Tag Archives: work

Discovering London, An Answered Prayer

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Everyone knows that when we want something so bad, the waiting part is the hardest. We wait for a lot of things in this life; a breakthrough in career, a specific amount in our bank accounts, that house and lot we’ve been eyeing out, the right person we’re going to marry and even our dreams to be a reality.

This was the one dream that I was willing to wait for. I was going to do it step by step. I was going to prepare myself. Little did I know that God was already working backstage. And this is the very reason why this journey was so much special.

How the Dream Started

My journey in dreaming and waiting started in 2013. Year after year, I committed this specific prayer to God and listed it down to my faith goals. The desire was too strong that there were days when I found myself crying on bended knees asking God that if He had no plans of granting my prayer, He might as well remove the desire and give me a new one – one that’s aligned with His. He saw how my heart broke and rejoiced in the news of friends being given the opportunity to live my dream. He knew about how scared and happy I was to have received the news, three years later – just the thought of stepping foot on the country and at the same time, having the possibility of a denied visa was both overwhelming and heartbreaking.

My Plan

I left the first company I worked for in 2014 with uncertainties in the new path I was going to take. I’ve always told everyone that leaving one of the best companies in the world and changing industries from IT retail to financials were for the bigger goals in my life. I had it all planned out; I was going to enter the financial industry and add some skills in my resume to qualify me for work in Singapore, thinking it would be so much easier if I enter UK from there. After, I was going to try out applying for the UK visa or doing whatever way I could, to fly to London. I had no specific end date, I just knew I’ll be in London sooner or later. I wasn’t the hurrying type, but I got so frustrated that I almost gave up. Well, that was MY plan.

The Shift

Just more than a year in the new company and in the first project I was assigned to, the team was suddenly dissolved. We found ourselves floating – exploring opportunities outside the company. I attended three interviews and promised three more to other companies. My last option was to go back to my hometown and rest for awhile and maybe keep my options open or try to chase other things I am passionate about.

I had sleepless nights and continued to pray to the Lord. And though I was a little depressed and scared about the future, I had this feeling of excitement – as if something big was coming, I didn’t know what or when, but there was an assurance that everything will work out fine.

God’s Plan

There are a lot of people who never fully trusted God nor His capacity to do wonders, it’s as if we always need to push and do our best to achieve something. But this one, I tell you, is something I never had to work hard for. Looking back, everything had fallen exactly into place. Project got dissolved. I was given a slot to the newly-acquired project of the company even though my manager had told me there wasn’t any slot left, that actually led me to prepare myself to pursue my other passions. The unfortunate event of almost losing a job, with the project getting dissolved turned out to be a beautiful blessing in disguise because it redirected me to new doors that skyrocketed me straight to my dream.

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When I was asked if I wanted to join the team to fly to United Kingdom for training, I got so excited, like a kid finally getting what she wished for birthdays, Christmas, and all the good days. Then fear set in – this was too good to be true. This was too easy. What if my visa application got denied? What if I got into an accident and couldn’t fly to UK? What and ifs. It clouded my mind for so many days but God always reminded me that He’s got this and that I shouldn’t limit His infinity to my finite mind, that nothing is too hard for Him!

“God, You’ve opened the doors when I was willing to wait. You’re handing out my dream when I was willing to work hard for it. You initiated this opportunity when I was willing to look for it. This isn’t me now, this is You. And I will trust in You. I will trust in Your promise that You will withhold nothing amazing from your children. May all the glory and honor be Yours, and Yours alone. And even if this doesn’t turn out good, I will still trust in Your Will because it’s always good and perfect,” this was the last entry I wrote before my visa got approved.

The Answered Prayer
 
While I was looking out the window just before our touchdown, my tears swelled as I saw the London Eye and the Shards. I couldn’t believe that I was finally seeing it in the flesh. My insides turned in a good way. My heart skipped beats and I couldn’t help but shed a few tears while taking photos from the window seat. I heard myself whispered a hundred times, “thank you Lord”.

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As I exited from the plane, the cool air struck my face and I stopped at the door and gave London my warmest smile. London air all over me! London air! Yes, I was that happy that even the thought of me gasping the London air made me so excited and teary.

I remembered a friend of mine told me a story about a friend of hers that went to London through a scholarship that was granted to her because of the connections she worked for by attending different UK seminars. Why didn’t I go and find opportunities myself?

Truth is, I could’ve done that if I wanted to. I was actually looking through opportunities and saving for some. But this wasn’t just a goal, this was a prayer and I wanted God to personally show me that He could answer prayers for me as big as this one. This wasn’t just a dream, this was a fusion of worldly and spiritual goals. I was giving it up to God and letting Him do what He does and thinks best.

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Even when I’m back in Manila, I still couldn’t process everything that has happened for the last few months. It was as if everything in my life built up to prepare me to receive this and I couldn’t be anymore grateful.

Just before I went home from United Kingdom, my best friend and I were talking about dreams being answered through prayers. She spoke about the term, “from glory to glory”, what it means and what we should be doing to understand what the phrase means. We should always have an open palm, always ready to accept blessings and have it replaced or removed. We shouldn’t clench our fists when God gives us something, because when He decides to remove it, we will hurt and we will grow bitter towards God. We should trust that our God knows what’s best for us and He wouldn’t give us anything less than what we have now.

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“Glory to glory” – I feel like I can dream bigger now, like I have this hope and faith that if God could give my biggest dream in a snap, what else can He not give? 

God wrapped this year with a ribbon. He was true to His Words, “Call to me and I will answer you, and show you great and unsearchable things you do not know”, Jeremiah 33:3 and indeed, He showed me great and mighty things which I wouldn’t know if I didn’t offer this one to Him. 

To God be all the glory!

To the author of this story, thank you for sharing this dream turned into reality story! Indeed, nothing is impossible with the Lord! More stories of her at her blog site – Half of My Heart .

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Hi My Single Friend,

For sure, just like me, you have those days that you just get reminded of how  “so single” you are. You know, those days that you need to do a week of grocery and ended up buying just for two days because you realize no one is going to help you carry your stuff. Or that day when you want to just go out and have a nice, relaxing dinner and all your friends just could not go out with you. Or probably that day when you can’t stay late night at a friend’s party because you don’t feel safe to walk by yourself when you go home. These are the kind of days that you wish you have that constant person who will always be there for you. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Being single, it’s normal to desire to be with someone.

However, you don’t have to sulk about it. As for me, those are just my passing moments. Those moments are great reminders as we are so used to being on our own and being independent that at times we forget we need other people.

As those are passing moments, we have better days to enjoy the life of being single. I believe one of the precious things that we single should really be grateful of is that we have all the TIME in the world. The BIG QUESTION is, WHAT DO YOU DO WITH YOUR TIME?

If you look back to the time that you started working up to now, how can you describe the quality of your life? Has it been better? Or, you feel like nothing has changed at all? It doesn’t matter how many years ago that was. Two years, five years, or ten years. Question is, did it change a bit? Did it get better a bit? Realistically, a year can pass by so fast and you felt like nothing has really happened in your life. Or, so many things happened in your life that it went by so fast.

As you think about your life today, you might want to ask yourself how much you valued the time that you have? Do you realize how blessed you are that you don’t need to ask permission from anyone on how you can use your time? If you feel like you haven’t really used your time so well for the past years, it’s never too late. Start setting goals for yourself on how you could improve in using your precious time.

Start with what do you want to do with your week. Of course, you go to work in your regular office hours. And you have to make sure you are finding ways to grow at your workplace. Learn new things each day. Always give your best regardless of circumstance. It’s the attitude, my friend.

After work, how do you want to spend the rest of the day? Have a good rest? Probably do exercise – go to the gym or go for a run or play a sport? Or, meet a friend you haven’t seen for a while? Or, read a good book. Do online classes. Or, cooking lessons. Do volunteer work.

How about your weekends? How does it look like? I hope you don’t spend the whole day just watching t.v. series or doing movie marathon. It’s okay to do it sometimes especially after a very tiring week but just don’t do it every weekend. Just imagine how many weekends you’ve wasted in your one year. Do something productive on your weekend that helps you grow as a person. Be involved in a church or community. Travel with friends and enjoy culture. Pursue a hobby that you can be passionate about – gardening, photography or anything that could also inspire other people.

Don’t waste time, my friend. Appreciate the time that you have right now. Imagine how much you can accomplish. And don’t be greedy with your time as well. Make time for people especially if there is a need. Remember, it’s not about how many things you have done with your time or how many places you have traveled or how many classes you have taken or how many people you have met, it is how much you have grown and improved as a person and how much you have blessed other people. Those are the defining moments of a time well-spent.

Be a good steward of your time. Remember, when you’re done being single, your time is not your own anymore.

y your thanksgiving be filled withlove, happiness, and full tummies!

Enough Day Dreaming

When I was in my younger years, I used to play “pretend” a lot. I pretended to be a teacher or an office girl. As years passed by, my interest for computers grew when my uncle gave us our very first desktop computer. I decided to pursue a degree on computer rather than pursuing my second interest which was journalism. I felt like I got so exhausted with my 5-year degree that I badly wanted it to be done. I didn’t care anymore about my grades, all I wanted was to pass and graduate.

Between the time I was playing pretend to the time I finished university, I rarely dreamed of big things. At some point, I had some dreams which I think were more of imaginations. You know, the kind you just day dream about but you really did not do anything about it. Most of the time, I only thought of what’s real in front of me – to graduate and have a job. That’s it. No long term plans. Nothing.

And then, big change happened. The small city girl had to make the biggest move of her life. I had to live in a city where I never wanted to be. Although looking back now, I’m glad I took that step of faith. (Thank God for that very good job offer!) The circumstances that God allowed to happen between that time and now had taught me to become a dreamer.

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God inspired me to dream not just to have a list I can check for every item I’ve accomplished. God inspired me to dream because I need to live a life that will increase my faith and allow me to experience God each day. He inspired me to dream of bigger things because I need to depend more on Him in doing things I can never do just on my own. God inspired me to dream that I may learn to step out of faith when He asks me to leave my comfort zone. He inspired me to dream that I may never live just for myself but also for other people.

You don’t need to be in a certain place or situation for God to cause you to dream bigger. You could be at the lowest point of your life or at the peak of your career. You just have to own that dream and trust that He will enable you to achieve it.

When God inspires us to dream, we have to act upon it. It’s time we stop day dreaming and allow God to really work in us and through us. When you think things are just so impossible to do, that’s when you can truly see and experience how real God is. He loves impossible. He loves big dreams. Because that is His expertise.

Today, I challenge you to challenge God. I dare you to ask God to increase your faith that He may be able to inspire you to dream, and not just simply dream but to dream big. It will be an exciting journey with God! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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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A Letter To A High School Student

 

Dear High School Student,

I am writing this to you because I want to let you know that life after college is not just the life you are imagining right now.

The different professions you know like nurse, engineer, accountant, programmer, teacher, doctor, or banker are not the only jobs out there. There are a lot. Too many that you never thought your personality, talent and skills would be suited for that job.

So while you are still in high school, you need to do your homework.

On school days, be good in every subject you have.  Listen attentively. Study hard. Take note of the subjects you are good at.

On weekends, do something that will develop your other potentials. Get a hobby, read a book, build a webpage, make little inventions, do sport, write short stories or cook your favorite food. Do anything that will not waste your energy and time as long as it is something you enjoy doing.

On your summer vacations, explore different activities. Serve on a fast food, be a cashier of your parents’ business, volunteer in a charity, teach in Sunday school or join a summer camp. Don’t let summer breaks be over without experiencing something that will help you in your future someday.

You need to understand that your college years are crucial to the kind of life you want to have someday. Your parents will not just invest on you with their money but you will also invest your own time and effort for it.

As early as now, you must learn to set a vision for yourself. What kind of work would you want to end up with when you retire? Mostly, the first job is not really the kind of job you want but it would be the first step that would bring you to that vision you have set.

While you are still young, keep the balance of having fun, learning and developing your potentials.

And lastly, always remember that God designed you for a purpose. Don’t ever feel that you lack or you are no better than your classmate. You are unique. All you need to do is to discover what that purpose is.

Think about it. 🙂

Just me, caring for the future generation.

 

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Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.  (Psalm 90:12)

[Giving it All] Day 2: Your Priorities

Reading: Matthew 26:8-12

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.

Reflection:

What’s wrong with the disciples? Was it wrong to give the money to the poor to help them? The problem here is that they missed the point of why the woman poured out the expensive perfume on Jesus’ head (Matt 26: 6-7).

We are like the disciples at times. We sometimes miss the point of why God allows things to happen in our lives. We sometimes fail to see things in God’s perspective. We tend to get angry with God without even seeking Him.

What the disciples saw as a waste, Jesus described it as “beautiful”.  The woman acknowledged who Jesus was and without having second thoughts offered her perfume to Him. She knew that  Jesus was very much worthy of the expensive perfume.

woman perfumeSource

Is Jesus worthy of your precious time? Is He worthy of your resources and services? Putting God first in your life is never a waste. In fact, it is the most worthy thing you can do in your life. Your life will never be the same once you have set your priorities right, with God being the first.

Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind”  This is the great and  foremost commandment. The second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)

How do we put God first?

  • Making time for God. Have a quality time with God by reading the Bible and prayer.  When Jesus was on earth, He always wakes up early in the morning and even avoids the crowd when He needs to spend time with the Heavenly Father.  ( In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. Mark 1:35)
  • Acknowledging God and His Word as your authority in life. The values and principle we live by should always be aligned with what is in the Bible. In our day to day, we will always face trials and temptations that is why it is important that we know what is right in God’s eyes through the Bible.  The standard of this world especially today is very immoral. We need to have a clear stand of what standards do we follow – the world’s or God’s. (And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2)
  • Choosing God in all circumstances. Compromise is very dangerous in our spiritual walk. When we start giving in little by little to the wrong things, we will eventually find ourselves justifying the wrong and making it look right. God does not allow temptations that we can’t handle. Temptation is not a sin but when we stop choosing God and gave in, then that’s when it becomes an act of rebellion against God – aka sin. But God does not let us overcome temptation on our own. He will always sustain us. ( No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13)

With God being the first on your priority list, loving our neighbors is the second most important. Who are these?

  1. Family – next to God should be our families. In the 10 commandments (Exodus 20), the first 4 talks about our relationship with God. The 5th commandment talks about family – “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.”
  2. Ministry, Work – our ministry in church and/or work should never take priority before our family. When we fix our weekly schedule, there should always be an allotted quality time with family. Work takes us most of the hours in our week that’s why other activities should be properly planned. Ministry is also important as this is our service to God and other people. But if this takes up more time than spending alone time with God and quality time with our family, then, we need to drop it. God first, Family second.

If you want God to help you set your priorities right, you can say this prayer.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

Thank you dear God for reminding me today of how important it is to put You first in everything that I do. Thank you for Your Son, Jesus who taught us how to live a life that honors You.  Lord, help me to make my priorities right. Give me strength and teach me discipline that I will be able to spend more time with you in my day to day. Guide me also that I may be able to spend more quality time with my family. Teach me to properly plan my week so that the other things that I need to do will not take the time I should be spending with You. This I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to him,  and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-7

Song:

Forever by Hillsong

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.