Category Archives: Reflections

A Facilitator’s Journal

 

When my dear friend, Rhodes, asked me if I could be a facilitator for an upcoming singles retreat, I didn’t have second thoughts of saying yes.  I have a great passion in reaching out to single women and sharing God’s love to them.  At that time (and even until now), I felt so privileged that God gave me the invitation to serve Him by allowing me to do something that my heart truly desires for.

A week before the retreat, I got sick. I didn’t have enough rest as well since I went home for my dad’s 60th birthday.  When I got back, I was working for the rest of the week on a 2pm-12am shift. But those things, I didn’t allow to get into all my preparations for the conference. I studied the material for module 1 with the available time that I have. I prepared the things that I need to bring 2 days before the retreat. And I just kept praying that I will not get a migraine on the event itself due to my lack of sleep. I was totally depending on God that He would sustain me for the rest of the conference.

The most important thing that I had to do before the retreat was to do a heart check. Days before the retreat, I kept checking my heart if my motives were still right for this retreat. It was really helpful for me because I didn’t want to do something for the wrong reasons. The reason why I was looking forward to the event was aside from being able to serve God, I was very much excited on how God will work in the hearts of the participants. I was excited on the souls that will be saved.

July 21 – Saturday

I arrived home from work 12 midnight, slept for 3 hours, and amazingly woke up with no migraine, no headache. Really grateful to God for giving me a good physical condition despite of my cough and coarse voice. I had been praying for a nice weather for the event but apparently, God had His own way. Just when we got into the bus, there was a sudden downpour of rain. But the rain really didn’t bother me. I was thinking that God can stop it if He wants to.

It was my first time in Rizal Recreation Center in Laguna. It was a nice getaway place from the busyness of Manila. Everything green. The first part of the activity was really a good one.  It woke up all our sleepy senses – with those animal sounds, mind-boggling puzzles and funny pick up lines.  Good job to those who prepared for it. 🙂

When I met the participants in the breakout group I was assigned to, and learned their reasons why they were in the retreat, I was really amazed. Some of them shouldn’t have been there because they got sick the night before the retreat, some have other important things to finish and even others just got off from work in the morning.  But because nothing can hinder God’s plan for them, even before they were in the retreat, they already took the first step of pursuing God. And that’s by choosing to go.

The topics for Module 1 were not new to me already.  They are the basic teachings of Christianity. But at that time, going back to the basic was what I really needed. I had been praying that the participants would just be open to all the messages they will be hearing. And that they will accept God’s Word with all sincerity in their hearts. But I didn’t know that God also gave me a teachable and humble heart. While listening to all the speakers, I felt like I was that person years ago who was just starting to seek God. I was like the participants, very hungry in knowing God more.  It is in the basics that we are reminded why we are doing the things that we are doing right at the moment. I just praise God for the speakers. Not just the ladies in my group, even I, was really blessed and refreshed in their messages.

The Date Night or  I would rather call it Socials Night was really a good way to show to the participants that being a Christian is not boring as it is stereotyped to be. That we also love doing fun things together that would strengthen the relationship and build up one another. And with everyone in their best attires, all would agree, that everyone really had a great night to end their day. And I might just not know, some might have found already their God’s best during that night. Hmmm.. 🙂 Great job to the organizers!

July  22 – Sunday

Just as I was very much overwhelmed (and still am) with how the ladies in my group responded to God’s love, I was also in awe during the baptism.  I don’t know most of the participants who went through baptism.  I may never know their stories, but that day, they told the most important story of their lives. It’s really amazing how God’s love could transform each and every one of us. That day, I felt the heaven rejoicing with us.

The theme of the conference is “Pursue Love”.  After learning all about God’s love in the first day, Mr. Glenn Yu’s message, I can say was the best way to end  the conference.  Pursuing God’s love does not end in the conference.  It was really good that he explained why do we need to pursue Love and even made a clear definition of what true love is. It was really a take home.

In those two days, God made me practice humility, total dependence, patience and grace in a different level. Right from the start, God had reminded me already that the event was not about me or about anyone else. It was about Him. It’s His work. And how He would want things to happen, He has the final say because He was the one who planned for it. No sickness nor rain nor technical difficulty nor even people differences can hinder any of His plans for the participants.

God’s plan. God’s implementation. God’s glory.

“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. ” (1 Cor 13:1-7 TheMsg)

– Pepay // Beautifully Waiting.Pursuing Love.

 

God Will Come

Author: Woodrow Kroll, Tony Beckett
Source: FaithWalk
Scripture Reference: Colossians 2 Isaiah 34-36 

Key Verses: Isaiah 35:3-4

A writer was describing his experience of hiking in the Grand Canyon. I was surprised when he said that coming back up the trail at the end of the day was easier than his earlier descent into the canyon. It seems like uphill would always be harder, especially when it is the last part of the hike.

But knowing that the hike would soon be over, that he could return to his air-conditioned room, that dinner was waiting at the end, made the climb up easier than the climb down. Basically, hope made the last part less difficult. What he knew was ahead kept him going. His knees felt better and his thoughts were not on cardiac arrest, either! The rim was just ahead, and with it would come rest, refreshment and relief.

Far greater than a motel room with an air conditioner is the word of hope given to the redeemed by the prophet Isaiah. His message was, “‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come'” (35:4). Those words would “strengthen the feeble hands,” “steady the knees that give way” and encourage those with “fearful hearts.” Better than a room on the rim of the Grand Canyon is the truth that God will come!

The way our life takes us can be hard. The world in which we live can be difficult. Our souls may weary, weakening our hands, our knees, our hearts–but to the weary pilgrim God gives words of hope. He will come.

“God, fill my heart, mind and soul with hope. Help me climb, renewed and reinvigorated by the reminder that You will one day come.”

 

 


Courage

Last night, I watched the movie, “Courageous” with my dear sisters in Christ, Aggie and Lauren. The movie spoke more for men especially for fathers, but, nonetheless, it also spoke to me. On my way home, after the movie, I was praying to God that He would also make me a courageous person, especially in standing up for Him.

This morning, I was once again inspired with the story of two courageous women. My devotion this morning is the story of Deborah, Barak and Jael in Judges 4. If you are not familiar with their story, I encourage you to read the whole chapter 4. 🙂 It will really encourage you especially the story of Jael. Her courage was very admirable. She was the wife of a loyal person to the enemies of Israelites but she chose to do the right thing.

Obedience to God really takes courage because sometimes, it will cost us giving up our career, our wealth, and/or even relationships. That’s why each day, we need God to be with us and always ahead of us. It is only by faith, that we can take a leap of courage.

God bless everyone! 🙂

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No reason to fear

“I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber;
Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord wilk keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life;
The Lord will watch over your coming and going, both now and forever.”

Psalm 121

What a comfort knowing that our God never takes a break in watching over us. He is oncall 24/7. So there is no reason for us to live in fear and worries.

What have you been living in fear lately? I pray that you will let God take over that fear in your life.

Good morning! God bless!

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While waiting…Get ready!

I thank God for the restful sleep I had last night. And because there are no classes today due to some celebrations that will happen in the whole city, I’m happy that I can have more time to read and write.

I just wanna share my devotion this morning which came from the book of Philippians. Since I just finished a book from the bible yesterday, I had to choose one again and the Lord led me to this book.

Apostle Paul wrote this book to the Philippi. Every time I will meditate on Paul’s letters to the churches, I’m always blessed with his intense love for the believers. He will always give reminders and directions to the people who are already walking with the Lord. These things are for their own good anyway.

In this passage, the Lord put into my heart His word about how to live a life of pursuing to be the right person more importantly than looking for the right one. This passage talks about how to be ready for something big to happen.

           “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1: 9- 10

Be the right person! Gain more knowledge. Learn more insights about life and grow maturely in the Lord. That is how the Lord spoke to me this morning. How to do this? – Develop to have the fruit of righteousness which only comes through Jesus Christ (by His loving grace). He will surely lead us through because this is His will for us.

But what is the fruit of righteousness?—I believe this can be directly be related to the fruit of the Spirit discussed in the book of Galatians. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control.” (Galatians 5:22- 23)

I’m not being legalistic here because I believe we are imperfect ones and we will always fail and that we are just living by God’s grace. But sisters, let us strive harder. Let us evaluate ourselves and pray that our lives will manifest the fruit of the Spirit. The Lord loves us for who we are but He loves us so much that He wants us to be molded to be His Son, Jesus Christ. And I believe when we are pursuing this kind of life, He will give us the discernment to know what is best (V.10). —the best person and the best of life He prepared for us.

(P.S. The book “Captivating” also discussed some things about how we are design by God as a woman. It may help us to discover our very being and so help us develop to be the right one)

BY: IRENE =)