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.

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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. =)

The Rewards of Discipline

The March 9 entry, in the devotional entitled Discovering God’s Daily Agenda by Henry & Richard Blackaby, is entitled The Rewards of Discipline. The devotional told about the discipline of athletes where discipline is their training. If they train hard enough, they will be reward with success. After all, nothing worth having is easy to get.

I’m no athlete but I sure know how it feels to be rewarded because of my discipline. A few days ago, I wrote this entry entitled “My Fault” where I had this week full of bad luck and punishments from God because I failed Him. Right after I talked to God, admitted my mistakes and asked for His forgiveness, everything got better. I prayed every night, thanked Him for everything, and my faith got stronger. I was able to have self-control. With that, I was able to make the “Right Choice“. So I thanked God even more, prayed even more. That’s why He gave me today this thing I’ve been praying for the past few days, and He even gave me more than what I expected. Isn’t that great?! It was my reward. I’m so thankful and happy that I can’t even stop smiling until now. I even almost did that Flintstones tapping-of-heels-while-jumping move. Seriously. =)

Following God will give us more rewards…and problems. But the way I see it, they’re both rewards (“Problems: It’s a Good Thing“). With problems, you get better training and more lessons. With success, you get rewards, a little less lessons compared what you get from problems, and you desire to aim for something more challenging. It doesn’t matter what our goal is or what reward we want to get. Just keep in mind that we have to work hard to get those things. Like I said, nothing worth having is easy to get. Just stick with God, keep the faith, stay strong, and you’ll have all the training you’ll ever need. Pretty soon, victory will be in your hands. =)

PS.

Here’s a thought: “T” is the middle letter of the word “victory”. And look! The small “T” looks like a Cross. Coincidence? =)

A Seed of Happiness

One of my mantras lately is “I choose to be happy“. We have been given the gift of free will. We can freely choose to do anything that will satisfy our desires. The same goes for happiness–we can choose to be happy. People look for happiness in a lot of earthly things. Like love, happiness should come from ourselves.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.Matthew 6:33

Seek first the kingdom of God. Seek first the Giver before the gift. Seek the Healer before the healing. True happiness can be found in God alone. And if God resides in our hearts, we only have to look inside us to find true happiness. But people will say, “But I have a lot of problems and they’re too much to handle. Being happy is very difficult.”

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”Matthew 17:20; Luke 17:6

These mountains are our problems and our challenges in life. If we have faith the size of a mustard seed, then we can move these mountains and move on along the this road called life. No matter how stressful and depressing things may be  around you, if you can find within yourself any reason to be happy, no matter how simple and little that reason may be, it can and will make you happy. Like any seed, if you’ll nurture it, it will grow and will be very strong. If you nurture that very small reason to be happy, if you nurture it, it will grow and fill you with happiness, and it will surely last the whole day or even longer. The key to happiness is that simple and yet not that obvious. Come on guys, what is the middle letter in the word “happiness”?

So if you’re down in the dumps, just go say to yourself “I choose to be happy”. Find that reason to be happy within yourself, nurture it, and be filled with happiness! =)