The Sand & The Soil

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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 it’s 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 it’s to take up the soil. The soil is where planted seeds bud, grow and develop. From a seed it can grow to a tree with an unimaginable size. A tree that blooms flowers that are absolutely 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.

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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, battle between opposing parties, battle between good and evil and a battle within. In a battle, pain and suffering are always present.

As I was talking to my friend who’s undergoing a difficulty in choosing between a righteous life, where we follow God and according to His standard, and a life 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 serious 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, our believe and declare that God will do things we had never experienced. We heard testimonies on miraculous provision, healing, overseas trip, and a whole lot more!

This year is full of firsts in my life like boarding on an airplane, travelling to two countries – Singapore and Malaysia, attending an Internship in Singapore, leading worship time, sharing in our Midweek service, serving on our second youth service and working as a full time staff.

However, this is also the time where we are challenged to do things we never did before. Love like you never did before. Pray like you never did before. Give like you never did before. Serve like you never did before. 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 new 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 never had 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 which 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)
-L.A. department won numerous games!! (HAHA.. after decades! just kiddding 😀 )
-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 fastfood restaurant) (We also shared our devotion about 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

While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 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.

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.”

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 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 becomes “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 poured 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 amazing! And she was willing to give her great possession to the one who is more important than others. Whenever we wanted to give a gift to 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 form the Founder of Cornerstone Christian Church, Ptr. Alfred Abad, 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 significant? 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 story 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 a 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, because of his knowledge of Egypt being a place of oppression, did not follow 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 has no good relation. But above this, he was certain 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 own 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 that 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!