20131009: Vision and Faith

“Then the Lord answered me and said: Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint. If it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late.” – Habakkuk 2:2-3

It started about two weeks ago, September 27 to be exact, when I decided to start doing this devotion. I read this Facebook status and thought that maybe God is the only person who could give me that thing I want. I started praying again, not those “popcorn prayer” type but the lengthy, conversational type. I read daily readings from the Bible. I went to attend Mass everyday. It was all good, or so I thought.

The very next day, I felt so gloomy for no apparent reason so I asked God why. After talking to God, I realized that I was doing this devotion all for the wrong reasons. I am seeking God because I want something from Him. Yes, God is a god who provides but I must seek the Giver first before anything else. I should forget about why I am doing this devotion and do it because I cannot not do it.

Habakkuk reminded me that it is only a matter of time before my vision, my goals, my dreams becomes reality. God is doing his thing into make all that happen. I have to be patient. I’ve been unemployed now for 5 months. Originally, it was supposed to be just 2 months to become “healthier” and then I would start working again, but I guess God had other plans. Right now, I have to believe that God is setting everything up for my big comeback in the worklife. I need to be patient. I need to be faithful. And for all of these things that God is doing for me, he deserves more from me. I need to devote more time and effort for Him. I’m not preoccupied with anything so I should be able to give Him all that and more.

Father God, I am sorry for failing you for these past few days. I know you deserve more from me and I will try to do and give you more. I know that you have something great planned for me. I just need to be patient and then one day, you will give me all the opportunities that I need where I could shine and do the things that I love. You are the great Provider and everything I ask in your name will be mine. I will be faithful to your promise. I will trust in you. All these I pray in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

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Be the blessing! It’s cool being spiritual!

Undisturbed

Disturb us, O Lord
when we are too well-pleased with ourselves
when our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little, because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, O Lord
when with the abundance of things we possess,
we have lost our thirst for the water of life
when, having fallen in love with time,
we have ceased to dream of eternity
and in our efforts to build a new earth,
we have allowed our vision of Heaven to grow dim.

Stir us, O Lord
to dare more boldly, to venture into wider seas
where storms show Thy mastery,
where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.

In the name of Him who pushed back the horizons of our hopes
and invited the brave to follow.
Amen.

-Author unkown

——-

They said that we should be worried when we dont have problems in our lives. It means that we are not being challenged, molded, tested to be better versions of ourselves; to be more of what God has planned us to be.

Last Wednesday, me and my friends from the Singles Ministry had our Word Sharing Circle (WSC) and my sharing was about how lately, I feel like not coming to these WSCs because I feel like I dont have anything to share. On these WSCs, more often than not, the things that we share are our current struggles and lately, I dont have any of those. I dont have problems.

I lack disturbance. I feel like nothing’s happening in my life right now. Being unemployed, I have nothing much to do. Doing nothing means having nothing to be happy or sad about, nothing to worry about, nothing to think about. I want to cry for crying means I’m dealing with something painful. I desire pain because it makes me feel alive and no, i wont hurt myself just to feel pain.

Ironic enough, my problem is about having no problems. I dont know how to explain what I’m currently feeling right now, what I need, what I desire to feel. I know God does. I just pray that if He does disturb me, dont let it be about my family. Anything else but my family.

Sing (Your Love)

Young adults have it rough. Working is hard. Some of us have to be apart from our family for 5-6days a week, some even 1-2 weeks, months, a year or 2. We are supposed to be independent – live on our own. Some of us are the bread winners of the family, and that’s a lot of pressure. We have parents to provide for. We pay for a sibling, relative, or godchild’s education. Earning money is really hard. We make sacrifices to earn and save up more money to be able to give more to our family and save up for our future. But no matter how much we earn and save, it seems like it’s never enough.

Everything is so tiring and stressful. So we find ways to make it all bearable through parties, drinking, hang out with friends. We buy ourselves gadgets, expensive clothes, equipment but none of those could fill the emptiness that we have. None of it could give us true happiness, until that one summer…

Singles Encounter Weekend they call it. A 3-day retreat. At first we thought what have we gotten ourselves into. Sitting there with 23 strangers, with facis teaching you about community and God, a bunch of strangers trying to make you dance when clearly you don’t dance – it’s all very daunting. But on the third day, everything has changed. Now you thought, “why didn’t I know of this sooner? I should have attended this a long time ago.” Those 23 other people have suddenly become some of your closest and trusted friends in just 3-days. Those facis were a lot of fun and you even thought of becoming one someday. Those bunch of people trying to make you dance would become your buddies and besties. And never would you have imagined that you would be the one trying to make a complete stranger dance year later. It was the best weekend you’ve had in years.

And a few months later, this Life in the Spirit Seminar – wow. On that night of the Baptism, as you lay there on the floor, you never thought you could ever be this peaceful. You feel so warm despite the coldness of the floor and the room. Some of you cried so hard that time but it wasn’t because you were sad. It’s because everything was so overwhelming – you never thought that someone could love you despite your flaws and imperfections. You cried because you were so happy to feel this loved, and finally you’ve found that one thing, a person rather, that would make you forever happy.

Right now Lord, I’m so thankful for it wasn’t for You, I wouldn’t be here right now, in this place, having the privilege to serve you, to worship You, to bask in Your greatness and glory. I was once lost but now I’m found. I was blind but now I see. I was weak but You’ve given me strength. I was broken but You’ve made me whole. I was unhappy and now have found eternal joy in You. You have done so much for me and all I could offer to You right know is this simple song. I will forever sing of Your love for me. I will forever sing of how much I love You. And nothing, nothing in this world could ever take that away. No height, no depth, neither life nor death could ever separate me from You. I’ll give my life for You Lord for all the things You’ve done for me.

The I in Faith

People say “Have faith in God”. Let’s think about that for a second.

It is said in Ephesians 3:16-17 that “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…”

Basically what that verse says is that if we have faith in God, and was baptized in the Spirit, he will be in our hearts. If God is in our hearts, He is a part of us. In someway, that means God IS us. We are created in His own image after all (Gen 1:27).

So if God is us, that means having faith in God is the same as having faith in yourself.

We should have faith in ourselves. If God created us in His own image, that means God has made us very capable of doing great things. We only need to realize that we are that capable and we could actually do great things.

But then again, we are only human. There are things that even man can do. That is where the saying “Do your best and God will do the rest” comes in. God is not a genie where you just pray and wish for something and then in an instant – wish granted! We have to do our part first. We should try our best first before God steps in. Also, there are things that we wish from God that only we could get for ourselves. For example, we wish God for courage. God doesn’t give you courage. Instead He gives you the opportunity to be courageous.

My point is “Faith without works is dead.” If we believe and have faith in God, and if we love God, we will do His commandments. Having faith also means that you should believe in the work that God has put in you, that you are very capable of doing His commandments and whatever you set your heart on. After all, God is in our hearts and if we set our hearts on doing something, God is with us in doing it. Just like how David was able to kill the giant Goliath. It wasn’t the rock, it wasn’t the sling. It was David believing and setting his heart on the idea that he could actually kill the giant.

God Means Victory!

The Anthem (by Planetshakers) has been my Victory Song since January.

Hallelujah! You have won the the victory! You have won it all for me!

It’s a short but very powerful song. It makes you want to raise your hands with clenched fists saying that “Yes! Finally! We got it! We are victorious!”. True enough, with God on our side, rest assured that you’ll be victorious in every challenge that you’ll face. God is an awesome God and He is very able. Nothing is impossible for Him.

 

Lyrics:

Hallelujah!
You have won the victory
Hallelujah!
You have won it all for me

Death could not hold you down
You are the risen king
Seated in majesty
You are the risen king

My Personal WSC Sessions

June 9, Discovering God’s Daily Agenda by Henry & Richard Blackaby

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

Today, in our ministry’s Word Sharing Circle (WSC), I told them how I’ve forgotten to do most of my disciplines as member of our Covenant Community and that I also stopped updating this site which I made to “force” myself to do daily reflections (which is one of the disciplines).

Reflecting on the Bible verse above, I was reminded why I made this blog and why we do WSCs.

We do WSCs because it’s part of our witnessing, telling people how God touches our lives each and every day, how much we’ve  grown, and how we live God’s words and apply it in our daily lives  We also become aware of our friends’ situations/life problems and with that we learn to intercede for them out of love and deep concern for them. With WSCs, we are able to show our true selves, tell people about our shortcomings without the fear of being judged – no one would dare throw a rock at you (John 8:1-11). We belong in a praying, caring, and celebrating circle. Our brothers and sisters will love you for who you are – flaws and all. We also do it in the hopes of inspiring and teaching others, not through preaching but by being a good example – showing instead of telling.

I made this blog for those same reasons, to be transparent, to hopefully be an inspiration to others, and it’s one way of doing my disciplines. That’s why I’m writing an entry again on this blog. Also, I’m doing this because it’s one of the things that I said I need to do (Direction; W.O.R.D).

I really don’t know how to end this since I’m not a good writer and I honestly don’t know what to say anymore. I’m just starting again. I hope I’d be able to make more entries for this blog as often as possible.

God’s Authority

“Do not grow discouraged if a situation exceeds your competence & resources. At issue is your belief. Do you trust that Christ is able & willing to use your life to accomplish His work? When God sets an assignment before you, what you do next reveals what you believe about Him.”

April 11, Discovering God’s Daily Agenda by Henry & Richard Blackaby

Pain Leads To Happiness

My fingers are sore from playing the cajon today at our worship service, but it’s worth it. =)

Pain may cause happiness.

Even though having sore fingers are a bit painful, it makes me happy knowing that this pain was brought by serving the Lord through music.

Today, at our ministry’s PWA (Post-Worship Activity), we talked about how the cross was a sign of pain, suffering, punishment,  and disgrace years ago. Through Christ, that meaning changed. Now, the cross is a symbol of the Christian faith, hope, love, discipline, patience. Through Christ’s suffering, we are now free and can have a happier life, with God of course.

Serving God, you’ll go through a lot of challenges. These challenges are very difficult and they only become more and more difficult everytime you surpass one. It’s God’s way of molding us. These challenges may often cause pain and suffering and, in the end, all of it is nothing compared to the joy or reward after we overcome those challenges.

Instead of running away from the pain and/or letting it eat you up inside, we should embrace it, just like Jesus did when He held that cross. He embraced it, accepted it, and understood why it had to happen.

These sore fingers are not the only pains in my life right now. I’m accepting every pain little by little, trying to understand why it had to happen, what good thing can I get or learn from all of it, and use it to make myself better.

So carry your cross, own it, embrace it, learn from it. I’m sure the pain is all worth it in the end. =)

Blink of An Eye

March 11, 2012
Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 19:8-11, 1 Corinthians 1:22-25, John 2:13-25

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” – John 2:19

This verse got me thinking: If it only took Jesus three days to come back to life, how long would it take Him to do things that are much simpler? I related death to change, because death is probably the greatest and most permanent change. But what if we wanted to change our personality, our lifestyle, our habits, how long would it take us to do it?

I forgot where I got this but it says, “Every second is a chance to change and choose.” We don’t need a day, a month, or a year to change. We don’t need to wait for New Year to change. For us Catholics, we can change even before we have our confession. We don’t do confession because it marks the beginning of the change will go through. Rather, we go to confession because we already started that change and, through confession, we want to get rid of all that is not good, things that would not benefit us during that change.

If it only took Jesus three days to come raise from the dead, it would take Him probably a blink of an eye if He wanted to change something in Himself. I even think that a blink of an eye is still too long for Him. By the way, it takes about 150 milliseconds to blink. But we don’t need to be like Jesus to be able to change that fast. We don’t need to be a God to be capable of change. Jesus was more of a man than a God, to show us that we, as man, are also capable of such feats. We can also change that quickly…if we really desire it.

I guess what takes so long is thinking about changing. We are afraid of what might happen if we change. We worry about the things that we would be letting go of. For some, they’re afraid of the whole idea of change. But as soon as we learn to accept all of those, as soon as we’ve really decided that we desire (not just want or need) change, change will come naturally and it happens very fast. And if we made the right choice and the right kind of change, we need not wait long to get our “rewards”. It also happens in a blink of an eye.

So if you desire change right now, don’t wait for a sign, don’t wait for a new year, don’t wait for something bad to happen first before you make that change. You can do it NOW! Change is often good! And to end this blog, I will quote the tweet that inspired the title and idea of this entry:

“Funny how things can just change in the blink of an eye.” – Chlara Magtultol

Home Again

March 10, 2012
Micah 7:14-20, Psalm 103:1-12, Luke 15 15:1-32

The Gospel talked about the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the Prodigal Son. It tells how the heavens rejoice over one sinner repenting and changing for the better than over many righteous persons who do not need to repent (Luke 15:7). I’ve been a Prodigal Son quite a few times and every time I want to come back to the Lord, it becomes a lot harder. He expects a lot from me but to fail Him time and time again, I just feel so ashamed. I’m asking Him for forgiveness but I can’t look Him in the eyes. But before I could say anything, He’ll hug me so tight and whisper to me the words, “You don’t need to say anything. I’m just happy you came back.” Now I’m in tears. I tell Him I don’t deserve this but He tells me otherwise. I keep on saying “I’m sorry..” but He just keeps on saying “Hush, my child. I already forgave you the moment you tried to leave.” God’s love for us is infinite and never-ending. It doesn’t matter what we did and how much we’ve hurt Him. As soon as we repent and turn to Him again, it’s as if nothing happened, He would welcome us back with open arms. He’s just glad that we’ve come home.

I leave you with this song entitled Home by Gary Valenciano. One of my favorite Gary V. songs. I hope you guys like it. Be blessed! =)

Lyrics:

Verse 1:
Bright stars fill the evening sky
As I sit and wonder what I’m missing
I feel so all alone in a crowded room
There’s something that my heart’s been searching

Pre-chorus:
Coz when the shadows come
There’s nowhere to go
And my one last hope
God only knows
In Him I’ll find what I’ve been searching
Now I’m on my way
Back to a place where I can hear His voice
And see His face
As I’m on my way, I see Him running

Chorus:
Before I take my second step
He sees me coming back
And He comes running to me
And He comes running
Takes me in His arms
Closer to His heart
Saying He’ll be loving me
Cuz He’s never stopped loving me

Verse 2:
I don’t know why
Why did I ever doubt You
Thought I could live without You with me
All my fears disappear
Right before my eyes
Just to know Your love is with me
Bridge:
So I stop and say, “Forgive me lord
For walking out that door”
But before I could say anything more
He says hush
I’m just glad to know that you’ve come home
Back in my arms
Where you’re safe from harm
I’m just glad to know you’re home
Where I made you to be
Right here with me
Lord I’m glad to be home