Understanding a Young Professional

 

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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:

Gifted: Extraordinary Trying To Be Ordinary

It is one thing to be great and yet it is another thing to be happy and fulfilled. Which of these two are you after? 🙂

Hubby and I watched the movie “Gifted” starring Captain America’s Chris Evans. I was captivated by the movie’s portrayal that not all individuals who have the potential to be “great” are subjected to society’s dictates that they be the next Albert Einstein or Bill Gates. It depicted how parents overlooked the fact that greatness is not equated to a life well-lived but only if the child be given the chance to live life by his/her own choosing – a great life or a life lived otherwise, simple and normal devoid of titles.

The story was set in a small town in Tampa, Florida and revolved around the life of 7-year old Mary Adler (McKenna Grace) who’s been living with her Uncle Frank (Chris Evans). Mary’s remarkable talent in Math was discovered by her 1st grade teacher and raised this concern with the school’s principal who then proposed to Frank that Mary be sent to a school for the gifted. However, this setup changed when a battle on custody between her uncle and grandmother took place. Mary’s grandmother intended on giving Mary full access on all resources to maximize her potential while her Uncle Frank, on the other hand, wanted to fulfill the request of his late sister (Mary’s mom) that Mary should experience a normal childhood. The story ended with the court’s decision that Frank be granted custody over Mary and Mary taking regular classes in a public grade school in the morning and taking high level college courses in the afternoon.

Special Education gave way in addressing these problems regarding special children or children with special needs. I was very curious regarding this branch of education back in 2008 when I worked as a communication assistant for the deaf and mute which then prompted me to pursue a graduate study in this field. My eldest sister graduated with a degree in Special Education also and I’ve heard her recount stories and experiences in dealing with special children.

Out of my curiosity to understand them better and the dire need to alleviate the challenges they go through, it led me to finding out that there are actually more of these children who are trying to live ‘normal’ lives out there. It is not only a constant challenge to these children but to their parents as well who try all the best they could to give them a normal life.

Nowadays, the idea of Special Education is not so new anymore in our society. For those who haven’t been truly exposed in what Special Education is all about, the general objective of it is good in all aspects. However, as practitioners of this branch of education, there are some challenges that Special Education still has to address in which researchers are currently exploring. This ranges from teacher competencies to the after-school support programs because education for these children doesn’t end in the four corners of the academe.

The demands are greater – demands for better understanding on a holistic sense i.e. emotional, social, biological, intellectual, behavioral, etc. Indeed, their education is referred to as “special” because they are not regular students who fit more or less in a standardized curriculum. With these children, however, the Individualized Educational Plan addresses their needs best, academically speaking. But there are other needs that should be met as well i.e. emotional, social, and behavioral development in which a Special Education school with special students alone may not be able to cater.

As with the case of Mary, she is intellectually gifted. But if we will focus on just unleashing her full potential just like what her grandmother wants, she truly may miss a lot most especially her childhood. It was portrayed in the movie that Mary’s mom committed suicide which, I assume, has something to do with her low emotional quotient though considered as a Math prodigy. This low EQ, I believe, has been sidetracked as the school for the gifted she attended focused more on improving the technical side of her intellectual giftedness not taking into consideration the other essential factors needed in order for her to function fully and normally as a human being.

This movie is an eye opener most especially to parents either of a special child or a normal one. Though we all have dreams for our children to have the best in life and give them the best opportunities around, what matters still is not the achievement nor success (worldly definition) they could have in this life but to live it according not to our standards as parents nor of this world’s but that of God’s. God knows His plans for our children. We just need to trust in Him that He will give us, parents, the right instructions to raise them well according to His plans.

And what does God say about gifts? My previous article will answer that. *wink* Or better yet, watch the entire movie. In the meantime, enjoy the trailer of the movie below. 🙂

 

Resting in His Saving and Amazing Grace

“Do one thing: Live the life you always wanted to live. Avoid criticizing others and concentrate on fulfilling your dreams. This may not seem very important to you, but God, who sees all, knows that the example you give is helping Him to improve the world. And each day, He will bestow more blessings upon it.”

– Manuscript of Accra, Paulo Coehlo

I can see the cursor blinking in and out like an ellipsis….

So many words and yet so many ways to tell, undecided…

….how do I begin? 🙂

Yes, how do I begin testifying to a series of events that piled up already and yet I couldn’t find the “tugging” to post them until just now? *wink* Honestly, I still don’t have the slightest idea how to arrange the thoughts which have been sitting as a draft since February here in WordPress and share them. Yet I can only trust the Spirit’s leading on how the wordplay will come about in this post.

The posts in this blog for the past 2-3 years have been about nothing else but faith. This was how God intended it to be. Though for the first year of this blog I was grappling on what to write about, now, it is the other way around – I am battling with time for the numerous pending posts that I needed to write and post.

For March, it’ll summarize what went on from February until March. My January post summarized what transpired in the months of December and January. The month of March was about marching forward and yes, the character trait for March is CLARITY. As for February, it was AFFECTION  (do read January post for this one.) 🙂

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February: AFFECTION

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March: CLARITY

This might explain why I was missing in the blogosphere for the month of February and why this post is super long (sorry about that, friends). February was the month of settling things – again, not a coincidence, but I have learned to rely on God’s plans all along even though some are hard to accept, some are hard to understand, and some are impossible to achieve. But then, that is one tough responsibility of a Christian and that is everyone’s calling too – live by faith and not by sight.

Last December, everything was unraveled. It was a moment of choosing among a multitude of choices and tough decisions. Every flaw, every need and every concern were brought out in the open. I have thought for that moment it might seem such an endless feat of emotional roller coaster and yet God had been faithful enough.

Fast forward to January, the start of 2017 was also the start of the turnaround of events. When seasons change and the comfort zone is no longer part of the next plans, it could be daunting. But as it was written, For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

February was a month jam-packed of events. When you are caught in a whirlwind of events, oftentimes a “soul check” may come as the least of your priorities. But in faith, it is the other way around – a “soul check” is necessary and should be the top priority before everything else. That was what happened in the last few months, a question of am I doing it God’s way or not. I’ll just mention a few and most of them actually were answered prayers – prayers that I never thought I have prayed and yet silently in my heart, I did. Only God sees our hearts, anyway.

Maybe that is the reason why fulfillment in those answered prayers never really came from receiving the actual answer to the prayer per se but more about how God listens and how great He is to provide even the most impossible. It was all about God in the end, never about our desires but a satisfied desire on both our end and God’s that thru this fulfillment, we have established a kindred spirit and a deeper and personal relationship with our Creator. It is all a matter of communicating between Him and you alone – the ONLY thing that He asks from us.

So let’s begin the long journey of disclosing in this online journal what traversed in my moment of hibernation in the blogosphere starting February.

The incident:

A convo between my husband and I took place wherein I asked him what is it that he wants best in this life. His answer made me smile and speechless at the same time making me wonder where he could possibly be generating all these answers. My best guess – the heart. Who really am I to judge, indeed? I don’t see the heart, God does. 😉

“I don’t want material things but eternal rest.” 

We came to that point wherein we had that (serious) husband and wife contemplation about priorities, the future and life in general. I can say that throughout the moments since I got saved, I did not regret any decision I have made which included my decision to marry. It is only through the entire duration of our years together as a married couple did I get to see why God gave me my husband in particular – I had so many answered prayers through my husband. It is either an answered prayer to that change I have been rooting to do internally but don’t have the guts to discipline myself or the big and small things that I have been wanting in my heart but never expressed them openly.

But God, once again, proved Himself faithful all throughout.

I have always wondered what if I married another man. Will he be patient, understanding and forgiving enough as my husband is right now to me and my circumstances? I oftentimes ask my husband how he feels regarding our situation and ask him to be patient with me as well and what I am going through. His answer was always a gentle, “I understand.” Though he would always say that, I know that he is sacrificing so much for both of us and as his partner, I have felt this inadequacy when it comes to fulfilling my role and my duties as a wife.

Starting the month of January until now, this was personally, for me, a season of instability. Firstly, every married couple gets to deal with financial difficulties and this season, my husband and I are going through with our own fair share. We have decided to finally move out from the apartment that my sisters and I have been living in for the past 20 years though it was only me who lived in the place for the last 7 years. We have decided to relocate near his workplace as it is more convenient for him and he gets to rest right away after work.

But this posed as a problem since I have no work when we both decided to move out and we are relying on my husband’s income alone for our daily expenses. If you’ll do the numbers from bills to necessities plus all the home stuff that we have to buy, the total suggested more funds. I did get a job. It was a convenient one but, unfortunately, it was not from my field of expertise and ironically, my water loo too – finance. Yes, it has something to do with numbers and money.

If you are wondering how I ended up in that job, I don’t know too. 😀 But I know God has a reason why because I got that job just 3 days after we moved in our new apartment. We were able to buy some of the basic stuff that we need at home. But as you all know it, I had to let the job go. I will not be able to give my best if it is something that I am not familiar with or is not my cup of tea. Numbers make me cringe and the fear of committing a mistake when it comes to computing plus the fact that it deals with money just proved that I might regret it later if I stayed longer.  Another thing too, the worry of it all just took the better part of me and stress replaced what used to be a hopeful and positive attitude – I first thought I should give it a try. Employment equates to stress but when I started having stomach problems, difficulty sleeping at night and puking for no reason at all, I know I have to make a decision.

I wanted to go back to teaching. It was actually the very reason I stated when I resigned. The calling of being a teacher is greater. But then again, we all know that a teaching job is even more challenging when it comes to classroom management, multitasking, time management, etc. Again, no employment is ever easy and stress-free. But then again, I did want to try it out. Here came the opportunity – I had everything carefully and perfectly planned out so I’d get the job. But here came unprecedented circumstances which for the first few, I was able to gain control over but it required my husband and me to stay up until past midnight. I was able to pull it off. The next day I woke up with my estimated schedule. Everything should be smooth sailing until news came that the MRT 3 broke down and became operational only at 8am. I didn’t give up. If commuting was not an option then I’d go for the GRAB car – I was wrong. Since majority of the stranded commuters chose other alternatives of commuting, traffic was inevitable and it was worse than the usual. I decided by then that I had to let the opportunity go because it only means that it wasn’t intended for me. If I still pursued it then most likely I’ll be going against the grain of fate and will meet more unfortunate events along the way.

I am well aware of the idea to keep on swimming ahead even if the vision before you is hazy or the waters seem to be too deep and troubled or the shore is nowhere to be seen, figuratively speaking. But I am also well aware that from what I have experienced so far, if everything seems to be failing even if you have tried all possible attempts in getting things right, it only means it is beyond your control and God has intended a different plan for you. It could be God’s way of preventing you from any future loss/failure, future pain, even more hassle and inconvenience than intended.

So I asked God why I can’t have a regular office job. That moment of quietude with Him and me asking all these sort of questions trying to make sense of what has happened and what is happening came to a final halt – a matter of life and death.

I have already mentioned this a couple of times in my previous blog posts and health wise, I know I have nothing to fear. In the recent medical checkup I came clear but if I am not cautious enough i.e. check my lifestyle, sleeping patterns, food intake, physical activity, etc., and all these accumulated through the years could mean my ending up in a hospital bed earlier than expected.

I have to be cautious with everything.

I am not claiming it but I know it as a fact that I am a carrier of cancer genes. It was a generational curse – it didn’t skip a generation starting from my great grandmother (we don’t know if it started even way before her generation) to my grandmother then to my Mom. They were all breast cancer survivors. Most likely you’ll tell me I will survive too. 🙂

Yes, by faith and by God’s saving grace I know I will. But then it should not be reason enough for me to be complacent. My great grandmother, grandmother and Mom spent most of their lives in the province – a laid back lifestyle, pure simplicity, a fresh and clean environment and less complicated than city life. I spent half of my life in the metro starting college which was the opposite.

Again. I have to be more cautious.

If you will notice, I referred to breast cancer in the past tense because I am declaring that starting from my generation, not one among my 3 sisters and I will have breast cancer how many years from now and that the future generations of our family will be free of this generational curse.

There’s another generational curse too that I am declaring for my family and relatives and the future generations in our blood line to be free from starting with our generation but due to its sensitivity, I chose to keep it confidential.

These generational curses have no cure – ONLY God can deliver us from these curses. Not even the fields of medicine and science have the capacity to provide a lasting treatment/solution.

But,

“We can face the reality of our own mortality because we trust in God.” – Our Daily Bread

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12

Another thing too, my husband and I have been trying to have a child but time declared we can’t have one as of yet. We did talk about it and he told me that whatever God’s will is, he is happy and content either way.

That, I absolutely and unquestioningly agree upon. I did tell him though that as much as I’d want to have a child, I wouldn’t want to raise a child and let him suffer in this world or be punished for the mistakes that his parents did or bear the generational curse passed on to him. If part of the sacrifice that we have to make in order to break the generational curse is to be childless, then we have to honor it.

But then again, it entirely depends on what God’s will is and what His plans are. Indeed,

“As you do not know the way the Spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.” – Ecclesiastes 11:5

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9

The generational curses and the current situation my husband and I are going through both have one thing in common – stress as the triggering factor.

Looking back to what I had to give up, they were standards that this world dictated as what should be accomplished and yet it all equated to stress. When I gave up my graduate study, I asked myself if it is worth it especially when my eczema attacks started showing up again, I had to deal with black spots in my legs which lasted for how many months and I experienced tension headaches/migraines which lasted for 3 days twice a month. I also had to give up the liberty and privilege of working in the corporate world or in my field of expertise.

Do I have regrets? Certainly not. My decision to not conform to the terms of this world won’t rob me of my dignity and make me less of a woman, will it? My identity no longer is attached to those titles that this world offer but to the title that God has given me – His princess and His loving daughter.

“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

My situation now? God showed me other alternatives. I know God did not give me skills just to see them all go to waste until I die and not be able to contribute to this world and help humanity in any way – it’ll make Him unhappy. 😀 I told my husband he need not worry because there are a lot of home-based jobs available for me in the fields of teaching and writing, my two best fortes, if I really need to get a professional job as a means to get an income. There are so many of them actually in different fields of expertise and if I will be “takaw tingin,” I’d prefer having at least 2 since their schedules are usually flexible. BUT, God will definitely say “No.” 😀

In addition, I have witnessed a lot of female friends who shifted from being corporate employees to staying at home, being a full-time Mom and housewife with a home-based job, stressed also but FULFILLED receiving the same salary that she gets if she works in the office spending energy and time commuting, coming home extremely exhausted and has no time for her family.

Yes, fulfillment makes all the difference, right? Even if you are paid triple of what a regular wage earner gets if the fulfillment isn’t there, work will just be equated to work per se in all technical aspect of the term. Aside from that, “whatever it is that our hearts value, there our treasure will be also.” The bad thing about this is if we’re putting our hope on treasures that are temporary and will eventually fade away. Building relationships with people I love are important to me – quality time is my love language. I want to invest more in it – being with my family.

What else?

As of the late, my husband asked me if I could do commissioned work for my sketching hobby after I posted the sketch (next blog article) I did of him during his birthday last May 4. He told me that one of his Mom’s friends asked if I could do their family portrait and his Mom and brother also requested the same along with a few of my relatives and friends ever since I posted some of my previous sketches. My answer was an unsure “let’s see.” 😀

If God gives us a talent as a gift, He has a very good purpose behind it all and honestly, I am not yet confident enough to take my sketching hobby to a higher level. 😀 It’s been 15 years since I started this hobby out of my need to have an outlet when things and times get rough. I am not confident as well to tag a price in each of my art work. I intended to give them for free actually and make the recipient of the art work happy – my ultimate goal as an artist. But if God instructs I have them paid, then I believe I should. Now this, I need to really pray hard as I don’t want to disappoint those who have requested to have their sketches done and there are a lot of them pending requests already. I just need more time to pray to God about it and wait for His answers. *insert wide smile here*

Another opportunity also came about my putting up a restaurant/café after hubby and I made this special burger recipe and his brother insisted we make it as a business as he knows someone who can be our supplier.  I told him we talked about this option but we have chosen my hometown in Bicol as our business location – yup, you guessed that right, too far. My 3rd sister and I have actually planned about this already and came up with the concept for the café and went through the basics of business analytics and management and the only thing she said was that it won’t materialize if I am not there with her to get things started and to keep them running. One of my hobbies is cooking and experimenting with different recipes but eating the food I cooked is not part of them. lol I believe I am to blame if hubby gained a lot of weight after we got married. Ooops, not my real intention there though. 😀 I just want to cook for other people and it makes me happy when they are happy with the dishes I serve them. Again, this is another prayer for my prayer line when it comes to wisdom, guidance and instruction.

Honestly, I was never after the money nor the recognition – getting compensated for the things I love to do and the things that God has gifted me with in terms of talents and skills. I’d like to contribute and share them to society and be able to make every individual happy and fulfilled or if what I contributed could help them in any other way regardless if I’d get anything in return or not (awards, recognition, money, etc.). I only needed money for survival and for now, that is what my hubby and I needed – for our daily needs but never to satisfy our wants and live in excess.

Moreover, I told my husband that if time comes God blessed us with more than we needed, I will retain the kind of lifestyle I have now and would still prefer the same living conditions – not a lavish nor grand lifestyle but a simple, minimalist one. Again, by having only the things that I need and never the things that I want.

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” – Mark 10:21

But as we all know it, I can plan so many things, have so many choices and wonderful opportunities to choose from and small and big decisions to make and yet, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” – Proverbs 19:21

Thus, I rest my case. 😀

For all the generational curses, the lifestyle check, the shift in opportunities, the continued pursuit of God’s will in my life – they were not because I live in fear but because I have fear in the Lord and if obedience is what He requires of me in this season so He can usher me towards what He desires for my life, then I should, by all means comply, stop figuring out this life on my own and rest in His saving grace.

Solution? Pray harder and trust God and His plans even harder.

[In prayer we call on God “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.”] – Ephesians 3:20

Oh and I think I forgot to mention that in my Paulo Coehlo planner-turned-spiritual journal, April’s character trait is COOPERATION and May is FAITH.

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April: COOPERATION

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May: FAITH

Did God say, “Tin, you must cooperate with me and have faith?” I think He just did that’s why I wrote this. *insert wide smile here again* 😀

“Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” – 2 Corinthians 7:1

P.S.

For the first quarter of year 2017, my life/planner went from having TOLERANCE (January), giving AFFECTION (February), to achieving CLARITY (March), giving COOPERATION (April) and last but not the least, having FAITH (May). 🙂

“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

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm for God can be trusted to keep His promises.” – Hebrews 10:23

“God can be trusted to guide us.” – Our Daily Bread

“…the challenge is to trust (in) God’s ability to lead rather than in our ability to follow.” – Genesis 12:1

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

Year 2017: Everything Made New

Vindicated is the world’s term for it, redeemed is how faith coins it.

This article was sitting as a draft since November. But I only had the urge to finish writing it today because a lot more happened after November. So for the month of December I didn’t publish any article – a moment of solitude and immersion in faith. 🙂

There’s social unrest in the decision of current president of the Philippines, President Duterte, and the supreme court to allow the remains of a dictator and former President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani or be given a hero’s burial. It was an unfair decision to most considering all the human rights violation committed, plunder and social injustice in all forms when the country was placed under martial law during the Marcos regime.

It doesn’t seem such a reasonable, sensitive and acceptable answer by comforting the victims of martial law and their families by the statement “forgive and move on.” If you are to ask my side, I chose to settle it with God instead – not my terms but His.

I went thru a similar situation myself about two months ago, so please bear with me if this part will be a bit sensitive and emotional. It was just one of those heated disagreements between me and hubby. Through this challenging situation, it was heartbreaking to hear your spouse renounce his faith and even curse God which made me speak against my faith too. Yes, it was a very sad moment between us which turned into something worse that our families needed to meddle to stop the damage from getting bigger. Hubby and I decided we live separately for the meantime for our own safety and for the sake of saving our marriage.

When I went to the province, I was given the wrong ticket for the first time in my entire 15 years of traveling back and forth going home. Can you guess what was the wrong ticket amount?  It’s 888. 😀 Yes, I interpreted it as an assurance that the Lord, our God, is indeed with us we need not worry.

20170131_214536.pngHow ironic it is though that my husband’s surname is Rome. Jesus’ number one persecutor is none other than the Romans. 🙂 They tried to gain control over Jesus but in the end they were the ones defeated when He overcame death. Jesus symbolizes the church, if not, He is the church. In a marriage, the wife is the church.

This clearly illustrates how man tried to separate from God/church/wife because of the sins and that only Jesus can bridge this gap so the relationship between man and God will be restored. This is just like when Israel rebelled against God and how God tried to make them turn to Him.

What happened was this, God made my relationship something to learn from and yet just like the martial law victims whose rights were violated, God will be the only one with the authority and the power to judge anyone.

They say that when you are deeply hurting, God is creating something wonderful in you and He is veering you away from possible destruction. Yet, it always starts with humility and forgiveness. Just like in this quote from my Our Daily Bread daily devotion, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. – C.S. Lewis”

For the two months that we have been apart, I persevered in assuring my husband that tho I have agreed we live separately for the time being, it doesn’t mean I am giving up on him and our marriage. It is indeed true that for all that we have been through, not once did I give up on our relationship and our marriage and I never will. The first thing that came to my mind during this season was the “love dare” from one of the greatest Christian films I have watched about marriages which is Fireproof.

Just like in the movie, I too am extremely grateful right now that God gave me a family whom I deeply appreciate being mentors in this ordeal who lead me to God and towards the right path. It was difficult to hear and choose from a lot of different prespectives but they did help a lot in widening my mindset about a lot of things through the Spirit’s guidance.

It wasn’t God’s goal that He’ll give you the perfect spouse because your husband/wife will fail you in the entire course of your marriage. This is not because God wants to see us suffer but He wanted to see how we will honor our commitment to Him and to our spouse, how will we continue fighting for our faith towards the beautiful promises that He has and last but not the least, to love unconditionally in the same way that He has loved us. We were born sinners, we are imperfect and we have been saved only by GRACE – something that we did not deserve but was given as a gift out of His great love for us.

I remembered a few years back when a male colleague actually confronted me with a startling confession, “Tin, no guy will ever be a match for you. You are talented, beautiful, almost everything.” I couldn’t give him a fair answer except that I wasn’t created by God to be someone’s or anybody’s rival. I was made as a man’s partner, as equal and as unique as everyone else.  I, as a woman, do not have high standards or maybe I do but it doesn’t matter because what matters is that we have a God who has REALLY high standards and these are the standards that we ought to meet – not mine, not yours, but His.

So for two months I can say a lot have happened. But for the general feel of those two months, I can describe it as very painful and yet it was life-changing. As expected, I got a new Paulo Coehlo planner during the start of the year. This is my brother and sister-in-law’s consistent Christmas gift for me which, I must say, I appreciate a lot as my spiritual journey won’t be complete without it. This planner and I shared a lot of memories and it records all of my prayers, requests, letters of gratitude, revelations and daily bible verses from YouVersion and Our Daily Bread apps.

We also have a prayer and fasting in church at the start of the year and I must say too it was during this time that I had the greatest revelation from yes, the book of Revelation itself. 🙂

At first I did find it funny. I mean, even before, God’s ways are always amazing. He is so full of surprises. Most often these surprises will make you cry in awe – I always do. But it also made me humble – humble enough to acknowledge how could I have questioned God’s plans. It’s as if I am hearing Jesus when He said to His disciples, “you who have such little faith.”   Well, when prayer time comes and I do get to talk with God, I feel all too guilty of this. However, His love and grace remain steadfast and true – it sets you free and it gives you a new chance in life always.

I shared this testimony exactly after the prayer and fasting ended. When I went home to my province last December, no one was left to tend my little garden. I just have faith that God will take good care of them for me in the same way He takes care of the wild forests. When I came back in January, true enough, my plants were flourishing except for one – the oldest plant I have since 2005 which is a calamansi plant. It doesn’t bear any fruit probably because there’s no other calamansi plant around that can pollinate it.

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All the leaves of my calamansi plant were curled and dried up. My sister was the one who noticed it first and asked me what happened. We both could not explain as the rest of my plants were thriving. So she said maybe a fungus attacked the roots and I thought that it could very well be the reason. She suggested I throw the plant away. I thought it best too as it’ll be absurd keeping a dead plant in your garden. 😀

But on second thoughts, I have decided to keep it. I did water it for a day or two after we got back but when I saw that the leaves are really all dried up and they were starting to fall off one by one, I stopped watering it for about 2 weeks except for the occasional rainshowers but still chose to keep it. I just don’t know why I still kept it. 🙂

Anyway, for the month of November the character trait in my planner was patience, December was determination and January 2017 is tolerance. Nope, it is not an irony these traits are exactly what I needed to learn in the season I was in but I believe they’re all part of His plans. I have remained hopeful and faithful for the time when my husband will be saved and for the time when we will be together again. Ah yes, those grueling two months of being apart and you felt that your life was in shambles and what you have with you is nothing else but faith.

I asked God for forgiveness, that He would change me and yet I asked Him for strength and courage too. I know God is changing my hubby too. It is always between God and the person and that the people around are used only as vessels for God to allow that change to take place. I was claiming that the year 2017 will be the start of a lot of positive changes for all even if we seem to have lost everything. I am believing too that more unbelieving spouses will rise in the calling that God has for them to be Godly husbands and wives and Godly parents to their children. I am praying that the generations to come will learn from the generational curses that have been set and passed on to them by their ancestors and they will break free from them through the Cross.

As much as I’d want to share every single detail of those two months that I can say God was purifying me thus made me choose a white dress for Christmas day (see photo below), I would like to share the following bible verses, quotations in my daily devotion, articles I came across and questions I have asked God wherein I have felt much of the Spirit’s presence in what I was and am going through until now. I hope you will be blessed by them too in whatever season you are in. These verses came one by one consistently everyday. 🙂

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P.S.

Don’t forget to read the last part – I have good news to tell. 😉

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding..” – Proverbs 3:5

“For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9

“Give your burdens to the LORD, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” – Psalm 55:2

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” – John 15:4

“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” – Hebrews 12:2

Lord, teach me how to carry my own cross and how to carry it well.

“This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They put their trust in God and accepted the authority of their husbands. For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.”- 1 Peter 3:3‭-‬6 

“God is at work to make us who He intends us to be.” – Our Daily Bread

“Hear the word of the Lord.” – Jeremiah 7: 2

“I am making everything new.” – Revelation 21:5

“The word of the Lord never fails.” – Luke 1:3

“But seek first the Kingdom of God and live righteously and He will give you everything you need.” – Matthew 6:33

“Only Jesus can give us new life.”  (John 14:19)

“Christ will never leave His wife. Ever. There may be times of painful distance and tragic backsliding on our part. But Christ keeps His covenant forever. Marriage is a display of that! That is the most ultimate thing we can say about it.”

– http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/staying-married-is-not-about-staying-in-love-part-1

A display of His greatness.

I often wonder if my life was patterned after every devotion I am using – every bible verse, every Godly wisdom shared, I felt applying them all for real for they were all timely in every event that I am going through.

“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor.” – 1 Peter 5:6

Why choose me, Lord?

Who am I to question God and His ways?

“Let others see your testimony as well as hear it.” – Our Daily Bread (2 Corinthians 4:7)

For I prefer Lord for my faith to be tested like iron is being forged in fire. For I do not intend to be lukewarm in my faith.

“There is no risk in abandoning ourselves to God.” (Romans 12:1)

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. – C.S. Lewis”  (Romans 7:14)

“But the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:3

“Christ holds all things together.” (Colossians 1:17)

Now we’re on to the last part of this article which I was referring to previously. So what’s the good news? Well, God’s grace made it possible for our marriage to be restored and we are on to an absolutely new chapter of our lives as a married couple. A new chapter indeed because we are finally deciding to relocate to a place near his work, I am going back to the work force and I just felt real change within me and my spouse. At first I was apprehensive about this change but if God brought us here, then He will help us go through it all as well.

As my husband put it (yes, my husband. 😀 ), God is good. 🙂

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Oh and yes, remember the plant that died which I still kept? After 2 weeks, this is how it looks now – new leaves. It’s alive!  “The old is gone and the new has come and I am making everything new” indeed as what the Lord says. All it took was FAITH. 😀

To end this article, I’ll share this bible verse which was from my laptop’s screensaver yesterday (it displays a different bible verse everyday). Yet another revelation from the book of Revelation:

“Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.” – Revelation 3:10

Oh how I love my God. ❤ *insert wide smile here* 

Continue fighting the good fight of faith my dear brothers and sisters. 🙂

Sweet Groanings of the Heart in The 4th Year Anniversary Special

Before anything else, I’d like to share this insightful article from Forbes especially for the young professionals:

“The Top 5 Regrets of Mid-Career Professionals”

So my Mom and I had a serious heart-to-heart talk about some things especially about my graduate study. It’s been taking far too long years are passing by fast and it seems I haven’t done anything productive at all nor made significant improvements not just in it but in my life in general.

So questions like what are your plans, what do you want to do now, where do you want to be when you get older, etc. came popping up.

Truth is, I wasn’t totally pleased with how my life has faired throughout these years. To most people it seems like I have wasted 6 years to nothing. But I think I am going to take back that word “displeased”  because doing a self-assessment, I am happier in those 6 years wherein I am in a limbo and in shambles or I thought I was.

First and most importantly, I found God along the way – I was born again. Second, I found love in this world and my better half unexpectedly – I got married. Lastly, a lot of changes happened internally – major heart reconstruction. These 3 are now my priorities which I was called to serve first.

So my Mom went on, “As parents we only wanted what is best for all of you and your siblings, a better and more successful life.”

I do appreciate this kind of love from my parents. I know when I become a parent I wanted what is best for my kids too.

She continued, “If you wanted to have a simple life though, nothing is wrong with that.”

Now this I loved from her even more. So I smiled and agreed:

“Yes Mommy, that is all I ever wanted in this life. I actually wanted to go back home in our province and raise my family there if God wills it. We wouldn’t have these ideals and values in life if it wasn’t for the humble beginnings of you and Dad in which you have raised us all. City life has far too much temptations and is way complicated.

I want my kids to have the same values and ideals in life too and I think I won’t be able to do that if they will grow up seeing that Brian and I pursue what this world offers as the meaning of success like wealth, possessions, achievements and titles.”

A “higher”  and more successful position/career requires more time at work and more work load. This is practically what graduate studies are for – promotion at work and/or career advancement. I may be earning much and I now have a title that society declares as prestigious but I have less time with my family because either I am too tired when I get home, I am bringing work at home or I have longer working hours in the office. My kids will only be young once and my husband is my top priority next to God.

Then memories of the day I had my altar call which was during the Singles’ Getaway in church back in year 2012 reminded me once again about what Pastor Dennis Sy discussed regarding priorities. He shared an experience between him and his wife who wanted to pursue her dream to become a medical doctor.

What he said made a mark in me as well (paraphrased already),

“Your degree/profession won’t be able to hug you in times that you are sad nor will it be beside you in times of trouble. But I can.”

She chose to let go. Priorities-wise, when we are called to be married and have families, they are to be on top. Indeed, these are the sacrifices that born-again spouses and parents have to make when it comes to priorities. I have read an article (I couldn’t exactly remember the title) by Mrs. Marie Bonifacio, wife of Pastor Joey, regarding the hierarchy of priorities: God, spouse, family, career and ministry.

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A great reminder. ❤

I love God, I love my spouse and I love my family – these are what matters in my case now. My career will have to come next and maybe my other ambitions will have to fade away. I am still seeking for God’s direction in this area though, a period of patiently waiting and enduring.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:34

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

There are those who were called to a life of leadership and excellence in the corporate world and professional industry among men and women alike. There are also those who were called to serve the ministry. There are those too who were called to serve their families. These are just some of the areas we were called to serve and we all fall in either of those categories one way or the other.

I believe this is the season that God is slowly clearing the view from obstacles so I could walk the path straight and yet asking me to get even closer and more in tune with Him. I trust God that He will guide me and my future family according to His plans. It may mean denying myself what this world offers at this point going against the norm and maybe going against the wishes of many which can be heartbreaking but I know in the end it will all glorify God.

I am, in fact, happier where God has put me now as long as it gives Him all the Glory and Honor He deserves. 🙂

“Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” – Proverbs 3:6

P.S.

This might be my last post for this year or for a couple more years even (only God knows) because I am planning to do a social media hibernation in most of my social media accounts for I don’t know how long as part of my personal prayer and fasting. There is so much I need to pray for in my life including my current health condition, my family, my country and this world and I need to seek for God’s will and instructions without distractions and temptations just like what Jesus did.

So I am temporarily ending my 4-year activity in blogosphere and passing on the baton to the new generation of faith-based bloggers. Today’s the 4th year anniversary of this blog too and I got this notification the other day about reaching 500 readers who stayed patient enough in reading this faith-based blog. Kind of a great way to end a season, eh? *wink*  I believe this particular season has come to a temporary halt and God is calling me to a new season, a new task. Who knows, I might be back in just a week. lol 😀

( To God be all the Glory!)

But I am definitely sure I will be reconnected with you all again in God’s perfect time. So ciao for now my dear readers. Keep praying, keep on blogging and keep the faith always! ❤ 🙂

Life’s Like That

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Photo credit: groupon.sg

When I was young, I grew up to the sight of Reader’s Digest magazines laying around the house. My parents have a monthly subscription to it and when I was in grade school and high school, it became one of the favorite books I wanted to read.

This is probably where my inkling on feature stories especially those that are inspirational originated. However, there are other sections in the magazine that caught my attention too: Laughter Is The Best Medicine and Life’s Like That. For the latter, I enjoyed reading the “matter-of-fact”  wisdom shared by contributors. I was young back then I didn’t know the exact name for it but contextually, I do get the point.

It was only during my college days that I realized that the “nuggets of wisdom” shared at Life’s Like That can actually be classified as a figure of speech – irony. Just to review our Literature 101 about what “irony” is:

“Irony (from Ancient Greek εἰρωνεία (eirōneía), meaning “dissimulation, feigned ignorance”[1]), in its broadest sense, is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or event in which what appears, on the surface, to be the case, differs radically from what is actually the case. Irony may be divided into categories such as verbal, dramatic, and situational.” – Wikipedia

Then I reflected about everything. Life is actually a well-celebrated mockery game – it is so full of ironies. If you’d ask me how, I’d give just a few instances I know which were shared to me and I have observed through time as well.

I have come to know of a parent who is an overachiever but with an underachiever child. Or that very religious person whose son/daughter grew up committing all sins the bible has. A wealthy expat, dignified and well-respected with a child who breaks the law often. A prominent family but conflicted relationships. The list can go on and on.

I do not judge them for who they are for these are their own battles of faith, endurance and character building as well and we can all learn from their struggles too and yet I can only ask why the opposite of what was originally intended?

Before I got saved, I was a downright cynic – sarcasm was my favorite wordplay. When I go for the kill, my best weapon was the vilest and meanest words you could think of even without a curse. These words go straight to the heart and the worst kill is towards the ego. That is because I knew nothing back then about this:

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” – Proverbs 18:21

Yet through it all, I don’t see this as a reason to be regretful, to be stuck in the past and to feel all forlorn even if I have suffered greatly of its consequences. No, it is actually a thing to be celebrated given the guidance of the Spirit. Yes, because looking at it in a Godly perspective, these ironies are what bring us to a position of humility. It taught me how to reflect and carefully choose the proper word in addressing every issue and every single person. It taught me to pause and assess first. It taught me self-control and to wait for the right time. It taught me to be sensitive and gentle. It taught me to be humble enough to accept my mistake and the mistake of others.

This wordplay of sarcasm which I used to love have been turned by God into words that give encouragement, light and hope which made this blog alive. 🙂

There are still times now wherein if I am not conscious and I am not putting up my guard, some of the wrong choice of words or improper delivery of my sentences i.e. tone, etc. still come out even if I intentionally did not mean it. But then, when the Spirit is in you, the rebuke will always be there – through your guilt, your conscience and your heart. That is because my eyes have been opened to the Truth and to what is right.

My husband can attest to the number of times I have almost or even crushed his spirit completely because of the words I have uttered towards him. I only realize it when he would tell me that what I told him made him realize about his weaknesses, mistakes and that I was right. But hearing him say these, I can feel the pain and see it in his eyes.

The pain.

Now this struck me to the core. Oh dear Lord, I have hurt him with my words.  When I sense the pain in his tone, I immediately apologize and hug him tight and assure him that I don’t mean it. But as we all know, we can never take back the words we have spoken.

Never.

Moreover, whichever words we hear that elicited a strong emotion in us usually have the greatest impact and will be retained in the memory. If it is in the memory, it will be easily remembered – we are forever reminded. Not to mention that mean words also fuel anger and dissension which lead to conflicts, violence and eventually chaos.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

Thus, in my pursuit towards humble repentance, I prayed to God to shield any person from any hurt that can be derived from any vile word that I unknowingly or have intentionally blurted out. I prayed even more for maximum restraint and discernment. I prayed that forgiveness will rule in our hearts and heal all wounds inflicted – the humble acceptance of mistakes.

Humility is the very core of Christianity. I don’t think I can ever define faith without it. Grace teaches us that. The Cross symbolized nothing more but Grace through humility – submission and acceptance even if undeserving. For how can God subject Himself to a lowly form here on Earth in the image of a man, devoid of any distinct title or position in the society, free from material wealth or possessions and suffered a great deal which no one else have experienced and YET did not sin even once so we could all be free from the bondage of sin?

God is God – the Alpha and the Omega, Omnipotent and Supreme. He is in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ symbolizes nothing more but humility and acceptance out of obedience and love for His Father, His creator.

We all can never submit, accept and obey if there is no humility. It is actually humility that makes repentance possible which leads on to SALVATION. Again, it all goes back to the Cross.

So why should life be so ironic? Simply because Life’s Like That – full of ironies so we could all learn humility. Humility is God’s way of saving us from the perils of pride and other sins which bring much of this world’s chaos and complications in relationships.

Yes, Life’s Like That. 🙂

Sentimental: Who Am I?

I am down with my usual migraine attack (on its 5th day now) but this time accompanied by a high fever and eczema too. Whew! Kind of difficult to manage when every illness you have bolted in altogether. Though I have taken medicines yesterday, my husband nurse and the doctor at the university infirmary advised me to take a 3-5 days of bed rest for my follow up check up on Monday – limit physical activity. While in bed, I thought about writing something.

Speaking of my husband though, I appreciate him for his nonchalance. That is one thing I wanted to learn from him – how to maintain a worry-free attitude despite the disarray or when things have gone awry. I am, on the other hand, the exact opposite – I worry about everything! 😀  But through time, I have learned to control my worries and I’ll share how in the succeeding paragraphs.

I know there came in your life wherein you have never felt good enough – as a spouse, as a child, as a parent, as a student, as an employee, as a friend, as a relative, and ultimately as a person.

As a Christian teacher, I have learned that it is even more important to speak life than to criticize students. We might never know, we are already crushing the dreams of a young spirit because of the negativity. Though trials produce resiliency, positive reinforcement is still best. The world is already complicated enough, mainly because we, humans, made it to be that way.

Every person is different. Just like how every seed grows to be a different plant. Every plant has its own tender and loving care requirements. Yet all plants need sunshine, they all need light.

When I was a grade school student, I had my first taste of disappointment when I didn’t win as president of the student council and I was reprimanded during campaign along with the rest of my running mates for being late in Math class for just a few minutes and we weren’t allowed to enter the classroom. I took it as my responsibility to take the blame being the running President and seeing your peers crying out of shame was enough to make your heart broken to pieces.

When I was in high school, I had another major disappointment when I only graduated as “special mention”  in class after consistently being in the top 3 honors list from 1st year until 3rd year but failed to meet the criteria for the extra curricular activities which comprised a huge percentage of the final grade among other issues. One of my high school best friends suffered the same fate. We were advised by our parents to never receive the award during the graduation ceremony though our names were called because they said that we do not deserve it but we were there.

When I was in college, I wasn’t able to finish my thesis on time because I wasn’t assigned the right adviser from our concentration. After submitting my first draft, I got it back only to see red marks written everywhere and the one thing that was retained in me was this comment, “How did you reach this far if you don’t know how to make a research paper? This is not the work of a UP student!”  I thought, maybe I should also ask my former professors why they passed me in all my other subjects if I am undeserving to be in UP. Little did I know that is how that professor motivates her students – all of us, if not, most of us in that class received the same exact comments as I later found out from classmates.

Then I worked, a dream job it was. But disappointment once again arose. The mission and vision of the workplace weren’t met because one of the figures of authority behaved otherwise. I was the recipient of that unprofessional behavior and many have seen it. It happened a couple of times. I stayed and chose to keep quiet. But after praying about it, I had to let the job go.

So these were all hang ups of the past which I am sure most of us have experienced one way or the other. Others may have gone through even worse than all these and if given the chance, they are very much entitled to unleash their grievances as far as this world is concerned. But unfortunately, as much as we want to shake them off, they are already embedded in who we are.

All those years I have struggled with the need to impress, to meet expectations, to be perfect, to excel always and to prove myself to people. I suffered from anger and resentment boiling in me and the need to take revenge and retaliate is so strong. I blamed life for bringing me people who did nothing but criticize me for my weaknesses and only that and went beyond in criticizing who I am personally without even the slightest hint of who I really am and what I can do. This resentment and anger included some issues in other areas of my life too which I will not share due to their sensitivity. I really thought I was the unluckiest person alive back then.

For 27 years I have battled with insecurity, the by product of low self esteem and poor self image and self worth – the mentality that “I am never good enough.”  Failures, wrong decisions and disappointments became the stronghold that corrupted my entire being until it led me to a major depression – the breaking point as they say.

Depression robs you of the beauty of life. It makes life look bleak, bland and distorted. It affects your every decision and it just kills life itself.

No, I do not easily give up. I did arrive to that breaking point on the verge of quitting everything but I still fought hard against it.

I had two options: let the darkness corrupt me and become those people who plagued others or themselves with it OR choose to search for the light, the hope.

The opportunity came for the latter – I was given HOPE.

The greatest moment of my life was when I was born again through my faith. Why? It’s because when I found out who I was in Christ, that was the greatest and the best thing that I have heard about myself for 27 years.

It was on that day when I surrendered myself to Christ that ALL chains got loose – I was set FREE.

The moment already came for me to look at things in a very different perspective – a total paradigm shift. It wasn’t everything I hoped for BUT it is exactly what I NEEDED which no one else could give me except God.

This HOPE taught me even more than what I have learned in the academe or even from life itself. It taught me how to patiently wait for the right opportunities and how to patiently endure every set back. It taught me that there is a time for everything. It taught me to decline job offers and business opportunities that could’ve made me rich in wealth and possessions. It taught me to pass up on chances of earning titles that would have given me some sort of self-entitlement and self-fulfillment. It taught me to weigh options, sacrifice if I must. All of these if they will, in the end, forfeit my soul. 

It taught me to choose God’s will over mine. It taught me to rely on God’s plans than rely on my own understanding of the circumstances around me. It taught me to relinquish control and allow God to take over. It taught me that GRACE is a gift freely given even if undeserving. It taught me how to love others even when they do not deserve it too. It taught me to find joy, peace and contentment even when darkness, chaos and bitterness are all around. It taught me how to let go of the past and forgive. 

It taught me what true humility is all about. It taught me to be grateful always. It taught me that simplicity matters most in life. It taught me to look outwardly and consider what others are going through as well. It taught me that if there is a void that the atrocities of life have caused in me either by wrong choices or by fate, no one and nothing can fill it up except God.

I found this hope in Christ alone and I find strength in the Word every day which is my guide in this life – not any textbook, novel or company brochure.

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” – Hebrews 11:1

Faith did not make my life free from criticism, condemnation, trials and suffering. Yet it gave me a way to view life beyond that – salvation in eternity.

I still find myself in situations I have stated in the first part of this article. But this time, I hear and watch them with a smile – they don’t know (yet) but now I understand. I have learned to understand that they, too, are still in the darkness driven perhaps by the need to compete, to be the best and to meet expectations dealing with insecurities and personal struggles too or to instil exactly what they went through to the next in line because they are still belonging to this world and its standards. I have learned to understand first where they are coming from and why they are that way.

There are times the past comes all rushing back, it haunts. Another disappointment will ruffle your feathers. The need to lash out and punish calls. But I choose LIFE. I will speak LIFE.

Because Christ has given me LIFE. He, alone, gave me LIGHT. It is my duty as His follower to use that light so others can walk in and with Him too despite the darkness around them.

Ah, yes. Them.

One day, they will be brought out in the light too. They will break standards, cultural traditions and not conform to this world wherever they may be and whatever they may be doing. They will choose to fight for faith and spread light when hope seems dim. That was the reason I was smiling because I was praying for them silently and I am claiming it all in the Mighty Name of Jesus who made it possible for me too. 🙂

“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

P.S.

It’s been 3 years now since I got saved and when things don’t go the way I’ve expected them to be, I have this bookmark to remind me of who I am. I thank the sister in Christ who gave this when she facilitated a talk during my baptism of the Holy Spirit. I have carried it with me since then. The last verse listed is my life verse. 🙂

What matters – who I am in Christ. 🙂

Oh and yes, one new thing I have learned too from our couples’ bible study vgroup 2 Sundays ago (thanks Tito Tony and Tita Len for the wisdom) – the boiling water concept. If you put eggs in boiling water, they become hard. But if you put the potato in it, it becomes soft. I choose to be a potato – a couch potato. Kidding. *wink* 

Seriously, it only means that when life and circumstances knock you down, don’t bear any grudge and don’t be hard on yourself and on others. Instead, let it soften you, let it refine you and let it make you better. Be a better potato, I mean, a better man/woman. 😉

Last but not the least, reach out to God then God will send His people (spiritual family) to help usher you out of the ordeal. I am praying over your struggles too, my dear reader and brother/sister in Christ. ❤

If Fred Flintstone Is Here…

 

I have long been an advocate of protecting Mother Earth. I grew up surrounded by nature in its luscious state. Nope, please don’t get me wrong. I am no Tarzan nor Jane. *wink*

I just happen to grow up in a humble home (our ancestral home in the province) with a garden containing all sorts of flora and fauna courtesy of Mom and her best helper, Dad. Yup, he is the one in charge of the upkeep of the lawn with the lawn mower – it’s a guy thing. 😀

That is their quality time together as husband and wife on a weekend – tending the garden. The children are the ones in charge of picking the flowers for their own agenda and end up being scolded by Mom. lol

Okay so I am pro nature. Does that make me an anti urbanization? I have my own praises when it comes to industrialization. It is, I believe, in God’s plan that man will benefit from his own toil and hard labor resulting in a convenient life. Imagine Fred Flintstone and the difficulties of Stone Age and the primitive days. I am grateful I am not living in a cave and have to deal with bats and snakes or any squishy, wiggling, crawling, flying, spurting creature every night when I sleep.

But are we maintaining the balance? I was wondering what would Fred Flintstone say if he is with us and sees all the modernity around. I think the time has come for our industrial engineers, landscape architects and land developers to consider creating a change in this rapid momentum of skyscrapers being built everywhere especially in the city.

I see it as an idol, a temple. Not of God’s but of something else. It destroys what God has originally built. I no longer see God in those buildings, nothing God-made was retained.

I believe it is man’s obligation to maintain and preserve what God has built. We have been given free will which gave us opportunity to gain knowledge. Knowledge gave way to innovations. Innovations made life easier. BUT too much of it will destroy the very core of life in this world – Earth. Unless of course those innovations are nature-friendly.

If not, there really is indeed a possibility Earth will be nothing more but a rubble in the future and we’ll be living in spaceships. Ever watched the movie Transcendence? It’s basically the same.

I love Science. I enjoyed watching Sci-fi movies. My Mom was my grade school Science teacher and I was usually the one representing our school in Science quiz bees and competitions. I had that thirst for worldly knowledge back then and I grew up being inquisitive of everything around me.

I started asking the “why”  questions which later on I found out that Science has no answers for all of them. Too many unanswered questions brought me to questioning the reason even for my very own existence.

Good thing there was faith – I was saved from the disillusioned self. Now everything has meaning, everything has an answer, everything has a purpose. That made me understand not just my part but how each living and non-living thing created by God are interrelated.

This now brings us to innovations. Are they really supposed to be part of the picture?

I have been sharing on Instagram those that are all natural or which pertain to nature. I saw the beauty of them that transcends beyond the skyscrapers and high-rise buildings that speak nothing else but of man’s creations.

This made me ask again. Is man trying to outwit, outplay and outlast God?

If we are to compete with God in the Survivor game show, there’s no doubt we’d be eliminated first. Can God create buildings? Of course, He can. So why didn’t He create skyscrapers and a whole lot of them for His creations to live in alongside Earth when He created everything?

Too much is detrimental. It speaks of greed – hunger for power and to acquire more than what is necessary.

I have no control over the industrialization age. But I can help the younger generation appreciate what could be the last remnants of God’s creation at its best and original state – nature. I am hoping the younger and future industrialists, architects and engineers will take it to themselves to preserve what is left of God’s creation.

If they wouldn’t make the change then there’s nothing left for our great grandchildren and the children after them to marvel at when it comes to showing them how God created the world. Garden of Eden for them will just be a far-fetched concept or worse, a myth.

And yes, they will be missing out so much. *sigh*

And yes too, this is the first time I am ending my article with a sigh. BUT with a smile – still hopeful. ☺

P.S.

My Dad, by the way, is a retired civil engineer. He builds bridges and dams and facilitates in the irrigation of rice fields with the National Irrigation Administration. He did these not to destroy nature but to help in nourishing it so nature in return can help the farmers make good use of the resources.

If only man would learn to settle with contentment.

*sighs again*

*smiles again*

“A psalm of David. The Earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to Him.” – Psalm 24:1

Mid Year Prayer and Fasting 2016: July is Enthusiasm

JulyEnthusiasm

For this year’s mid year prayer and fasting in our Victory church, it fell on the month of July same as the Muslim’s end of “Ramadan” and my Paulo Coehlo planner has “enthusiasm”  as the BIG word for this month. I intended to lessen my social media interaction during this period to lessen distractions and temptations. Compared to my previous testimonies during prayer and fasting which were day by day accounts, I thought about summarizing experiences for this mid year’s prayer and fasting.

Fasting, for me, actually happens every single day. Fasting is denying yourself the desires of your heart which is most oftentimes can be associated to worldly pleasures to be more in tune with the Spirit. In other words, fasting means having self-control and discipline. My definition of self-control means controlling my desire to get any opportunity to try all great food out there in big volumes (gluttony); controlling my desire to get all the new gadgets in the market and other material possessions (greed); controlling my desire to avail all cosmetics, plastic surgery or other beauty enhancements (vanity); controlling myself in acquiring every opportunity to earn titles and be well accomplished in terms of business, career or in academics (pride) and a whole lot more of desires that need to be controlled.

The prayer and fasting that our church has which takes place during the mid year and the start of the year are ways for me to present to God the even bigger “giants”  that I need to overcome not just for myself but for those around me too. These “giants”  could be prayer requests that have not yet been answered and yet proved to be quite burdensome and the circumstances that I have no control over. Thus, I make sure my testimony for the prayer and fasting will be documented and here it is. 🙂

Let’s start with Day 1 (Faith to Speak).

True enough to the word “enthusiasm,”  day 1 has a BIG revelation already. Before I even started my devotion for day 1, I already received a text message, a follow up about something I am sincerely praying for over familial matters. It was followed by a prayer from me and I cried upon seeing it because it only meant one thing: God answered my prayers just to give us hope although more prayers are needed and yet the assurance that He is with us in this ordeal that we are going through is more than enough. It brought back memories of me 3 years back before I got saved and what I also went through. Then, the bell of a nearby church rang, it signified the holy hour of the day – 12 noon. Ahhh yes, the LOVE OF GOD manifests everywhere. 🙂

I shared to my hubby what happened and he told me that I really am dedicated in doing things that are not even required of me. I told him that yes, I am doing it out of love – sharing the love that God gave me. If it wasn’t for Him, I wouldn’t be where I am now. It is the love of God that saved me from the repercussions of my sin and past mistakes and eventually saved me from death – salvation through the Cross.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus, our Lord.” – Romans 6:23

I continued that I am able to share this love that God has given me to others because I know how it felt to be on the losing end, alone, empty, afraid and unsure of everything because of the total darkness around me and yet God gave me hope, He gave me peace and lastly, He gave me security. All because He loves me. True it is when the bible said that,

“We love because He loved us first.” – 1 John 4:19

I want to share this love to others so that they, too, might know who God is and how it feels to be saved by GRACE out of His undying FORGIVENESS and faithful LOVE to us.

It was in this moment that I realized what my brother told me that I was selected for the task, for this mission, being the one who has a flexible schedule because of my masteral thesis and I have no work. So my prayer went like this as I ended my prayer and fasting devotion for day 1:

“Dear Father,

Though I may shed tears as I humbly pray to you now, it is because I am  overwhelmed by Your presence that I am feeling now. You have, once again, through miracles, shown Yourself and how great Your love is for us. You never left me and my family. Through the times that we have to cope with grief, loss, pain and suffering, You gave us patience, courage and strength to endure it all. This goes out to other nations as well and their people who are going through the same thing.

This prayer is not a prayer of requests but of gratitude. I have made my heart known to You and all the needs and the burden that I have to carry and yet I find myself at peace every single day, not worrying about anything (which is unusual) and enjoying a content moment with my spouse. We are savoring these simple but precious moments that we are experiencing now and we never fail to thank You of that every day as we come before You and pray.

Indeed, You are my footprints in the sand, the only footprint visible because You carried me all the way. Thank You for the protection, for shielding us from the attacks of the enemy to steal, kill and destroy, for guiding us in our decisions, for instructing us what to do and showering us with the warmth of Your love.

I know, Father, that You have prepared me and prepared all of us in every circumstance and in every season that we will go through in this life. Thank You, lastly but not the least, for sending to us the Spirit who will remind us, guide us, intervene for us and lead our every moment in our lives. We know that You are preparing us for the second coming of our Savior.

I am lifting up Your Name as I continue to trust in You and claim the beautiful promises that You set before us in every battle that we will go through in this world. We are all victoriously saved through the One and Only Son whom You sent to save us from the perils of this world and take away all our pain, sorrow and suffering once and for all. 

I love others because of You and because I LOVE YOU…I am EXTREMELY GLAD and GRATEFUL that I have come to know You and I will FOLLOW and OBEY what You command me to do through the Mighty Name of Your Son, JESUS,

AMEN.

Your loving daughter,

Tin”

Then, heavy rain poured (I love rain). Was it Your assurance God that You heard me? I bet it is. *insert enthusiasm here*  😀

On with Day 2 (Faith to Fight).

Because miracles do happen, I believe this testimony will attest to that – MORE GOOD NEWS! Though I cannot share the specifics for confidentiality purposes, I know my Father God sees it all and the enthusiasm I have for Him and all His goodness. Ah Lord, You are our Great Healer and Deliverer indeed. Thank You for all You have done. 🙂

This verse indeed came to life for me:

“The Lord will fight for you, and you only have to be silent.” Exodus 14:14

Without even thinking who to encourage as part of the “Respond”  activity for today’s devotion, God already gave the opportunity who I should encourage when it comes to faith. I only realized it some time after I sent the message to these people – God gave the need.

Today was all about fighting for faith and the enemy will never give up without a fight too, will he? I committed to a no-rice, smaller intake of meals fasting being a heavy rice-eater. Oh boy, my neighbor now started cooking deliciously-smelling viands and the aroma is just filling the entire house and I can hear my stomach grumbling its complaints. 😀

Then there went my internet connection unusually going off for some time, which rarely happens, exactly when I am about to share about faith in my social media accounts. Well, the enemy can try but he has found the greatest adversary ever in me – God. Try as he might, I am also determined to do what I was tasked. 🙂

I also had to go to the mall to buy some stuff and hubby and I decided to eat dinner at the mall’s food court. I ordered pita bread while he ordered 2-piece fried chicken with rice. I told my husband while eating, “Honey, you know how enviously you are making me feel with every spoonful you take with that rice.”

He laughed and offered me a piece of chicken skin (my favorite). Then I told him too, “You know that chicken skin too is sinfully delicious. It contains too much allergens and high in cholesterol, I should also avoid that.”

I went on that controlling my desires and avoiding temptations will make me happy because it will make my Father in Heaven happy too when He sees what I did. So now my hubby resolved to have a no-rice fasting too so he could empathize with me and not tempt me. 😀

Though I did not encourage him to do this because he needs all the energy he can get commuting every day to work for 2 hours in every trip and the demands at work. So I told him to eat just the way he would but just be with me in faith and in prayer. 🙂

My prayer for this day went like this:

“Father in Heaven,

You have, once again, tremendously shown that we need not worry and be anxious about everything for it is You who are fighting in our behalf. You have, once again, given opportunities to show how faithful You are to our needs. Indeed, I only need to be silent and let You do what You needed to do. 

I will never stop in fighting the good fight of faith to honor You and Your commandments. Though the enemy may strike everywhere and anytime, I have faith that You will give me the armor that I need to defeat him. 

May You continue to give me the strength and the courage to pursue in living what is good and what is right according to Your standards. I am inviting You in my every fight for faith through the Mighty Name of Your Son, Jesus, AMEN.

Lovingly Yours,

Tin”

Last but not the least, Day 3 (Faith to Overcome).

Today was also another beautiful day receiving a personal message from someone whom we have been praying for – a text of gratitude. It made me cry tears of joy, out of gratitude too. Darkness was overcome and there is now light, a resurrection, a redemption and a new beginning.

Ahh, we have such a loving God. If only more and more people could see it. If only more could experience it. 🙂

I believe the following statement from today’s prayer and fasting devotion will answer this:

“We must have faith to hear from God and do what He says, regardless of how unconventional or illogical the instructions may be.”

I know that faith is the only way to overcome every challenge, setback, trial and suffering – claim the victory that has already been made for us through what Jesus did on the Cross for us. We were already made victorious by His blood shed on the Cross – we just need to CLAIM it. Most probably why the word PROCLAIM. 🙂

We are to proclaim that Jesus has saved us and granted us victory over our sinful lives i.e. bad habits, past mistakes, wrong decisions, lust, greed, pride, wealth, possessions, etc. and over this sinful world i.e. death, crime, murder, sickness, corruption, etc. There is victory to those who believe that He has overcome the world once and for all and all we need to do is to live out this thought in every portion of our lives.

We have to proclaim that God, through His Son Jesus, is the ruler of our lives and the ruler of this world – ONLY Him. 🙂

“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” – 1 John 5:4

So I’d like to end this article with this worship song that I encountered while having my worship time first day of the mid year prayer and fasting. Honestly, my worship time at home means jumping, dancing and singing out loud because I can’t do it in church lest my flailing arms might hit fellow worshipers. 😀

I was singing this at the top of my lungs and…..hubby just got LSS (last song syndrome)-ed by this song! hahaha He and I are humming and singing this song since then every time.

Well, this song reminds me of what true worship should be: the FAITH to SPEAK, the FAITH to FIGHT and the FAITH to OVERCOME….all with ENTHUSIASM. 😉

Thus, for my prayer, I have this:

“Dearest Father in Heaven,

Thank You for giving me two great partners in this world – the Spirit and my husband. 

Thank You for the Spirit who intervenes in all that I do and I thank You for my husband who shares in my every tear and my every laughter through the bad news and the good news, the failures and the triumphs.

We love You so much, Lord, for being with us ALL THE WAY. We are looking forward to claiming life in eternity with You and Your Son. With You nothing is impossible for You have overcome the world.

Thank You most of all for the overflowing love which gives me, in turn, overflowing happiness, peace and security. Thank You for giving me a reason to live life ENTHUSIASTICALLY.

In Jesus’ Mighty Name, AMEN.

Forever Yours,

Tin”

May everyone raise their hands to the sky and give God the praise, the glory and the honor that He deserves. ❤

And may God bless you, dear sister/brother, who is reading this. 🙂

Do You Have A War Room?

For I certainly need one. 🙂

First, my apologies. I promised to write this after the “tugging” article and yet another article came before this and another one more.

God’s plan – additional relevant info came in along with the recent events which will be discussed at the latter part of this article.

So I thought it better there’d be a “war room”  in churches. If Muslims have a mosque, Catholics have a confessional, I believe born-again Christians should also have a “war room.”  We are all united by one God and we all serve one God. If I am not mistaken, we have been called as “The Prayer Nation” too.

This “war room”  will offer 3 options to believers whichever they are most inclined to do:

1. Pray in the war room alone if a quiet, personal time with God is needed and yet a war room is not available at home, at work or in school during the midweek.
2. Beside a war room there is a prayer box in case they felt the need for more members of the spiritual family to pray for them and yet do not have the courage to meet them personally.
3. Beside the prayer box is an instruction what to do and who to contact when a dire need is there to talk to a spiritual leader regarding a very urgent and pressing concern i.e. life and death, demonic possessions, safety, hopeless cases, etc.

I have envisioned “war rooms” placed in every city which would be similar to the garden that Jesus went to before the crucial moments of His arrest. I thought it better that every church in every city would build what I call a “A Place of Serenity” where it’ll give peace and solitude to those who desperately seek it.

I got this idea from Sagada in the Mountain Province in the northern part of the Philippines wherein it is flocked by visitors who needed to break away from their busy lives and busy environments and I personally call it as “The Prayer Mountains”  based from the experiences of friends who’ve had their “enlightenment”  there.

Unfortunately, it is a 6-hour drive from the metro – something that not everyone have the privilege to do on a regular basis. I thought why not create something like it within the metro but as compared to Jesus’ garden and Sagada, this place of serenity within the metro will be built adjusted accordingly to the demands of the city lifestyle – crowded, busy and noisy.

It could be a small parcel of land, turned into a garden i.e. landscaped and surrounded by trees and at the center will be a building or any structure that holds cubicles built in the same way as recording studios (sound proof) with nothing else inside it but a chair, a table, a pen, a paper and a bible.

Why these 5 things only?

First, God will give His instructions as prompted by the Spirit through the Holy Scripture. Second, a chair and a table are another option if one does not want to kneel while praying, there is a physical disability or an elderly. Lastly, a pen and a paper will be needed for documentation if one needs to write a specific bible verse that the Spirit has prompted or if there is a need to write down his/her prayer requests so more members of the spiritual family can pray over them. This can be dropped in a prayer box which I have mentioned in item 2 above.

This idea of a “war room”  came after watching none other than one of the best Christian films I have watched so far which is War Room: Prayer Is A Powerful Weapon.  It is also because I am in need of one being situated beside a very busy street and neighborhood wherein you hear all sort of sounds and noise any time of the day and night. Our living quarters too come in the form of a small apartment wherein there is use for every nook of the place that does not elicit solitude. So I wondered where would I go if I wanted to seek for serenity within the metro so I could hear God’s instructions clearly.

After our volunteer work at the home for the aged, one of the outreach coordinators asked us who would be willing to volunteer as intercessors to that “special ward”  which I referred in the article. Three of us volunteered and they are my church mates, my sisters in Christ and my former bible study group mates. I just thought I’d totally appreciate finding a place that I can call a “war room”  as being an intercessor would mean I need to have a more quiet and personal time with God so I could present all these prayer requests, be more in tune with the Spirit and discern His instructions – I have so many to pray for in every area of my life and in everything and everyone around me.

In case you haven’t watched the movie War Room: Prayer Is A Powerful Weapon yet, I highly encourage you to watch it for it’s message is just so powerful, it is so real and yet tells so much of the Truth. 🙂

He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” – Matthew 26:39 (The Prayer in the Garden, Jesus Prays in Gethsemane)

“But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:6 (The Lord’s Prayer)

In case you have been called by the Spirit to intercede for someone or something, this article might help in preparing for the work:

http://www1.cbn.com/questions/what-is-intercessory-prayer

“Lord, we need an army of believers. Lord, call us to battle. Raise them up, Lord. Raise them up.”