Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

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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Only Best Thing in Life

 

Have you reached that point in your life that you just want to be at the feet of Jesus, see His face and gaze upon Him? Because the words you want to speak to Him are never enough? The pour out of your emotions for Him is just endless? As you try to fathom and comprehend His love for you, you just can’t?

Falling in love with Jesus is the best thing that could happen to any human being. It’s not something we start on our own. It’s a response to what God has started for us. It’s a response to a perfect, sacrificial and amazing love.

We are not worthy to be loved by Jesus, much more to love Him back. To be able to love Jesus is a grace from God. Because loving Jesus means we are ready to surrender our selfish, old ways and follow Him.

However, God has faith in us. He believes that we can overcome sin through Jesus Christ. Remember when Peter denied Jesus three times?

And He (Jesus) said, “I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.” (Luke 22:34)

Jesus had so much faith in Peter. Even before Peter committed that act, Jesus knew that Peter will still turn back to God.

 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”  (Luke 22:31-32)

And Peter did when he saw with his very own eyes that Jesus who died, had resurrected and is alive. And remember that even Satan has to ask permission from God to sift Peter. When temptations or trials are allowed in our life, it means that God believes that we can overcome those through Jesus.

Just like Peter, only a risen Lord can turn your life to God and never go back to the old life. Only when Jesus becomes real in your life and not just a fact that you know, that you will reach that point in your life that you just want to be at His feet because your life is an overflowing vessel of His love and goodness that you can’t contain.

I pray that you will experience the saving power of God in your life by humbly accepting Jesus Christ in your life that you will have the strength to turn away from your sinful ways.

 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Going 30

This is really it!! Haha! Few days from now, my age bracket will change. Hello 30!

I really don’t mind telling people my age when asked. My age is one of the reminders of God’s faithfulness in my life. I remembered one activity in a gathering wherein we were asked to put the age which we think we are ready to die. Guess what, I put 30. I have a very simple criteria why I put 30. I’ve done the most important things I have to do in my life. Love God, love my family, love others – showed and told them. That’s why I can die at 30.

But then, that’s just me. Only God really knows when.

There are so many things that I am forever grateful to God. I hope I’m always able to give God the credit for everything in my life. Because He is really the real thing. Everything in me is nothing apart from the grace of God.

The best gift my Heavenly Father has given me in my 30 years of existence is His Precious Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. My success, achievements, experiences are worthless if I missed what only MATTERS.

My life had never been more amazing until I met Jesus and get to know His great love for me. He is always enough in my life but I can never get enough of Him. That’s why I really believe that we are set for eternity. Because our earthly life can never have enough of the awesomeness and greatness of Jesus.

So no matter what age you are in right now, I hope you also get to meet Jesus. Not just meet, but also get to know Him – deeply. Just like to a family, spend huge amount of time with Jesus (praying, reading the Bible). Just like to a friend, share your interests and struggles with Jesus. Just like to a lover, think about Jesus more than anyone else every moment of your life.

That’s not religion. That’s relationship. A Father to a child. A Lover to a bride. A Friend to a friend.

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

– Jesus (John 10:10)

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Asking for MORE

Last year, I asked God to test my faith. Not to give me what I want but to see more of Him. I get to know God more each day when I read the Bible but I wanted more. I wanted to know and experience God more in my own walk with Him. And so, I prayed for Him to take me to a more deep faith.

That’s 5 “more” there…

Just like when Elisha asked Elijah a double portion of his spirit, I asked God for more of Him.

Just rewinding a bit in 2012…

God gave me this burden to consider going for a full time ministry work. It is a privileged joy to be able to serve God fulltime.  However, I also wanted to fulfill my own dreams for myself and for my family. I can’t see my dream getting realized if I’ll go fulltime.

In a retreat that year, we were asked to write something that we want to surrender to the Lord. Right there, God asked me to surrender my plans and dreams to Him, to just totally let go. It broke my heart. As I wrote and committed it to the Lord, I was in tears. I felt like a portion of me was taken away.

After that, I just told God, I have done my part, now do Yours.

Forwarding to 2013…

There were no doors opened for a full time ministry work. God even gave me a better opportunity for growth in my IT career. It was a dream role I never thought I could have. I thought maybe God wanted me to stay after all. I got so energized with my work that somehow I forgot that desire of going full time for a ministry.

Then latter part of the year, a door for a ministry job opened. Work in my company became stressful and “spiritually” exhausting. I applied for the ministry opportunity. I considered resigning.

Not certain if I’ll be accepted for the position, I took a big leap of faith and submitted my resignation. And on my last day at work, I received the news for my ministry application that I was not accepted.

That’s what happened when you asked God to test your faith. Things don’t go your way. But it allowed me to experience God in a very, very, very personal way. Indeed, He wanted me to grow deeper in my faith.

I asked God why He wanted me to resign when He knew that I will not be accepted for that ministry. The response I got from Him – your character, your heart, more important than where you will serve me. The condition of my heart was not pleasing to Him anymore. Disgusting enough that God, full of grace and love had to remove me from something I might not be able to handle.

As I started 2014, I have never been more uncertain with my life. But that’s when deeper faith happens. All I know is that I have a SOVEREIGN GOD who cares for my heart more than what I can bring to Him.

Remember that dream I surrendered in 2012? Years before that, I wanted to apply for a permanent residency in Canada. However, I did not make it to the 2 years of full work experience. I got short of 3 months. I told God that if He really wanted me to apply, He will find another way. Start of 2013, the qualification changed. From 2 years, they only required 1 year. I was qualified. Then, hesitation came. I told God I surrendered this dream to Him already. I’m choosing to go full time.

But God is just amazing. He used someone to push me to apply. Did you ever have that peace that transcends all understanding? I had this sudden peace in me, confirming that I’m doing the right thing. Amazingly, everything went so smooth with my application. And with all the uncertainties I had at the start of the year, I received an email last February. My application for Canada got approved.

I gave God a jaw-dropping expression (literally). A face in awe of SOMEONE I can never fathom and describe but very real, very personal.

I’m excited how this year will turn out to be. 2013 has been a very interesting, growing, exciting year for me. This year, I’m just letting God continue to mold me, surprise me, amaze me, change me. After all, that’s just the way HE is – An Extravagant, Loving Father.

Last year, my theme verse was Hebrews 11:1 as God took me to a deeper faith.  Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

I started this year – no job, plans surrendered, and full of uncertainties. I was only holding on to the ONE certainty in my life, my Lord and Savior Jesus.

This is my theme verse for 2014 – Philippians 3:7-8: “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. “

Please pray for me as I seek God to give me a fresh vision before I leave for Canada. More than a fulfilled dream, this journey has always been about Him. I just want to make sure that when I move, I have a clear vision to remind me of why I went there in the first place.

Thank you to everyone who prayed with me on this journey. (Philippians 1:3 – “I thank my God every time I remember you.”)

In this life, it only takes a faith as small as a mustard seed to believe that God loves you so much and He cares about you that He wants to be involved in all aspects of your life. God will not force you. You have to decide if you want to believe. (And, I hope you do.)

To the only amazing God be all the glory!

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All HIS Leadership Conference

Every third week of January, the congregation (Christ’s Commission Fellowship) holds a leadership conference for all leaders of the church – these are not just the pastors, elders, ministry heads but also small group leaders as well as those who want to start their own small groups.

Last January 24-25, it was a privilege to be able to participate in the leadership conference entitled, “All HIS”. This is also the theme of the church for the year reminding us that everything we have belongs to God and we must be good stewards of what He has entrusted to us.

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There were so many good things to take in and apply during the conference and I want to share some of the points which really spoke to me.

  • The evidence that you love God is when you do your best for Him.
  • God doesn’t need me to exist but God decided to need me to “co-exist”.
  • We were created to be in partnership with God for His work.
  • Our unbelief limits God to accomplish things through us because we are in partnership with Him.
  • Leave your goals, ambitions, dreams in that workplace for God to be able to use you. (Because of our own personal dreams, we do things for ourselves only that we hinder God to use us where He has placed us.)
  • There’s a reality that we “stereotype” people whom we can share the gospel with. (We think that there are people who are gospel-ready and there are those who are not. When the truth is, everyone should come to know Jesus.)
  • Organize your finances: 1) Get out of debt 2)Don’t manipulate (how much you need) 3)Give
  • Tithing is not giving; it is returning what belongs to God in the first place. (In the Bible, “give” tithe was never used. It’s always been using the word “bring”.)
  • Giving is what is over and beyond your tithe.
  • Mistakes: 1) Haven’t rested enough 2) Haven’t prayed enough 3) Haven’t studied the Bible enough 4) Haven’t trained enough 5) Haven’t lead my family enough
  • About resting – If you don’t keep commandments 1-3, 5-10 – there are consequences. What made you think that by not keeping commandment 4 – Keep holy the Sabbath, there won’t be consequences?
  • For leaders: walk – character, work – ministry
  • If you focus on people, you will stumble. Focus on God.
  • I am a “slave” of Christ. (owned, no rights, absolute obedience)
  • Serve – We can serve without loving God but we can’t love God without serving others.
  • The Principle of First – Return to God what belongs to Him.
  • We are stewards of:  Time, Talent, Treasure, Title, Influence, Relationships, Opportunities
  • We are also stewards of God’s Truth. We are responsible to share the gospel.

My action points for this conference are:

–          To be a good steward of God’s truth – share God’s love and the gospel to as many as possible

–          To be a good steward of my time, talent, influence and finances – maximize my time for the Lord and to organize my finances

–          To share God more to my family – in love, in truth, in words and actions

–          To be a better small group leader – deeper study of God’s Word, evangelism and multiplication

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”― John Wesley

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ – Matthew 25:23

cross Every color represents specific aspect in life that you want to surrender to God. At the end of the conference, all the boards with stickers were put together and formed into a cross

collageAttended the conference with my disciple, Anne

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“I am all HIS!” – Pepay

God Is, Even When We Are Not

My parents taught us about God, going to church every Sunday, praying and other church stuff. I grew up with a knowledge of God. Until 10 years ago, I realized that wasn’t enough. 

As I read God’s Word, I realized that God is not just a “someone” that we have to learn in our Religion subject.  I realized that God is not just present when I go to a church building. I realized that doing church activities is not just what God really wants from me.

God, more than anyone else, is the most important. How important our family is to us, God is more. How important our friends are to us, God is more. God who created the universe that we can’t even imagine, who designed us in our mother’s womb that we can’t even fathom. This God, who after all, what He really wants is just for us to love Him first before anyone or anything. This God, who is Almighty and Powerful, after all, what He really wants is just for us to know and honor Him. This God, who after all, what He really desires is we go back to Him.

In 1993, my father lost his job in Cebu as the company he was working at that time shut down. I was very young back then, I really didn’t understand what was going on. I just knew then that we would move to Bacolod City as my father found a job in Negros Occidental. God provided for my family – a job, a home, a school. God was faithful even when sometimes we failed to honor Him.

In 1997, we got robbed inside our house. A lot of our relatives from abroad came home because of my grandfather’s funeral. My siblings and I all slept in the living room and it was a good thing no one woke up during that time. God protected us from those men. God was faithful even when we forgot Him at times.

In 2001, the portion of my grandparent’s house where we stayed got burned. The whole second floor were our room and my parent’s room where were turned into ashes. It was a nightmare as I saw the fire rapidly eating the whole floor. But, I was grateful that none of us got hurt. I was glad that my brother who was in my parent’s room sensed the fire and was able to get out. God kept us all safe. God was faithful even when we fail to make time for Him.

In 2006, this was a very painful year for us as a family. My mother was going in and out of the hospital for a month because of family issues that affected her health. Everyone in the family was coping on how to handle such painful family matter. And the most unexpected happened, my sister passed away because of hemorrhagic dengue fever.  During this time, it was only God who could truly see and understand the depth of our pain. God was our comforter. God was faithful even when we neglected Him sometimes.

In 2014, just this month, my father got into an accident which caused him to have his left hipbone dislocated. I was telling God how funny it could be, that if He allowed this to happen why not before I resigned from my work. My HMO could have covered the hospital bills of my father. But, I am grateful that my father is okay and the operations performed to him was just to align his hipbone and a minor surgery for his fractured ankle. This was an unexpected expense for us but God provided for our needs. And I know that He is at work at my father’s life that He allowed this. I’m grateful for this trial in Papa’s life. God is faithful even when we lack faith in Him and doubt Him at times.

These were not just the trials that God allowed to happen in my life, in our lives as a family. There were a lot. But these I highlighted are the ones I can clearly look back and be amazed of  how GOOD God really is. It brings me to tears every time I remember His faithfulness and goodness to our family despite the times that we continue to disobey Him and even ignore Him. He remained faithful and He got us through all of those.

You see, more than our good works, good performance, good looks – God wants a relationship with us through Jesus. Like a father to a child, that’s what He wants from us. Even if we forget Him, He has always been there, waiting for His children to come back, to the point of giving up His Only Son, Jesus. That’s how much God loves us.

Life is difficult.

Life is more difficult without Jesus whom through Him we can go back to God.

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” – Romans 8:32

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:37-39

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One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”  

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than  these.” – Mark 12:28-31

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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