truly awakening…

May 25, 2007 – Hillsong United @UBC, Vancouver with Hillsong buddy Sarah and her friends
May 26, 2008 – Hillsong United @Araneta Coliseum, Manila with my best friend, Nong Iman
Aug 15, 2008 – Sonicflood @Araneta Coliseum, Manila with my brother, Christian and cousin, Doink
April 20, 2010 – Hillsong with Darlene Zschech @Araneta Coliseum, Manila with Sarah, Jep and my Dgroup sister, Tsame
Last night – Passion World Tour @Rogers Arena, Vancouver with  Anne and her housemates, Ricky, Abet
Why the list? After the worship event  last night, I started reminiscing the previous big worship events I had attended and the people I was with. I was thinking how many more events will I be able to attend to. I just feel privileged every time I am able to attend these events no matter where I am. Being able to worship God together with thousands of believers is just amazing.
Before I make my point, I just want to share some things that struck me last night from Ptr. Louie Giglio’s message though not really in exact same words…
–  Passion is when you do something for God and you let go of your own selfish dreams and ambitions.   And I totally agree. Passion without sacrifice is not passion at all.
–  As my FB status goes, I am beautifully broken…why?  Because our Healer is God. That’s just it. 😀
–  Colossians 3:17 – whatever you do, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. As what Ptr. Louie said, when we all go to heaven, the pastors and church workers won’t be on the first line, while those who are not will be on the last. God does not care what we are, He cares on the motive – why we are doing it.
– It’s not about you or me.  It’s all about God.  If you’re broken/hurt – it’s not about you.  If you’re happy – it’s not about you. If you need healing – it’s not about you.  It’s always about God.
– Since it’s about God, He still wants us to be part of His great story. For us to shout His fame and not our fame.
– Make your life count for only one…for Jesus.
– Lastly, Jesus did not come to make the bad become good. He came to make the dead alive. And that’s the life I’m living today. 😀
Back to my point of making that list…
I was asking myself, then, what? It’s good to take part on those events. But then, now what? Lately, I’ve been asking myself if I was bearing fruit as a Christian. It seems like I just take in things and not being able to share them to others. It doesn’t matter how many worship events I have attended. God won’t ask how many when I meet Him. I was reminded about God’s will last night. Ptr. Louie said that whatever I am doing right now, that is God’s will for me.  I just have to align it to Him and His purpose.  And that’s so true.  I realized I should bloom where God is planting me. I should bear fruit on where He is planting me. And it’s right here, with what I have. This is something I really have to pray and work for as well, all by God’s grace.
I know some of you are also asking what your purpose in life is. The only answer I know for myself is living for the One who gave me life. And that is living for God — as a daughter, a sister, a friend, an office mate, an employee, etc.
“Whatever you do, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus…”
To God be the utmost glory.
God bless!

so blessed, can you contain it?

Travel to different countries, cruises, vacation houses, cars, latest gadgets, high-paying job, etc. The list just goes on, right? I know at some point in our lives we all dream to have or experience these things.
When I was in high school, my friend (she knows who she is) and I had this dream of going to college in the US and be able to get a job after and all those stuff. We really didn’t know how that would happen. Well, it was just a dream. But you see, the dream of going to US was not impossible for God. When I got my US tourist visa years ago, I was really overwhelmed. My dream didn’t happen the way I thought of it when I was in high school, but it came true. That moment, I realized how God could easily make things happen if He really wants to. God is not a “kill-joy”. He wants to bless us. He is our joy.
The question is – how do we respond when God has blessed us so much? And, I’m speaking of material blessings.
Deut 31:20 – “For when I bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and are satisfied and become prosperous, then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and spurn Me and break My covenant. “
I realized that God does not test us only through trials or problems. He also tests us through prosperity. And even the Israelites whom God has chosen even failed Him. How about me? How about you?
The reality is, we are easily drawn back to God when we are so down to the mouth because of problems. And, we are easily drawn away from God when we are enjoying the abundance of life. I’m not sure about you, but I’m guilty of this sometimes. And with how many times I’ve fallen, these are things that I’ve been learning.
Putting God first above all things. Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
How? Constant fellowship with God through reading and studying of His Word and prayer. I’ve realized how important it is to have that  every day communication with God because it makes us focus more on the Giver and not on the gifts that we are receiving.
Practice good stewardship (even on the little things that God has entrusted us).
Matthew 25: 22-23 “The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “
How? There are a lot of things that God has entrusted to us and one of them is Treasure. We could start with our tithing. A ten percent is always a good start but God is not concerned with the amount. He is concerned with the motive of the person giving it. Are we giving our first to God? Or, are we giving what is left? Learn to budget as well. I’ve once been in a pile of debt that most of my salary went to paying for it. That wasn’t good at all. So, spend wisely, have a savings and be debt-free.
Be a blessing! Acts 20:35 “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “
 How? Let’s hold on to our possessions loosely so that it will be easy for us to let go and share them to those who need it. Let’s not forget to bless our family and our church because sometimes we have helped a lot of people already but we forget them.
All of those are easily said than done. But, the first one will always get us to the rest. Each day is always a walk of faith to God who empowers us with His grace. Let’s never forget the Giver of all!
Let me leave you this from the sayings of Agur:
“Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die:
 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
 give me neither poverty nor riches,
 but give me only my daily bread.
 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
 and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
 Or I may become poor and steal,
 and so dishonor the name of my God.”
 – Proverbs 30:7-9
May God always get the glory.

The narrow gate and stuff…

At the start of this week, I was reflecting on the Sunday message on the two types of gates – narrow and wide. I asked God to give me something that He wants me to write about the verses. And so, He did! That quick!
September is always an important month in our company. Not because it signifies that Christmas is coming soon, but because it is the time for promotions, salary letters and performance ratings.  There are those who are happy, some who are not so happy but are satisfied and those who are not happy at all.  And, where did I fit in?
In all honesty, I “was” one of those who were not happy. I just want to highlight “WAS” because I’m choosing to be happy now, by God’s grace. 🙂  I know that in everything, it is always about God and for His glory. I got hurt, but the joy in me can never be stolen because it is from Him. And so, I want to give the glory back to Him because He deserves it no matter what circumstance I am in.
This week has been filled with emotions, lessons and reminders. And here are the things that I’ve learned and have been reminded of…
  1. I don’t need anyone to make me feel my worth.  Jesus did that already when He died for me on the cross.  And no one can ever take that from me because only He gets the glory.
  2. In this life, there will always be injustice because only God is perfect. But one thing I’ve learned, God also commanded us to be like Him, to be just and fair. When I read Colossians 4:1, “Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.”, I felt that I can’t just keep quiet and accept things as they are without doing anything. I know that no matter what I do, it will not impact anything to the current situation. But I’m hoping that it will impact something good in the future. And so, I expressed my own sentiments but with respect to authority.
  3. Lastly, I am once again reminded that I don’t work for men. I’ve always been trying to live by this verse, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-25). I have to build treasures in heaven and not here.
Indeed, choosing the narrow gate is never an easy journey.  As the Bible says, “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.” Matthew 7:13-14 (The Message version)
I felt hurt but that’s okay because God still gets the glory. 🙂
He who willed me into this will also be the One to comfort me and sustain me through it all.

Kung Fu and Worship

Last Sunday, I watched the movie Karate Kid with my brother after we attended the afternoon worship service. 

As I was watching the movie, I started relating some of the lines of Jackie Chan in the movie with the Malachi series on worship.

I have to narrate a part of the movie to relate it to worship…

Jackie Chan was training a young boy on how to do Kung Fu. And he started it on the boy’s jacket. The reason for this is this has been the problem of the boy’s mom that he could not hang his jacket when he gets home and instead, leaves it always on the floor. And so, Jackie Chan started to train him for how many days by asking him to hang his jacket, then wear it, then drop it, then hang it again, and so on. The one thing his master emphasized was attitude. While doing it, he must learn to enjoy what he was doing, he must have some attitude. But the boy could not understand why he had been doing the same thing for almost 3 days already. He was expecting some real Kung Fu skills. The boy fully understood when Jackie Chan applied the routine of hanging, wearing and dropping of his jacket in training. 

The line which really caught me was when Jackie Chan said after showing the boy why he was doing it, that Kung Fu is everything that you do. In my own understanding, Kung Fu is not a skill that you just learn. When you sit, when you eat, when you sleep, when you walk, that is Kung Fu. In other words, Kung Fu is a lifestyle.

Upon hearing those lines and as I was still having some reflection in my subconscious mind about the message during the service, I concluded that that’s the concept of worship also. Worship is not just singing praise and worship songs or attending Sunday worship services or serving in a ministry. Worship is a LIFESTYLE. In what ever we do — at work,in school, in buses, when we are alone, we must always offer it God as our worship for Him. And when we offer it to God, we should always do our best that He may be pleased. This was what the priests failed to do when they offered to God imperfect animals for offering as stated in the book of Malachi. And the truth is, sometimes — I also failed to do. 

I always pray that God changes my heart each day. That I will always be at my best always, as my worship offering.

Because…God deserves the best! 😀

road trip vs life

When I was on the road last week, I did some little reflection. What if my life would be like that of a road trip? No plans…not knowing where to go…no direction. I realized it would be fun. I had fun when we had our road trip. We stopped on places that we saw along the way just because we wanted to…did the things that we didn’t plan to do…just enjoyed every moment. Same goes with life. I can just do anything that I would want to do. Not thinking of what’s next. 

But then, during our road trip. We had a contingency. One of us brought a tent just in case we’ve got nowhere to sleep and good thing we rented a van. I had to bring some extra cash just in case we might be needing it since we really didn’t make any plan. And then, I compared it with life. Then, I saw the difference. In our life, there are no contingencies. When we choose to live an easy-going and carefree life or I must say, a life with no purpose and we reach the end of our life, we just can’t sleep in the tent. Our destiny is final. We can’t do anything when we are already dead, right? 

And so, I’m glad that I did not choose that life. I praise God that He opened my heart to choose a life of purpose with Him. I’ve been in a road trip type of life once. It was fun. But at the end of the day, my life was empty. I had fun in our road trip last week. But the truth is, there was really no purpose fulfilled. It was a good experience which really taught me that next time, I should definitely make reservations! And when the day comes that I will meet my Maker, I can excitedly face my destiny. And that is heaven. 🙂

How about you? What trip are you making? 

To God be the glory. 🙂