Tag Archives: grace

The Magnet Story

Last 2014, I asked my friend, Xenia to share her God-written love story. It took me two years to be able to publish it here in the blog site, for some reason I don’t know. 🙂

But, it’s never too late to share a great story authored by God. Hope you enjoy a glimpse of Xenia’s journey.

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Written February 2014

Rockwell and I have only been married since August 24th of last year. We are still enjoying the honeymoon stage.

I met Rockwell during the March for Jesus 2000 worship event at Bacolod City. At that time, he was a complete stranger to me. I saw him holding a banner and dancing to the song “Mercy is falling like sweet spring rain”. It was like magnet. My heart fell in love with how his soul loved Jesus while dancing in the rain in front of over a hundred people proclaiming the worth of Jesus. At that moment, I couldn’t help but utter praise and prayer. My prayer was that I wanted to worship the Lord like he did.

Little did I know, I was prophesying him to be my future husband (haha). In college, he was president of the student government in Riverside and I was his secretary. But I never mentioned this fact to him—about that worship event, and the prayer and the hoping. I had a long term relationship during that time and even after college. The prayer that was spoken for him to be for me was forgotten because of the circumstances that happened that I thought I could not control. I took the wrong path when I came here to the States. I got influenced with the worldly lifestyle. God became the last of my priorities. Having a good career and the praises of people were the ones that mattered to me the most.

As I chose to live my life freely, I continued to sin and to forget God. I was making a black hole in the depth of my soul that none of the material, physical or emotional factor can satisfy. The more that I drew farther from the Lord, the more that my life became very meaningless and hopeless. I reached to the point of giving up. I realized that it was not the life that God intended me to have. The life that He promised me was a life that is full of hope and a future. God reminded me that all good gifts come from Him because He is my Dad. I did not deserve the second hand things that I chose to settle with. As He promised, I deserved the fullness of life. When I asked God to take my calloused heart and make it new, it was like He breathed new life to my desert soul and dry bones.

After 14 years, God finally honored my prayer during that rainy event, having a heart that was so raw and open. Rockwell came back into the picture after I sought God’s purpose for my life. I did not beautifully wait for him. But God still turned my wasted life to a beautiful story when He rescued me and I was able to find fullness and grace again in Him. Isn’t God amazing?  He remembered every detail! He gave me the gift of a husband that I did not deserve.

Indeed, a life of worship and prayer is the key. God alone is good and faithful to His promises! He is full of mercy, grace and love for all of us. Our life should never be focused on the gifts that He gives us but our life should be all about who He is and His worth. How could a God still love us and still want us despite the things that we have done and will do which are not pleasing to Him? That’s our God!

Many are the plans in a man’s heart but only the will of God prevails.- Proverbs 19:21

It is not someone or our husband or wife that will complete us. The fullness of life can only be found in Jesus. I am blessed to have a husband whom I can see Jesus in him. It’s an opportunity for me to be able to love him with grace and mercy just like Jesus loves me. To be wired to Jesus, the Only Source of unconditional love, is how we are able to truly love someone unconditionally.  I believe that we can never give what we do not have. To be an overflow of love, we need God’s love to overflow in our life.

xenia & rockwell

Xenia & Rockwell Bennett

Waiting is Grace

 

I got to answer one of the questions during our small group icebreaker activity.  The question is, “How did I experience God’s grace in my love life?”  I could not give a fit answer as I’m not in a relationship but it reminded me of something very important.

I know I’m not alone in the journey of waiting and for sure a lot of single women like me would agree that waiting is never easy. In my own season of waiting, I have failed so many times. This is not just in the context of waiting for the “right” person but in all other areas of my life that God had asked me to wait.

Why did I fail? Because I thought that getting ahead of God would not really cause much trouble. Because I thought I will be able to handle it. I thought I could be in control. And because I was foolish, consequences were not just painful but they left scars. And those would not happen, if I waited.

We fail to realize that the purpose why God allows us to wait is because we are not yet ready. Not yet ready of what He wanted to entrust to us. Just like when we were in school, we can’t wait to finish and get a job. But a degree is needed to be able to find a nice paying job. So there must be preparation.

God is actually gracious enough not to let us do or have something we could not handle YET. It is God’s way of protecting us from things that we are not yet ready of. In the time of waiting, He lets us see what truly are in our hearts. He reveals to us our true motives and desires for the things that we ask of Him.  He allows us to also get to know Him more and His will for us. It is a season of pruning, molding, preparing and growing.

So how do I experience God’s grace in my love life? For now, it is through WAITING.

one fine day

 I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 27:13-14

I am 30.

I did something drastic on my 30th. I had my hair trimmed short. Well, it should have been more short but the stylist told me it’s too drastic. So, I let him decide for the length. (Pixie, short hairstyle became an “in” thing recently.) And so here it is…

changeIt felt so light and really refreshing! heheheh…

I don’t look 30, right? 🙂

But I’m grateful to even reach 30. It’s a blessing to be able to live 30 years. Just imagine living another 30 years, really long right? Life is indeed a blessing. But to live a fruitful life is much much more. And I owe everything to God who truly has been faithful in allowing me to live an abundant and fruitful 30 years.

The best gift God has given me this year is the opportunity to go back to Canada and start a new life there. It is a granted dream and answered prayer. Indeed, God does not withhold good things to those who love Him. Why would He? He is good and generous. He gives the best and He is the best Giver.

The best gift God has given me in my whole existence is His love and grace through Jesus Christ. That, I can never trade for anything, even my dream. I’m totally sold out to Jesus. I can’t imagine living another 30 years without Jesus in my life. I just can’t. Indeed, His word is true that apart from Him, I am nothing.

The second best gift God has given me are people. I am grateful to be able to see other parts of the world, experience the good things – but those would be worthless if I didn’t get to share those with different people that God has put in my life. My 30th year got sweeter because of the relationships that God has sustained and for new people that He has added into my life. They say that the only thing you can bring to heaven are people. And so, I’d rather invest on people than on material things. I want to see them all in heaven.

I’m looking forward to an exciting journey as I enter a new phase in my life. I’m just comforted with God’s promise that in this journey, He is walking beside me, ahead of me and behind me.

I am 30. I am forever secure in His presence.

To God be all the praise and glory!

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Cheers to all 30’s and beyond!!

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Delays are not denials

As I shared in my previous blogs, I was working on my PR application for Canada with all the requirements and stuff.

I’m happy to say that I made it to the required score for my IELTS exam! Praise God for that! Just a little story about it – I was really nervous that I would fail especially my listening exam. It’s really where I was struggling the most when I was doing my self reviews. I was more confident with my writing and speaking since I believe they were my strengths. And you know what, I got the lowest in my writing. I was actually expecting it because I really got stuck in my writing when I can’t even properly elaborate my thoughts about a topic that I totally have no idea! I realized how difficult to write about something you really don’t know anything about. But as always, God is really good. I needed a 6 for my writing and He gave me a 6! 🙂 That was really close. I placed everything in God’s hands after I took the exam.

I already submitted my PR application. It was really a challenging process with all the documents and requirements that I need to procure. Not to forget the very tedious details that I should follow in the instruction kit. But really really helpful. After a month of submitting my application, I got my application number. Yay! 🙂

I’ve been expecting their next updates after 2 months I got my application number but I haven’t heard still. There has been an ongoing strike in the immigration offices which could possibly cause the delays. But then, I told myself, God’s timetable is always perfect. His timing is always right. While I’m waiting for the next update, I still have enough time to prepare for what’s to come. And if this is really what God would want me to have, it will happen.

I was reminded by a status post in FB and I really agree, indeed, God’s delays are not God’s denials. He holds what lies ahead. He knows what’s best. As long as we are aligned to His will, we will learn to wait by faith.

Please pray for me as I press on to this journey. 🙂

God bless!

Relationship

Yesterday and today, I’ve been blessed with all the learning and teachings during the Leadership Conference at CCF. The theme of the conference is Make HIM Known. There is so much to take in that I could not even write everything about it. All I need to do is to go through the points again and put them into practice.

What amazed me the most on these two days are the scientific facts which proved that there is no such thing as randomness. Everything was created for a reason, for a purpose. It was designed but can’t be done by mere human. It can only be done by the only Creator, the Mastermind, and the greatest Designer. It made me realize that God allowed science to discover different facts not to be amazed by science but to prove that everything written in the Bible is true. Even before science discovered different principles, God has created them already.

God is just amazing. Now, I ask myself, what makes it so difficult to trust God when wherever I turn my eyes, all I can see are His good works?

I watched the movie, “Les Miserables”  tonight. I was actually moved by the movie. I didn’t have a clue what the movie is all about. It was a story of a man who was treated with grace and was changed because of it. He turned his hatred by choosing to love. I like the last part when he said something like loving another person is seeing the face of God. That’s what God wants from all of us, a relationship, for us to love Him back as He manifested His love through Jesus Christ.

My quiet time with the Lord for the past 2 weeks haven’t really been consistent and well spent. And I miss hearing God when I don’t spend time with Him. A relationship is never one way. Both have to make time and I didn’t. But God is always there waiting. I’m grateful. Hopefully, I could really spend more time with the Lord in the coming days. I miss my quality time with God. I miss the intimacy.

Written Jan. 26, 2013

Working for ONE

It’s this time of the year again! Aside that September is the first month of the “-ber” months, this is also the time for promotions, ratings and increases. 🙂 This is the time of the year that there will only be two types of people at the office – happy and disappointed.

As for me, I even forgot about ratings until I was scheduled to have the discussion.  And nothing new, God’s ways are really amazing. I received a rating that was really way, way beyond my expectation, which meant better rewards package starting this month. Such a privilege to have the God of “how much more” in my life!

I didn’t get a promotion this year.  Would it be a hypocrite to say that I really didn’t want a promotion? I really didn’t. I just know that I’m not yet ready for the role. And I know that when I’m ready, God will be the one who will make it happen.

A lot of things happened lately that I even forgot and didn’t even ponder about all of these ratings, etc.  At the start of the middle of this year, things were unexpectedly challenging at work.  God has blessed me with a role that I really wanted, thinking that it would be impossible to have.  Indeed, if God wants to bless us, He will make it happen. That’s who God is. 🙂

God has allowed me to be into difficult situations, balancing work and dealing with people – to be able to give my best in what I need to deliver and at the same time to be very patient with the people around me.  When I started this role, I was very excited and really happy. I guess I was being naive. Little did I know that the opportunities I have been praying to glorify Him would be this tough.  And sadly, there were days that my heart and thoughts were never glorifying to God.

For more than seven years, I was in a comfort zone wherein I know what I need to do, I do what I need to do and I decide what I think is right.  I never realized how difficult it is to adjust into something that is totally different from what  I had been used to. (The reason why I even forgot about ratings and salary letters. )

But then I realized it is during these times that I will experience God more and see more of what He could possibly do in me and through me.  All of these difficulties and challenges were never about me in the first place. Everything has always been about God. How He will make me overcome, how He will sustain me, how He will protect and preserve me, how He will grant me favor from men, how He will uphold me, how He will change and renew my mind each day.

The more I realize that, the more I feel peace because I really don’t have to try so hard to please everyone around me. All I need to do is to give my best to please God because what matters to Him is what’s inside my heart.

No matter how excellent the output of my work is but my means to it is not pleasing to God, it’s worthless.

I always hold on to my work verse, keeping me grounded and reminded the reason why I’m doing what I’m doing.

 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 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 – 24

I praise and thank God for the wonderful blessings, for the trials and for the people He put into my life to mold my character more. All glory to God! 🙂

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Confessions of a Sinner

Over the weekend, I just found myself feeling really alone. The past weeks were really tiring with work but it didn’t remove the joy in my heart. I was enjoying my work. But starting this weekend, I felt I was really slowly going down. I could not understand the condition of my heart. It seems empty and full at the same time.

I tried  praying so hard and pushed my self to read the Bible just to find comfort and to feel good. But, it didn’t work. I got so distracted with other things and my mind got tired of thinking what is wrong with me.

You see, I have moments like this in my life when all of a sudden I tend to get so emotional. Then, I start losing focus on God and start focusing on the desires of my heart. Instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to pull my self up from the pit, I pull myself down even more. I admit that this weekend, I let my self just go down. I know God is letting me face something but I was just so tired in dealing with it. I just want to do things my way.

But, big BUT… God is simply amazing. His patience and compassion is just endless on me. He will do everything so that I will return to Him regardless of the condition of my heart. I was reading the book entitled, “Growing Deep in God” (by Edmund Chan) and it focused on prayer. There were 2 paragraphs there which really affirmed my heart’s condition. God has been rebuking on me already about it but I just ignored. But, God loves me so much He would even use a book to rebuke me again.

Here’s what God reminded me. The ones with comments in the side.

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I realized why I was so lazy reading God’s Word. Because I want to read to feel good and be comforted. And because I felt that it hasn’t been like that, I was doing my quiet time out of obligation when I should read because I love Jesus so much that I’m just thrilled to know more about Him.  I now understand why my prayer life is becoming a duty rather than a delight. It’s because it has been about me when it should be about God.

My heart hasn’t been right. My mind even. My perspective shifted because of too much distractions. Slowly, I focused on myself instead of focusing on God.

God knows what’s in my heart right now. The fact that God is always committed to me despite my weaknesses gives me a reason to go back to Him. I’m just grateful for a God who is always true and faithful.

I pray that I will be more delighted in prayer and His Word because it’s always about Him.