Understanding a Young Professional

 

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Indeed, August is understanding – understanding the will of God, understanding yourself and others. πŸ™‚

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). πŸ˜€

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. πŸ™‚

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:

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Throwback sa Buhay Kolehiyala sa Peyups: A Letter to the Graduates

Hindi man makabagbag damdamin ang aking karanasan sa kolehiyo bilang iskolar ng bayan, nais ko rin itong ibahagi nevertheless bilang pagpupugay sa mga magsisipagtapos ngayong darating na Linggo and because I went through a similar battle some 10 years ago. πŸ™‚

It took me 2 years to finish my undergraduate thesis. Sabi ng iba mahirap daw makapasok ng UP at β€˜di hamak na mas mahirap daw ang lumabas. Kasama na ako sa porsyento ng mga isko at iska na sumasangayon sa paniniwalang iyan. Ngunit ano pa mang karanasan ang danasin nyo sa unibersidad, alalahanin na the university was just there to prepare you for the outside world. In my case, muntik man akong naging dropout at na-delayed ng 2 years, naintindihan ko ngayon na will pa rin ng Dios na grumadweyt ako. Pero kung sakali mang hindi, alam ko rin na God has better plans for me na Sya lang ang nakakaalam – not my timeline but God’s; not my plans but His’.

Ika nga, β€œMany are the plans of man but it is the Lord’s purpose that will prevail.” – Proverbs 19:21

This is just one battle that God has used to test our faith and yet there will be more battles in which the world will ask you to conform to its patterns and standards and deviate from your faith. Your heart will be put to a test between what is right and what is wrong sa mata ng Panginoon, you will rise and fall along the way, your priorities will change as seasons shift, you will weigh opportunities that could’ve made you look great in the eyes of the world but with a corrupted soul and you will be torn between pleasing this world or pleasing the Lord your God.

If we were given wisdom, it is not for the sole purpose of just gaining knowledge. If we were given power and influence, it is not for the reason of proving how mighty and popular we can be. If we were given provisions, it is not so we can be secured with our future. They were not given so we can use them according to our ambitions and wants but they were given so we can glorify God’s name, His will and His plans.

β€œWho is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” – James 3:13 

β€œDo not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become β€œfools” so that you may become wise.” – 1 Corinthians 3:18

β€œWisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord,
and humility comes before honor.” – Proverbs 15:33

UP, in all its diversified community and culture, has taught me the early doctrines of freedom by being a nonconformist and yet it is faith which molded me that it is God whom I should please by not conforming to the patterns of this world.

Thus, through the bittersweet memories with our UP Naming Mahal, I took an oath to serve God, serve my family and serve the country not through the standards of this world but of God’s. πŸ™‚

Lastly, why God?

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit for APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING.” – John 15:5

β€œAnd what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” – Matthew 16: 26

As you embark on yet another season in your life, may you not depart from the greatest wisdom of all time even greater than what the academe has taught you – His Word. πŸ™‚

Praying with you in faith,

Christine Lailani G. Ginete-Rome ❀

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BA English Studies major in Literature, College of Arts and Letters, UP Diliman (04/28/2008)

Finding Your Niche: What Does God Want You To Do?

I have often asked myself that question before I got saved. Like a thousand times over. And they soon lessened bit by bit when I devoted much of my time reading the bible and in praying. Soon after, answers were given, not all at the same time. Some were shown right away, some remained as silent as they are. But one thing is clear – there is a mission.

As I was reading more of the bible every single day, I realized that there is one common mission for all – to spread the Word. Same way as Jesus did when He was sent in this world. It is just a matter of choosing in what manner did God call you to spread the Word.

What I will be writing, as with everything I have put here in this blog, are all personal opinions. Anyone is free to contest or agree. But I am hoping it’ll strike somehow a new perspective in each and everyone of us.

As of right now, we all have certain roles that we are currently fulfilling – a daughter, student, employee, boss, etc. Those that were preset so to speak – roles that do not come from our own choices. We didn’t choose to be born a daughter or a son, nor when we got hired, nor was it our choice to go to nursery school as soon as we learn how to read or when we got promoted, etc. But there are those that require a major decision making, a point of seeking. And that includes our mission, our purpose – one that deals with a lot of contemplating before finally making a choice. I am sure more or less we wonder or there is that moment in your life you asked yourself, “What am I living for?”Β 

How do you find out what and where does God want you to share His Word?

In my case, it is in my interests. Tapping the things that I find joy doing is where I found God’s mission for me. We cannot say however that that is where everyone will find their mission too. There are those who found it in their line of work, in school, at home or overseas. It could be anything and anywhere actually. But one thing’s for sure, it is from somewhere and something that your heart is closely attached to, something that gives you fire and passion. For it is the heart that God is after in us, not our background, what we have or have accomplished.

Contemplating usually leads to knowing your deeper sense of self. It gives you that moment of looking and searching the very depths of your soul, of who you are.Β But a word of caution should be taken here – our selves can be one avenue where the enemy can trap us with deception and lies such as making us feel worthless, brooding on self pity, feeling inadequate, insecure, and a whole lot of negative perceptions that can hamper the good image that God wanted us to have with ourselves.

When I got saved, it wasn’t just a spiritual reawakening for me but more about rediscovering myself in the light. Something that I am unaware all these years – of things that have lain dormant. Only when the Spirit’s tapped your inner being can you claim that God has magnificently and uniquely created you not just as an individual but as His daughter/son.

When we seek God’s purpose and mission for our lives, He will give us everything that we need to prepare us for that mission. Opportunities will be given and circumstances will work in a way that we know only God can do and is capable of.

But my greatest advice is this:

Never compare yourself to others, what others do and what they have accomplished. You will never get the chance to know yourself more if you are busy knowing the lives of others and trying to live the lives they live. Do not say “I want to be like that too.” Instead pray and say, “God, how do you want to use me?”

Keep in mind that God has something unique in store just for each and everyone of us. Same way that He has chosen a special partner in life just for you if it is His will you be married. We should always keep in our hearts that popularity and achievements are not included for it is not in God’s purpose for each and everyone of us to rely on them especially if it is not His name that is glorified in the process. As what the bible states,

But He gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” – James 4:6

In all that we do, what we should foster is that of having a humble servitude. Do not think about what you will get in return from the service you have rendered but what good did others get from your service. Exactly like how Jesus Christ was able to complete His mission – serving the Lord God and the people of this world in HUMILITY.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up with honor.” – James 4:10

God knows we are weak. He knows we will be needing Him. What it takes to know God’s mission for us is to acknowledge boldly and courageously the fact that we are weak but will only be made strong through Him. When we are ready, there will be no stopping us, faith will have its voice in whatever medium it may be.

Do not fear failure, criticism, condemnation and suffering because of upholding to the mission appointed to us – the Cross will be our hope, peace and will be our guide. God never forsakes those who stood up to their faith until time will come to say our work is finished.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

Lastly, this is what “niche” means:

NICHEΒ .noun.
Β  Β  Β  Β  Β – a shallow recess, especially one in a wall to display a statue or other ornament
Β 
Who are we displaying in our niches? πŸ™‚

The ANOINTING OIL and More Memories

It was after our family vacation with my husband’s family last weekend that I got hold of something interesting. We went to Baguio City in the upper north of the Philippines where the weather is particularly colder than in any part of the country.

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A portrait at the Baguio Botanical Garden c/o Brian Rome Photography.

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Brian Rome Photography

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My aunt-in-law, Tita Bebe, in an Ibaloi/Kankanaey native, traditional costume. πŸ™‚

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I never could get this husband of mine to do a serious pose. Like never. πŸ˜‰

It was a well-spent vacation full of laughter, travels and food ventures. One adventure that we didn’t miss was a visit to the famous haunted house in Baguio City and the bamboo art exhibit.

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My bro-in-law, Buds, and the facade of the haunted house. πŸ™‚

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Spacious living room.

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Bamboo art work and handicraft.

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The living room.

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It was Bud’s idea to visit the haunted house.

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Up we went to uncover the house’s mystery.

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The Master’s Bed

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The Fireplace

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The staircase of the haunted house.

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It was his idea to reenact our wedding day.

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Unfortunately, I can only do the “real kiss” of the newlywed couple once. πŸ˜‰

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No serious pose indeed. Oh wells. πŸ˜€

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His signature pose.

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Baguio Escapade 2015

We also stayed at Hotel Veniz which is located near the heart of the city popularly known for its night flea markets. My husband and I pretty much enjoyed buying stuff at such an affordable price – it was a hassle though packing them up as it added to our already bulky baggage. But it still was fun haggling for lower prices and yes, eating street food. Now this last part I must definitely say THE highlight of our last night there.

We were all tired after the vacation and it was during the last day at my in laws’ house where I got hold of one of the most interesting pieces of memorabilia that I didn’t quite expect after receiving my first memorabilia from the Holy Land which is the Spikenard Magdalena perfume thru my husband’s Dad.

My mother-in-law gave me Bible Land Treasures’Β Β The Anointing Oil as one of their presents which I am very grateful for. A good God we indeed have. πŸ™‚

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The Anointing Oil

If you haven’t read my article on the Spikenard Magdalena perfume, you can read it up here and itΒ also explains a little bit about the Anointing Oil:

The Holy Perfume: Spikenard Magdalena

As of right now, I haven’t had the slightest idea as to what God’s purposes are why I have to get hold of these two important elements in the bible which is significant in our history on how Christianity started – particularly that of Jesus and the Cross. It is very humbling though that God gave me this privilege to be able to know these elements for real, have an idea how they smelled, what they look like and where and how they were used.

The Anointing Oil smelled more delicate and milder than the Spikenard Magdalena perfume which is a combination of frankincense, myrrh and spikenard. It also has a lighter color as compared to the perfume and less concentrated. I have used the perfume twice already but I haven’t used the anointing oil yet.

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Having shared this, I am now in need of your heartfelt prayers for the Spirit’s leading where these elements can be put into good use, not just for me, but for others as well – that in serving God’s will and purpose. πŸ™‚

“I Volunteer!”

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Yep, I am joining in. πŸ™‚

I checked one of the little boxes right up there. Most probably you’re going to ask, why Communications Ministry? I, myself, don’t even have the slightest idea why I chose that when itΒ wasn’tΒ even part of the 3 ministries that I am choosing from – Kids Ministry, Music Ministry and Admin Support.

All I could remember was my hand and my pen gravitating toward the box beside Communications Ministry when Pastor Dan started counting down during the worship service the Sunday before last Sunday saying, β€œOkay, you have 10 more seconds left to decide where you want to volunteer.” I just stared at the check mark after checking the box contemplating why.

But I did not dare change it. Again, I don’t know why. Until I submitted the form. I can neither ask God why. For I know not what the plans He has for me. But if this is my calling, then, I would definitely accept it. Wholeheartedly. πŸ™‚

As with any obligation, responsibility and form of volunteerism, commitment is the key in providing a successful and fulfilling service. I only have one prayer at this point – may God guide me so I would be able to stay committed and focused with this newΒ endeavorΒ and be able to serve His purpose.

All for You, Father God. All for You. πŸ™‚