Tag Archives: serve

Attend, Serve, Hear – Then What?

Just this Sunday, I went home to Bacolod to spend time with my family before I leave the country.  It was very timely also as we celebrated my mom’s 60th birthday. Days before that, she requested us if we can have a Bible study at home when I arrive. I was okay with it as I took it as an opportunity also.

Few days before I went home, I had the privilege to volunteer and help for the “Unshakable” Conference which was held in Christ’s Commission Fellowship. The speakers were Krish Dhanam, Nabeel Qureshi and Ravi Zacharias. There were also other guests who came who are part of the RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries).

Being part of the speakers’ care team, I had the chance to pick up some of the guests from RZIM at the airport and had conversations with them, knowing a bit about them – what they do, where they’re from, etc.  I must say, it was an interesting and meaningful experience. I could see how God uses ordinary people to do His work.

On the event day, while still helping out in the care team, I was blessed that I could still attend and hear the messages of all speakers. And I’m really glad that I did. I believed God wanted me to have the right perspective and heart as I respond to what He would require from me.

What do I mean by that?

My mom joined a religious group which became known because of a t.v. program wherein their leader answers all questions of the viewers by quoting different verses in the Bible. That Bible study I mentioned was conducted by a worker from that group . I agreed with it because I wanted to know first-hand what they believe in and what they teach.  It was a tempting opportunity to debate and argue but just like what I learned from the conference, we must do everything in LOVE.

During the Bible study, I made some notes on the verses they share and the words they speak. I also asked questions just to probe and get more understanding on what they believe in. While listening, my heart really broke and is still breaking. I am saddened of what I heard. I realized how much they truly need to experience the love and grace of God.

I remembered the very words of Dr. Ravi, “If you want to defend your faith, you have to work hard.” For me to be able to share to my mom the truth of God’s Word, I have to do my own homework as well. I have to be more diligent in studying God’s Word, be more prayerful and to just continue showing love.

Paul’s instruction is also an encouragement knowing that only God can truly change the hearts of people.

Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants. (2 Timothy 2:23-26)

After that Bible study, my eyes were more widely opened on the so-called “urgency”. The devil is working double time in deceiving a lot of people to confuse them by twisting the truth. I realize I just can’t sit and stay sad for them. I must also put a lot of effort to double time in prayer and in sharing God’s love and His Word to others.

This is when the “Then What?” comes in. God does not want us to remain the same after attending series of events or conferences about Him. It’s not just an additional experience or another check in our bucket list. I was suppose to go home on the 17th of May but because the flight was more expensive than the 18th, I took the next day flight. I would have missed the conference but God knew I needed to hear His message.  I know I wasn’t just there to merely hear and feel good and be blessed. God wanted me to hear and apply what I learned.

At the last part of Dr. Ravi’s message, he asked to come forward those who wanted to make a commitment in responding to God’s cause. I just stayed in my place and when Ptr. Peter started praying, I cried. God reminded me that everything that will happen in my future will never be about me. I cried because I got scared that I might fail God. What if I won’t be able to do what He will ask me to do?

I can only pray that God will make me “usable”. Just like what one of the speakers said, that instead of praying that God would use us, pray that God would make us usable. I know I can never accomplish anything until I let God make me the person that He could use for His work.

These are my take home points during the conference. These points reminded me that we don’t live just for ourselves, we live for God and His cause.

– Steer away from things that don’t matter.

– Keep the main thing the main thing.

– You are needed where God puts you.

– Bring into the light your shameful past and see how God will use it.

– A calling is a convergence of your capabilities, convictions, affirmations and opportunities.

– Be careful in choosing your role models.

– If you are a prayerful Christian, your faith will carry you. If not, you will have to carry your faith.

– As you know the truth, take time to know also the worldview on things.

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Speakers’ Care Team

ravi

“If you love me, keep my commands.” – Jesus (John 14:15)

 

Work, Walk With Conviction

Nobody likes difficulties, failure or disappointments in life especially when it comes to our work.  As we spend most of our day in our workplace, we only can wish that each day gets smoother and better. But then, reality is, sometimes, it gets worse than the previous day.

I can’t say that I have fully maximized my experience working in corporate. I might have not tasted yet the much deeper hardships others have been through especially those who have worked for how many decades in different fields and companies.

However, one thing that will always be common for everyone regardless of the years of experience is principle. As much as we don’t like a stressful, challenging, difficult work, these are times that we can choose to be grateful because we get reminded of what we truly value, what we truly stand for. These are the times that our convictions are re-affirmed or formed, our principles are re-aligned, our character molded to be better.

In one of the leadership programs I had attended two years ago, we were asked to create our own Teachable Point of Views (TPOVs). These are the things that you stand by no matter what circumstance you are in, not just in work but in life as a whole. As I formulated my own TPOVs, I realized they were the values I have formed and lived by because of my own disappointments, frustrations and failures. These values are aligned to the principles in the Bible that God has asked us to follow and obey.

My Teachable Point of Views –  The 5 S

Stewardship

If you can’t be trusted with little, how can you be trusted with more? Trust.

“Well done, my good servant!” his master replied.  “Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.” (Luke 19:17)

“I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” (Luke 19:26)

Submit to Authority

If you don’t feel like doing it, do it as long as it won’t compromise your values. Respect.

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. (Ephesians 5:5-8)

Show willingness

Don’t be a difficult person to work with. Show some care.  Relationship.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  (Philippians 2:3-4)

Secure one’s self

Don’t let position, title, wealth or your physical appearance define you. Character. 

“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Let God define who you truly are.

Servant leadership

Go out of your way if you have to.  A true leader serves. Humility.

 “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28)

I hope this could also help you think about the things that you truly value. If you have compromised and failed at some point, just press on and re-align yourself again to what you believe in. I have failed for so many times but God has been very gracious to me. God helps me pull myself back again and make sure I will strongly stand for what I believe in. I’m a work in progress, still learning a lot but grateful that I am kept grounded by my convictions.

The Real THING

I’m glad that Jesus called us (Christians) His friends. And because of that, we can talk anything to Him, knowing the fact that He always listens. These past months, I’ve been having a lot of conversations with God. And you know what, I’m just happy that God doesn’t get sick and tired of listening to us. Because really, I will get tired listening to myself. I’ve been talking to God over and over the same things.  Isn’t God so patient with us? And what’s nice about it, His patience is endless.

What have I been talking to God endlessly recently? With my age, I wish I could be talking to God about having a lifetime partner. But surprisingly, God wants me to talk to Him about what He has called me for – going full time. I really wish it is about the lifetime partner. You know why? Because I don’t think I’m even worthy for such calling. I don’t even know if I am capable to go full time. And, I have so many concerns. What about my family’s needs? What about my finances? What about my team at work? But last Nov. 25, 2012, during the Single’s Big 8 Retreat, I said Yes to God.  And last Dec. 10, 2012, during the Christmas gathering for D12/Dgroup leaders, I said Yes again to God when Ptr. Edmund Chan made the call. It wasn’t an easy Yes. It was a tearful Yes, only made possible by God’s grace.

Then what? God wanted me to prepare. He didn’t say when or how. He only said – prepare. Before I went home for Christmas last year, I was praying that God would give me the boldness to talk to my parents about my desire. I also prayed that God would prepare the heart of my parents. It is part of the preparation that I need to do. God as always was so amazing. I wasn’t expecting the response of my father. My father’s very words, “If that is your calling, who am I to stop you.” And the words which really struck me, “Who knows, God has prepared bigger things for you.” At that moment, my father who is still until now seeking in his faith, made me realize that he even has bigger faith than mine. God is just amazing!

Then what? I was trying to convince myself I wasn’t worrying. But you can never get away with God. He knows the deepest of our hearts. He is all-knowing. He made us. He designed us. He knows what we will say before we even say it. He just knows everything.  No escape. And so I admit, I have been worrying. Now you would understand why I made Hebrews 11:1 my theme verse. But God has been very forgiving and gracious to me. He comforts my anxiety. His peace gives me rest. His promises open my eyes. This cycle has been ongoing. I worry, God forgives and comforts. I really don’t think I’m capable of such calling.

I want to share to you my journal yesterday, Jan. 19, 2013. I wrote to God in the morning.

Lord,

You said that you are the light of this world and whoever follows you will never walk in darkness. I’m at this time of my life that I want to do certain things for You because that’s what my heart desires. But I don’t know Lord if these are what you have set for me. I need your light to guide my decisions Lord. I need You to give me a clear direction for what you want me to do. I’m not really sure if me staying in my current work is still your will for me. If it is Lord, please give me an opportunity to grow in my career. If you still want me to stay, please show me Lord that there is still something else I can do and I can become in my career. If you want me to go, please open a door for me that is specific and clear. I believe that You are not a complicated God. That when You speak, You always make it clear. That when You instruct, You always make sure I understand. Teach me to hear You clearly Lord. Show me the path.

It’s not really a nice prayer. It was my desperate prayer. I am getting tired already asking God – how. I just poured out my heart to God as I desperately want to know His will for me.  Shame on me getting tired when God never gets tired listening.  God is the only perfect Friend who will never fail to listen. And He doesn’t only listen, He also answers. When you talk to Him, you’re not talking to a wall. God is real and alive.

Written Jan. 20, 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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A Volunteer’s Journal

If you look back at your life 12 months ago, will you be able to say that you’ve changed a lot as a person?  Every end of the year, some might say time flew so fast or to some the year seemed so long. Truth is, how the days passed by 10 years ago or thousand years ago had no difference to how they passed by a year ago. Looks like how we view it is always relative to how we have lived our lives.

Last year, just a week before this weekend, I participated as one of the facilitators of the Singles@Work Conference entitled, “Pursue Love”.  God revealed Himself during that conference by teaching me to be more trustful and to be humble. He used different situations that time to remind not just me but I believe all the volunteers the importance of prayer and humility.

And just this weekend, I had the same privilege of serving God as a volunteer again for another S@W conference entitled, “Purpose Driven”.  If I compare this year’s conference to last year, I must say that this year has really improved a lot and is much better.  Though somehow, that should always be the goal. To always improve.

But then, I realized that comparison should not be based on how the event had turned out. What should be compared is how the volunteers have changed.  How the event was implemented was really because of the condition of the heart, mind and soul of God’s workers because God never changed.

This conference is no different to the other events that the ministry has organized. Because every event has one purpose and that is to make Jesus known. And as we all share our own gifts to God’s work, we get to see how God could really orchestrate every detail for His work.  The differences that each volunteer had were used by God for His perfect plan. And to be able to see that as I worked behind the scene was truly amazing.

My main take home for this conference was really to see the heart of each volunteer that I’ve never seen in the previous events that we had. I can’t speak for how each one has prepared for this event or even how much was changed in them as compared to last year or in every event organized. I can only speak for myself.  I’ve become more patient, more trusting to the Lord, more loving and more prayerful.

As for the rest of the volunteers, I don’t know what changed but all I can say is I’ve seen growth. I’m truly blessed to serve God with brothers and sisters in Christ who are so passionate for the Lord. As I ponder last night how amazing the event has turned out, I realize that God was not just working in the hearts of the participants but as well as in every heart of the volunteer.

All glory to the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!

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Ministry: Singles@Work – https://www.facebook.com/singlesatwork

Looking Back

 

It’s the last month of the year. My favorite time of the year – lights, caroling, decorations are just everywhere. Anywhere you look seems so happy and vibrant. I just can’t help but smile and feel good. Also, this month is much looked forward to as well. I missed spending two Christmases with my family. I’m just excited to go home.

I can’t imagine how the months this year had swiftly passed by. My memories of last Christmas are still very fresh in my thoughts. And as I look back what had happened in the past months, I can’t help but be amazed.

My first 3 months of this year were a bit heartbreaking for me. My heart was really torn. I was excited coming home here in Manila but at the same time I didn’t want to leave Canada.  I wished I can just travel back and forth anytime I want. When I arrived here, a lot has changed big time. And I felt like I’m a stranger even in my own apartment. It took me awhile to be able to adjust again.

And then a lot of things happened in between the year which I never expected. I was even telling God that if ever I would be asked to go back to Canada, I might say no. 🙂 I’ve met new and old friends. I’ve built new relationships. I’ve grown in my walk by being part of a ministry. I’ve been serving God to the extent that I never had done before. I saw the bigger picture which I never imagined when I went through a tough time in Canada.  When I had so many questions last year, God answered all of them this year. And everything perfectly made sense to me.

What am I trying to say? God does not allow things to happen in our life without a reason. God is not a happy go lucky. He always have the best plan for all of us. We may not know it for now, it may take a while for us to know. But for sure one day, He will make you understand why. A little faith on a BIG GOD is enough to just trust and wait.

How about you? How was your 2012? 🙂

All I can say, to God be all the glory for everything that had happened this year in my life. This year has been a very overwhelming journey with the Lord.

Cheers! 🙂