Thoughts on Community Quarantine

Two weeks in the community quarantine, and I wonder how are you doing?

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

Not long ago, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. It was followed by a few cases reported in our country. Then, the community quarantine was announced. Mass gatherings like events and church gatherings are stopped.

Everyone suddenly halted their “usual” day and are told to stay at home. Staying at home is the most logical solution that the authorities mandated to flatten the curve or slow down the spread of the virus. It sounds reasonable and easy until you realize that the food in the storage is running out, and you think of how your family will survive tomorrow, the following week, month, or year. And we worry.

They say that “worry is a misuse of imagination.” Your mind works, but it drives in the wrong direction. We worry way too much about so many things. What to eat? What will happen to my job? What if I get infected with COVID-19? What if we ran out of this or that? And so many other “what ifs.”

In uncertain times like this, it seems like there are moments that worrying can’t be avoided. But it doesn’t mean we succumb to it. So how should we cope at this time?

We take it one day at a time. Refuse to be overwhelmed by the worry that is coming your way. Be grateful for each day. Seize every moment. Love deeply. Have faith to trust God and His daily provision.

I am reminded of Matthew 6:25-34, where Jesus taught us not to worry because our Heavenly Father knows our needs and will provide for us. In verse 34, he said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

In the middle of this pandemic, let your worries melt away as you trust our good God.

The Sand & The Soil

Purchase this image at http://www.stocksy.com/78778

Growing up in an island created in my heart a special place for the ocean, where time moves in slow motion as I stare at it and where my imagination goes beyond its horizon. I definitely love the ocean, the sand, the breeze, and almost everything in it. It is a picture of humility, harmony, and endless possibility.

But today, I was reminded by God that no matter how I love the sand, I must learn to let it go. With that, I know that it won’t be easy. After all, not everyone finds letting go as an easy task.

Why let go of the sand?
God wanted you to get out of the sand because your season there is finished. He wanted you to put the sand behind because He wants you to take up the soil. The soil is where planted seeds bud, grow, and develop. From seed, it can grow to a tree with an unimaginable size. A tree that blooms flowers, and that is majestic. Most importantly, a tree that bears fruit.

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This is a reminder that Jesus wants us to walk upon the water and calm the raging sea through His name, but He also said in…

John 15:5
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

We need to be deeply rooted, grow & mature, and bear fruit.

He has overcome!

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“You want the promise of a pain-free life?… There isn’t one.” – Sophia, The Shack

There’s always a battle in this world – battle among nations, a struggle between good and evil, even within. In a battle, pain and suffering are present.

As I was talking to my friend who’s undergoing difficulty in choosing between a righteous life, where we follow God and according to His standard, and an experience away from God and doing the same sin over and over again, I told her a revelation I got at that moment:

“Choosing between good and evil is like a boxing match, and this earth is the boxing ring. Whatever side you choose, both will be hit, will be bruised, will experience pain, and might even get a severe injury. But defining moment inside the boxing ring is the proclamation of the winner.

It’s the same with life. If you follow God, there will be troubles, storms, tragedies, and persecution. If you live outside the will of God and continue sinning, you’ll experience every kind of problem and painful situation, too.

The distinguishing factor is the result. Do you want to fight where you know you can win? Or are you fighting knowing that you’re doomed at the end?”

I want to fight knowing that I’ll win and it encourages me all the more to follow God and live with Him as my Lord and Savior! I hold on to what Jesus said,

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 NIV

Never•Had•Been

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Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? ESV

This year, we believe and declare that God will do things we had never experienced. We heard testimonies on the miraculous provision, healing, overseas trip, and a whole lot more!

This year is full of firsts in my life. I boarded on an airplane, traveled to two countries – Singapore and Malaysia, attended an Internship in Singapore, led worship time, shared in our Midweek service, served on our second youth service, and worked full-time in church.

However, this is also the time where we are challenged to do things we never did before. Love like you never did before. Pray, give, serve, and reach out like you never did before. Do something for God like you never did before.

God is taking is us from glory to glory. He is doing something unique, and He is making us new. Will you take up the challenge to do something beyond what you already did and to believe that God is doing something you had never experienced?

What Jesus Did?

I got this idea of listing the things I am thankful for when I saw an item being sold in Papemelroti (A specialty shop that carries a wide variety of gifts and decorative accessories). This item is like a glass paper holder with the words: “What would Jesus do.” And form there, I thought to myself, why not list down the things that the Lord had done? 😀
I thank God for…
-gift of life
-a loving mother
-sweet, thoughtful and super talented and pretty younger sister 🙂
-provision
-Wisdom
-strength
-peace, love, and grace
-foodssssssss
-the chance to help a community through our school’s Community Outreach Program
-the fellowship and bonding moments (we played the game “chain reaction”) friends at school – Hannah, Rizza, Isau, and Harvey (our outsider friend)
-The L.A. department won numerous games!! (HAHA.. after decades! just kidding 😀 )
-a new friend (unfortunately I forgot his name because it’s too complicated.. HAHA peace brother!)
-a fun and meaningful fellowship with a brother in Christ. (with a twist of silly consequence: he danced in the middle of a fast-food restaurant) (We also shared our devotion to Truth and Balance.)
-the beautiful gift wrappers (which I am very fond of making it into bookmarks.)
-my ministry, Production Ministry
-the reminder of REJOICING IN THE LORD ALWAYS through our Simbang Gabi.
-HAPPINESS
-for a good night rest
I find this activity super fun! How about you? What are the things you want to thank God for today?

What’s Your Story?

Matthew 26:6-13

6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked.9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you,[a] but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
God deserves the best of us.

There are times when offerings to God are taken for granted. It might be in the form of money, time, resources, or talents. And when things become “usual,” we tend to give less. Sometimes, we get contented with the efforts we put or the sacrifice we do for the Lord. Which is not right. I am rebuked by the Lord as I read this story. There are times when I don’t give the best for the Lord and say, “okay na yan.” Pero yung babaeng ito sa story, iba! Iba siya! She didn’t just pour on Jesus a perfume but an expensive one! The background of this woman was not mentioned in the bible. How she was able to get it was unknown. But this action of here was terrific! And she was willing to give her great possession to the one who is more important than others. Whenever we wanted to provide a gift for a king, it should always be the best. How much more to the King of Kings! Stop giving petty things to God. Whenever na may gagawin ka or ibibigay ka, especially if it’s for the Lord, make sure to do it or give at its finest!

Our story with Jesus

It is said in the last part that “wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” And the Lord Jesus is talking about her testimony. “We change the world by changing our story.” I might have quoted this from the Founder of Cornerstone Christian Church, Ptr. Alfred Abad, a couple of times, but its message just really marked my heart. A lot of people have stories. But not all stories have this world-changing factor. Let’s say this woman. I believe that all throughout her life, she had stories. And there are also stories that more marvelous than pouring perfume on someone’s head. But what does her story have that made it a sign? It was Jesus! It was her moment with Jesus! We also had stories to tell, but without Jesus in the plot of it, it is worthless. Even the beginning or the middle part of your account was so tragic, a total mess, (some might call it) the worst story ever or a dead end, when you allow Jesus to be the author of it, it will be MAGNIFICENT!

WORST PLACES

Matthew 2:13-15 (NIV)

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

“God can make the worst of places serve the best of purposes” – Matthew Henry

Egypt (in the bible) is a place of oppression and land of slavery. It had been a house of bondage to Israel, and particularly cruel to the infants of Israel during the time of Moses. Isn’t it ironic to bring the child to a place known to be dangerous? Yet God used this “unworthy” place to become a refuge of the Messiah. What if Joseph, knowing that Egypt has been a place of oppression, disobeyed the angel of the Lord? I remembered what Ptr. Mon said last Sunday, “Face the facts but don’t focus on them.” Joseph knew the fact that Egypt and Israel have no good relation. But above this, he was confident that God is mightier and more powerful than all works of men. And in this faith, he relied on.

I have a lot of worst places/situations in my life. And can anything great happen in it? By my works, none but through Christ at work in my life, Yes! God is telling us that He wants to use us in His kingdom. And you might think, that like the place Egypt, you are “unworthy” to do something great because of your past – your bad records but that is a lie. We cannot deny this fact, but the blood of Christ was shed on the cross was enough to wash ALL of your sins! If you fully surrender this worst place/situation in your life to God, be ready because God could use it in His great purpose for you!

The Due Process

A-Forever-Given-Promise

Political Science is one of the subjects that I don’t enjoy, probably because I dislike my professor. As far as I could remember, he is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Accountancy, but after failing the Board Exam, he studied Bachelor of Science in Public Administration. He also has a master’s degree in Public Administration. But despite all of these, our class turns out to be a “reading class.” I mean READING CLASS because he will JUST READ the content of the chapter for our meeting. His out-of-the-topic discussion also irritates most of my classmates.

By the way, this blog isn’t all about my professor I want to say why I am bored with this subject. I thought the near end of the semester would lead to an unhappy ending between my PolScie (as we call it) subject and me. But I was wrong! Because “for the first time in forever, ♫♪♪” a topic discussed by my Prof. piques my attention! The chapter was entitled “FILIPINO CITIZENS AND THEIR RIGHTS.” I know it’s weird because a lot of people see it as a simple and ordinary topic. And yes, I am weird 🙂

Multitudes of the rights we’re stated and listed in the BILL OF RIGHTS, a part of the Philippine Constitution found in Article III. You might probably hear about the law which hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment only after trial. It is called the DUE PROCESS OF LAW.

Does God hear before he condemns? Is it the same law that God uses? If yes, how unfortunate we are!

God knows everything about us – who we are, where we are, what we have done and what we do, what is in our hearts and mind, what struggles we are into, what victories we have, everything! He has full knowledge of our past, present, and our future. Does He care about our prayers? With billions of people praying to Him, can He hear my prayer? The answer is Yes! Even God knows everything, and He still enjoys the time you allot in communicating with Him during your prayer time. Whatever situation you have, remember that God LISTENS.

Similar to the “Due Process,” God listens. But He does not condemn! Why is the accused given a chance to hear his side and defense against the accusation? It is for the judge to know to examine the statements and pieces of evidence of both parties for him to make a just judgment. But like what I said earlier, God knows everything about us even before we tell him. Why didn’t He release his judgment after knowing what we had done? Why? Because Jesus condemns no one!

It is clearly stated in

Romans 8:1
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

There was an adulterous woman in John 8:1-11 who was brought to Jesus. The people were ready to stone her to death, but Jesus said: “let anyone of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” And as the scripture told us, no one stoned her, and Jesus said: “Then neither do I condemn you.”

This is the due process presented by Christ. He listens carefully to every word we say even He knew it already. And after your confession, He will not condemn you but would instead forgive you of your sins if you ask for it. Because, in the first place, it is the main purpose of Jesus being sent here to earth – to save us from our sins!

John 3:17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

And the last part of the process was the same words Jesus told the adulterous woman in John 8, Go now and leave your life of sin.”