Monday, January 16, 2017

truth: you're special more than you know

A repost from my FB account as I feel a lot of people need this encouragement:

May all those who think low of themselves be reminded of God's truths. A special shout out to those in need of physical healing: if God wonderfully created you and knows the very number of your hairs, he too can powerfully restore every broken part of you. Trust :)
Know, however, that even if the physical healing doesn't happen in this lifetime, you have the assurance of God's comfort and endless joy and peace. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Heart reversals

When I first took to the Bible, verses like the one above are offensive to me. In an event that a friend once invited me, there was a mention of women needing to submit to their husbands. When he asked me what I thought about his church's event, I had to admit that I didn't like it. The command on submission just didn't sit well with my feminist upbringing.

I don't know what happened, but I just don't hold the same beliefs I had then. All I know is that the more you read on scripture, the more you will be saddened at how misrepresented God is to the world. Reading the whole scripture could truly make you understand the heart of God. He is not a killjoy. He definitely doesn't think women to be second-class citizens. Just think about the first witnesses of the resurrected Christ--women. In those times, women's testimonies do not hold up in court. If our God think lowly of women, would he have shown himself first to women--knowing that women's testimonies aren't taken seriously in that time? But instead, he chose to reveal his risen self first to women, when his very message hinged on his resurrection? If that isn't trust and huge belief in women, then I don't know what is.

Heart reversals are possible with God. :)

There are still so many things I'm ashamed to confess I haven't done for God. But I know, God is in control in my life. I maybe hardened in some areas, but I believe God is not done with me yet. He will soften those hardened parts when He sees fit, and at a perfect time according to His timeline, not mine. :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Is Jesus Christ conceited?

"This Jesus is one conceited bloke!!!"
That was the first impression I got when I picked up the book, The Purpose-Driven Life, by Rick Warren. I didn't have the beliefs I have now when I "tried" to read the book then. I say "tried" because I was unable to finish reading the book. It's supposed to be a 40-day reading exercise or spiritual journey, but I couldn't even read past Day 3. The reason I could not proceed to finishing the book was because I kept thinking and couldn't fathom how conceited the fellow described in the book was. I mean, why does He kept saying that the only way to life is through him.

Every efforts we do here on earth will be for naught if they're done outside the purpose He had for our life. So yeah, we're busy, living a life, and all that; but in essence they're described as mere "aimless distractions." The book mentioned something about us--each individual person--being born unto this earth by no accident. We are created and planned by God even before our parents made us or even if some of us came to this world came to be labeled as "conceived by accidents". It rambled on how we are wonderfully-made; every fiber of our being pre-designed by the Creator himself: our race, the very exact time we inhale our first breath as we come out of our mother's womb. Of course, at that time I was reading these words all I could think of was--"Great! I'm wonderfully-made? What kind of God creates a child who has problematic uterus. No child at the age of 12 and onward should be suffering from a uterine condition that only brings pain and erratic profuse bleeding during periods." IF that's the GOD who calls himself LOVE and is the one who created me, then I surely don't want to do anything with that kind of God. There's just so many inconsistencies!

Such were my thought processes then, some three or five years ago. While I may have never gotten to finishing the book, I certainly reached to a different conclusion about Jesus some other ways. Curiosity killed the cat, they say. But my curiosity brought LIFE. Not only did I learn that Jesus wasn't conceited, I learned that I actually didn't understand the word at all. So, I opened a dictionary and find out what the word means. According to Collin's Learner's dictionary, conceited is the word used when you are showing your disapproval of the fact that someone is too proud of their abilities or achievements. The dictionary lists the following as its synonymous words: self-important, arrogant, bigheaded (informal), cocky, egotistical, full of oneself, immodest, narcissistic, too big for one's boots or breeches, or simply VAIN.

Reading the Bible, made me see how different my perception of God was to how He actually was and IS. A conceited, self-important being will definitely not pursue you. He is relentless. You may give up on him, but each day that you wake up and discover that you are still breathing is a strong testament of how he hasn't given up on us, on you. Somewhere and sometime in your future, God will catch up on you. The amazing thing is He will send in a cavalry of people or circumstances that sooner or later, you'll either acknowledge he is God indeed, and allow him to have a say in your life, or you run away from him permanently.

His hope is for us to do the former and allow us to experience true, unconditional love and that can only come from the source himself.

Pure, unadulterated love.

This kind of experience will never be found until we truly realize and understand the very meaning of the cross, of why Jesus died for us. Do you think a self-important being will go through the process of being subjected to humiliation, flogging, to death on the cross just so the sins of the world will be forgiven by the holy God? Will an egotistical being would even lower himself, agree to step down from his throne in heaven just to be born as a babe, to grow and live in a depraved world? The person of Jesus Christ did all just that so that we will be redeemed and be saved from the eternal judgment of death. He certainly didn't have to, but he--did.

If you have difficulty in believing in Jesus Christ because of what you see other Christians do (judgmental, holier than though etc.), my best advice is to not stop in discovering who Jesus really is because of us who messed up. Know the character of Jesus as revealed in the Bible. Only he can represent him best, and those who are truly filled by the Holy Spirit! Don't give up on asking Jesus to reveal himself to you.

I'm writing this as a reminder that I myself needs more growing and more reading. Of late, I've been remiss in my Bible reading and it's when I notice that doubts and fears begin to crop up again. So, I guess the warning is true about not getting yourself idle as it can be the devil's playground.

NOTE TO SELF: Anchor back and FOCUS on JESUS!!! :)

Happy Birthday, to me!!! Deep gratitude to Our Lord JESUS CHRIST for another year. For another chance.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

wac surprise

so as usual, i couldn't keep to my promise of writing more posts. being busy is definitely out of the question as i still have not taken actionable steps to change my unemployment situation. perhaps because at the back of my mind, there's no one out there to reach my little corner of the web. thus, there's no pressure to write.

the beauty of cyberspace is its ability to put yourself out there, yet remain unseen or unheard. experts call it the paradox of our time: being disconnected in a VERY connected world. in typing each post, i often think why i bother when i clearly don't have readers. plus, people seem to be allergic when the topic is about Jesus. so imagine my surprise when after a few weeks of not checking my blogs and e-mails, i found a notification that I have 'comments waiting moderation'. i thought it was just SPAM, and behold - a legitimate comment:

haha, who would have thought that someone from WAC would actually contact me and consider quoting some of the posts here to the church's newsletter!!!

i wonder how mr. jt came upon this blog. i tried googling WAC, Word at the Centre JMALL, and other search terms to see if there's a hit that would lead to this corner of the web. true to my expectation, my blog didn't appear in any of the searches, haha! i wasn't kidding when i said i don't have readers. the only plausible explanation, is through image search. of course, i could have asked, but for some reason, i'd like to think that this is the jokester's hand. perhaps this is another reminder from HIM for me to go back to attending LIVE worship services instead of me being lazy and resorting to STREAMING on the Internet. There is definitely nothing wrong with watching CCF's Sunday Worship Live Stream, but it's just different when you put in effort to attend a LIVE service.

or perhaps, GOD truly works in mysterious ways and there's NO hiding from a Living God - no matter how obscure a blog is.

on unrelated note, I'm reminded of this post I had in FB back on March 2015; I think it's the same person as the one above, hehe :)

anyways, I'll leave you with this verse from Proverbs 16:9
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.(NIV)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

delivered from pain

the past few days were hard for me. literally, painfully hard. there's a bump in my left armpit and i feel some piercing pain somewhere in the vicinity of my left chest. the bump wasn't a concern as the swelling subsided a bit, but the chest pain was a cause for concern. i knew the pain wasn't heart attack nor heart burn because i've consulted with a cardiologist in the past and she described to me what it will feel like if one suffers from a heart attack. while i can't remember the exact descriptions she gave, what i can recall is that the pain should be at the center of your chest and not on either left or right side (unless my memory was mistaken). i could definitely feel the pain radiating on my left chest. the past 3 days, i would wake up to this kind of pain. i didn't want to go to the doctor because my budget is a bit limited as of the moment, and i don't want to spend it on doctor's fees nor on medicines. i rationalized that when i had this kind of pain before, the doctor just gave me some anti-bacterial pill and a painkiller. i have some anti-bacterial pills and some mefenamic acid at home. i took a couple of them on the second day. i didn't take one on the first day as i was convinced that the pain would just go away and didn't want to go back to my painkiller-popping days. also, i immediately hit on google and did a quick search on what's happening. the closest i could find that resembles the symptoms i'm feeling was something called 'pericarditis.' reading about it, i learned that taking Advil can help ease the pain. so, i kept that in mind in case i run out of mefenamic acid.

when i woke up to the same intense pain the next day (Saturday), i got a bit worried. breathing while not difficult, gets a bit painful. the pain was too intense that all i could do is just call on to God to get me through the day. i tried to control the panic as i didn't want to complicate things and get me bleeding again. (well, my period bleeding had been too heavy the past few days, and panic is one ways to get me bleeding again and make it worse! hit the other blog; my beautiful u for details). i forced myself to get out of bed because the previous day i noticed that the pain ebbs when i'm on an upright position. i can feel some tinge of pain when i'm sitting, but nothing compared to when i'm lying down. when i'm tired of sitting, i try to rest by reclining, but even that was painful. haha, i remembered telling myself to be grateful to the gift of breathing. i told myself to be grateful to the act of breathing itself, as it's really something to feel pain as you breathe. nothing to like. so, i took the last of the mefenamic acid that i have hoping that the pain would subside. i would try to examine if it has subsided by reclining only to feel the shooting pain again.

i figured, i would just be on an upright position all day so i won't feel any pain. i considered going to the doctor, but decided to put it off for another day. sunday came and i woke up with the worst pain on my left chest. i was literally scared as any movement was painful. i couldn't call nor didn't want to call anyone as i didn't want to cause unnecessary worry. i kept convincing myself to get up as i know from the previous day that as soon as i'm on an upright position, the pain will be gone in a few minutes. i wish it were that easy to just get up. but just the act of getting up feels like my left chest would explode. i tried to grab hold of my bed's frame to propel me up, but still it was a challenge because of the pain. so, i told myself to suck it up, get up, no matter the pain i'm feeling. just get up and breathe. haha, breathing itself was painful. but the sooner i do so, the sooner the pain will leave me. so i did. it was excruciating, but at least i managed to get up, and the pain slowly dissipated.

i reheated some food for brunch and considered my options. i thought that this being a 3rd day of the same painful experience, i should probably go see a doctor. but that day being a sunday, am sure the cardiologist that i consulted once did not have clinic. i thought of going to the e.r. and reasoned that i could just use plastic to pay off the fees. but the thought of going to the e.r. and spending money put me off. i only have 1,500 cash in my hand, only 1,000 withdrawable in my ATM and didn't have health insurance. so, i tried to convince myself that this will come to pass. after all, if God wanted me dead, he would have done it. so after eating brunch, i occupied myself by watching the live stream of Christ's Commission Fellowship's Sunday service. i tried reclining while watching, but I can still feel the pain. so went back to just sitting up. praise and worship was truly a blessing. i didn't have anything, except the pain and the lyrics of the songs that said to offer my life and my pain to God just broke me. it's weird. it broke me, but it also encouraged me to keep the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. it encouraged me to go out of the comfort of my home and go attend sunday service at WAC (word at the center) over at JMALL.

after the service at WAC, i reminded myself to buy Advil so i can have something to drink for the pain. but as i was hungry, i immediately went to the mall's foodcourt to get some bite. however, on my way to the mall i saw a poster indicating that The Jungle Book is showing now.[haha, i am hesitant to spend on doctor consultations, but had no qualms spending on a favorite story of my younger years! my priorities are definitely questionable!] i thought of just eating inside the theater. however, as i was at the ticket counter, i tried to look for my wallet to pull out the 1000 bill that i know i have. after much searching, i came to the conclusion that i left my wallet in my bigger bag. the money that i have with me is just enough for less than a 100-peso dinner and fare for home. so, instead of watching the movie, i headed to the foodcourt as i initially intended. i enjoyed my 79-peso carbonara so much that i didn't notice the time until I heard the mall's closing song. drat, i failed to buy medicine!!!

when i got to tamiya terminal, i got lazy to walk to the pharmacy and just thought that i'll be fine without medicine. nevertheless, when i was at home, i searched my medicine stash hoping that i still have some painkillers. i realized i was out of mefenamic acid. thus, i ended up just taking the antibacterial pill and the paracetamol i found in my stash before i went to bed. but prior to sleeping that night, i called out to God to remove the pain in my chest. i'm scared to sleep because i know i would have to lie down, and it's when I'm lying down that the pain is at its worst. so i prayed earnestly. i prayed like i have never prayed before. i prayed that God gave me rest. i confessed out loud both known and unknown sins and asked for forgiveness. i prayed that his will be done. i prayed to reveal to me the things i have done wrong so i can make things right. at sunday service, i was reminded that God disciplines his children and he spits out those whom he doesn't know (meaning those who doesn't have an intimate relationship with him). the pastor also mentioned something to the effect that the reason you are not receiving miracles in your life is because you haven't been praying enough or putting in time to be intimate with the Lord. so yeah, that night, i spent some time reading the bible, revelations mostly and just asked the lord to have mercy upon me. i didn't want to go to bed scared because of the knowledge that i will feel the pain again in my chest. but more importantly, i didn't want to end up dead and Jesus not knowing about me. haha, so i prayed to make sure I get his attention and at least begin to know me.

in my previous readings and bible studies, i'm given the assurance that God is faithful and full of mercy. that he doesn't give you fear. fear is of the enemy. also, in my prayer that night, i asked God to give me boldness to speak the truth in his name. i am actually hesitant of sharing my experiences with God because i know i'm far from being Christ-like. i have difficulty controlling my temper, i have difficulty getting into fellowship with other believers. things such as those make me realize that I'm not truly obedient to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. these things make me doubt the credibility of my own proclamation of faith. but then again, i'm reminded that GOD doesn't outrightly condemn. yes, he is a just GOD. he will pass judgment on me sometime. but now that i'm still alive, it is definitely not him telling me to stop studying and listening to things of the bible. in fact, his instruction was to meditate on the word day and night and to not let the word depart from one's mouth. so yeah, i'm writing this to show that though I may not have a strong faith (YET), my GOD remains faithful. i may stumble, but my GOD remains faithful. so yeah, while i was scared last night to go to bed, i assured myself that there was nothing to fear for me as God gives rest to those who come to him.

you know what? as soon as i hit the bed, i immediately felt the pain on my left chest. but curiously, the pain didn't bother me at all as i was asleep within minutes and despite the intense mactan heat. i probably slept immediately because i can't recall ever having thought of any negative things while trying to get sleep. there was no 'trying to sleep' as i was asleep in minutes! haha, i know sleep is a minor thing. but trust me, to someone in pain, sleep is a huge comforter. JESUS is indeed a living God and he gave me rest instantly. so yeah, i woke up today intent on cashing in on my life insurance. that way i can have money to pay for doctor's visit and to sustain me through this jobless phase. but guess what? THERE WAS NO PAIN when I woke up. I DIDN'T FEEL ANY PAIN in my chest! I tried rolling on my left side, but there just wasn't any pain.

i don't know what to make of this except that GOD delivers as he promises!

Thank you! All glory and praises I give back to my savior, Jesus Christ!