The Christian Professional: How Do You Respond?

Photo courtesy: StockSnap

I originally thought about putting the word “react” in the title. But based on what I’ve learned in our bible study group, there’s a difference between “respond” and “react.” In a situation, when you choose to react, emotions come into play first. Whereas with responding, you think and analyze first what is the situation on hand then that’s when you act. The former is usually regarded as negative and the latter as positive.

Too often we neglect responding when driven towards tight and tense situations. I must admit there are times wherein I reacted with anger and we all know what happened next – more consequences came along with it. Yes, reacting ends with regretting.

When I became a Christian, I have learned so much about self-control and discipline. It applies on all – the way I speak, the way I think, the way I act, and even with the way I decide. I cannot say I’ve done it perfectly now but it was a long grueling process of transformation. I am not sure if you’ll believe me when I say that before I got saved I am a cynic. Sarcasm’s my favorite language.

A person from my past once told me, “Tin, you don’t need a knife or any weapon to kill someone. Your words are enough.” At that time, I glorified in it. Yes, it gives me that sense of power when you crush someone’s ego and pride.

But my sarcasm ended there when part of my spiritual transformation involved I, myself, experience how it feels to be on the other end – the recipient of that sarcasm. That’s how I learned that God indeed punishes as part of His disciplinary actions as a Father to make His children better. So I’ve learned how painful it is. Only then did I realize I needed to change it completely.

Changing is hard if you’re doing it alone. You cannot change if you don’t know why you need to change and what is it that needs changing. When I was starting to immerse myself in the Bible back in 2013, I have found everything I needed to help me with the transformation – letting go of the old self and ushering in the new one.

You will find in the bible everything about forgiveness, about unconditional love, patience, understanding, gentleness, about not retaliating and so much more. So I got to say to myself that indeed, these are what it takes to learn them.

I am at this age (31) where I have been in different work settings since I started as a working professional back in 2008. I have seen the different work cultures and the diverse people I have worked with. I have also heard stories upon stories about their ordeal in the workplace and the struggle of having to live with those challenges day by day.

I have observed how crab mentality, favoritism, abuse of authority, wrong accusations, taking the blame for someone else’s mistake, bullying, and persecution are all present in every workplace. The workplace showcases the complexities of the human behavior which we have no control over and why there is a need for Christians to be the “salt and light” and set Christlike examples.

If we are to react in all the situations I have given, these are what will come out – irritability, anger, bitterness, hatred, and retaliation. I am sure you will agree with me there. That’s perfectly understandable – part of our fallen nature as a man is being corrupted with sinfulness such as greed, envy, jealousy, hunger for power, discontentment, rage, and all other sins. These are the same reasons why Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden.

And yet, those sins are part of what the Cross is for which is also part of our own crosses that we have to carry each day. But because Jesus already paid a price for those sins, we should claim free and uncorrupted lives.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2

So what does God require of us now? Instead of retaliating, leave it all to God. I have long learned that we do not have the power to change people. In the same way that it was only God who helped me change, the same goes for others. Instead, what He instructed us to do is to lord it over to Him all these things and pray for others.

Instead of letting bitterness and anger take the best out of you and make your life miserable, choose to forgive. This way you’ll also learn to empathize with people. You’ll learn to understand why they have so much anger on you, why they are behaving that way or why they’ve done this to you.

Maybe they went through the same thing and their anger made them into the person that they hated. Maybe they are having relational problems at home. Maybe they are depressed. We really don’t know the reason why but only God sees the hearts of each and every one of us. He knows and sees everything so take heart in that too. Do not fear these people even. As God says,

“Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.” – Proverbs 29:25

Don’t take it personally either. Why? If they haven’t been saved, we all know they are still under the stronghold of the enemy. They don’t know anything yet about the loving grace of God and how great His love is. So maybe that is the reason why God put us there so we could show them that.

Forgive and do not retaliate….answer with gentleness…submit to authority…follow without grumbling…and so on and so forth.

“Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the Word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.” – Philippians 2: 14-16

I have seen numerous cases wherein when you leave everything to God, God always acts and would do something about it. He is the ultimate judge so to speak and has the ultimate power to do everything. In the same way that I have been disciplined for my wrongdoings, the same goes for those who have wronged others. I do not glorify in it because I also felt how painful it was when God disciplined me. However, I am grateful because I know this will be the start of a new chance for a new life for them too.

For the record, I am grateful to God I am working with a great team. Yes, it is not a perfect team but I appreciate all my supervisors’ work and the effort of the rest of the team members to work cooperatively despite our different backgrounds. I have no assurance it will stay this way forever but as always, it is in my prayers.

But for those who are going through the opposite right now, always believe in your heart God did not put you there for no reason. He has a very good reason why you have to be exactly where you are now. It might be painful but the best way to respond to it is to pray and ask God this:

“Father, what do you want me to learn from this adversity/season/trial?”

Then ask Him to lead you and your ways so you won’t go astray, you won’t be tempted, and you won’t fall to committing any sin and face the consequences.

I will end this article with a bible passage and I hope it will encourage you to fight the good fight of faith may it be in the workplace or anywhere else that He has called you to be.

Lastly, always pray not just for yourself but for the people around you too. ❤

Have the Attitude of Christ

“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

 Though he was God,[a]
    he did not think of equality with God
    as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b];
    he took the humble position of a slave[c]
    and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,[d]
    he humbled himself in obedience to God
    and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor

    and gave him the name above all other names,
 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

Shine Brightly for Christ

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.”

– Philippians 2:1-18

P.S.

If after seeking for God’s help God has told you to leave a toxic company and all the negativity around it, it is best to take heed. Remember, it is not your boss who gave you your job, he was just used by God as an instrument for you to get that job. Bottomline is that, if God takes away that job from you, most likely He’ll give you another one according to His plans in His right time. 🙂

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

 

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Hope for the Young Generation

This is an excerpt from my previous article but I added this part a bit later after the article was published. I thought it would be best if I share it separately in another blog post. 🙂

“I cannot do all those if I lack in finances. Volunteering, for me, can only do so much. I want to help in a way that I can see these people slowly reach their dreams and see them aim towards better opportunities in life.

The recent killings of juvenile delinquents here in the Philippines are very alarming. Not only that. These juveniles are rising by the number and are becoming more aggressive. If only the spiritual family can reach out to them before another young life becomes a collateral damage again, the better opportunities for these kids to have another chance in life. Poverty is not reason enough why these kids should resort to crime, robbery, and drugs and vice versa.

Poverty has an end. Education can be a tool for that – financial education, family planning education, livelihood education, and regular schooling. Faith makes it all happen.

If money is the problem, there are foundations willing to provide scholarships to students as long as students meet a certain criteria and fulfill a set of obligations. Just to mention a few, we have in church the Real Life Foundation. World Vision and Operation Blessing also provide that. These kids don’t actually need a one-time outreach event. What they need is serious mentoring making sure they’ve been given the right opportunities toward a better life through empowerment.

I am never a fan of spoon-feeding when it comes to succeeding in life in general. Just the way my parents have taught me, it is all about personal effort which contains persistence, patience, and resilience. And yet faith has taught me too that it is only God who provides EVERYTHING we need and that we should trust in Him alone.”

These kids need faith. They don’t need money per se but who they really need is God in their lives. I know more opportunities will arise in the following years – game changers, radicals, advocates, catalysts of social change, the academe, and businesses will unite toward one common goal with God at the center.

I am believing there is nothing impossible with God. That’s why I am claiming it as early as now and doing the best I can in my own little way to fulfill God’s will not just for my life but for the rest of the world.

Because this is what it really means to be the salt and light in the world and that is our mission here in this world as sons and daughters of God – preach the Gospel and share the love of God.

“So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” – James 2:17

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” – Matthew 6:33

Liliw Tsinelas Store: Sole-ly Fit for Your Feet

“Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.” – Proverbs 16:3

Hi, everyone! 🙂 It’s been a while since I’ve written here (details why will be shared in the next article) and good thing I still have some remaining time (before prepping dinner) to compose a “quick” article.

A brother in Christ/friend of mine and I had this business collaboration and I was more than glad to help and do a review of their products. Well, when it comes to shoes and sandals, no girl can ever resist, right? 😉

Liliw Tsinelas Store

So he asked me to do an OOTD-sort-of-theme for the sandals and all I promised was photos of the shoes and no whole-body shots (except for one). lol Well, I am getting older and let’s just say the fashionista in me has shifted too to more simple outfits peg. Being a remote worker has a say in it too. This will be explained more in my next article. 🙂

Anyway, I’ll keep this short so you can go ahead and read more about what Liliw Tsinelas Store has in store for you by clicking the link below. ❤

http://www.wheninmanila.com/love-local-with-liliw-tsinelas-comfort-and-style-for-an-affordable-price/

Liliw Tsinelas Store

P.S.

Thanks to my awesome hubby for being my photographer and thank you, When in Manila, for the feature in your Fb page! ❤

Liliw Tsinelas Store

It’s Our 2nd! :-)

Ha! I’m the first one to do the goofy pose this time (for a change). lol 😀

I am squeezing in this article despite my pending tasks for today as part of our 2nd year wedding anniversary celebration. Yes, 2 years down the marriage lane and by God’s grace, I can thankfully say we are getting better, stronger, and deeper with our relationship with God and with one another. (Awww Tin, sniff, sniff.) 😀

Seriously though, I am also sharing two awesome articles which I found over Fb news feed shared by a friend and the other was advertised. One is about grace and the other one is about how to keep your marriage intact. These articles are a huge help to all those who are married and even to those who are single but are planning to enter the married couples department.

Here they are:

In contrast to the article I have written for our first year wedding anniversary, I won’t delve into nitty gritty details about our year as a married couple for 2017. The start of this year has been more like the ‘calm after the storm.’ If you’ve been reading my blog posts since the start of this year, you’ll know why. 🙂

I told hubby dear that I don’t want to celebrate this year’s wedding anniversary with lavish dates and extravagant gifts because first, receiving gifts is not my love language and second, we are saving financially (I can be very kuripot too fyi. lol). The fact that we’re still together after all that we’ve been through is enough gift for me. In fact, it is the best gift that I always thank God for every single day. ❤

Ah yes, to the single sisters and brothers in Christ reading this, you’ll understand when you get married and go through yourself the chapters of the married life. But for the married couples, I know they all agree (including me) to what our pastors in church would always reiterate – “marriage is hard work.”

I told hubby that our first year wedding anniversary deserves that much of an emphasis because it’s the most crucial year for any newlyweds. It’s that year when you’re starting to get to know each other in an extremely deeper level like what ticks him off when he’s at home, what are my routines, etc., and adjusting to living together under one roof.

For the first few months after our first year wedding anniversary, we’re still experiencing ripples of that adjustment period and honestly, even now, we are still adjusting to one another. My Mom actually advised me that it indeed takes a lifetime to know your spouse. She added that she and my Dad (both in their 70s now) are still making those adjustments even after 44 years of being married.

But don’t interpret this in a way that the married life is far too burdensome. Although I might have to add that at some point in your married life you would feel that way, I assure you that for the greater part, it is an awesome journey holistically. It will nourish every aspect of your life and every aspect of who you are.

Personally, being married made us grow deeper in our walk with God. I must admit that our faith was extremely challenged to the point wherein we felt like we’re too exhausted to fight it out, and yet, by the grace of God, you will “indeed soar with wings like an eagle” and fly like never before.

To put it in another way, this article has no meaning if I won’t say that it was all God who made our marriage the way it is now. Our own efforts are useless – if and only if they are the only things that we hold on to every time challenges of all sort come our way. It was all about God, all about our prayers every single night, all about finding ways to attend and listen to the Sunday preaching, all about hearing out from spiritual mentors, and all about our trust in Him every single day, in every decision, in every thought, in every action, just literally everything.

Everything is about God and that is the bottom line of it all. Remove God in the husband and wife equation and it sure will fail. No amount of human effort can save a failing marriage except by the loving grace of God. 

Believe me, I have been through very tough circumstances but I never gave up on my husband because I know God will never give up on us for as long as we keep the commitment – our marriage vows. I know that my husband is not perfect and neither am I that’s why it is a given that we will both fail each other through the entire course of our marriage. But it is not in ourselves that we rely on for hope, instead, we put it in God.

Well honestly, I can’t help but cry a tear or two (yes, I counted them. lol) while typing this and I looked back at every single moment that my husband and I went through. Through the good and the bad times, God was always there. I felt Him, I heard Him but it took me my COMPLETE trust in Him as well.

There were moments wherein imagining now, I know my husband and I wouldn’t be able to make it through, and you may indeed call it as the worst of the worst. But I held on to my faith. I trusted blindly to the point that I just surrendered everything to God.

Yes, our human frailties will require we REALLY let go of some things. Instead, let God take over, let God fix what needs to be fixed, ask God to give you wisdom, clarity, and instructions – HE WILL NEVER FAIL YOU.

If I cry now while I type this, that’s because I am overwhelmed by the fact that all three of us made it all through – God, Brian, and me. If you are reading this and you’re going through the toughest times in your marriage, I encourage you to NEVER GIVE UP. Never give up on your spouse and most definitely, never give up on God. HOLD ON TO HIS BEAUTIFUL PROMISES.

Pray that God will soften hearts; pray that God will heal gaping wounds; pray for restoration; pray for reconciliation; pray for forgiveness; pray for a change in you and a change in your spouse; and most of all, LISTEN TO WHAT GOD HAS TO SAY.

Never let your emotions drown the voice of God. Calm yourself and calm your spirit by immersing in the BIBLE day and night. Your bible will be your guide, it will be your weapon when the enemy starts to fill in your thoughts and your heart with lies.

What are these lies? Let me just share a couple of them and they are the usual thoughts:

  • your husband/wife doesn’t love you anymore
  • you are not worthy of love
  • you will not change
  • your spouse will not change
  • there is no hope for both of us
  • the damage has already been done
  • the damage is far too great
  • he/she will be happy with someone else
  • he/she is not the right one for me
  • I am a failure

Counterattack these lies with these TRUTHS instead:

  • my husband/wife will always love me no matter what
  • I am worthy of the greatest love Jesus died for me on the Cross
  • I will change by God’s grace in God’s time according to His plans
  • my spouse will change by God’s grace in God’s time according to His plans
  • there is ALWAYS HOPE IN CHRIST JESUS OUR SAVIOR
  • we all make mistakes BUT we are also given CHANCES
  • NOTHING is too damaged or too broken for God to heal and restore
  • I can make my spouse happy
  • my spouse is God’s best for me (claim it in Jesus’ Name)
  • I am a work in progress and God will see to it that “whatever work He’s started in me will be brought to completion in His perfect time”

Lastly, claim God’s beautiful promises for you and your spouse and fight for your marriage. Look at the bigger picture and don’t be too absorbed by the small things or the stumbling blocks in front of you.

Instead, THANK GOD EVERY DAY IN EVERY WAY.

And always look at your end goal as a married couple by keeping these vows you made in front of God latched in your heart safe and secure:

“Through thick and thin, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part…” 

P.S.

I’d like to thank my spouse for keeping the faith, for not giving up, for redirecting me to God during the times that I felt so weak, for praying with me always, for the many chances to change, and last but not the least, for loving me beyond my imperfections. ❤

Oh and also, for being so patient with me like in the photo above during one of our photo stints last Sunday for a project. 😀

I love God and I love my husband. Nope, it’s an understatement – I LOVE BOTH OF THEM SO MUCH – God first, my husband next. 🙂

To cap off this cheesiness, do watch this awesome cover of “Say You Won’t Let Go” by Moira dela Torre. 😉

If You Do Not Have Love

heartlove

This is a morning thought that’s been itching to get out and I just need to write it fast before I get on with today’s tasks and busy schedule. Yes, my priority is God first. So this first before anything else. 🙂

However, I do not have the extra time (maybe later) to look up the exact biblical references (bible verses) for some of my quoted statements. You know I am never good in memorizing numbers but I can memorize a thought. But you can go the extra mile by typing them over Google search, it might show you other verses too that the Holy Spirit may be speaking to you in whatever season you’re in.

So what’s this morning thought I was saying? It’s this – as believers, may we not fall into the sin of having the superiority complex and the exclusivity of Christians mingling with fellow Christians or on-the-road-to-being-a-Christian alone. Remember that “we ALL have fallen short of the glory of God” and salvation is not reserved for the privileged few but it’s FREE FOR ALL.

That’s regardless if someone used to be/or currently a drug addict, a rapist, a robber, a criminal, an adulterer, an abortionist, etc., CHRISTIAN OR NOT. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ because we have ONE FATHER, ONE CREATOR.

Even pastors and ministers sin by saying the wrong word, by making the wrong decision, by being tempted with anger, etc. for they are as human as we all are and to sin is part of our fallen nature. Yet when we were given a new life when we got saved, we commit to a life of righteousness.

That is why the greatest way to show our love back to the Father who gave us this opportunity to a new life is to extend the GRACE that He has given us even if we all DO NOT DESERVE IT. We are all a work in progress in our spiritual journey, it is best to develop a character that ENCOURAGES, that gives HOPE, rather than a character that condemns and criticizes.

The core of Christianity was never just about faith nor discipleship but most importantly, about LOVE. The greatest commandment is this, “Love one another as I have loved you.”

Jesus came here not to condemn this world but to give HOPE out of His Father’s LOVE FOR US. That is why even “if we speak in tongues,…but DO NOT HAVE LOVE, we are only a resounding gong. And for anyone who doesn’t know how to love doesn’t have the love of the Father in them.”

And lastly, “faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE.”

What do you know about love? Read 1 Corinthians 13. I got to know all about it and apply what I learned from the bible when I got married.

Yes, my seasons changed and it was a total paradigm shift from knowing the theories alone (when I was single) to applying them for real (when I got married). And yet I am more than glad to God for giving me this opportunity. 🙂

My challenge is this:

If you can overlook an offense no matter how grave it is even to the point of life and death, then you know how it is to love. You know without a doubt the Father’s love for you and me. It was when Jesus died for our sins – the greatest sacrifice and form of love ever done.

For one, try to reach out and LOVE that person under the stronghold of drugs and massacred an innocent family. Pray for a new life to begin with God at the center of his life, then maybe that love you have given will radiate in him and him to others until it becomes a domino effect.

How do you change the world? Be that change by starting with one person at a time. That is our responsibility, leave the government to carry on with its own and other affairs.

Again, do you have the love of the Father in you? If yes, then we should love others as to how He loved us. Start it with someone you know whom you thought is impossible to love. You might be startled by the fact that it did not only change that person but it also changed you.

Indeed, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” 🙂

P.S.

This is the intro for my next article – the 2nd year wedding anniversary special. Pretty long, eh? 😀

Understanding a Young Professional

 

2017-08-01-14-52-07.jpg

Indeed, August is understanding – understanding the will of God, understanding yourself and others. 🙂

At my age of 31, I can say I have been through all seasons when it comes to job opportunities in search for the one that God says as “the right one.” These decisions aren’t easy to make because I also need to value what my spouse thinks on what is best for us both.

These seasons brought me to short term employments, some even lasted for just a week, some brought me to a standstill for a long while and some lasted for a couple of years. I always seek God’s counsel on these matters because let’s admit it, giving up a job and hopping on to the next is crucial.

We all need money to survive. Getting rich, however, is a different story and something I do not fully support. Money is the root of all evil if it becomes your god and your life revolves around it. This includes anything that makes you “great” as well. It will destroy this hierarchy of priorities mandated by God:

  1. GOD
  2. Spouse
  3. Children/Family
  4. Career
  5. Ministry

How? When we don’t find the right answers to these questions:

  • When was the last time you opened and read your bible consistently?
  • When was the last time you took a quiet time, prayed, and made it a habit?
  • Do you have enough time for your spouse on a regular basis?
  • How about for your children?
  • When did you last visit your parents or talked to them?
  • How about your siblings? When did you last check up on them?
  • When was the last time you attended church? 

We’ve always been reminded to never place any idols before God and that anyone who disobeys will face the consequences:

“You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,…” – Exodus 20:3-5

Are our possessions our god? Are our finances our god? Are our careers our god? Are our achievements our god? Are our children our god? Is our ministry our god?

If we fail in even one of the things I have mentioned above, we know that we are guilty. We always have to be on our guard because the enemy is always in the corner prowling around looking for that next victim to deceive. Everything may seem to be smooth sailing but little did we know that we are already heading towards destruction. If everything is going smoothly in our lives, we should already wonder.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

There may not be any external atrocities happening on the outside but the enemy is already going for the most vulnerable spot inside you – your heart and your soul.

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” – Proverbs 4:23

As the adage goes, “A river that is quiet usually has looming falls at the end of it.”

Your heart and your soul may have remained placid but they were not given the opportunity to build a shield which is the armor of God and strengthen your faith.

The Whole Armor of God

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.

16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” – Ephesians 6:10-18

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:3-5

Don’t be tempted to get that next promotion or for that next “big thing” to add to your resume or attach at the end of your name right away. Don’t be tempted to sign that 6-digit salary or the millions that you’re being asked to take without confirming the responsibilities attached to it. Don’t be tempted to say “yes” to any promise of a better life other than the gift of salvation.

No, don’t be tempted with these things. That next promotion might be a temptation to spend less time with your spouse and family or a temptation to sacrifice your own health and wellness. That 6-digit salary might tempt you to drown yourself in the physical pleasures of this world which equate to even more worldly temptation. That promise of a better life might be masked in the form of easy money and the black market.

Review your priorities instead (single or married), ask for God’s leading, seek His counsel, and pray for discernment towards the right path.

If you will ask me why, then consider the following:

  1. Why is quality time with God important? The Scripture will guard your heart against any temptation. This will prepare you for any trial you’ll go through. Thus, it is the #1 priority.
  2. Why is quality time with the spouse important? Marriage is a holy matrimony, it is also a room for the enemy to attack you or your spouse with temptations. Communication is important between a married couple. If you are too tired to even ask what went on in your spouse’s day, it might be too late when you realize your spouse is drifting away from you and eventually leads to a divorce.
  3. Why is it important to spend time with your kids? Your kids will only be young once. They will appreciate the time you’ve spent with them more than the toys or gadgets you gifted them when they grow older. The percentage of depressed teens are getting higher every year. You don’t want them to end up growing up a teenage rebel or being with the wrong group of friends just because their parents are always “absent.” It is as important to your child that you become his/her first best friend other than just being a parent.
  4. Why should you not place money as the top priority? Money is the root of all evil. It sparks jealousy, greed, selfishness, death, among all other negative things.

I am not a licensed counselor but I have learned these nuggets of wisdom from mentors who went through the same thing and shared their experiences, combined with my own personal experience as well as knowledge lifted from my graduate study which is special education.

You might add that they are all a case-to-case basis but consider this verse:

“What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.” -Ecclesiastes 3:15

If you are to ask me why, this might suffice as an answer:

“And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear Him.” – Ecclesiastes 3:14

Going back to all those career shifts, I can say that I have met wonderful people who have touched my life. I’ve learned a great deal of wisdom from them and formed a special bond through the memories and experiences we’ve shared which I am forever grateful.

On the one hand, I have touched their lives as well one way or the other and continue to influence as they add me on social media, check out my profiles or read my blog articles (oh, it’s you). 😀

I never viewed it as a waste of time, this shifting of careers, though it brought me to a slight and temporary instability in my priorities, marriage, finances, etc. as seasons change.

But no, I remained steadfast because I am clinging to a Rock and I know I have a God who is forever faithful. I viewed these instead as a time of GREAT TESTING.

How? It is only in times of drought and famine that your faith in God is truly tested. It will answer the question “how far are you willing to trust God with your whole life?”

So much of this testing didn’t test my character alone but it also built the foundations of my marriage and refined the characters of the people around me too. They, too, have learned to rely on God along the way.

I have always relied in the TRUTH that God is the ONLY ONE who provides for all our needs from finances to material things; who gives us a career; who provides our salaries; who closes one door of opportunity and opens another; who keeps things steady though everything may be shaky; who keeps my marriage intact; who binds the relationships I have with others; and who reminds me of my priorities.

What matters is we stayed obedient to His instructions, obeyed His laws, and pursued His will and plans for our lives all throughout.

As I write this journal entry, all I can ever see are the lives of those great people recounted in the bible who withstood all trials because of their unwavering faith even to the point of death: Daniel; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; David; Joseph; Job; among many others.

They say it takes fire to yield a beautiful sword ready for battle. Without fire, the sword will be blunt – ineffective and of no use. Yet it also takes the time to forge a sword. It takes effort and a great force to yield it. On the other hand, too much heat will cause it to melt.

As a young professional, you’ll receive so much of this fire which could either destroy you or mold you. Choose, however, to consult God’s plans over your life more than being dissuaded by what this world expects and wants from you.

Do not break away from the vine, cling to it. Let God use the fire to mold you for a better purpose. But never let the enemy use it to consume you and head for destruction.

In the end, it is important to keep in mind that even when you have to close a hundred doors and open a thousand, it still is God who decides what is the best door to keep open. You’ll never really know in which seasons will God forge you to become one of His mightiest swords. But, learn to trust Him instead. 🙂

Each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

As my spiritual mentor and Victory group leader said with her life verse and God’s promise:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

For this article, here’s a video from Hillsong that’s one of my all-time favorite Christian songs:

freelancer

Be Protected as a Freelancer

(Photo credit: StockSnap)

Since I have given you opportunities about doing remote work, teleworking, telecommuting including freelancing, I believe it is also my responsibility to provide a list of websites from my research on how to protect yourself should you decide to be a freelancer aside from having your full-time job.

I found these articles very helpful. But just in case I encounter similar problems in one of my (future) freelancing stints, I believe I would need to sit-in in one of the Torts and Damages classes of my brother-in-law who is an Assistant Professor at the University of the Philippines (Diliman) College of Law. 😀 He used to work as a company lawyer for Baker and Mckenzie, a multi-national law firm, and it would indeed be a privilege to learn from him given the opportunity. 🙂

The following are the articles which you could read if you are a freelancer or just planning to become one:

However, if you’ve already experienced any drawback from your freelancing stint though you did the right thing, took the necessary steps, and followed the agreement, don’t be discouraged but take this verse by heart:

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes, and He is the one to whom we are accountable.” – Hebrews 4:13

Just pray, let go, and let God take the lead from there. The battle is not yours anymore but His to take. Be fearful of God and not of men – let God be the judge and be the one to give justice. 🙂

Project Organic

Project Organic: Best Skin Care Essentials + Giveaway!

 

Project Organic

Project Organic

When a sister in Christ and friend asked me to check out Project Organic‘s products, I was more than glad to try them. Why? Because their products are all ORGANIC. It’s just perfect for my sensitive skin because I have eczema – the reason why I can’t be a beauty blogger. 😀

Project Organic

Face Serum

I was not just captivated by Project Organic’s products but by their advocacy too. Every time you buy their products, most of the proceeds will go to the funding of educational scholarships, in providing job opportunities, and in building a retreat place called Prayer Haven. 

Ah yes, God gives us the right opportunities and with the right people so His plans will take place in His right time. 😉

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Do read the article to find out more about Project Organic‘s products and how to join the contest. May you be blessed too! ❤ 🙂

http://www.wheninmanila.com/project-organic-theres-beauty-in-the-organic-with-these-skin-care-essentials-a-giveaway/

P.S.

I particularly loved this verse printed in their every product:

“Yes, you will be enriched so that you can give even more generously, and when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will break out in thanksgiving to God.” – 2 Corinthians 9:11

Consumerism These Days

I am currently hooked on business practices and everything related to it and after I did a couple of research here and there, one thought got stuck all throughout which is the word ‘consumerism.’

Business Dictionary defines it as:

1. Organized-efforts by individuals, groups, and governments to help protect consumers from policies and practices that infringe consumer rights to fair business practices.
2. Doctrine that ever-increasing consumption of goods and services forms the basis of a sound economy.
3. Continual expansion of one’s wants and needs for goods and services.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/consumerism.html

I’d like to explore items 2 and 3 but first, I’d like to raise a question:

“Is consumerism a negative thing?”

I primarily view this thought as somewhere in-between. I see consumerism as something good as it addresses our needs in order to make our lives convenient and easier (insert innovations in technology here as the forerunners). The downside of it though is accumulation or hoarding to the point of getting more than what is necessary, as far as materialism is concerned.

However, for as long as there is a consumer, there will always be a production of everything that a consumer will need and enjoy. Every one of us is a consumer from the clothing we wear to basically everything else we have. Businesses were put up for this very sole purpose. Just imagine if the production of diapers is put on hold and you have twin babies. That sounds like a whole lot of mess and hassle to deal with.  😀

I just can’t imagine myself living in the Stone Ages. Promise, I’d barely survive. Although the thought of how it all started with our ancestors sounds very intriguing. The Survivor game show just sparked my interest on this and other survival shows such as Man vs. WildMan, Woman, Wild; Naked and Afraid among others. These shows only portrayed how living can be like devoid of all the things that make living easier by reenacting how our ancestors have made it through from the vastness of the wild to civilization.

Consumerism emerged from these needs and eventually more and more innovations and products will come out in the following years as more ideas sprung up out of the need for a convenient lifestyle.

Let’s say for one, the computers. If you were born in a generation like my parents (The Baby Boomers), most likely you’ll view this with a slight contempt (love you Dad and Mom, I’ll teach you how to Facebook 😀). Demands during those times are far different from the demands of today’s generation. But for me who was born in a generation where I saw how it all started, I do get to appreciate how things are running now from how it was before computers got in the scene. Imagine typewriters (no errors, or else, you’d pretty much regret it), a huge waste on paper (let’s save trees!), everything stored manually (oh dusty library catalogs) and other traditional system disadvantages.

If, however, we decide to stick to what is ‘old,’ can we still go on living just like the old days? Yes, we may choose to not be at par with all these changes, but we must also consider how this will affect majority of how we do things from paying bills, buying stuff, etc. as every system will align itself to what is the common trend or what is more convenient.

But if you are to ask the older generations, the traditional methods of doing things helped them mostly in two things: endurance and patience. Does this mean though that today’s generation is more impatient, out of focus and unwilling to endure? Personally, I believe every generation has its own fair share of ups and downs and it is all just a matter of bridging those generation gaps. There are those who totally oppose and will continue to oppose these changes though and for sure they have their own valid reasons why. I am, on the other hand, always on the lookout for what is new out there to learn. These new ideas, innovations and discoveries were not meant for the destruction of mankind anyway.

Although I might have to add that in everything, striking the BALANCE is ALWAYS the key in making sure everything is getting and turning out to right where they should be. As they say, too much of everything is not just good for the holistic well-being of mankind. In the Christian context, the same can be applied. The bible has a lot to say about it actually. 🙂

P.S.

I am currently in a new season career wise and I am praying for sustenance, guidance and instruction in order to meet deadlines, work cooperatively with team mates and provide an excellent output that will honor my God and the organization I am affiliated with. ❤

Yes, we are all workaholics and we work hard but PRAY HARDER. Lastly, always KEEP THE FAITH. 😉

“For even when we were with you, we would give you this command:  If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12

And to the man He said,

“Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree

    whose fruit I commanded you not to eat,

the ground is cursed because of you.

    All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.

It will grow thorns and thistles for you,

    though you will eat of its grains.

By the sweat of your brow

    will you have food to eat

until you return to the ground

    from which you were made.

For you were made from dust,

    and to dust you will return.” – Genesis 3:17-19

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” – Colossians 3:23

[Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.”] – Exodus 20: 8-11

3 Days to Know God

…on a deeper level. 🙂

Day 1

Though I am on complete social media hibernation, I still felt the need to record these thoughts over my phone’s notepad. But if you saw my Twitter account active during these days with posts from YouTube, that’s because I was browsing and listening to worship songs for my prayer and quiet time.

It is Day 1 of the Mid-Year Prayer and Fasting and after submitting an exam for a job application and before bedtime, hubby and I watched the movie John Q.

I was bothered how injustice and inequality can really make things look distorted. Thus, I had these questions in mind which were included in my prayers:

*Why are health services not free?

*What happened to EFA (Education For All) all throughout these years?

*Is life really unfair?

*Why should most things be about or are connected to money when money is the root of all evil? – Answer: We need money to survive but we also need self-control and discipline to have the right attitude in handling money matters and not be overtaken by greed and all sins related to money.

I haven’t received the answers for my other questions yet so I’ll just get on with how day 1 went. I was opting for a once-a-day meal but unfortunately after having an upset stomach with loose bowels for the past days, I need to eat regularly. But this time, I have decided to limit my rice intake to 1 cup per meal only. And no, I eat at least 2 cups of rice in every meal. I just don’t get fat and I don’t know why. 😀 Eating 1 cup of rice every meal though will send me to a major weight loss program towards anorexia. lol

Day 2

“Father, I come before you with a grumbling stomach…” 😀

I was browsing for recipes to cook for my husband’s dinner and I can hear my stomach grumbling its complaints. Imagine how hard it is to resist eating more than your usual food intake, but you had to RESIST the TEMPTATION.

It is lunch time but I’m still praying and having my devotion thus I blurted with a grumbling stomach and yet I had to CONCENTRATE. I had to wear earphones while I was about to start praying because the noise around, though very minimal, still distracted me.

But while I was browsing for instrumental praise songs, a recommended video/news about my favorite Korean actress Song Hye Kyo and Descendants of the Sun co-star Song Joong Ki getting married just popped up! An on-screen couple that turned to a real-life couple is just an amazing love story. So just imagine me beating those two, TEMPTATION and CONCENTRATION – the temptation not to log in on IG and all my social media accounts to share the news as I am on social media hibernation being part of my fasting and concentrate on finishing my devo. But if guided by the Spirit, you’ll know what to do – a rebuke will always be there. 🙂

I started eating my meal and I actually made a discovery. When you take time to appreciate every single item in the food before you eat it, it will give you that moment to savor every bite instead of gobbling all the food up. Appreciating every morsel and every ingredient from how God sent the rains to water the crops to the farmers who nurtured the crops, then the ones who transported it will help you resist man’s innate instinct of just consuming what its body desires. Our initial reaction when we see food is to eat it and consume right away.

On a side note, I also got news that I was scheduled for a job interview (a major career shift) and so I end the 2nd day with this and these running thoughts:

“Let the TRUTH be told in whatever season I am in, in whomever I become, in whatever I have.”

“More of you God and less of me.”

Day 3

“If love is so enormous in our lives, there’d be no space for hatred.”

I woke up with this thought in my head and just to give you a trivia, these are the thoughts that usually spark up an article. All my articles came from a single thought. But sometimes my thoughts can be so scattered. 😀

In another news, this day I was scheduled for yet another job interview for the next day which is Friday (today as of writing). This was part of my faith goals for this year and one of the things which I have been consistently praying for.

A thought also came during the praise and worship for the last day of fasting which was about praying for the community and I would just like to share the following experiences and musings regarding this.

I have made a discovery while I was browsing through new places around the neighborhood where hubby and I just recently transferred. I was a bit shocked and just a little bit dismayed that the community has been tagged as the “sex tourism” capital of the city. But upon seeing new establishments (and good ones they are) being built around the area from pretty nice restaurants to condominiums, I know and I am happy to know that God is going to do something great with this community.

The same thing happened to a situation wherein I almost passed up an opportunity because I saw something that I know will offend God. And yet if God brought me in these places and opportunities, I need not be worried, afraid nor doubtful about what I see on the outside. I need to see behind the enemy’s lies that this is corrupted and evil because in the eyes of God every single human being is beautiful, every one is given a chance, every thing has a GOOD purpose no matter how opposite the outside appearance or the first impression may look or seem.

I asked myself though, will this (being in a community/organization known to be corrupted) taint my reputation as a Christian?

The answer came just instantly: I was already made right in the eyes of God when I was saved, God already knows the condition of my heart I need not please the world. I will please Him if I accomplish what He has tasked me to do in this particular season, place and opportunity.

Reputation is something that this society is so concerned about and yet no one has the right to judge anyone except our God. This should not be an excuse though to sin and conform but to remain firm in the faith and become the “salt and light.”

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2 

I can never judge the community I am in nor that opportunity which came along. In the same way that Jesus socialized with the drunkards and what society tagged as the “outcasts,” we must also do the same by helping and serving them while remaining true to the faith. Jesus never thought of them as different, He sees them as ‘sick’ people needing ‘treatment’ and yet He waited for the opportune time when God will change these people’s hearts. He was sent here not to condemn this world but to do only what He was tasked to do – share who God is and what eternal salvation is all about.

Jesus saw in these people what our naked eyes couldn’t see, a beauty that is skin deep –  the soul. Whether someone is a drunkard or a prostitute, to God he/she is flesh and blood with a soul. He sees Himself in us because He created us. He sees the GOOD in every one of us no matter what ‘tags’ society has placed on us.

I am always fascinated by this quote ever since I stumbled upon it:

“It is easy to love a rose but it takes a great heart to include the thorns.”

God loves us COMPLETELY. It is this kind of LOVE that John says as NO GREATER LOVE than this. It was this kind of love that became a SACRIFICE and set all of us FREE from the sins of this world. And it is this very same LOVE that is working its way out through you and me each and every single day.

I can love a fellow Christian but I even have more love for those who are not because I saw my old self in them and I know that they, too, will experience this love that I have, they will be given a new LIFE and a new NAME.

If I speak of hope then they shall too. If I speak of life then they shall too. If I speak of love then they shall too. They will rise as I have risen in the same way Jesus have been raised from the dead. I have a GREAT HOPE that we will all rise with Him one day. Thus, we patiently wait. 🙂

P.S.

Great opportunities came along today too (7/7/17) career wise. And just to share, it was 8/8/08 when I got my first big blessing as a working professional. There really must be something with the numbers. 😉

Ah yes, the moments of His silence, my steady prayers and patience – the Lord is indeed FAITHFUL with His PROMISES in His RIGHT TIME. 🙂

What an awesome day today to break my Mid-Year Prayer and Fasting and the start of the last 2 quarters of this year. My last prayer is that may God continue to speak through our lives and may we continue to bring Him all the GLORY and HONOR that He deserves always. ❤

Oh and one very, very last thing in this postscript. (Promise!) 😀

A praying mantis visited our bedroom walls tonight. It’s a very rare sight for me living in the city half of my life. I only see them when I am in the province in Bicol where the air is clean and less polluted.

Well, it seems to me that it says of only one thing – if this praying mantis made it alive in the polluted, dirty and chaotic environment and still remained as pretty and as unblemished of a creation as it is, then I guess it speaks the same of us. If God can take care of this praying mantis, what more of us, His greatest creation. 🙂

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