 The wind blows, and we are gone—

as though we had never been here.

17 But the love of the LORD remains forever

with those who fear him.

His salvation extends to the children’s children

18  of those who are faithful to his covenant,

of those who obey his commandments!

19 The LORD has made the heavens his throne;

from there he rules over everything.

20 Praise the LORD, you angels,

you mighty ones who carry out his plans,

listening for each of his commands.

21 Yes, praise the LORD, you armies of angels

who serve him and do his will!

22 Praise the LORD, everything he has created,

everything in all his kingdom.

Let all that I am praise the LORD.

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The whole chapter is very much essential in knowing our identity in Christ as women. He is not a God who pressures us to be perfect, He is a God who guides us a loving Father would.

 

If you have not experienced the love of a father or have experienced the opposite of love coming from your own father, well our Father in heaven is very different. He created us for good and He already set good plans for our lives. His goodness does not spoil us, but it does break our pride, our stature, our false hopes, even our good desires, so that we would see Him as the loving father that He is and that we would learn to cling to Him in every season of our life. He is not merely getting our attention, He’s speaking and doing I LOVE YOU to us everyday when we feel down, broken, lacking, fearful, pressured and confused.

 

Spend time with Him daily, hold fast to His Word daily and Obey Him daily. There is no greater love than the love of an Almighty Father.

Marriage from a Single Christian Millennial’s Perspective

Marriage from a Single Christian Millennial’s Perspective

I’ve been tasked to write about money saving tips for millennial couples and I came across how millennials co-habitate and put a hold on marriage for practical reasons.

I have family and friends who co-habitate, I have parents who fight over money most of the time, growing up I had a skeptic view of marriage, but it all changed when the search for where God is became my main priority.

I walked into this church hoping to find answers to my faith. Nervous and trembling I stopped by the center to ask where is the service then I was led by the guard to Waterfront Hotel where the service was held. My heart pounded faster as walked closer to the huge doors, and finally entered.

Not much going on, since I was late, I listened to the pastor speak. Fast forward, it took a lot of courage going back month after month until I decided to make it a regular habit to attend service, but it really wasn’t until I decided to serve in a ministry.

Thankfully, with the help of a co-worker and now co-minister and couple mentor, I was in the position I was in at the moment.

It’s a funny feeling getting immersed into a culture of acceptance of different personalities and excellence in serving the Lord through a change in our own character.

The best part of it all, was seeking God in my hunger, in my weakness, in my days of singleness. It was the best year yet.

I also found a beautiful union between married couples that served God. It was’t perfect, but the authenticity of what they did, admitting they were wrong in the past, choosing to be better, and the most challenging part of it all, inserting service in a ministry in their crazy schedules. If we though we were busy in our single status, how much more when we are married with children!

The cream of the corn was that God totally changed my heart with my view of marriage, I once saw a disoriented union from other people’s experiences, but He made me see something more, marriages break without Him at the center. Marriages were meant for His glory, and that when He has combined the two together, He himself will provide and nurture it.

I feel that I shared His hurt when people especially in our generation make it an “option” instead of a command that “marriage should be held in honor of the Lord.”

Marriage is a part of God’s work here on earth, yet people are turning it around by saying marriage can work without Him, or union can happen among two or more people, regardless of gender and without marriage.

There’s no commitment without a deadline and a focus on one. 

We always want to save up for the future, but if we don’t put a deadline to it, it will be just a task that is left undone. If there is no focus on one, then it’s not a main priority, then it’s not something important. We will just end up breaking each other when we are not committed to one and when we don’t set a plan for the things we said yes to.

There’s no love without respect.

How can a person say they love each other when in the first place they don’t respect God who made them? Respect is to honor God and everyone around you. Self-respect isn’t choosing what you want, it’s doing the right thing, even when it’s hard. You will reward yourself later with that.

In the end, it will always be our decision; I love how God gave us free will to make choices and the fact that he laid out the perfect guide on what we should do, and it’s all in His Word.

So what will you choose?

The Pain of Obedience, The Sufferings of Love

The Pain of Obedience, The Sufferings of Love

Love suffers long and is kind.

You probably have heard it a few times in romantic movies, “I’m afraid to love because I might get hurt.” As cheesy as this sounds, reality is that people do get hurt when they make the decision to love someone. It’s because we don’t have the perfect love. It’s because we want to be loved so much more than to love someone. It’s a bit of a selfish love, trying to outdo each other, trying to measure who’s better at loving.

Well, love isn’t a competition, it’s an acceptance of who the person was, is and about to become, and choosing to show patience and kindness even when it hurts. I don’t mean endure the sins of a person, but to correct them in love. (Refer to Ephesians 4 & 1 Timothy 5)

Reading through these chapters in Scripture, I’ve learned that the best way to speak the truth of God’s Word is not to tell it to them, but to show it to them. Show them the changed YOU, the CHRIST IN YOU.

Moreso, I fail often in showing the love of Christ to my family, but I’m resting in the my faith and hope that by God’s sufficient grace and diligence in meditating and obeying God’s Word and speaking to Him in prayer, they will experience the love of God!

How To Love Right?

Every verse in the bible was written out of love, whether it was to teach us, warn us, equip us, rebuke us and encourage us to live right with God, so the best way to love, is to know what love is and where it came from, and the source of it is God himself.

The Love Twist

There’s a twist to the greatest love story on earth between God and mankind, it was when Satan enticed Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and she believed the serpent and sinned against God, out of shame, she and her husband Adam felt naked before God and went their way.

The Resolution

God was pained to see Adam and Eve drift far from Him, so did their children, He loved them so much, so He made a way for them and all of us to get back to Him through Jesus!

The Decision

Now the choice to love God is in us after knowing His truth, His sufferings, His sacrifice til the end, all to love us. Can we choose to grow and show love the same way as Jesus did? There will be times we fail, we get discouraged, we fear and we get hurt, but if we truly love the Father and the Father’s love is truly in us, we must decide to obey His greatest commandments, “To love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love others as ourselves.”

The Consequences of Over and Under

The Consequences of Over and Under

When you’re overdoing or under-doing it, the consequences stay for a lifetime.

The new year is an opportunity to get better, but over the holidays, I’ve learned what God meant by rest. It was the right amount of discipline for working and saying no to work to get some rest. In 2018, it was hard to rest knowing I had a lot of things to do, and I’m not only talking about work for a living, it also involved my ministries and all the things I committed to be in.

Commitments

We love to be reliable, responsible, recommended, because of our pursuit of becoming better. Well, better isn’t always about doing things, it’s making the wisest choices, so choose your commitments carefully, from working for a living, entering a relationship, and volunteering in church or in the community. Face it, we can’t do everything! Ask yourself:

  • Will I love it here?
  • Will it glorify God?
  • Does it give me enough time to rest?
  • What will it take to keep this commitment?
  • Are there people who can help me?
  • Will it be in sync with the rest of my schedule?
  • Am I really doing it for the Lord or am I just planning my way?

Overdoing it leads to sickness. Under-doing it leads to failure, but balancing it, keeps your mind, body, faith and relationships intact. Like a healthy person, you have all things in moderation. Some diseases may come unexpectedly, but knowing you’ve taken care of yourself well leaves no room for guilt and self-condemnation and regrets in the future.

Family

You didn’t choose them, but God gave them to you as gifts. Like any blessing, they can stress you out, but if you can’t handle pressure at home, how much more outside?!

Some sacrifices for the family aren’t worth it especially if it involves you cutting corners or for some reason, the Holy Spirit just tells you “no”.

Rest Is Holy

It’s time to think as God does, from the Story of Creation, He didn’t rest on the 7th day because He was tired, He rested because it was a Holy thing to do. Don’t feel guilty doing nothing when you’re done with everything else, it’s a gift from God. Reward yourself.

Overspending/Overworking

The wealthiest people are not living rich, they’re being rich, they’re spending below their means, they’re also rich in faith knowing the Lord will take care of them, so they halt work when its time to rest, they minimize spending for things that depreciate in value and focus on being grateful for what they have and patient for what they aim to have. They are balanced beings.

Undertime With The Lord

This year, I also found myself in a hurry to do what needs to be done, not stopping by and lingering in the Lord’s presence. For a time I thought it was a matter or schedule, but I realized it was a matter if the heart. My heart wasn’t calm in order for me to take in God’s goodness, I was interested in what I could get from Him to use for my ministry, for making my life better instead of just being there and listening to Him, not in a hurry for another appointment, just being there to listen to Him. Such a patient God for dealing with my weaknesses!

Worrying About The Future

Excessively thinking about he future translates to worry. Overthinking plans only leads to more stress, whereas sitting it out a few days just like writing a book, gives you insights day by day. Take it one step at a time and leave your cares up to the Lord. In his time, He will answer you. Praise Him for whatever answer or plan He reveals because He is God!

Your Coping Is A Sign of Great Victory Coming

Your Coping Is A Sign of Great Victory Coming

The year is almost over and the challenges just keep coming, but the more you learn to cope with it, the greater victory God gives.2018 was full of challenges physically, mentally, socially and emotionally. We tend to retreat in difficult situations by being busy, hanging out constantly with friends and worse, pretending that everything is okay, masking what we truly feel inside. All other remedies we can think of, though it seems good to us, like starting a new goal, without God’s intervention, the turn out would completely disrupt us our whole lives.But what about those who are coping on the right track? What if God told you to do something, what if you’ve verified it through His Word, loud and clear, but you are going through the storms of acheiving it? Coping or the attempt to overcome difficult situations is not successful without the one who overcame death. Great victory is overcoming death of a particular attitude, habit and belief. The only thing that’s blocking us from acheiving great victory is us. Our thoughts towards a situation, how we try to magnify it, lift it up and worship it instead of our God brings us down. Coping is not pretending to be okay, it’s lifting up our anxieties to the Lord, and acting upon what’s honorable though you’re uncertain of the future. In David’s coping with a pot of strongholds in His reign, he brought all his cares to the Lord when he wrote Psalms, he even had mighty warriors such as these three who showed loyalty to the King despite heavy duties that could cost them their own lives. Read 2 Samuel 23:8-39 for the full story.Josheb-Basshebeth – he raised a spear against 800 men whom he killed in one encounter. (v. 8)Eleazar – when the Israelites retreated in the midst of the Philistines, Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines til his hand grew tired and froze rhe sword. The Lord brought great victory that day. (v. 10)Shammah – When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about great victory. (vv. 11-12)The acts of these valiant men were fruits of David’s trust in the Lord and God’s unfailing kindness to him and his lineage for all of times!2 Samuel 22:51, NIVHe gives his king great victories; He shows unfailing kindness to his anointed to David and His descendants forever.Why should you turn back, why should you go your own way, why should you settle for less than what God has planned for you? 2 Samuel 22:31, NIVAs for GOD, His ways are perfect, the Lord’s Word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in Him.Hold on to the promise of great victory. The sufferings are worth it!